Homemade Sloppy Joes Back to School Dinner
My Homemade Sloppy Joes is a classic recipe that we just never get tired of. It’s one of my most reliable and popular dinners for school nights. Serve it with fries or chips and some dill pickles or a salad on the side.
It’s that time of year again when everyone is getting ready to return to the regular school routine. Whether your kids attend school in person or are home schooled, you always need something quick and easy to put on the table on a school night. Especially after you’ve worked all day yourself and you’re pretty tired yourself, right?
My Homemade Sloppy Joes recipe will never let you down when dinner time rolls around. It’s one of those standard recipes that all cooks need in their repertoire.
Plus, you can even make the meat sauce ahead and freeze it. Just thaw it in the microwave, pop it on some hamburger buns, and supper’s ready!
💗 Why We Love This Recipe
- Short prep time
- Very kid friendly
- No unusual or hard to find ingredients
🥘 Ingredient Notes
- Ground beef (I almost always use 80-20 ground beef. It has more flavor than the lower fat choices)
- Dijon mustard (if you don’t have it on hand simply substitute any kind of mustard available)
- Tomato sauce and tomato paste (I like using both for a richer tomato base)
- Cayenne pepper (this is totally optional; if you think it would be too spicy for your family simply leave it out)
You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.
🔪 How to Make Sloppy Joes
Prep the Vegetables
Start by chopping the onion, bell pepper, and celery and mince the garlic.
Cook the Ground Beef
In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook the ground beef until no pink color remains. Drain the beef and set aside.
Cook the Peppers, Onions, and Garlic
To the same skillet, add the onions and peppers and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they start to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another 30-45 seconds.
Return the drained ground beef back to the skillet with the onions, peppers, and garlic.
Add All Remaining Ingredients
Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.
Simmer Until Done
Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened and the liquid has reduced.
Assemble and Serve
If desired, butter and toast the hamburger buns. Divide the beef mixture evenly between the buns.
🍽 Make it a Meal
Some suggestions for dishes to serve with sloppy joes include french fries, tater tots, potato chips, potato salad, tossed green salad, sweet potato fries, and dill pickles.
🍚 Make it Ahead
It’s really easy to make sloppy joes ahead and freeze for future use. After the meat mixture has cooled, transfer it to one or more freezer safe containers. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to use, let the mixture thaw in the refrigerator and reheat either on the stovetop or in the microwave.
❓ Questions About Sloppy Joes
The difference between sloppy joes and “Manwich” is simply that sloppy joes are made from scratch and Manwich is a brand of sloppy joe sauce that is available in the grocery store.
Yes! This recipe can be made with an equal amount of ground turkey substituted for the ground beef.
According to some sources, the name came from the recipe of a cook named Joe at a cafe in Sioux City, Iowa. Joe added tomato sauce to his “loose meat” sandwiches thus creating the “sloppy joe” sandwich.
HAVE YOU TRIED THIS RECIPE?
I’d LOVE to know what you thought!
Leave a rating below in the comments and let me know how you liked it!
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- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 yellow onion (medium size) chopped
- 1 green bell pepper chopped
- 15 ounces tomato sauce canned
- 12 ounces tomato paste canned
- 1/4 cup brown sugar firmly packed
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 6 cloves garlic finely minced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook the ground beef until no pink color remains. Drain the beef and set aside.
- To the same skillet, add the onions and peppers and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they start to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another 30-45 seconds.
- Return the drained ground beef back to the skilletwith the onions, peppers, and garlic. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well to combine.
- Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened and the liquid has reduced.
- If desired, butter and toast the hamburger buns. Divide the beef mixture evenly between the buns.
- The recipe can be made with an equal amount of ground turkey substituted for the ground beef.
- To make ahead and freeze for future use – after the meat mixture has cooled, transfer it to one or more freezer safe containers. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to use, let the mixture thaw in the refrigerator and reheat either on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.
we put our sloppy Joe on hotdog buns. makes it even more kid friendly
What I like about Sloppy Joe’s is the way I have to slurp around the bun to get all the ingredients before they hit the plate! LOL
It’s 1:30 AM and I’m hungry after reading all the recipes here!
Thanks to everyone for visiting and commenting on the Sloppy Joes! I almost didn’t post this one because I thought, “who in the world would want to see that?” Apparently, quite a few people! Ha! Who knew?
To those who have been craving sloppy joes recently, glad I could provide you with a recipe to satisfy that craving.
Lee — I agree that that chef doesn’t know what he’s missing. As I’ve said before I am no food snob. I enjoy all kinds of food from the most elegant right down to, well, sloppy joes!
And Angelia – those sweet potato fries sure sound like a great accompaniment.
That is almost the same as my recipe, I just add a few more spices, its so easy and delish, and great with sweet potato fries!
Recently I heard a famous chef say a Sloppy Joe wasn’t something he would make or eat. He doesn’t know what he’s missing! They are still one of my favorites, especially come Fall.
I laughed out loud when I saw these, just been saying how much I was craving sloppy joes.
This is one of the meals that Daddy Bon used to make when I had to work late. Your recipe looks much better than his. He did not put tomato in his so it was like eating a scrambled hamburger with onions & bell pepper. He served it with ketchup, mustard & relish. This and chilli were the two things that he excelled in making. Bless his heart.
I’m glad you put a sloppy joe recipe on your blog. Sometimes, it’s those simple, easy dishes that make us happy. Sloppy Joes are a comfort food to me, and they’re a dish my kids love. (I even put a version on my blog a while back.) These look yummy.
Looks so easy and delicious. Always wanted to try Sloppy Joes so saving this one! Thanks!!!
Nice photos and what a perfect recipe for me… always short on time!
I was craving for a sloppy joe the other day and almost bought one of those manwich sauces. I like your version better. I’ve got to try that. Mmmmmm…
I just made sloppy joes last night and they were delish! I used the leftovers over pasta tonight for sloppy mac. YUM!
Great pictures and step by step
These look really good! I don’t have anyone in school, but I work a lot . I love quick recipes. Thanks a bunch! Joe Ann