Smokey, spicy and full of veggies these sloppy joe baked potatoes are the adult upgrade this classic comfort food needs. I guarantee these hearty loaded potatoes will leave you full and satisfied. It’s seriously hard to believe that these babies are actually healthy and made with only fresh and wholesome ingredients!
I was inspired by this Whole 30 Sloppy Joe recipe from Chrissa at the Physical Kitchness. My husband was asking me to make them constantly and I figured I needed to do my own take on them! With a few tweaks to the process and some added spiciness, these smokey sloppy joes were born! Now let’s get on to some tips and tricks to make the best sloppy joes you’ve ever had.
How to keep ground beef juicy and tender:
I’m going to let you in on a secret that I learned from America’s Test Kitchen on a much better, easier way to cook with ground beef. I don’t know about you, but I absolutely HATE having to drain all of the grease off when I’m cooking with ground beef. But if I leave it in, a lot of the time I feel like it makes my dish kind of soggy.
Well, there is a solution to this problem that doesn’t compromise on the flavor. Using a little bit of baking soda, water, and salt you can change how the meat retains moisture. It has something to do with raising the PH level and the protein structure, but to be honest I don’t completely understand the science aspect of this. All that I know, is that my ground beef browns better and without turning into an oil slick! Not to mention it makes it even juicier and tender after being cooked.
While this is a step that isn’t 100% necessary to make this meal, I wouldn’t recommend skipping it. It takes an extra couple of minutes to set up and your beef can sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. The best part is that you can use this technique in any recipe that requires ground beef!
How to adjust the spice level:
So I know spicy food isn’t for everyone or that maybe this recipe isn’t spicy at all for some of you. Don’t worry! This recipe is easy to customize when it comes to how spicy you want it to be. For those of you that think ketchup is too spicy, you can switch out the jalapeno for something milder like a bell pepper. And if the chipotle sauce is too much for you, ranch goes well on these sloppy joes also.
For those that want to turn up the heat, I would recommend adding an additional jalapeno or leaving in the seeds. You can also add more chipotle peppers to the chipotle mayo sauce. Just be careful, because a little bit goes a long way! I usually start with one chipotle pepper and then work my way up to the level of spiciness I’m looking for.
If you make this recipe please let me know by sharing your pictures with me on Instagram at @thesimplesupper! It seriously makes my day!
Smokey Sloppy Joe Baked Potatoes
Smokey, spicy and oh so delicious, these sloppy joe baked potatoes are the perfect upgrade for a classic comfort food. You won't believe that you can pack this much flavor and veggies into one baked potato!
Recipe inspired by the Physical Kitchness's Whole 30 Sloppy Joes.
- 4 Medium Sweet Potatoes Baked or Microwaved
- 1 lb Ground Beef Lean
- 1 Tbsp Water
- 1 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 Medium White Onion Diced
- 1 Carrot Diced
- 1 Jalapeno Diced
- 2 Garlic Cloves Diced
- 1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
- 1 Tsp Oregano
- 1 Tsp Paprika
- 1/2 Tsp Chili Powder
- 8 Oz Tomato Sauce
- Cilantro Optional
- Jalapeno Slices Optional
- Chipotle Sauce Optional
Rinse and dry sweet potatoes and puncture multiple times with a fork. I will toss them in the microwave for 8 minutes to "bake" them quickly. Set aside to use at the end of the recipe.
In a small bowl or cup add water, baking soda, and salt and stir together to dissolve. Place ground beef into a medium sized bowl and sprinkle with the baking soda mixture. Stir lightly with a spoon or your hands to coat the ground beef. Set aside to rest for 15 minutes.
Using clean hands, dice the onion, carrot, and jalapeno. Always use caution when cooking with peppers. Wear gloves or wash your hands with soap immediately after cutting. Be sure to not touch your eyes or nose.
In a large skillet over medium heat add the olive oil and add the onion, carrot, and jalapeno. Let cook for 5 or 6 minutes or until the onions begin to become translucent and the carrots soften.
While the onion, carrot, and jalapeno are sauteing, mince the garlic. Add to the skillet and cook for another 2 minutes or until the garlic begins to become fragrant.
Add your prepared ground beef to the skillet and let the meat brown. Once the meat has browned about 5 minutes, add the tomato paste, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, and seasoning. Stir to coat mixture. Then add the tomato sauce and stir to thoroughly mix all ingredients together.
Serve over a cooked sweet potato that has been cut in half lengthwise. Garnish with additional jalapeno, cilantro, and my chipotle sauce if desired.
Leftovers will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 3 days.
This recipe will work served over a white potato or on a bun if sweet potatoes are not available.
You can find the recipe for my chipotle sauce here! If that's too much work, this is also delicious with ranch dressing.