May 26, 2023Review Recipe
Table of Contents
These hearty, messy, delicious classic homemade sloppy Joes are the perfect weeknight dinner recipe your whole family will love, all ready in less than 30 minutes!
This homemade sloppy Joes recipe has all the best parts of the classic recipe we loved as kids: perfectly seasoned meat, a toasted hamburger bun, and a little messiness with every bite. It’s an easy favorite for a party or a quick weeknight dinner.
Sloppy Joes Ingredients
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- ½ cup of finely chopped onion
- 8 ounces of tomato sauce
- ½ cup of ketchup
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar (more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon of prepared mustard
- 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
- ½ teaspoon of garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon of onion powder
- 4-6 hamburger buns for serving
- 2 tablespoons of butter for the buns
Substitutions And Additions
GROUND MEAT: This recipe uses a pound of ground beef. Using ground beef gives this recipe its classic sloppy Joe flavor. Popular substitutions that are still tasty include ground turkey or ground chicken.
VEGGIES: Add chopped green bell pepper or red bell pepper to include a few more hidden veggies in this dish.
SPICY: Give this homemade sloppy Joe recipe a kick by adding a dash of chili powder to the spice mix.
BROWN SUGAR: The brown sugar adds a bit of sweetness to the sloppy Joes, but you can adjust the amount you use in this recipe if you prefer it sweet or not quite as sweet.
How To Make This Sloppy Joes Recipe
OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS
This sloppy Joe recipe is for 4 to 6 people, but it can be doubled or tripled. Simply make your filling and toast your buns and assemble the sloppy Joes when it’s time to eat.
STEP ONE: Brown the ground beef in a large skillet, drain the grease, and set aside the meat. Don’t skip this part, draining the meat is crucial to stopping your filling from getting greasy.
STEP TWO: In the same skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and sauté the onions over medium-high heat until translucent, about 3 minutes.
STEP THREE: Stir in the remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes. The sauce will thicken. As your sauce simmers, it will bubble and start to splatter. Watch for these splatters, and turn your heat down if the sauce is making too much of a mess.
STEP FOUR: Add the ground beef to the sloppy Joe sauce in the skillet and stir until cooked through.
Don’t wait to serve them. Sloppy Joes are best served as soon as they’re made. Adding filling to the buns and letting it sit for more than a few minutes can make your buns soggy. Instead, if you need to make this recipe ahead of time, keep your filling and buns separate until you’re ready to serve.
STEP FIVE: Butter the inside of the buns and toast them on a griddle pan.
For perfectly toasted buns, you’ll need about 2 tablespoons of softened butter for six hamburger buns to make it happen.
STEP SIX: Spoon the meat mixture onto the prepared buns and enjoy.
How To Serve
There are plenty of sides that you can serve with sloppy Joes. We love pairing them with traditional BBQ or picnic-style sides such as cheesy potato casserole, corn pudding, or macaroni salad. You could also serve them with a side salad or Caesar salad.
We have reimagined classic sloppy Joes in so many new ways. Try our sloppy Joe bake or Philly cheesesteak sloppy Joes too.
MORE SANDWICH RECIPES
Storing Homemade Sloppy Joes
IN THE FRIDGE: You can store the sloppy Joe meat mixture in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container. Reheat in the microwave or in a skillet, and add to a hamburger bun before serving.
IN THE FREEZER: Sloppy Joe filling will freeze well for up to three months. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop, and add to a bun to make a sandwich.
Sloppy Joes have been a favorite recipe for decades for good reason — they’re a tasty and easy dinner. This old-fashioned sloppy Joes recipe is a crowd-pleasing family favorite and makes a much tastier dish than using the canned sauce. Its flavors are the best, and it’s easy to make. Definitely worth a little mess!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
This great recipe can be made ahead of time. You could whip up a double batch and store it in the freezer, and you’ll have easy meals for busy nights.
Hoagie rolls would be a great alternative to hamburger buns. They are nice and sturdy and would hold up to the saucy meat mixture nicely.
If you have a ground meat alternative you like, you can replace the ground beef to create a vegetarian version.
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- Italian Beef
- 1 pound ground beef
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup finely chopped onion
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- ½ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, more to taste
- 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons softened butter, to toast the hamburger buns
- 4 to 6 hamburger buns
- Brown the ground beef in a large skillet, drain the extra grease, remove the ground beef, and set it aside.
- In that same skillet, add the 2 tablespoons of butter and melt over medium-high heat, and add the onions and saute until transparent, about 3 minutes.
- Stir in all remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 to 7 minutes. Watch for bubbling and splattering tomato sauce!
- Add the ground beef to the sauce in the skillet and stir together and cook until all is reheated.
- Butter the inside of the buns and toast them on a griddle pan.
- Spoon the meat mixture on to the prepared buns and enjoy.
- This sloppy Joe recipe is for 4 to 6 people, but it can be doubled or tripled. Simply make your filling and toast your buns and assemble the sloppy Joes when it’s time to eat.
- Don’t wait to serve them. Sloppy Joes are best served as soon as they’re made. Adding filling to the buns and letting it sit for more than a few minutes can make your buns soggy. Instead, if you need to make this recipe ahead of time, keep your filling and buns separate until you’re ready to serve.
- For perfectly toasted buns, you’ll need about 2 tablespoons of softened butter for six hamburger buns to make it happen.
I really wanted sloppy joes and didn’t have my usual mix or can so I went on Pinterest and found this recipe! I almost didn’t make it because it looked like a lot of work with the ingredients but it was so quick and easy to make and everyone loved it!! I doubled the recipe since I have teenagers at home and it turned out perfect! I definitely will be making this again and again!
Jennifer Luptak says
Loved it! So easy and had everything in my pantry! I used white wine vinegar because that’s what I had and tasted great! Served on Hawaiian rolls. So yummy!!
OMG these turned out great, added jalapeno powder about 2 teaspoons, and some fresh garlic about 2 cloves. Also added some Vegemite ! I don’t stick to recipes very good, but this as a base was AMAZING !
Thumbs up! I will be making this my go to sloppy joe recipe! It was delicious! My hubby even raved about it! Thank you!
This is the best recipe! Had to make the 3lbs recipe for a family reunion. The only thing I omitted was the vinegar but the ketchup made up for it.
Made this for dinner one night and my family loved it! Especially my husband that isn’t a fan on sloppy joes! I made it again x6 for our sons bday party and it was a hit! This recipe is a must anytime we make sloppy joes now! ☺️
Morgan Barreda says
This was my first time ever making sloppy Joe’s and this recipe was/is so good that I can’t imagine why I would try anyone else’s recipe. It was very reminiscent of BBQ. Thank you so much for sharing this very easy simple recipe!
Tim Parker says
Simply amazing! Only added 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and it was perfect
Joan Brands says
My family loves it too!! I’ll never buy that canned crap again!!
This is exactly how my mom made them.
This makes me very nostalgic. Thank you
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