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Salad Joe’s (Sloppy Joe Salad)

Earlier this year we were eating Sloppy Joe’s at my parents house. I made my 2-year-old a plate and set it in front of her, but a few minutes later she started complaining.

“Want a Sloppy Joe!”

“You have a Sloppy Joe. See? It’s right here.”

“No! I want a Sloppy Joe!”

“Sweetie, this IS a Sloppy Joe.”

“No! I don’t want this,” she said as she pulled off the top and bottom buns and handed them to me.

I realized, laughing, that we had been going so long without buns on our Sloppy Joe’s that my youngest didn’t remember life with buns. I wasn’t sure whether to be a proud paleo mom or feel sorry for her. The older two, however, were in heaven with their spongy bread soaking up the Sloppy Joe sauce. Can you blame them?

Eating a Sloppy Joe with a lettuce cups became um… unnecessarily sloppy. Sometimes we put them on a bed of Sweet Potato Fries. (Hello, amazing.) And sometimes when I was craving something with more freshness I’d put it on a bed of lettuce, which later evolved into a full-blown salad topped with paleo Ranch and diced pickles.

And, if we’re being honest here, shredded cheese.

My bestie’s 4-year-old daughter calls them Salad Joe’s. I really love that.

What’s in a Sloppy Joe Salad?

I included a recipe down there, but a couple of the components are existing recipes on my blog, so I’ll give you those first with some adaptations…

Best. Sloppy Joe’s. Ever. Yes, the name is a bit presumptuous, but I stand by it. Also, there’s no chopping involved — unless you really want some diced pickles on top. Worth it.

Dry Paleo Ranch Seasoning My favorite paleo ranch, ever. And I love that I can make a big jar of it and always have it on hand. I’m so over being at the mercy of fresh herbs when I want some ranch.

Homemade Mayonnaise This recipe uses extra-virgin-olive oil, but I’ve started using avocado oil instead for a more neutral flavor. If you’re cool with dairy, you can also use Greek yogurt in the dressing.


If you make one of my recipes, be sure to post it on social media and tag me at @perrysplate or #perrysplate so I can send you some love!

Salad Joe's (Sloppy Joe Salads)

Salad Joe's (Sloppy Joe Salads)

Yield: Serves 6
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

Sloppy Joe's for the paleo, gluten-free, or grain-free eater. We actually prefer them this way!



  1. To assemble the salads, spoon some warm Sloppy Joe meat over a bed of Romaine lettuce and top with a drizzle of paleo ranch dressing and some diced pickles.
  2. That's it. :)

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Sunday 3rd of February 2019

Thanks to your newsletter we made this tonight. Easy and yum! We made the sweet potato fries, too, but they were so delicious there were hardly any left by the time dinner officially started. I had salad, roll, and baked potato options as well. One child preferred it on the lettuce. My husband liked it on either the potato or a roll, and I loved it on the sweet potatoes or as a salad. Pretty much it is good any way you choose to eat it. And we totally agreee that adding the pickles makes it so much better. PS The potatoes cooked to perfection using the instructions in your cookbook.

Lisa Matarazzo

Saturday 15th of December 2018

I was so excited about the Ranch Dressing recipe - I forgot to save the Sloppy Joe recipe!

Natalie Perry

Saturday 15th of December 2018

Ranch has that effect, right? :) Enjoy!


Friday 13th of November 2015

I made these for dinner last night, and for the first time ever my children ate and enjoyed sloppy joes!  Thanks so much for this fast, easy, healthy, and family-friendly recipe.

Whitni @ A Cookie & A Kiss

Monday 12th of October 2015

This is brilliant! I have been craving sloppy joes but haven't wanted to make them because they can get ridiculous with calories. This is a fantastic alternative! 


Wednesday 23rd of September 2015

I'd never thought to make sloppy joe's over lettuce, or over sweet potato fries, omg, must try them both!!! Your ideas are always so tasty Natalie!


Natalie Perry

Tuesday 29th of September 2015

Yes, do! :)

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