Asian-Style Chicken Sloppy Joes

Asian-Style Chicken Sloppy Joes - Healthy sloppy joes inspired by moo shu chicken from a Chinese carryout! |

Remember when I told you that my husband pretending to like brie when he really didn’t was almost the downfall of our marriage? Well, another little “food fight” Jeff and I have is over Sloppy Joes. He insists on eating them with a fork and knife. I say that the very essence of the sandwich is, well, sloppy, and thus should be required to be eaten as a sandwich in all of its messy glory. What do you think? Help us settle this debate!

Asian-Style Chicken Sloppy Joes - Healthy sloppy joes inspired by moo shu chicken from a Chinese carryout! |

Whichever way we eat them, I like coming up with new flavor profiles for classic Sloppy Joes. For this recipe, I was inspired by Moo Shu Chicken, one of our favorite dishes from any Chinese carryout. Moo Shu is usually a stir-fried combination of finely chopped or ground meat, cabbage and various other veggies tossed together in a brown, umami-laden sauce. It is served with Chinese “pancakes” which are almost like giant flour tortillas. These Asian-Style Chicken Sloppy Joes are my take on this classic carryout dish. Serve them on buns or in tortillas, eat them with your hands or silverware, but just enjoy!

Asian-Style Chicken Sloppy Joes - Healthy sloppy joes inspired by moo shu chicken from a Chinese carryout! |

Asian-Style Chicken Sloppy Joes

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes


For the Coleslaw Topping:

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups packed shredded coleslaw veggie mix

For the Sloppy Joes:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 cups packed shredded coleslaw veggie mix
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 6 hamburger buns or tortillas


  1. Make Coleslaw Topping: In medium bowl, whisk together vinegar and oil. Add onions and shredded coleslaw veggie mix; toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Make Sloppy Joes: In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and bell pepper; cook 6 to 8 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, breaking up chicken with side of spoon as it cooks. Add garlic, tomato paste and ginger; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Stir in shredded coleslaw veggie mix, water, hoisin sauce, soy sauce and sriracha; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 4 to 5 minutes or until mixture is thickened, stirring occasionally.
  4. Divide Sloppy Joe mixture between buns or tortillas; top with Coleslaw Topping.

This recipe originally appeared here on the Naturebox blog.

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  1. What a great idea for a delicious sandwich that’s full of flavor! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Brilliant idea to group my favorite things together! The chicken looks amazing in the picture. Pinned and shared. 🙂

  3. Yes please! This would be the greatest Friday Night Treat ever.

  4. Okay, how quickly can I devour this?

  5. I’m on team roll up your sleeves and eat the messy sandwich with your hands 🙂 These pictures looks incredible!

  6. Yessss, Kristen. You’re on the right team 🙂

  7. Mmmmm…I love this Asian twist on the already-delicious sloppy joe, Lori! And girl, how do you make photos of a sloppy sammich look so good?! This is a photography skill I lack. Tell Jeff I’m say “man up, dude.” You gotta eat this gloriously messy sandwich with your hands. It’s the only way to do it (and tastes way better too).

  8. This looks amazing! Is there a total of 4 cups of cole slaw? Definitely finger licking good!!

    • Hi Alita! Thanks so much. Yes, you’ll need 4 cups total of shredded coleslaw-style veggies. I was lazy, and used one of those pre-shredded bags of veggies you find in the produce department. 2 cups of the veggies goes into the sloppy joe mixture itself (and gets cooked/softened a little bit), and then another 2 cups of shredded veggies is used to make the coleslaw you put on TOP of the sloppy joes. Hope that helps!

  9. If you’re reading the comments below about the excitement to make these – let me just say MAKE THEM!!! They are BEYOND delish!! I used corn tortillas only because I’m staying away from bread and with every bite it got better! Thank you for this AMAZING recipe – will be a weekly staple!

  10. Hi. Came across your recipe and made it tonight for dinner. My husband and I loved it. The kids (16months and 4) liked it too! I made it with ground turkey. Was good. I think this could also be used for the base in a lettuce wrap. Thank you for sharing. I have a few of your other recipies on my rotation for this week. 
    Happy New Year!

    • I’m so glad this was a hit for your family, Kristy. I go back and forth between using ground chicken and turkey for sloppy joes. And I love the lettuce wrap idea!

  11. I agree with you, sloppy joes are meant to be messy and eaten sandwich style. A fork takes away the fun.

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