Do you have fond memories from your childhood of eating sloppy joe sandwiches from a can? Me too. These simple gluten-free and dairy-free sloppy joe lettuce wraps will make you never want to eat the stuff from the can again! They’re that good! On the table in under 30 minutes, this is a great weeknight meal for any family!
It all started with eavesdropping at the grocery store. I don’t know what came over me. But here I am standing in the produce section throwing my carefully planned grocery list out the window all because I heard someone ask their significant other if they grabbed the can of sloppy joe meat.
I had a plan you guys. A PLAN! I had half of my ingredients for my meal prep in the cart. But I couldn’t get it out of my head. Sloppy Joes. When was the last time I even had a sloppy joe? I really couldn’t tell you. All I knew was I wanted one right then and there.
Obviously, I couldn’t do a traditional sloppy joe with a gluten-laden bun. And due to my yeast intolerance, I really haven’t found any yeast-free buns or breads at all. Side note: if you know of one… hit me up. But I knew in order for this spontaneous little dream of mine to come true, sloppy joe lettuce wraps were definitely the way to go! And boy did these babies not disappoint!
I approached my sloppy joe creation how I would somewhat approach making a BBQ sauce. Some tomato sauce, mustard, brown sugar, tamari sauce, apple cider vinegar all mixed up. I tried SO HARD to make a sauce without brown sugar so it could be Whole 30 compliant, but alas, it just didn’t happen.
The brown sugar is what really makes it taste like a sloppy joe. I’ve seen people use soaked and processed dates for a sweetener when on the Whole 30 diet, but I wanted to keep this recipe as simple as possible with ingredients that are easily accessible and rather inexpensive.
Let me tell you… these sloppy joe lettuce wraps taste JUST like the sloppy joe sandwiches from your childhood! Who knew it could be so easy to whip up sloppy joes that are both gluten-free and dairy-free? You’ll never want to make it from the can again!
Sloppy Joe Lettuce Wraps
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1/2 cup yellow onion (diced (about 1/2 medium onion))
- 1 cup green bell pepper (finely diced (about 1 large bell pepper))
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 lb ground beef
- 16 oz tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp gluten-free tamari sauce (or soy sauce if you aren't gluten-free)
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 3-4 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp ground mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 8 large lettuce leaves (for serving)
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions (for serving)
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes, until translucent.
- Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute, stirring to ensure the garlic does not burn. Then, add the ground beef and break up any clumps. Cook for 8-10 minutes, until ground beef is cooked through.
- While the ground beef is cooking, mix together tomato sauce, tamari sauce, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, ground mustard, salt and black pepper. Stir to combine.
- Taste and add an additional tablespoon of brown sugar if you would like it sweeter.
- Once the ground beef is browned and cooked through, stir in the tomato sauce mixture. Cook for 5 or so minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is warm.
- Serve as lettuce wraps, topped with chopped green onions.