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Paleo Sloppy Joe Casserole

This paleo sloppy joe casserole is a comforting one pan meal perfect for postpartum meal prep or feeding the whole family. Made with grass-fed ground beef, savory tomato sauce and topped with roasted sweet potatoes, sloppy joe casserole is nourishing, delicious and easy.

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Simplify the process

You can put your instant pot to work in this recipe and cook the potatoes in a flash, rather than roasting your sweet potatoes. Peel and cube your sweet potatoes, place in a steamer basket in the instant pot along with 1 cup of water. Pressure cook for 4 minutes then quick release the pressure. Discard water and transfer potatoes to a bowl to mash.

Meal prepping at the beginning of the week? Brown the ground beef and roast potatoes ahead of time. Store them in the fridge until you’re ready to assemble the sloppy joe casserole!

Make it a one-dish meal by doing all your cooking in an oven safe skillet. To be honest, I typically cook this whole dish in a 15″ cast iron skillet because it saves time and dishes. But it photographs terribly… so you have options.

Ingredient Swaps

While the ingredients in this paleo sloppy joe casserole are pretty simple, sometimes the produce aisle or pantry does not provide. Here are some simple swaps to ensure you still get a tasty, nutritious and stress-free meal.

Butternut squash. Use roasted and mashed butternut squash for the best flavor. You can also use frozen butternut squash cubes. Defrost, mash and top your casserole!

Ground turkey easily swaps one to one for ground beef in this recipe. You can also use ground pork, but know that pork is fattier than beef. You’ll need to drain off some of the pork fat before adding in your veggies when cooking.

Bell pepper or ancho chili pepper. The right pepper is the toughest thing to find and I’m here to remind you not to stress. I prefer poblanos, but ancho or even a sweet bell pepper will add the needed crunch to this casserole.

Nutrient Boost

Give your sloppy joe casserole a prenatal nutrient boost and add 1/2 pound chopped chicken liver with the ground beef. The ground beef and spices mask the flavor of liver, making it an ideal way to sneak much needed organ meat into your prenatal diet.

Postpartum Meal Prep

This makes a large batch, so it’s easy to split into two batches! Divide cooked beef between two pans. Using a freezer and oven safe aluminum pan is ideal here. For the batch you intend to freeze, skip the final bake until ready to serve.

Paleo Sloppy Joe Casserole

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes small size
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 3 medium carrots diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 poblano pepper seeded & diced
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 tbsp mild chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 3 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 1 tbls apple cider vinegar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Wash and scrub sweet potatoes, and place in oven directly on rack. Place a baking sheet on rack below potatoes to catch any drips. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until fork tender.
  • While potatoes are roasting, prep veggies.
  • Add ground beef to a large skillet and cook until browned over medium heat.
  • When beef has browned, add pepper, carrots and onion to pan. Sauté until softened.
  • While veggies are cooking, whisk together tomato sauce, coconut aminos, molasses, apple cider vinegar, and mustard in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Add garlic to veggies and saute for another 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add tomato paste and all dry seasonings, stir and cook for one minute.
  • Stir in whisked wet seasonings, turn heat to low and let simmer.
  • Remove potatoes from oven. Carefully remove peels and mash potatoes in a large bowl.
  • Transfer sloppy joe mix to a 9x13 glass baking dish.
  • Dollop the potatoes on top of the beef in an even layer. Top with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  • Bake in 400° oven for 10-15 minutes, until potatoes have crisped around the edges. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before serving.

Notes

If you have an oven safe skillet, you can save yourself a dish by baking it all in the skillet. 
In a time crunch? You can cook the potatoes in an instant pot. Roasting provides a more robust flavor, but this works in a pinch. Peel and chop the potatoes and place in a steamer basket. Pressure cook for 4 minutes. Quick release the pressure and remove potatoes from pot. Mash away.  

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