Chicken Sloppy Joes are flavor-loaded messy sandwiches that you NEED in your life.
My Chicken Sloppy Joes are made with lots of veggies (but don’t worry, you won’t even notice them) and are a much healthier version of the classic sloppy Joe without sacrificing flavor.
To be honest, I haven’t had a sloppy Joe sandwich since I was a kid in summer camp.
But when I bought 5 packages of ground chicken breast (they were on sale!) and I was running out of ideas for what to make, I suddenly had HUGE craving for sloppy Joes, and that’s how these Chicken Sloppy Joes were born.
Healthier sloppy Joe
I really wanted to make sloppy Joe sandwiches that were a little healthier than traditional sloppy Joes. I was already starting off with lean ground chicken breast instead of fatty beef, so I was already off to a good start.
And I knew that I could add LOTS of finely chopped vegetables to the mix because they would all get cooked down and would mix nicely with the cooked ground chicken. I knew that the sauteed vegetables would have a similar texture to cooked ground chicken and would be hidden well.
So I added diced celery, diced bell pepper, and diced onion to these sloppy Joes. Not bad for what is typically a greasy sandwich!
Seasonings for sloppy Joes
There’s no one correct way to make sloppy Joes because there are so many variations of seasonings and sauces you can add, but here’s what went into my ground chicken sloppy Joes:
- Ground cumin
- Ground coriander (this is my obsession for all meaty dishes lately!)
- Dried oregano
- Worcestershire sauce (does anyone know how to pronounce this?)
- Tomato paste
- Soy sauce
The cumin, coriander and oregano are added to the vegetables as they’re sauteing, giving the vegetables and the whole dish lots of flavor.
All the “liquid” seasonings are added to the final sloppy joe mixture with the chicken, making everything nice and saucy and delicious.
How to serve sloppy Joes / what to do with leftovers
These chicken sloppy Joes are amazing sandwiches (and very kid-friendly too! My super picky 3 year old ate them!), which are great with some melted cheese and/or pickle slices on top.
We are these sloppy Joes with chips because it reminded me of childhood and summer camp. You can put the chips right in the sandwich for a bit of crunch (does anyone else do this??), serve them on the side, or even use the chicken sloppy Joe mixture as a chunky dip for chips.
Want a healthier chip recipe? Try these crispy baked sunchoke chips!
If you have leftovers, the sloppy Joe mixture reheats well in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stove top.
The chicken sloppy Joe mixture would make an AMAZING topping for nachos, and would be equally great as a filling for tacos.
However you choose to serve these sloppy Joes, I hope you get a chance to make them and enjoy them as much as my family did.
Looking for other easy meaty sandwich ideas?
- Instant Pot BBQ Pulled Chicken (the BEST pulled chicken for sandwiches)
- Chicken Burgers with Guacamole (another GREAT ground chicken recipe!)
- Juicy Ground Pork Burgers (15 minutes from scratch!)
- Turkey Burgers with Guacamole (these are definitely not bland turkey burgers!)
- Sausage and Caramelized Onion Sliders
If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don’t forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!
Chicken Sloppy Joes
- 2 celery ribs finely diced
- 1 small bell pepper cleaned, seeds removed, and finely diced
- 1 small onion finely diced
- Optional: 1/2 - 1 jalapeños finely diced, seeds removed for less heat
- 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt or more, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper or more, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin or more, to taste
- 1 lb ground chicken (use ground chicken breast or mixture of ground chicken breast and dark meat)
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup ketchup or more, to taste (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Optional: 1-2 tablespoons diced cilantro or parsley, splash of hot sauce
- Sandwich buns or chips for serving
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoons of olive oil and sauté the finely diced celery, bell pepper, jalapeño (if using), and onion for about 10 minutes, or until they soften. Add the 1 teaspoon coriander, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and mix well.
- Move the vegetable mixture to the side of the skillet, add the other tablespoon of olive oil to the empty side of the skillet, then add the ground chicken on top of the oil.
- Allow the ground chicken to cook undisturbed for 3-5 minutes, or until it browns. Then use a spatula to break up the ground chicken. Mix with the vegetables and continue to stir fry until the chicken is fully cooked.
- Add 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce and mix well. Continue to stir fry for 2-3 minutes, or until the sauce is heated through and the chicken and vegetables are fully cooked. Add a splash of hot sauce if you want spicier sloppy joes, or an extra glug of ketchup if you want a sloppier joe or more tomato flavor. 🙂
- Serve in a sandwich (toast the bun!) or as a dip for nachos or chips.
- You can add more ketchup if you want a saucier sloppy Joe, or substitute some of the ketchup for BBQ sauce for a BBQ sloppy Joe
- The estimated nutrition facts are for the ground chicken mixture only, and does not include buns, chips, cheese, or any extra toppings