This simple, one pot dinner is the ultimate comfort food!  Butternut squash and quinoa are the perfect additions to this twist on traditional sloppy joes.  Sweet, flavorful, and hearty, this is a meal your family will love!

I always loved sloppy joes growing up, and now that I’m all grown up, I still love them!  While I do love the traditional version, I wanted to make a version that was more like a casserole and had veggies added so I didn’t have to make a separate side of veggies.  I am totally lazy when it comes to cooking dinner after a long day, and if I can get all the food groups in one pot (and avoid making 2-3 different things), then I usually go that route.  I knew butternut squash would pair nicely with the sweet tomato-ey sauce, and quinoa gives it a casserole like texture.  I love that it all comes together in one pan, and only takes about 20-30 minutes of active prep time.

Butternut squash was an acquired taste for me, I didn’t always love it, but I have found it really blends well in a lot of dishes, especially those with a sweet flavor profile.  I love that it is high in vitamins A, C, and fiber, but it has also shown promise as an anti-inflammatory food in animal studies, as well as a food that can possibly help prevent cancers and promote healthy blood sugar levels.  Yay for butternut squash!

I hope you give this recipe a try!  It is a big hit with my family. 🙂 What’s your favorite way to enjoy butternut squash?


  • Author: 
  •  Prep Time: 15 mins
  •  Cook Time: 45 mins
  •  Total Time: 1 hour
  •  Yield: 12 1x



  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups vegetable or tomato juice
  • 29 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced (about 5 cups)
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in large pot over medium high heat. Add onion and celery and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add beef and cook until it is browned. Next, add brown sugar, chicken broth, tomato juice, tomato sauce, chili powder, mustard, and butternut squash. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for 20 minutes, until butternut squash begins to soften. Add quinoa and cook for another 15-20 minutes, until quinoa is cooked, butternut squash is fork-tender, and most of the liquid has evaporated. If too much liquid has evaporated, add a little extra chicken broth as needed. Add salt and pepper to taste, and adjust sugar to your taste. Enjoy!