Home » Blog » Pumpkin Sloppy Joes With Garlic Buns

Pumpkin Sloppy Joes With Garlic Buns

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Looking for a deliciously different dinner idea that’s both healthy and fast? These Pumpkin Sloppy Joes are just what you are looking for!

side view of sloppy joes in a bun

Related Article: Grow your own superfood: A step-by-step guide to growing sprouts

Packed with flavor, this recipe is a hit with the whole family and takes less than 20 minutes to make. Plus, we’ve got a little secret for adding extra texture and flavor to your buns that will have everyone asking for seconds!

Why Add Pumpkin To Your Sloppy Joe?

Besides being delicious, why would you want to add pumpkin to homemade sloppy joes? Pumpkin adds a rich, creamy texture and a subtle sweetness that complements the savory flavors of the dish perfectly. It creates an amazingly flavorful sauce so it removes the need to add brown sugar.

Plus, pumpkin is loaded with nutrients like vitamin A, fiber, and antioxidants, making these sloppy joes not only tasty but also nutritious! It’s a great recipe to use when you feel like your family needs a boost of vitamins or fiber!

I used canned pumpkin in this recipe, but you can also make your own if you have pie pumpkins on hand. Check out our recipe for homemade pumpkin puree HERE. 

The Magic Is In The Bun

Pumpkin sloppy joes are delicious as-is but adding toasty garlic buns takes them to the next level! 

​Mix melted butter and garlic powder and brush them on the individual hamburger buns. Then place them under the broiler just until they start to toast. Spoon meat mixture onto the buns and enjoy! There’s no going back after trying garlic bread buns! 

front view of a sloppy joe being held by two hands

What Can I Do With Leftover Pumpkin Sloppy Joes?

If you have any leftover filling, use it a second night. Bake some crispy potato wedges in the oven or in an air fryer and spoon the meat mixture over the top of the potatoes. It is so good! 

The leftover sloppy joe mixture can also be frozen. Once it is completely cool, place it in a freezer-safe container and freeze it for another meal. 

Related Article: Healthy Meals For College Students on a Budget – Dairy Free


  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Chili Powder
  • Ground Beef – lean ground beef works but I prefer regular grass-fed beef for more flavor. Ground turkey also works well. 
  • 1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice (or more!) – If you don’t have it on hand, check out this Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice!
  • Pumpkin Puree – Don’t confuse this for pumpkin pie filling. You want pure pumpkin. Mashed Sweet Potatoes would be an amazing substitute too! 
  • Tomato Paste – You could substitute tomato sauce but then you need to decrease the amount of added water
  • Water
  • Optional: Extra Cinnamon! 
  • Optional: Cayenne Powder for spice

For the Buns;

  • ​Buns – Gluten Free is great too
  • Dairy Free Butter
  • Garlic Powder – Substitute fresh garlic if you’re feeling Extra! 

Pumpkin Sloppy Joes Recipe

top view of onions cooking in a pot
Warm oil in a large skillet and add the onions and garlic.
Saute over medium heat until softened
top view of brown ground beef in a pot
Add the beef and saute until brown
top view of sloppy joe mixture in a pot
Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for about
3 minutes or until it is warm
top view of toasted hamburger buns
​In the meantime, add butter and garlic powder mixture to the buns and broil until toasted

Important Tips

  • The pumpkin puree thickens the dish. If it ends up thicker than you prefer, add more water, 1 Tablespoon at a time until your desired consistency. It may look mushy, but the toasted buns will offset it!
  • Some people like to add American cheese slices or mozzarella cheese to sloppy joes. I don’t like the taste of dairy-free cheese, so my family thinks it tastes better with no cheese at all. Feel free to experiment for yourself!
  • It may be unconventional, but we also like to add sauerkraut to the sloppy joes (when we’re in the mood) or in a small bowl to the side. It’s beneficial to the gut and also tastes good! 
  • This is a great meal prep recipe. It can be made a few days ahead of time. When you’re ready to serve, just heat it up, toast the buns and put it all together!
  • If you want to sneak in even more nutrition, add a blended or finely diced red bell pepper or grated carrots. 
side view of sloppy joes in a bun with the meat coming out

Frequently Asked Questions About Pumpkin Sloppy Joes

What can I add to Sloppy Joes?

If you’re looking for something a little different, try adding some Cayenne Pepper for spice, or some cinnamon or nutmeg for a slight kick!

More Recipes You Might Enjoy:

side view of sloppy joes in a bun

Pumpkin Sloppy Joes with Garlic Buns

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Looking for a deliciously different dinner idea that's both healthy and fast? These Pumpkin Sloppy Joes are just what you are looking for!


  • 1/2 Large Onion, Chopped
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 1 Pound Ground Beef
  • 1 Can Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • Fresh Pepper
  • Avocado Oil

Toasted Buns

  • 6 Hamburger Buns
  • 5 Tablespoons dairy free butter
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Garlic Powder


Sloppy Joes Filling

  1. Add the oil, onions and garlic to a large pot. Saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until the onions start to soften
  2. Add the ground beef and saute until fully cooked
  3. Add the pumpkin puree, water, tomato paste, chili powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt and pepper
  4. Simmer for 5 minutes or until it is heated thoroughly. Turn off the heat while you make the buns

Toasted Buns

  1. In a small bowl, melt the butter
  2. Mix in the garlic powder
  3. Evenly spread the butter on the flat parts of the hamburger buns and place them on a cookie sheet
  4. Broil for 3-5 minutes. Keep a very close eye on it so it doesn't burn. Take it out as soon as it looks toasted.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 735Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 18gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 139mgSodium: 1224mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 7gSugar: 11gProtein: 41g

Nutritional information was calculated automatically. Please verify accuracy

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

By on February 28th, 2024

About NaturalDeets

More posts by this author.

Leave a Comment

Skip to Recipe