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Luau Sloppy Joes

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Luau Sloppy Joes // One Lovely Life

I’ll be honest, when I think about sloppy joes, there are a few thoughts that come to mind.

1. Chris Farley as a lunch lady. Ever seen that sketch? Look it up.

2. Real life lunch ladies serving sub-par tasteless joes on dried out, smooshed buns in my elementary school cafeteria.

Well, if those are joes, meet Joseph, my friends.

With a homemade sauce, lean meat, and more flavor, these are decidedly better than a can of sloppy joe mix and are certainly kid-friendly.

The recipe calls for several ingredients, but none are hard to find and I had most of them on hand. This won’t win you any beauty contests, but it might just save dinner.

Luau Sloppy Joes // One Lovely Life

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Luau Sloppy Joes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 2 reviews


  • 1 1/2lb extra lean ground beef or ground turkey
  • 2 slices bacon, diced*
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1/4c barbecue sauce*
  • 4 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2c brown sugar
  • 1/4c soy sauce or GF tamari, like San-J
  • 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce*
  • 1c diced pineapple
  • Buns, to serve*


  1. In a large saute pan, brown ground beef and bacon together over medium heat. Remove meat from pan and drain any fat.
  2. In same pan, cook onion and bell pepper until tender. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. Return meat to pan and add tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, and tomato paste. Stir well. Add brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine and taste.
  3. Simmer about 10 minutes or until thickened. Add in pineapple and heat through.
  4. Serve on your favorite buns. (I like to toast mine to make them more sturdy.)


*Gluten free notes: be sure your barbecue sauce, bacon, and Worcestershire are all gluten free. We like Bull’s-Eye or Bone Suckin’ barbecue sauce, Hormel Naturals Uncured bacon, and Lea Perrins Worcestershire. Also, be sure to use gluten free buns 🙂



  1. I must say that when I taught in Provo, I loved sloppy joe day and that was one of the only times I ever bought cafeteria lunch. I’ll have to give this recipe a go to see how it measures up:)

  2. I made these tonight for my husband who normally doesn’t care too much for sloppy joes, but he told me more than once how good they were, and I agree!

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