This Homemade Sloppy Joes recipe makes a quick and easy, super hearty meal that’s perfect for busy nights at home or for crowd-pleasing get-togethers!
Ground beef is simmered in a savory tomato sauce with diced onions and peppers, spicy seasonings, and then served between toasted burger buns. It’s the kind of recipe that everyone welcomes at any gathering! Everyone loves a good sloppy joe recipe, and this one comes together without a hitch to make the best spicy and savory hot sandwich ever. Perfect on homemade hamburger buns, but also delish served over mashed potatoes.
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Best Sloppy Joe Recipe
- This thick and juicy ground beef filling is simmered in a sweet, spicy and tangy sauce that gives homemade sloppy joe’s their unique and unforgettable flavor profile!
- Let guests serve themselves from a Crockpot on a buffet table with sides of Oven Baked Fries, Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes, Creamy Coleslaw or a Lemon Vinaigrette Potato Salad. Don’t forget a few fun desserts to round out the meal! Try this Homemade Peach Cobbler, Blueberry Crisp, or a quick and easy Strawberry Poke Cake.
Ingredients & Variations
BEEF: Ground beef has a mild flavor that soaks up the delicious savory sauce! A mix of ground beef and sausage will produce an extra juicy filling. But, leftovers like turkey and chicken work perfectly, too! Bacon bits added to the mix will bump up the flavor!
SAUCE: This super easy sauce is made from ingredients already in the fridge and pantry! Tomato sauce and paste, chili sauce, brown sugar, a splash of vinegar, and a few seasonings infuse into the beef for the best sloppy joe sauce ever! Spice it up with some Tabasco, Sriracha, garlic powder, or check out these multi-purpose DIY seasoning blends like Homemade Taco Seasoning, Fajita Seasoning, or Best Beef Brisket Rub.
BUNS: Choose the best buns! They need to be heavy, hearty, and ready to hold all that delicious sloppy joe filling! Try these Homemade Hamburger Buns for the best sandwich ever. And for best results, toast the buns and then rub the toasted sides with a fresh clove of garlic, or spread some Roasted Garlic on it, before adding the sloppy joe filling!
ADD-INS: Adding small veggies with the bell peppers like corn, sliced mushrooms or shredded zucchini and carrots means you can sneak in those healthy veggies and the kids won’t even know it!
How to Make Homemade Sloppy Joes
This simple dinner is ready in no time:
- Saute onions and peppers in butter until softened. Add ground beef and garlic.
- Add remaining ingredients (except buns) per recipe directions listed below. Simmer until desired thickness is achieved.
- Cut and toast buns, if desired.
- Scoop meat mixture into buns and serve immediately.
Tips for a Simple Dinner
Be sure to break up the ground beef into small pieces so it’s easier to stir into the sauce.
Sloppy Joes are even more delicious the next day! So Make Homemade Sloppy Joes ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to enjoy, up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove for a quick lunch or weeknight meal.
Batch cook Sloppy Joes, and freeze in labelled containers for up to 2 months. Defrost in refrigerator until ready to reheat.
Other Easy Recipes!
- Quick Easy Meatloaf – stuffed with cheese.
- Open Faced Roast Beef Sandwich – another tasty sandwich.
- Tater Tot Casserole – with ground beef.
- Easy Stuffed Peppers – just 15 minute prep.
- Easy Chicken Enchiladas – dinner in under an hour!
Homemade Sloppy Joes
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 2 cups chopped onion about 1 onion
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper or orange pepper (or sweet red pepper)
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 10.5 ounces condensed tomato soup 1 can
- ½ cup chili sauce
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon mustard
- 6 ounces tomato paste 1 can
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 8 hamburger buns or kaiser buns
- Melt butter, and saute onions and peppers for 3 minutes. Add ground beef and garlic. Break up beef with a meat chopper (or wooden spoon) and cook until beef is browned, about 6 minutes.
- Add soup, chili sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, tomato paste, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, or until sloppy joes are thickened to desired consistency. Add water if needed.
- Meanwhile, cut buns. Toast if desired*.
- Serve on buns, along with a salad or other vegetables.
- Break ground beef into small pieces so it’s easier to stir into the sauce.
- Homemade Sloppy Joes are even more flavorful the next day! So make ahead and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Reheat on the stove for a quick lunch or weeknight meal.
- Batch cook Sloppy Joes, cool completely, and freeze for up to 2 months.
Nutrition information does not include optional ingredients or garnish and is an estimate. It may change based on actual ingredients and cooking methods used.