venison sloppy joe on a blue plate with homemade coleslaw and garlic dill pickle

Venison Sloppy Joes are made with ground venison that is cooked in a sweet and tangy homemade sloppy joe sauce. Reminiscent of the “Manwich,” this venison recipe is a keto-friendly open-faced sandwich that is delicious served on a low carb bun, biscuit, or bagel!

When weeknights are hectic, this sloppy joe recipe is perfect to have made ahead of time. Although it doesn’t take long to make, it is easy to reheat and eat! We enjoy this on Keto Slider Buns as mini sloppy joe sandwiches and will top the venison sloppy joes with a Homemade Coleslaw Recipe for a complete keto-friendly dinner!

homemade venison sloppy joes topped with coleslaw

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Delicious homemade Sloppy Joes with ground venison

We would eat venison often when I was growing up. As a child, I was not a fan of ground venison. My mom only seemed to make burgers with it, and as I remember, added nothing to it. It was just ground venison. Maybe, if she had made homemade venison sloppy joes, I may have liked it better!

Fast forward to my life with Grumpy, venison became a large part of our diet, as he was an avid hunter. I quickly found out that ground venison could be delicious. I especially love it in this recipe for Easy BBQ Cheddar Meatloaves and this Caprese Venison Burger. The addition of other ingredients really amps up the venison for me. Now, I look forward to meals with ground venison and this sloppy joe recipe is right at the top of my new favorites list!

venison sloppy joe ingredients

Venison Recipes as part of a low carb/keto diet

Since being keto the last few years, I have found a way to work around lean meats and the ketogenic diet. The easiest way is to add fat with flavor to your meat. Venison is naturally lean, and when we have it processed, we always have pork added to the venison. It helps to keep the ground venison moist and it adds more flavor, which is good for those who think they don’t like the flavor of venison.

Because we already had added pork fat to our ground venison when it was processed, I did not add extra fat to this recipe. If your venison does not have a pork blend, you can always add 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet when cooking the venison.

How to make Venison Sloppy Joes

This is a very simple recipe. With only 7 ingredients and less than 30 minutes, you can have a delicious meal on the table.

Start by preheating a large skillet (non-stick is best for this recipe). Add venison and onions to the skillet. Breaking the meat up into smaller pieces, cook until the venison has browned.

ground venison meat and onions in skillet

Pour in 1/2 cup of water and stir to scrape up any browned bits from cooking the venison and onions. Add the green bell pepper and garlic cloves to the ground meat mixture. Feel free to use 1/2 tsp garlic powder if you don’t have fresh garlic.

adding green pepper, garlic and water to venison sloppy joe recipe

Cover skillet with lid and steam a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove lid and cook another 1-2 minutes until water is evaporated.

adding monkfruit golden, ketchup, mustard, and worcestershire sauce to the skillet

Add ketchup, mustard, worcestershire sauce, Monkfruit Golden, salt and pepper. Stir into the venison mixture with remaining water and bring to a simmer. Cook 3-4 minutes more, or until mixture has thickened. Serve over low carb slider buns, or if not following keto/low carb, hamburger buns.

homemade venison sloppy joe in skillet ready to serve

What you should know about this recipe

I have been asked if this recipe could be made in a slow cooker. My response is, yes, you can. However, there really is no need as you would still want to brown your ground venison first. It is just as easy to cook this on the stove top (if not easier). However, making this ahead of time and reheating it later is actually delicious, if not more so as the flavors had more time to develop!

venison sloppy joe on a blue plate with homemade coleslaw and garlic dill pickle

Variations to Homemade Venison Sloppy Joes Recipe

  • If you want to add more fat to this recipe, use butter or olive oil to cook the venison, garlic, peppers, and onions.
  • Use a sugar-free barbecue sauce in place of ketchup
  • Add 1/2 tablespoon chili powder to spice the recipe up a little

What to serve with Sloppy Joes

We always serve our sloppy joes with a mayonnaise-based, sugar-free, homemade coleslaw recipe. We also prefer to eat our sloppy joes open-faced. They are just too messy to eat as a sandwich. We have even been known to leave out the bread, scoop out a serving of the sloppy joe meat, place in a bowl, and top with coleslaw!

These Low Carb Keto Everything Bagels are also a great stand-in for the “bread” part of this venison sloppy joe recipe. The sauce will soak into the bagel some and you get the entire flavor combination!

Serve some garden fresh tomato slices, homemade garlic dill pickles or pickled green beans on the side. Or, a nice big salad with some Thousand Island Salad Dressing (sugar-free recipe) is great also!

pinnable image for homemade venison sloppy joes

*If you made this recipe, please leave a star rating!*

venison sloppy joe on a blue plate with homemade coleslaw and garlic dill pickle

Homemade Venison Sloppy Joes

Shelby Law Ruttan
Tangy and delicious and slightly sweet, these Homemade Venison Sloppy Joes are delicious served over a Keto Bagel!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Wild Game Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 213 kcal


  • 14 oz ground venison
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1-1/2 cups water divided
  • 1/2 cup sugar-free ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Monkfruit Golden
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper


  • In a large skillet, over medium heat, add onion and ground venison.
  • Stirring occasionally, cook venison until it has browned.
  • Add green pepper, garlic, and 1/2 cup water to skillet. Stir to combine, then saute with lid on skillet for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add ketchup, mustard, monkfruit golden, worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Then add remaining water.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cook about 5 minutes more, until sauce has thickened.
  • Serve as desired.


Serving: 1gCalories: 213kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 27gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 692mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3g
Keyword Venison Sloppy Joes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About the Author: Shelby Law Ruttan

Honeybunch Hunts is a website dedicated to Hunting, Homesteading and Harvesting. Written by Shelby Law Ruttan, author and owner of Grumpy’s Honeybunch, she (Honeybunch) and Phil (Grumpy) have come together in a joint effort to share their knowledge and experience from the woods, to the garden, to the table.


  1. […] Venison Sloppy Joes […]

  2. Anonymous October 5, 2019 at 11:03 am - Reply


  3. […] next choice is this easy to make and really delicious Venison Sloppy Joes recipe. Sweet and tangy, just like a Sloppy Joe should […]

  4. […] Use the Asiago Bagel as a base in this Venison Sloppy Joe. […]

  5. Crockpot Venison Stew March 26, 2020 at 8:02 am - Reply

    […] be sure to check out my new website. Some of our favorite recipes there is Venison Stir-Fry, Venison Sloppy Joes, and BBQ Cheddar […]

  6. Anonymous April 29, 2020 at 11:24 pm - Reply


  7. Nancy May 8, 2020 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    The instructions for the Venison Sloppy Joes says to “Add green pepper”. Green peppers are not listed in the Ingredients. How much green pepper is used for this recipe?

    • Shelby Law Ruttan May 9, 2020 at 12:01 pm - Reply

      Hi Nancy, thanks for bringing that to my attention. I added the amount to the recipe card.

  8. Ashley February 4, 2021 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    5 stars

    I’ve made this so many times, it’s a strong favorite in my home. I’m done it with ketchup and with bbq sauce, I like both but I think ketchup is a bit better, less sweet. I also have made a few tweaks since the first time I’ve made this. I only add about half the suggested water amount, I prefer my sloppy joes to be thicker and less runny. I also never add sugar, I don’t have access to sugar-free ketchup where I live so I use what I have and eliminate that ingredient. Otherwise, I highly recommend this recipe! It’s SO good!

    • Shelby Law Ruttan February 4, 2021 at 4:34 pm - Reply

      Hi Ashley, thank you so much for rating the recipe and I am so happy you enjoyed it! Shelby

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Shelby I'm Shelby, author of Honeybunch Hunts. I love hunting, homesteading, and harvesting and am sharing my experiences and recipes with you! I hope you will join my journey and find something you will love! Honeybunch Hunts is a website dedicated to Hunting, Homesteading and... read more

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