We all need a few quick, easy, and inexpensive dinner ideas in our arsenal that our family is guaranteed to eat happily, right? This classic Sloppy Joes recipe fits the bill in every way: simple, quick to make, and a family favorite.
Are you interested in other quick, 30 minute meals?  Some of our favorites include: Tostadas, Sheet Pan Fajitas, and Easy Beef Stroganoff.
 Delcious sloppy joes recipe served inside a soft hamburger bun, with a side of potato chips and salad.

I’ve gone super “Americana” on us with this recipe. There’s hardly a more classic American meal then good ol’ sloppy joes! I don’t know a kid that would ever turn these down for dinner.

And just when you may want to roll your eyes at a dish as simple as this, I’m here to tell ya, this sloppy joes recipe is GREAT! It can’t even be compared to the horrible stuff you buy in the can.

What I love about this recipe:

  • The homemade sauce.  It has the perfect sauce/beef ratio that is packed with flavor.
  • Adaptable:  There are so many ways to vary this recipe (see below) by adding veggies, switching the meat, etc.
  • Kid friendly:  My kids love this recipe (even when I add veggies) and it makes for a relaxing fun family dinner.  Check out all my kid friendly recipes!

How to make sloppy Joes:

1. Brown the beef.  Start by browning the ground beef in a large skillet.  Then add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is tender and translucent.

Side by side photos of a skillet with ground beef, and another skillet where the beef is browned, and onion and garlic are added.

2. Add remaining ingredients.  Add the rest of the sauce ingredients, and allow everything to simmer together for 30 minutes.  (The simmering time is a crucial part of the recipe because it allows the flavors to meld together).

A skillet filled with the sauce for sloppy joes with a wooden spoon in it.

3. Serve.  After letting the sloppy joe mixture simmer, serve it warm on a toasted hamburger bun!

Close up photo of sloppy joes on a plate, with a side of potato chips.

Serve sloppy Joes with:

Make Ahead And Freezing Instructions:

To make ahead: Make the sloppy joe mixture up to 2 days ahead of time (depending on freshness of beef).  Store in the refrigerator and reheat when ready to eat.

To freeze: Allow the mixture to cool completely and store it in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.  Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat on the stove.

Other Variations:

  • Add Veggies: chopped bell peppers, zucchini, spinach, or shredded carrot, can easily be added to this recipe and your kids won’t even notice a difference :-).
  • Hawaiian sloppy Joes: substitute more BBQ sauce for the ketchup and add 8 oz., drained crushed pineapple .
  • Asian sloppy Joes: add 1 tablespoon ground ginger and substitute 1 tablespoons hoisin sauce for the Worcestershire sauce.  Also add mix in thinly sliced cucumber slices or shredded carrot.
  • For healthier sloppy Joes: Substituting ground turkey in place of ground beef  and add chopped veggies. You can also cut down on carbs by serving sloppy joes open face, with a piece of cheese placed on top, and broiled in the oven for 2 minutes. YUM!
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Recipe

Delcious sloppy joes recipe served inside a soft hamburger bun, with a side of potato chips and salad.
Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
Total 30 mins
Add to Meal Plan

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion , chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup ketchup , or more, to taste
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauces
  • 1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 5 hamburger buns

Instructions
 

  • Add beef to a large pan over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Cook, crumbling and stirring, until browned. Drain grease.
  • Add onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients to the pan.
  • Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve warm, inside a hamburger bun.

Notes

Make ahead instructions:  Make the sloppy joe mixture up to 2 days ahead of time (depending on freshness of beef).  Store in the refrigerator and reheat when ready to eat.
Freezing instructions: Allow the mixture to cool completely and store it in a freezer safe container for up to 3 months.  Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat on the stove.
Other Variations:
  • Add Veggies: chopped bell peppers, zucchini, spinach, or shredded carrot, can easily be added to this recipe and your kids won't even notice a difference :-).
  • Hawaiian sloppy Joes: substitute more BBQ sauce for the ketchup and add 8 oz., drained crushed pineapple .
  • Asian sloppy Joes: add 1 tablespoon ground ginger and substitute 1 tablespoons hoisin sauce for the Worcestershire sauce.  Also add mix in thinly sliced cucumber slices or shredded carrot.
  • For healthier sloppy Joes: Substituting ground turkey in place of ground beef  and add chopped veggies. You can also cut down on carbs by serving sloppy joes open face, with a piece of cheese placed on top, and broiled in the oven for 2 minutes. YUM!

Nutrition

Calories: 418kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 21gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 884mgPotassium: 611mgFiber: 1gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 310IUVitamin C: 6.8mgCalcium: 117mgIron: 4.2mg

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About The Author

Lauren Allen

Welcome! I’m Lauren, a mom of four and lover of good food. Here you’ll find easy recipes and weeknight meal ideas made with real ingredients, with step-by-step photos and videos.

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My husband said this was the best sloppy joe he’s had. The sauce is tasty and thick. Perfect for trying to keep inside the bun. Fast and easy to prepare. I did double it since I have hungry teenage and pre-teen boys.

  2. 5 stars
    I made these last night and everyone agreed it could go into “the roation”. They had refused to eat the ones made from a can. We loved how flavorful they were without being sweet. Thanks!

  3. 5 stars
    I fixed these for supper tonight and they are GOOD! My picky 14 year old grandson wasn’t thrilled about my choice for supper, until he took a bite! He ate his whole sandwich, and I used large size buns! They’re so good there’s no need to add anything once it’s on the bun. THAT’S A GREAT SLOPPY JOE!

  4. 5 stars
    Total home run! By the way this is at the end of her week 1 meal plan. An unexpected bonus to these meals is that my house smells awesome.

  5. 4 stars
    It was very good. Easy to make. Similar to a Manwich, but not as runny. Served on open hamburger bun, with coleslaw. Definitely worth trying.

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