Simple, yet special, recipes for the home chef.

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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20 Responses to “Asian-Style Chicken Sloppy Joes”

  1. Jodee Weiland — March 27, 2014 at 2:40 pm

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


  2. Maggie Zhu — March 28, 2014 at 11:29 am

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


  3. Jane's Adventures in Dinner — March 28, 2014 at 11:31 am

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


  4. Rachel @LittleChefBigAppetite — March 31, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    Okay, how quickly can I devour this?


  5. Kristen @ The Endless Meal — April 1, 2014 at 1:17 pm

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


  6. Lori | Foxes Love Lemons — April 1, 2014 at 6:26 pm

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


  7. Nancy — April 2, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    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).


    • Lori | Foxes Love Lemons replied: — April 2nd, 2014 @ 5:55 pm

      Hmmm, maybe it was because I made the sloppy mixture the night before, and didn’t bother to reheat it before I took photos? Maybe cold sloppy joes are key? haha.


  8. Alita — April 14, 2014 at 4:15 pm

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


    • Lori | Foxes Love Lemons replied: — April 14th, 2014 @ 6:24 pm

      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. jilldubya — June 26, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    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!


    • Lori | Foxes Love Lemons replied: — June 27th, 2014 @ 10:38 am

      Thanks so much for the kind words, Jill. I’m so glad you enjoyed them! I love the corn tortilla idea. I’m dreaming up some Greek-inspired sloppy joes next 🙂


  10. Kristy — January 4, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    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!


    • Lori Yates replied: — January 4th, 2015 @ 6:48 pm

      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. Craig — March 6, 2015 at 3:47 pm

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


    • Lori Yates replied: — March 9th, 2015 @ 9:31 pm

      Haha yes! I’m so glad that somebody agrees with me about this no-fork business 🙂


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