Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are the ultimate comfort food sandwiches from your childhood. Our recipe combines ground beef and onions with ketchup, Worcestershire, and brown sugar sauce for the ultimate sweet and savory meal. Grab your napkins – it’s Sloppy Joe time!

Open bun with sloppy Joe filling on cutting board.

Ah, the Sloppy Joe. Perhaps the most underrated school cafeteria meal out there. These make a wonderfully quick, easy dinner during the week and are definitely a hit with the kids. You can use hamburger buns, or even hot dog rolls, and a variety of fixings for some added fun! I just can’t help but smile whenever I eat one of these. They make me feel like a kid again!

Sloppy Joes – Endless Possibilities!

Sloppy Joes are easy, but they are also versatile! If you don’t have ground beef, you could certainly use ground turkey or chicken for this recipe. Since their flavor is comfortingly simple, they are the perfect backdrop for a variety of toppings. When I make these for my family, I like to give them a few options so I will put together a fixins’ bar that includes diced onion, shredded cheddar cheese, sliced avocado, and lettuce. Depending on our mood, sometimes we will also add some sliced jalapenos, too.

I also love to serve our Sloppy Joes alongside a salad or other veggie to make it a complete meal. This Italian Chopped Salad is almost always a fool-proof hit that kids love.  We also love these kid-tested, parent-approved Oven Roasted Vegetables and this Roasted Broccoli. Super simple; super delicious; just like Sloppy Joes!

Sloppy Joe meat mixture in pan.

You Need to Make These!

  • These are truly an easy meal to make, any night of the week and they hold up particularly well when refrigerated or frozen. In fact, I find that they taste even better once they’ve hung out in the fridge for 24 hours.  You can make these ahead of time, and then quickly reheat them when it is time for dinner and you are too tired to do anything other pour a glass of wine, and microwave some pre-made Sloppy Joes!
  • Sloppy Joes are a hit with the kids! When you’ve had a long day and fighting about eating is not on your “to-do” list, making these sloppy joes for dinner will ensure that everyone is happy!
  • This is a great way to use up family-sized packs of chopped meat. Sometimes we will pick up the family-sized pack of ground beef because it is cheaper per pound, but we don’t always know what to do with all that meat. Breaking it up into a variety of dishes is a great strategy! With our family packs, we will usually make homemade meatballs for a Meatball Parmesan Hero or Mexican Meatloaf.

Sloppy Joe sandwich held in hand.

More Great Sandwich Ideas

If you’re reading this recipe, you probably already love sandwiches! You’ve got to try some of my other favorite sandwich recipes, like this Italian-style Instant Pot Pulled Pork sandwich, or this Crispy Chicken Sandwich that is better than the drive-thru! These Monte Cristo Sliders are killer and so simple to make and our favorite Club Sandwich is a true classic.

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Sloppy Joe featured image.

Sloppy Joes Sandwich

Classic Sloppy Joes recipe with ground beef, onions, ketchup, Worcestershire, and brown sugar sauce for the ultimate sweet and savory meal. 
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 689kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1.5 pounds ground chuck
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 large hamburger buns
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

for the sauce

  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar

Instructions
 

  • Saute diced onion in a large pan over medium heat with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil.
  • After 3 minutes add beef to pan and break apart with a wooden spoon. Cook beef until brown on all sides (about 10 minutes).
  • Once the beef is brown, add in the ketchup, water, garlic powder, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Mix well and simmer for 15 minutes slightly covered with a lid.
  • Serve on top of buns. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Recipe makes 4 large Sloppy Joes or 6 decent sized portions.
  • Draining beef fat is optional.  
  • If sauce gets too dry during the simmering process, just add a few more ounces of water to pan and stir to combine.

Nutrition

Calories: 689kcalCarbohydrates: 47gProtein: 35gFat: 39gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 1500mgPotassium: 777mgFiber: 2gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 308IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 130mgIron: 5mg
Keyword sloppy joes

 

James Delmage

James’s love of cooking took flight at an early age when he became his grandmother’s culinary right hand, and was further fueled by jobs at various food establishments and eateries.  After college, James worked as an equities and futures trader on Wall Street for 15 years before retiring, and realizing his higher purpose: creating beautiful recipes his grandma would be proud of, and sharing them with others via his blog, Sip and Feast.

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