A fun-yet-elevated meal for any busy weeknight dinner, or as a burger-alternative for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, or Labor Day.

This easy Sloppy Joe-inspired recipe is also great for any gathering where you don’t have a grill, don’t want to cook outside because it’s too hot or too cold, or want to have a fun make-ahead option to keep warm when people will be coming and going.

Healthy sloppy joe recipe

The gourmet-level Sloppy Joe recipe comes together in less than 15 minutes and can be as healthy or indulgent as you want it to be!

My family loves this, and I hope you will, as well! Enjoy!

Healthy sloppy joe recipe

Sloppy Joes with Latin-inspired flavors

Recipe variations:
Use any ground meat or plant-based ground meat alternative of your choice
Use any cheese or dairy-free cheese of your choice.
For a Paleo or Whole30 version skip the sour cream and cheese, use a Whole30/Paleo compatible ketchup, and serve the fixings in a small cooked sweet potato.
This recipe easily doubles or triples and the filling freezes well!
Cook Time 15 mins
Servings 6 -8 burgers


  • 1-1/2 lb ground meat or plant-based ground meat alternative Cook and crumble over medium heat until golden brown.
  • 1 jar Mesa de Vida Smoky Latin-inspired Recipe Starter Sauce
  • 2 Tb ketchup
  • Salt to your own tastes Mesa de Vida's cooking sauces have very little salt added so you can salt to your own tastes/health needs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Burger fixings – toasted buns, sliced onion, tomato, avocado, shredded lettuce, sour cream or mayonnaise, salsa, or anything you like!


  • After the meat is cooked until golden brown, stir in the Mesa de Vida Smoky Latin starter sauce. Stir and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Pour in water and salt, stir to combine. Cover and cook on low for 10 minutes.
  • Serve as you would any hamburger and enjoy!


If you’d like to make this for a crowd, or for a weeknight dinner when people are coming and going, cook the saucy meat ahead of time and keep warm in a slow cooker on warm. 

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