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
- 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, ingredients, and instructions in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.
How to Make Sloppy Joes
I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you'll find the recipe card.
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
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.
This recipe can be made with an equal amount of ground turkey substituted for the ground beef?
You can 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.
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.
You May Also Like ...
- Beef Stew in the Pressure Cooker
- Quick and Easy Chili
- Steak Tips with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
- Italian Sausage and Rotini
Have you tried this recipe? I'd love for you to give it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating in the recipe card and/or in the comments section further down.
You can always stay in touch on social media by following me on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest and Sign Up to Get my Newsletter, too!
- 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
- ¼ 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
- ½ 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.
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.