• Main Dishes
  • Sloppy Joes

    This post may contain affiliate links for which I earn a commission. Read my disclosure page here.

    This classic Sloppy Joes recipe is a great go to for a quick and easy dinner that you know the whole family will love. Ground beef, bell peppers, and onions are cooked with ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and chili powder and served in burger buns for a quick and tasty bite.

    close up of sloppy joes burger

    Sloppy Joes is a classic American sandwich that has been enjoyed for years! Simple to make and so delicious to eat, this is one meal that tastes great and even the pickiest of eaters will love!

    This is a great go-to recipe after a long day and you have hungry mouths to feed. Seasoned and saucy ground beef is served in buns for a simple hand-held dinner that’s loaded with flavor.

    Be sure to try my meatloaf and chili for more easy and hearty ground beef recipes.

    Why you will love this easy sloppy joes recipe!

    • Quick and easy: It takes less than half an hour to get this dinner on the table, it’s a great option for an easy weeknight meal.
    • One-pan: This whole recipe is cooked on a skillet on the stovetop, so even the clean up is a breeze!
    • Make ahead: Be sure to make double as leftovers reheat well and it’s also freezer friendly.
    • Simple ingredients: You only need basic pantry ingredients to make this recipe, a lot of which you’ll already have to hand.
    close up image of sloppy joes and chips on a plate

    Ingredients for Homemade Sloppy Joes

    • Oil: For cooking. I like to use olive oil, but coconut oil will work well.
    • Beef: Use ground beef for this recipe that is 85-90% lean. If you use one with a higher fat content, the filling for your sandwiches can be very greasy.
    • Vegetables: Green pepper, medium onion, and garlic cloves.
    • Tomato paste: A tablespoon of tomato paste adds a richer tomato flavor.
    • Ketchup: Use your favorite brand. This helps to add a tangy sweetness.
    • Worcestershire sauce: This adds an umami flavor that helps to balance out the sweetness.
    • Sugar: For best results use brown sugar, the molasses creates a great complex sweetness. You can also use honey or coconut sugar, but avoid granulated as this can make it too sweet.
    • Mustard: Use yellow mustard for a milder flavor, Dijon will be more pungent.
    • Seasonings: Chili powder, salt, pepper, and a quarter teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
    • Hamburger buns: I like to use Canyon Bakehouse gluten-free burger buns.
    ingredients for homemade sloppy joes

    How to make Sloppy Joes

    • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add ground beef and brown, breaking it up with spatula into crumbles as it cooks, about 5 minutes, or until no longer pink. Transfer to a colander to drain.
    • Add chopped onion and bell pepper to the same skillet and cook 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
    • Add tomato paste, ketchup, water, brown sugar, mustard, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, red pepper flakes (if using), and black pepper. Add beef back to the skillet and stir well to combine.
    • Simmer over medium heat for about 5 – 10 minutes, until the meat mixture has thickened to your liking. Remove from heat and serve over buns.
    process images of making sloppy joes
    close up image of sloppy joes meat mixture

    Can you make this recipe with other proteins?

    Ground beef is the traditional meat used to make these easy Sloppy Joes, but you can easily swap it out for other ground meats. Ground chicken, ground turkey, ground sausage, and ground bison all work great. For a meat-free option, you can make this with a plant-based protein like Beyond Meat.

    Can you make it ahead of time?

    This is a great recipe for weekly meal prep and freezer meals, make it once and enjoy it twice, or more if you double the recipe! Once you have made the recipe, let the meat and sauce cool fully before placing them in an airtight container or freezer bags. It will keep well in the fridge for 4 days and can be frozen for up to 3 months.

    If frozen, thaw the meat in the fridge overnight before reheating. Reheat in a pot on medium heat on the stovetop till warmed through to serve.

    easy sloppy joe recipe served on a bun with chips

    Can you make it in a slow cooker?

    Yes, absolutely. This is a great recipe to be made in the slow cooker, especially if you are making a big batch of it for a crowd. Just add the ingredients to the crock pot and cook on High for 3 hours, or until the beef is cooked through.

    What do you serve it with?

    I love to serve this homemade Sloppy Joes in burger buns, but you could also serve it in lettuce wraps for a lower carb option. You can also add a slice of cheese to each bun if you prefer. They are super filling as they are, or serve them alongside a salad or fries for a fuller meal. Try them with:

    sloppy joes sandwich on a plate with chips

    TIPS FROM NELI’S KITCHEN

    Recipe Notes and Tips for the Best Sloppy Joes sandwich

    • Use a lean ground beef so that your Sloppy Joes aren’t too greasy. Drain the beef once cooked to remove excess fat.
    • This recipe is traditionally made with a green bell pepper, but you can use any color.
    • Dice the pepper and onion finely so that it mixes well with the ground beef.
    • If making ahead, let cool fully before storing.

    More Beef Recipes

    If you liked this easy Sloppy Joes recipe, be sure to check out my other quick and easy weeknight dinners:

    Sloppy Joes

    This classic Sloppy Joes recipe is a great go to for a quick and easy dinner that you know the whole family will love. Ground beef, bell peppers and onions are cooked with ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and chili powder and served in burger buns for a quick and tasty bite.
    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Cook Time 20 minutes
    Total Time 25 minutes
    Servings 4 sandwiches
    Calories 381kcal

    INGREDIENTS

    INSTRUCTIONS

    • Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add ground beef and brown, breaking it up with spatula into crumbles as it cooks, about 5 minutes, or until no longer pink. Transfer to a colander to drain.
    • Add chopped onion and bell pepper to the same skillet and cook 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
    • Add tomato paste, ketchup, water, brown sugar, mustard, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, red pepper flakes (if using), and black pepper. Add beef back to the skillet and stir well to combine.
    • Cook over medium heat for about 5 – 10 minutes, until mixture has thickened to your liking. Remove from heat and serve over buns.

    TIPS & NOTES

    • Use a lean ground beef so that your Sloppy Joes aren’t too greasy. Drain the beef once cooked to remove excess fat.
    • This recipe is traditionally made with a green bell pepper, but you can use any color.
    • Dice the pepper and onion finely so that it mixes well with the ground beef.
    • If making ahead, let cool fully before storing.

    NUTRITION

    Calories: 381kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 1021mg | Potassium: 703mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 474IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 5mg
    Course Main Course
    Cuisine American
    Keyword beef sloppy joes, how to make sloppy joes, sloppy joes sandwich
    Did you make this recipe?

    Use the tag #DeliciousMeetsHealthy when posting a picture of your recipe, and make sure to follow @deliciousmeetshealthy on Instagram!

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    Recipe Rating




    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Spring Salads

    5 Quick Tips To Simplify Dinner Time