Sloppy Joes featured image
A Sloppy Joes sandwich is an easy to make, sweet and tangy meaty meal that's full of flavor. A delicious dinner the whole family will devour!
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Table of Contents
  1. The BEST Homemade Sloppy Joes
  2. Why We Love Homemade Sloppy Joes
  3. Sloppy Joes Ingredients
  4. Substitutions and Additions
  5. Recommended Tools
  6. How to Make Sloppy Joes
  7. What To Serve With Sloppy Joes
  8. Bag The Bun
  9. How to Make Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes
  10. Tip From Our Recipe Developer
  11. How to Store Sloppy Joes
  12. Frequently Asked Questions
  13. Sloppy Joes Recipe

This easy Sloppy Joes recipe is a 30 minute meal made with ground beef and green pepper and simmered on the stovetop in a homemade sauce. Sweet, tangy, and full of flavor, a one-skillet supper is a simple family favorite.

Sloppy Joes hero image

The BEST Homemade Sloppy Joes

Our homemade Sloppy Joes may resemble those handheld messy nostalgic meals, but this sloppy joe’s recipe is so much better because each sandwich is made with real ground beef served between the buns instead of a store-bought can of mystery meat. 

What makes this the best sloppy joe recipe simply lies in our homemade sloppy joe sauce: while other sloppy joe sauce recipes rely on ketchup or tomato paste for their flavor, our sandwich sauce is richer tasting with tomato soup mixed with both barbecue and Worcestershire sauce.

It takes mere minutes to brown the ground beef, stir in the seasonings and sauce, and let it simmer until thickened. Serve the tender meat mixture between hamburger buns!

Why We Love Homemade Sloppy Joes

  • Quick and easy to make.
  • Prepared in one pan without a sloppy joe mix packet.
  • Uses simple kitchen staple ingredients.
  • Double or triple the recipe to feed a crowd or enjoy a leftover loose meat sandwich for lunch the next day.
  • A delicious family-friendly dinner that can be made ahead or as a freezer meal.

More Easy Sloppy Joe Inspired Recipes

Sloppy Joes ingredients

Sloppy Joes Ingredients

  • Ground beef
  • Garlic powder: Feel free to use fresh, minced garlic if you prefer.
  • Onion powder or minced onion
  • Green bell pepper: You can substitute red bell peppers if you like or omit this entirely in a pinch.
  • Condensed tomato soup
  • Brown sugar BBQ sauce: I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Hickory and Brown Sugar BBQ sauce, however you can use your favorite brand. Just be sure to use a Brown Sugar flavored sauce. 
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Hamburger buns

Substitutions and Additions

  • More Meat Options: You can use ground turkey or ground chicken for a leaner meal. 
  • Prepare Without Powder: If you prefer to use fresh, minced garlic and minced onion, use about ½ teaspoon of garlic and ⅓ cup of minced onion in place of the powder when you add in the green bell pepper. You can also add some chopped carrots for extra crunch.
  • Make It Without Meat: If you want to make this a meatless meal, use one pound of meatless crumbles instead of ground beef. There’s no need to brown the meatless crumbles because they’re already cooked.
sloppy joe on wooden spoon
  • Large skillet with lid
  • Measuring tools
  • Mixing tools
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How to Make Sloppy Joes

  1. Brown The Beef: Cook the ground beef until browned, drain off any excess grease, and then season the meat with the garlic powder and onion powder.
  2. Make The Meat Mixture: Add in the green bell pepper and cook until the pepper starts to soften and there is no pink left in the meat. Stir in the tomato soup, BBQ sauce and Worcestershire sauce. 
  3. Simmer: Bring everything to a boil and then simmer, covered with a lid, for 10-15 minutes or until it has thickened and there is just a little sauce left in the pan. 
  4. Serve: Serve hot on hamburger buns. Enjoy!

What To Serve With Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are a great lunch or dinner meal for any time of year but are especially popular during the summer. They work great in a grilled cheese sandwich, paired with oven-roasted potatoes, pasta salad, tomato cucumber salad, fruit salad, or even just as their own.

I love to eat them with an ear of parmesan corn on the cob and a fresh spinach salad. You can also serve them with simple sides such as pickles or a chocolate chip cookie.

Round out your Sloppy Joe with some watermelon and cold lemonade for the perfect summer meal or warm up your winter days with a Sloppy Joe served with air fryer french fries or grilled potato wedges.

sloppy joes

Bag The Bun

Instead of serving the meat mixture in between a bun, you can opt to use the meat mixture as a topping for my French bread pizza or Burrito Bowl, a filling for Twice Baked Potatoes, or pile it on top of my Cauliflower Fried Rice. You can mix it into my Big Mac Salad, stuff it in Baked Burritos or Stuffed Peppers, replace the chili in a Chili Cheese Dog, or use it to prepare Taco Pasta.

How to Make Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Making sloppy joes in the crockpot is just as easy as the stovetop! Simply brown your ground beef over medium high heat and drain off any grease. Then, add the cooked meat and the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker, stir, and cover. Cook on low heat for 4-6 hours.

Tip From Our Recipe Developer

  • I suggest using a leaner beef such as 90% lean ground beef for your sloppy Joes. It’s still got a lot of flavor, but without all the grease.
  • I like to toast my buns before serving so that the bread doesn’t get soggy under all the saucy meat.
  • This recipe makes 3-4 servings, but it can easily be doubled or tripled depending on the size of your crowd.

How to Store Sloppy Joes

  • To Store: Store the meat mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • To Freeze: Store the meat mixture in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for 2-3 months.
  • To Reheat: Reheat in the microwave or on the stove and serve hot on fresh buns. 
Sloppy Joes with hamburger buns

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I store my Sloppy Joes?

Sloppy Joe meat should be stored separate from the hamburger bun so that it doesn’t make the bun soft and soggy. Allow the meat to cool to room temperature and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or 2-3 months if frozen. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove and serve hot on fresh buns. 

What’s the Difference Between Manwich and Sloppy Joes?

Manwich is a canned version of sloppy joe sauce that is sold in the grocery store and is made with preservatives and artificial ingredients. Although it’s meant to make preparing this meal quicker, why use processed protein when it’s just as easy to cook this hearty meal without the can?

bitten Sloppy Joes
5 from 2 votes
Sloppy Joes featured image

Sloppy Joes

Serves — 4
A Sloppy Joes sandwich is an easy to make, sweet and tangy meaty meal that's full of flavor. A delicious dinner the whole family will devour!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 35 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons onion powder
  • ¾ cup green bell pepper minced
  • 10.75 ounces can condensed tomato soup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar BBQ sauce
  • ¼ cup worcestershire sauce
  • 3-4 hamburger buns

Instructions
 

  • In a large, deep skillet, cook the ground beef over medium high heat until browned, about 4-6 minutes.
  • Drain off any excess grease and then season the ground beef with the garlic powder and onion powder.
  • Add in the green bell pepper and cook everything together until the bell pepper starts to soften and there is no pink left in the meat, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomato soup, BBQ sauce and worcestershire sauce.
  • Bring everything to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pan with a lid.
  • Let the contents simmer for 10-15 minutes or until it has thickened and there is just a little sauce left in the pan.
  • Serve hot on hamburger buns.

Jenn’s Notes

Storage:
  • To Store: Store the meat mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • To Freeze: Store the meat mixture in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for 2-3 months.
  • To Reheat: Reheat in the microwave or on the stove and serve hot on fresh buns.
Tips:
  • I suggest using a leaner beef such as 90% lean ground beef for your sloppy Joes. It’s still got a lot of flavor, but without all the grease.
  • I like to toast my buns before serving so that the bread doesn’t get soggy under all the saucy meat.
  • This recipe makes 3-4 servings, but it can easily be doubled or tripled depending on the size of your crowd.
 

Nutrition Info

Calories: 353kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 931mg | Potassium: 1113mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 456IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 98mg | Iron: 5mg
Jennifer Fishkind

About Jenn

Jenn is a mom to three beautiful boys, wife to an amazing husband, social influencer and blogger. I love all things easy recipes, easy crafts, all things hacks, traveling EVERYWHERE and feeding my Pinterest addiction!

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  1. 5 stars
    Me and my husband tried this tonight and it was great it took little time to make and it was with one pan simple and we loved it we used chicken ground meat and it was amazing that you do much for sharing this recipe looking forward to trying others 😊 cuz hunni this was good 👍🏾😊