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Sloppy Joes

A close up of a sandwich
These hearty, messy, delicious classic homemade sloppy joes are the perfect weeknight dinner recipe your family will love, all ready in less than 30 minutes!
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Table of Contents
  1. SLOPPY JOES INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS SLOPPY JOES RECIPE
  3. What to Serve With This Recipe
  4. More Recipes You'll Love
  5. JUMP TO RECIPE

This homemade sloppy joes recipe has all the best parts of the classic recipe we loved as kids: perfectly seasoned meat, a toasted bun and a little messiness with every bite. It’s an easy favorite for a party or a quick weeknight dinner.

Serve these sloppy joe sandwiches with a side of ​coleslaw​, corn ​casserole​ and a slice of applesauce cake for dessert —  and you’ll have a meal that people will beg you to make again.

A close up of a sandwich on a plate, with Sloppy joe and Bun

MORE BEEF RECIPES:
Beef Stroganoff | Hamburger Casserole | Ravoli Lasagna


SLOPPY JOES INGREDIENTS

Sloppy joes raw ingredients that are labeled

You will need:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar (more to taste)
  • 1 tbsp prepared mustard
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder

For Perfectly Toasted Buns: Serving up these sloppy joes on buttered and toasted buns takes them to another level! You’ll need about 2 tsp of softened butter for six hamburger buns to make it happen.

(The complete sloppy joe recipe is at the end of the post in the recipe card. You can easily print and pin it from there as well.)

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

This recipe uses a pound of ground beef. Using ground beef gives this recipe it’s classic sloppy joes flavor. Popular substitutions that are still tasty include ground turkey or ground chicken.

HOW TO MAKE THIS SLOPPY JOES RECIPE

A bunch of food on a table, with Sloppy joe and Toast

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 saute the onions over medium high heat until translucent, about 3 minutes.

STEP THREE: Stir in the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 – 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 sauce in the skillet and stir until cooked through.

To serve, butter the insides of your hamburger buns and toast them lightly on a griddle pan. Add the filling to your hamburger buns in heaping spoonfuls & enjoy. You can even top it with cheese (cheddar cheese recommended) for some added delicious melted cheese flavor.

PRO TIP: 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 they’re ready to serve.

Double (or Triple!) This Recipe

Sloppy joes are a GREAT recipe for a crowd: they’re inexpensive, easy to make, and satisfying. This sloppy joe recipe is for 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.

Making Sloppy Joes in Your Slow Cooker

This recipe is also easy to make in a crockpot. Especially on a busy night or during a game day, it’s simple to simmer your sloppy joes in a slow cooker until you’re hungry. To make sloppy joes in a crockpot, cook the beef and onions in a skillet (as instructed), but then add all of the ingredients to your slow cooker. Simmer for 2 – 3 hours on low, stirring occasionally.

What to Serve With This Recipe

What Sides Go with Sloppy Joes? There are so many good options. We love pairing them with traditional BBQ or picnic style sides such as:

A close up of a sandwich on a plate, with Sloppy joe and Bun

Sloppy joes have been favorite recipe for decades for good reason ​—​ they’re a tasty and easy weeknight family dinner. This old fashioned sloppy joes recipe is a crowd-pleasing family favorite. It’s flavors are the best and it’s easy to make. Definitely worth a little mess 🙂

More Recipes You’ll Love

CASSEROLES: Taco Bake | Lasagna Casserole
EASY: Dirty Rice | Poor Man’s Steaks
COMFORT: Shepherd’s Pie | Meatloaf

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A close up of a sandwich

Sloppy Joes

5 from 43 votes
These hearty, messy, delicious classic homemade sloppy joes are the perfect weeknight dinner recipe your family will love, all ready in less than 30 minutes!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 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
  • Softened butter to toast the hamburger buns 1-2 tablespoons
  • Hamburger buns

Instructions
 

  • Brown the ground beef in a large skillet, drain the extra grease and remove the ground beef and set 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.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 417kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 96mg | Sodium: 1114mg | Potassium: 705mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 585IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 4mg
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Proudly Prepared by the Spaceships Kitchen

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  1. Michelle says

    5 stars
    This recipe was spot on! I had to double it because I had a fifteen ounce can of tomato sauce. Thank you.

  2. Susan Ashlry says

    5 stars
    Much like our family recipe but I add brown Bella mushrooms, sautéed and finely chopped carrots. Gives a delicious flavor and texture.
    And use apple cider vinegar. I mix sauce separately to get flavor I desire…then add to meat and onions.

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