Easy Sloppy Joes

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This old fashioned Sloppy Joe Recipe is a quick and easy family-pleasin’ kind of meal.  Ground beef crumbles in a tangy-sweet sauce piled on toasted buns.

These homemade sloppy joes taste so much better than anything you’d get from a can and it doesn’t take much extra time!

Sloppy joes on a plate

A homemade sauce definitely makes the best Sloppy Joes; your family will request them again and again. Serve on toasted buns with home fries, coleslaw, or your favorite sides.

What is a Sloppy Joe?

A Sloppy Joe is a warm sandwich made from browned and crumbled ground beef simmered in a zesty tomato-based sauce and piled on hamburger buns.

True to their name, they are finger-lickingly sloppy, so be sure to serve with plenty of napkins! Or use my tip in the recipe below to cut down on the drips.

Left image is ingredients for sloppy joes in a frying pan Right image is ingredients for sloppy joes in a frying pan mixed together

How to Make Sloppy Joes

Very little prepping is needed for this easy weeknight timesaver, which is just one more reason to love this sloppy joe recipe. You can substitute ground turkey, chicken or pork for the beef if you prefer. Some diced bell peppers (or jalapenos for some heat) would bring in an extra layer of flavor and pizzazz.

  1. Brown and crumble the ground beef with onion and garlic.
  2. To Make sloppy joe sauce, simply add the ingredients to the beef and simmer.
  3. Pile on buns and enjoy!

If you want a thicker sauce, just simmer a little bit longer. If you’re serving a crowd, make big back slow cooker sloppy joes and keep them warm so your guests can serve themselves!

Serve Them With…

Unlike hamburgers, this hearty sandwich doesn’t need any condiments. The yummy full-bodied sauce takes care of all that. Instead of hamburger buns, you could serve them on brioche rolls or toasted English muffins.

To round out the meal, serve Sloppy Joes with creamy potato salad, coleslaw or oven fries. Then sit back and watch as those Sloppy Joes disappear fast!

Sloppy joe on a plate with coleslaw

Leftover Sloppy Joe Meat?

It both freezes and reheats well to make more sandwiches.

You can also:

There is no end to what can be made with leftovers so don’t be afraid to double up this recipe!

Easy Ground Beef Meals

Sloppy joes on a plate
4.86 from 28 votes
Review Recipe

Sloppy Joes

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Perfect when you’re looking for a quick and tasty supper.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water

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  • Brown ground beef and onions in a large skillet until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
  • Stir in remaining sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes uncovered or until sauce is thick.
  • Spoon meat mixture over sesame seed hamburger buns and serve.

Recipe Notes

Recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.
Option: Add 1/2 green or red bell pepper, finely diced along with the sauce mixture.
To make sloppy joes tidy, purchase whole rolls. Instead of cutting rolls in half, use your finger to create a cavity in the roll and fill with sloppy joe mixture.
To freeze, cool completely and place in a freezer bag. Keeps frozen up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 223, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 499mg, Potassium: 695mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 393IU, Vitamin C: 7mg, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 4mg

(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)

Keyword sloppy joe recipe
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Sloppy joes with a bun on a white plate and a title
Sloppy joes on a white plate with writing
Ingredients for sloppy joes in a frying pan and a sloppy joe on a white plate with a title
About the author


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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

More Posts by Holly

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Recipe Rating


  1. I’ve tried many different sloppy joe recipes from the internet. This is the best sloppy joe base recipe ! I found the recipe to be slightly too sweet, but after adding a few seasonings it was absolutely perfect. I also add bell pepper red or green or both if I have some. Thank You so much for this recipe5 stars

  2. This was the first sloppy joe recipe I’ve ever used. I usually try and make my own but I wanted to try something different. This was so much more flavorful than the ones that I’ve made. Thank you!!5 stars

  3. This is my go to recipe for sloppy joes. I do add more mustard,ketchup and i use 2tbs of unfiltered apple cider vinegar. This recipe is a winner.5 stars

  4. Hi Holly did your blog used to have a green wallet instead of mixing bowls?? I’m trying to find my favorite sloppy joe recipe but I got a new phone and moved so I can’t find it but I don’t remember my favorite recipe having chilli sauce so I just thought I’d ask:) thanks

  5. Holly- I LOVE your recipes. Just made this, but I used half of a way to big onion! (my bad).
    I had some fresh mushrooms on hand and chopped them, held my breath and mixed them in. It came out great. The sauce is SOO good!!

  6. Delicious! I used regular yellow mustard for added flavor. I made it an open faced sandwich with melted cheddar cheese on top. Yum! It takes no time at all to put together. So much better than the canned version.5 stars

  7. A great recipe! The only thing which I do differently, is that I double, sometimes triple the recipe, and add a diced green OR red Bell Pepper, which adds even more flavor. I sometimes make Sloppy Joes on toasted buns for our kid’s birthday parties, and they go over extremely well. I serve them with homemade Sweet Potato Parmesan Fries & an Apple Slaw w/diced fruit & raisins. Happy, happy kids!4 stars

    1. I do the same. Just my husband now. But when children and grandchildren come, things change. Have missed you a lot on Facebook.