Beef, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Gluten-Free, Main Course

Sweet & Spicy Sloppy Baked Potatoes

You guys, it is SO COLD here right now. Wind’s howling, snow’s flying sideways, and by all accounts, it is just WAY TOO EARLY for this sh*t. Winter Weather Advisory in effect, with up to 8 inches of snow possible. I know I said I was excited for fall, but fall is supposed to last longer than 3 1/2 days and NOT BE WINTER, right? Good hell… I love my home but there are days when I wonder why we live here.

Needless to say, this week’s meals are all warm and cozy. White Chicken Chili in the slow cooker, Oven-Roasted Peruvian Chicken and VegetablesKorean Beef & Rice Bowls, Sticky Thai Chicken Fingers, and tonight’s main event, Sweet & Spicy Sloppy Joe Baked Potatoes.


Sloppy Joes have always been a favorite in our house. One bite takes me back to the simplicity of childhood, sitting around my grandparents’ table and chatting about the day.  So many memories are made in and around the dining table. Whether it’s enjoying delicious meals with amazing people or laughing till your abs hurt while playing cards and board games, these are some of my favorite things.

One of the challenges I face is finding tasty ways to reinvent some of my old favorites into gluten-free dinners that the whole family will actually enjoy.  Since prepackaged gluten-free bread and buns taste like cardboard are just not my cup of tea, buns are out (for now… challenge accepted). When I saw Sloppy Joe filling on top of baked potatoes, zoodles, and french fries, I was able to rest assured I would still be able to enjoy this favorite alongside my family. THANK GOD for Pinterest, so much inspiration in one place. Seriously, though. Pinterest has been a lifesaver.

This Sloppy Joe filling is a bit sweet, a bit tangy, and has just a hint of heat that lingers after each bite. Diced onion, red bell pepper, and pressed garlic are sauteed, then lean ground beef is added and cooked through. While the beef is cooking, we make the Sloppy Joe sauce. Good old ketchup gets jazzed up with gluten-free soy sauce, tomato paste, and maple syrup. Add in some garlic powder, paprika, ground mustard, cayenne, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and we just upped our Sloppy Joe game by at least 10 points.


Spoon this over a piping hot baked potato, and dinner is served.

Sweet & Spicy Sloppy Joe Baked Potatoes

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Sweet & Spicy Sloppy Joe Baked Potatoes

8 medium-sized potatoes (Russet and sweet potatoes both make excellent choices)

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

4 cloves of garlic, pressed or finely diced

Pink Himalayan sea salt and black pepper, to taste

2 lbs lean ground beef (recommend at least 93-7)

1 C no sugar-added ketchup

1/2 C gluten-free soy sauce

1/4 tomato paste

2 tbsp pure maple syrup

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tsp each paprika and ground mustard

1/4 tsp cayenne (omit if you prefer no heat)

Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (omit if you prefer no heat)

  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Scrub your potatoes and wrap them in foil. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until fork tender.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute till slightly softened, approximately 5 minutes. Add the ground beef, diced red bell peppers, and pressed garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until beef is no longer pink; drain and return to skillet.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the ketchup, soy sauce, tomato paste, maple syrup, and all spices. Pour sauce over beef and vegetable mixture and stir till well-combined. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Spoon Sloppy Joe mixture over prepared baked potatoes sliced down the middle. Enjoy!


My kids love to top theirs with cheese, of course. Up next, I want to use this to make loaded Sloppy Joe sweet potato fries… maybe topped with a fried egg? I don’t know… but I will definitely keep you updated.

Let’s connect! Find me on Facebook- @ifitbakesyouhappy – or follow me on Instagram. I look forward to hearing from you. 🙂

In the meantime, stay warm… I have a feeling it’s going to be a loooong winter…

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