Chicken Sloppy Joes are a healthier alternative to traditional ground beef sandwiches, and they are just as saucy and delicious!
Learn how to make my easy, from-scratch sloppy joe sauce and mix it with lean ground chicken to make a classic sloppy joe that the whole family will love.
A healthier but just as delicious version of everyone’s favorite loose meat sandwich is right here!
This is the perfect meal for a busy weeknight dinner when you need to feed a table of hungry people. It’s fast, easy, inexpensive, and delicious!
This recipe for Chicken Sloppy Joes is just like the messy sandwiches you remember eating as a kid. Instead of that canned sloppy joe sauce or Manwich, I’ll show you how simple it is to make a fresh sauce for ground chicken sloppy joes from scratch.
You should definitely try my Sloppy Joe Casserole Recipe with noodles, or my Tater Tot Sloppy Joe Casserole. Both are made with ground beef, but you can absolutely make them with ground chicken as well!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Everyone Loves Sloppy Joes! – Kids love this messy sandwich that you can eat with a fork, and grown-ups like it so since it’s so nostalgic.
- Simple Ingredients – I’ll bet that you have everything you need to make sloppy Joe sauce from scratch already. Ketchup, mustard, and tomato paste plus some fresh green peppers and onions give this sauce so much amazing flavor!
- A Healthy and Quick Dinner Option – It takes about half an hour to simmer cooked ground chicken with the sloppy joe sauce, and it’s well worth it. The best part is that most of the time is hands-off, so you can take care of other things while dinner finishes on the stove.
Here’s what you need to make the best homemade chicken sloppy joe sandwiches:
- Ground Chicken: I love how light and healthy ground chicken is, and it works perfectly in place of beef in sloppy joes. Feel free to use lean ground turkey as well.
- Onion, Garlic, and Green Pepper: These fresh veggies really make this sauce taste fabulous, and nobody will think it came from a can.
- Ketchup: A must for any sloppy joe sauce, ketchup adds sweetness.
- Seasonings: Yellow Mustard, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, chili powder, and salt round out the rest of the sauce ingredients.
- Brioche Buns: While you can technically serve sloppy Joe’s on any old hamburger buns, I like the richness of Brioche with this recipe.
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
How To Make Ground Chicken Sloppy Joes
- Cook the Ground Chicken: Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground chicken, onion, garlic, and diced green bell pepper. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink, breaking it up with a spatula, for about 5-7 minutes.
- Add the Sauce Ingredients: Reduce the heat to medium and add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, yellow mustard, tomato paste, and chili powder directly into the skillet. Stir well to ensure the chicken and vegetables are evenly coated. Then pour in water, and stir to combine.
- Simmer: Reduce the heat to low and let the Chicken Sloppy Joes simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the flavors have melded together and the sauce has thickened slightly.
- Make Sandwiches: While the chicken mixture is simmering, toast the brioche buns in the oven or on a griddle with a little bit of butter until lightly golden. When everything is ready, divide the sloppy joe filling among the rolls and serve immediately.
Toasting the buns is a small step that makes these sandwiches extra good! It creates a barrier that keeps the bread from getting too soggy too fast.
- Use Green Peppers. While you can technically use any color of bell pepper in this recipe, green peppers have a distinct flavor that you won’t get from red or yellow peppers.
- Make it Spicy. If you want your homemade ground chicken sloppy joes to have a bit of a spicy kick, consider adding some heat. Hot sauce, crushed red pepper, or a pinch of chili powder can all work to give you a spicier sandwich.
- Don’t Overcook. Watch your sauce while it cooks to be sure that it doesn’t reduce down too much. These are sloppy joes, you want them to be saucy. If you accidentally cook the sauce down too much, stir in a splash of water to fix it.
- Serves 4 to 6, depending on how big your sandwiches are! For an adult portion, I suggest a quarter pound of meat, but for kids, you can use less.
Leftover chicken sloppy joe filling can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to store it in an airtight container or a freezer bag for freshness.
Allow the filling to thaw before reheating and serving with fresh rolls.
What To Serve With Chicken Sloppy Joes
While you don’t need to add any toppings to a sloppy joe sandwich, some people like to add a little extra. Try thinly sliced onions, dill pickle chips, or a slice of cheese!
As the story goes, this dish was originally developed by a cook named Joe in Iowa. He added tomato sauce to a loose meat sandwich, and history was made!
This recipe works really well in the crockpot! Brown your meat and vegetables before adding them to the slow cooker with the rest of the ingredients. Cook on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours. This method works really well when you need to make dinner but not everyone will be eating at the same time since the crockpot will keep the ground chicken filling warm all evening.
Yes, you can! Simply double all of the ingredients, and be sure that you use a large enough skillet or Dutch oven so that things won’t overflow.
These Ground Chicken Sloppy Joes are so tasty! Just like you remember, but made healthier with a homemade sauce and lean ground chicken. Save this recipe for the next time you need an easy weeknight dinner!
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil not extra virgin, or avocado oil
- 1 lb (450 grams) ground chicken
- ½ medium yellow onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium green bell pepper finely diced
- ½ cup (120 ml) ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup (60 ml) water add more if needed
- 4-6 brioche buns
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground chicken, onion, garlic, and diced green bell pepper. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink, breaking it up with a spatula, for about 5-7 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, yellow mustard, tomato paste, and chili powder directly into the skillet. Stir well to ensure the chicken and vegetables are evenly coated.
- Pour in the water and stir, ensuring everything in the skillet is well combined.
- Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have melded together and the sauce has thickened slightly.
- While the chicken mixture is simmering, toast the brioche buns in the oven or on a griddle with a little bit of butter until lightly golden.
- Once everything is ready, divide the sloppy joe mixture onto the bottom halves of the toasted brioche buns, then cover with the top halves.
- Serve immediately with a side of your choice.
- This recipe will serve 4-6 people, depending on how much meat you add to each sandwich.
- Instead of ground chicken, use lean ground turkey, or any other type of ground meat.
- To Store: Leftover chicken sloppy joe filling can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Be sure to store it in an airtight container or a freezer bag for freshness. Allow the filling to thaw before reheating and serving with fresh rolls.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.
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