Sloppy Joes

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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. Its 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 youll have a meal that people will beg you to make again.

sloppy joe sandwich close up

Beef Stroganoff | Hamburger Casserole | Ravoli Lasagna

Ingredients FOR Sloppy Joes

ingredients for sloppy joes in individual containers

You will need:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • cup finely chopped onion
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • cup ketchup
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp prepared mustard
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • tsp salt
  • tsp pepper
  • tsp garlic powder
  • tsp onion powder

For Perfectly Toasted Buns: Serving up these sloppy joes on buttered and toasted buns takes them to another level! Youll 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.)

Ingredient Substitutions:

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

How to Make this Sloppy Joe Recipe

four photos showing how to make sloppy joes in skillet

STEP ONE: Brown the ground beef in a large skillet, drain the grease and set aside the meat. Dont 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: DONT wait to serve them. Sloppy joes are best served as soon as theyre 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 theyre ready to serve.

Double (or Triple!) This Recipe

Sloppy joes are a GREAT recipe for a crowd: theyre 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 its 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, its simple to simmer your sloppy joes in a slow cooker until youre 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:

sloppy joe on a plate with bun to the side

Sloppy joes have been favorite recipe for decades for good reason theyre a tasty and easy weeknight family dinner. This old fashioned sloppy joes recipe is a crowd-pleasing family favorite. Its flavors are the best and its easy to make. Definitely worth a little mess

More Recipes Youll Love

CASSEROLES: Taco Bake |Lasagna Casserole
EASY:Dirty Rice | Poor Mans Steaks
COMFORT: Shepherds Pie| Meatloaf

Sloppy Joes

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!

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • cup finely chopped onion
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • teaspoon salt
  • teaspoon pepper
  • teaspoon garlic powder
  • teaspoon onion powder
  • Softened butter to toast the hamburger buns (1-2 tablespoons)
  • Hamburger buns
  1. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet, drain the extra grease and remove the ground beef and set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Stir in the ketchup, brown sugar, prepared mustard, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and spices.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 to 7 minutes. Watch for bubbling and splattering tomato sauce!
  5. Add the ground beef to the sauce in the skillet and stir together and cook until all is reheated.
  6. Butter the inside of the buns and toast them on a griddle pan.
  7. Spoon the meat mixture on to the prepared buns and enjoy.

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