Tag Archives: tomato sauce

Paleo Sloppy Joe Casserole

This easy Whole30 friendly and Paleo Sloppy Joe Casserole is a perfect weeknight family dinner recipe, and it’s great for leftover as well! It’s a delicious twist on a childhood favorite.

Paleo Sloppy Joe Casserole

Oh boy. I made a new recipe that I’m probably going to make over and over again. I don’t know if I can even describe this Paleo Sloppy Joe Casserole in a way that’s accurate enough to justify how tasty it is. It’s basically sloppy joes in a casserole form (duh), baked with extra sauce to coat the spaghetti squash that it’s cooked with. The concept is so simple, but the flavors are so comforting and takes me back to my childhood home cooked meals.

I’ve been loving getting creative in the kitchen lately ever since I handed in my manuscript for my Korean Paleo cookbook, now that most of my energy isn’t spent on creating and perfecting recipes for the cookbook. Also, I’ve been eating SO MUCH Korean food during the cookbook writing process, so all-American dishes like this Paleo Sloppy Joe Casserole is such a welcome change in the kitchen.

Paleo Sloppy Joe CasserolePaleo Sloppy Joe Casserole

This recipe is pretty dang easy on its own, but becomes even easier if you own an Instant Pot. The first thing you are going to have to do is cook your spaghetti squash, and if you use the Instant Pot method, you don’t even have to cut the squash before cooking it. I love that because cutting a whole squash is always a pain in the butt involving a lot of arm muscles, the ones I don’t have. Time to fit in some arm workouts.

The rest of the steps are pretty straightforward, and you’ll glad to hear that the leftovers are delicious as well. I’ve tried reheating it in the oven and in the microwave, and they both tasted great and retained moisture well. It’s a great weeknight meal to feed a family, and if you have a busy week coming up, double up the recipe and cook it in a 9×13 baking dish to enjoy the leftovers for days!

Paleo Sloppy Joe Casserole Paleo Sloppy Joe Casserole

Paleo Sloppy Joe Casserole

Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 334 kcal
Author: Jean Choi

This easy Whole30 friendly and Paleo Sloppy Joe Casserole is a perfect weeknight family dinner recipe, and it's great for leftover as well! It's a delicious twist on a childhood favorite.



  • 1 medium spaghetti squash
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup paleo ketchup or your favorite Whole30 ketchup if on a sugar detox
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 eggs whisked


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and place cut side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the squash is cooked through and the skin is soft when you press on it.

  2. OR, use the Instant Pot method to cook the spaghetti squash: Place the steamer rack that came with the Instant Pot in the pot, and pour in 1 cup of water. Place the whole spaghetti squash, uncut, on the rack. Screw on the lid, make sure the pressure valve is closed, then cook for 20 minutes on manual. Release the pressure immediately and open the lid. Cut the squash in half.

  3. Remove and discard the seeds, then transfer the threads of the spaghetti squash to an 10x10 baking dish. 

  4. Lower or preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

  5. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. 

  6. Add ground beef, onion, and garlic, and cook stirring until the beef is browned, about 5-7 minutes. 

  7. Drain the liquid from the skillet. 

  8. Add tomato sauce, ketchup, coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, and sea salt, and stir together. Remove from heat.

  9. Pour the sloppy joes mixture over the spaghetti squash and stir together with a fork. Let it cool for 10 minutes. 

  10. Mix in whisked eggs until well combined. 

  11. Bake in the oven for 1 hour. 

  12. Cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Facts
Paleo Sloppy Joe Casserole
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 334 Calories from Fat 198
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 34%
Saturated Fat 9g 45%
Cholesterol 129mg 43%
Sodium 1128mg 47%
Potassium 546mg 16%
Total Carbohydrates 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 8g
Protein 19g 38%
Vitamin A 8.6%
Vitamin C 8%
Calcium 4.5%
Iron 15.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Squash Paleo Lasagna

Who else is craving comfort food? Squash Paleo Lasagna
MMMMM lasagna. Just because I can’t have gluten doesn’t mean I can’t eat some dang good lasagna. All it takes is some tasty sauce and good fillings.

Instead of using noodles, I used my most favoritest squash of all, the kabocha squash.

Squash Paleo Lasagna
 grew up eating kabocha squash, and my mom would roast them for me for breakfast (and still do when I visit her). I used to be able to only find them in Asian grocery stores, but I’ve been seeing them more often at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s recently which makes me so happy. You can cook them like you cook butternut squash, but kabocha squash tastes so much better.

They are quite a b*tch to cut open though since the rind is so hard so use some arm muscles to get that sucker split in half.

Squash Paleo LasagnaYou can scoop out the seeds with a spoon. They are really good if you want to save them and roast them to snack on.

The hardest part about this recipe is cutting the squash into thin slices. Make sure you have a sharp knife so you don’t hurt yourself. If you have a mandolin, that could work too.

Squash Paleo Lasagna

What makes a good lasagna? I think it’s the sauce. I guess many people would say the cheese, but I really love a good meat sauce.

Squash Paleo Lasagna

Squash Paleo Lasagna
I added a bit of raw cheese to this but you can leave it out and it’ll still turn out delicious. If you want to learn about how to pick out good quality cheese, check out my last post!

Squash Paleo LasagnaThe best part about making lasagna is the moment you take it out of the oven and it’s all hot and gooey and happy to see you. The excitement is overwhelming.

Squash Paleo LasagnaJust kidding. We both know the best part is when you are shoveling it in your mouth as soon as it’s cool enough for you to handle. Duh.

Squash Paleo Lasagna
Did you know?
Kabocha squash has less than half the carbs of butternut squash for the same amount. It’s also a great source of beta-carotene which means it provides you with vitamin A. You’ll get a good amount of iron and vitamin C too!

Squash Paleo Lasagna

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Author: Jean Choi


  • 1/3-1/2 kabocha squash, depending on it size (other squash types will work), remove rind if you don't like the texture
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 26- oz jar tomato sauce (no sugar added)
  • 1 6- oz can black olives
  • Cheese (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium high heat.
  3. Once the butter starts sizzling, add garlic and onions and saute until they are soft and translucent.
  4. Add in the beef and saute until the meat browns slightly.
  5. Pour in the sauce, stir and heat until it starts bubbling.
  6. Add in the sliced olives and turn down the heat to medium low.
  7. Let the sauce simmer for 5 minutes. then remove from heat.
  8. Using a sharp knife or a mandolin, cut out thin slices of kabocha squash, about 1/8 inch thick.
  9. In a 9x13 baking dish, spoon and spread out a little bit of the meat sauce.
  10. Lay the kabocha slices in a single layer.
  11. Sprinkle with cheese if using.
  12. Spread 1/3 of the meat sauce.
  13. Repeat steps 10-12 two more times.
  14. Top off with some more cheese if using.
  15. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  16. Take it out, let it cool a bit before serving!