Homemade sloppy joes are super easy to make and the ultimate weeknight meal. Sweet and savory, messy, delicious, and packed with flavor. Made with simple ingredients in under 40 minutes!
I grew up eating these sandwiches with potato chips and sometimes french fries. Most restaurants don’t offer sloppy joes on their menu, so I figured I share a great recipe that works and tastes delicious. The key to a good sloppy joe is the bread you use. Please use soft good quality buns. The cheddar cheese is optional, but it takes it to the next level!
What Does a Sloppy Joe Taste Like?
Think of a sweet and tangy hamburger. This is made with mostly ketchup, mustard, and brown sugar. It’s supposed to be messy, and whatever meat drops out of the bun you scoop it right back up with some chips or extra buns. No meat gets left behind!
What Can I Serve This With?
- Sweet Potato Fries
- French Fries
- Tater Tots
- Roasted Potato Salad
- Macaroni Salad
- I like to use 80/20 ground beef for this recipe. Although you may use lean ground beef, ground turkey, ground chicken, or any protein of your choice.
- Omit the cheese if you want a classic sloppy joe. Traditionally they are served without cheese but I love cheese.
- Make-ahead: cook the beef and place it in an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3 days. When you’re ready to serve, heat the beef in a skillet over medium-high heat for a couple of minutes or until warmed through. Add a couple of tbsp of water to loosen it up a bit, if needed.
- Use any kind of cheese you have on hand. I like to add two slices of cheddar cheese per sandwich.
If you enjoyed these sloppy joes then you will love these ham and cheese sliders! This turkey bacon avocado sandwich is another favorite. You can also find other delicious recipes and cooking tutorial videos on Youtube and Facebook.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1/2 cup onion finely diced
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper finely diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 Buns
- 8 slices cheddar cheese
- Heat some oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the onions and peppers, cook for 3 minutes, or until translucent. Add the beef and cook until browned. Stirring occasionally. This should take 5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 20 seconds. Add the tomato paste, ketchup, dijon mustard, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, water, salt, pepper, and cook for 25 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally.
- Check for seasoning. Serve on buns with cheddar cheese. Enjoy!
- Use good quality soft buns. The bread will make or break this recipe!
- Season generously with salt and pepper.
- Add more chili powder if you like it spicy.
- If you don't like onions and peppers, omit it, and add 2 tsp of onion powder.
you should try ground chuck over ground beef. Taste way better. I also never use Worcestershire sauce, just my preference. Have to say I love cheese to yet never tried this with cheese. It was awesome! Thanks
Ground Chuck is a great option as well, next time I’ll omit the Worcestershire sauce and use ground chuck. Thank you, Ben 🙂