Here’s an easy no-ketchup sloppy-joe stuffed potatoes recipe. We think it’s the best lip-smacking stuffed air-fryer potatoes — and you’ll never miss the buns in this gluten-free meal.
What is a sloppy joe?
According to Wikipedia, ‘Marilyn Brown, Director of the Consumer Test Kitchen at H.J. Heinz in Pittsburgh, says their research at the Carnegie Library suggests that the sloppy joe’s origins lie with the “loose meat sandwiches” sold in Sioux City, Iowa, in the 1930s and were the creation of a cook named Joe.’
Today, sloppy joe’s are usually made of ground or shredded beef or pork in a tomato sauce.
A from-scratch sloppy joe sauce
One simple way of making sloppy joe’s is by using a lot of ketchup with some mustard and Worcestershire. Not a fan of ketchup? Or out of ketchup? With this recipe where you make your own ketchup-like sauce.
When you play around with a recipe like this, you realize that what you enjoy most about sloppy joe’s is not so much the main ingredients, but the flavors of mustard, sugar, tomato and worcestershire. You can adjust the ingredients to your liking: more or less vinegar, or coconut sugar, or mustard.
Potatoes instead of buns
To make the recipe gluten-free, we opted to put our beef mixture onto potatoes instead of the typical buns. My favorite potato is the Yukon gold, most of which are a little small to scoop out and stuff. So, we opted to fill the split potatoes with the sloppy joe mixture.
This was a win, because you’ll want lots of the delectable air-fried potato with each bite!
Are there vegetarian joes?
This recipe could easily be made vegan using beans instead of beef – and we plan to make it this way soon for Meatless Monday.
Roast the potatoes while you are preparing the filling. If you decide to use russets rather than Yukon golds, you may want to add about 1/4 cup of water to your sauce so it doesn’t get too thick.
Once the potatoes are roasted, and as soon as you can handle them without burning your fingers, split each potato almost in half, then spoon the filling on.
Using small-diced onion and bell pepper makes it easier to stuff the potatoes than if you chop them with a larger dice.
You can put the garnishes on the table and let everyone adorn their own.
If you simmer the sauce for longer than the 10 minutes I suggest in the instructions, it will continue to thicken unless you cover it.
If you have a chance to make Sloppy Joe Stuffed Potatoes, please let me know how it went by leaving a comment below, or share on social media!
Other recipes you may enjoy
Links to products for purchase are affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission on the sale at no additional cost to you. This helps me with the costs of blogging, and I thank you! You can find my ‘shop’ page here.
Sloppy Joe Air Fryer Stuffed Potatoes
- 4 good-sized Yukon gold potatoes baked in air fryer or oven, plus olive oil to coat (see note)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large white or sweet onion diced small
- 1 large bell pepper any color, diced small
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 can 6 ounces tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon prepared spicy yellow mustard
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Cook the potatoes (see note below for air fryer directions) and set aside.
- In a pot or large skillet on medium heat, heat the olive oil and add the onions. Saute the onions become just translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the bell peppers and cook for 3-4 minutes more until peppers are starting to change color.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
- Add the ground beef and cook, stirring and breaking it all up, until all the pink color is gone.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients and simmer for at least 10 minutes. Taste to see if it needs a little more salt or vinegar. Remember that the potatoes aren't salted so you can make the mixture just a bit saltier than you might otherwise.
- Cut the cooked potatoes almost in half and press gently open. Spoon the Sloppy Joe filling on top of each open potato. Top with cheese, if desired, and a dollop of yogurt (or sour cream) - dairy or non-dairy. Garnish with sliced green onions and parsley.
- 4 Yukon gold potatoes, about 3-4 inches long each
- 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- Preheat air fryer to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Brush potatoes gently with 1 teaspoon oil; place in the basket of the air fryer and cook for 10 minutes. Skins will be starting to brown.
- Brush potatoes with 1 additional teaspoon oil; continue cooking in the air fryer for 10 minutes. Coat with the remaining oil and cook until tender, 5-7 minutes more.
Please pin this recipe for later!