Root Beer Sloppy Joes

6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Root Beer Sloppy Joes are a quick, easy kid friendly dinner. Tasty sandwiches slathered in tangy sweet homemade BBQ sauce, topped with crispy fried onions!

We’re back with another mouthwatering Sloppy Joes Recipe to add to your weeknight dinner rotation! The whole family will love this sweet bbq sauce upgrade to Ultimate Sloppy Joes.

Root Beer Sloppy Joes sandwich on plate


This is a delicious, family friendly dinner recipe that you (and the kids) won’t be able to get enough of! The sweet and tangy BBQ sauce is so good you’ll want extra on the side to dunk your Joes in. Plus it’s made completely from scratch, with no ketchup, so you can feel good about the kids gobbling it up.

If you’ve never had a soda pop BBQ sauce, these Root Beer Sloppy Joes are about to rock your world! The root beer gives a warm caramel flavor and just the right amount of sweetness. Combined with the savory onions, beef broth, and Worcestershire sauce, you get a perfectly balanced mild barbecue Sandwich Recipe the whole family will love.

The homemade Root Beer BBQ Sauce is the best part of these delicious sandwiches! It is easy to make and has so much flavor. That being said, it does take about 45 minutes to prepare so be sure to give yourself the extra time. You can use it as soon as it is done cooking, nice and hot. 

If you know you won’t have extra time to make the BBQ sauce and Root Beer Sloppy Joes at the same time, make the sauce the night before. Or if you are really busy at dinner time (who hasn’t been there), make these Root Beer Sloppy Joes in the slow cooker. You don’t even have to prep the sauce ahead. Simply dump all the ingredients over the browned meat, stir, and dinner is ready when you get home.

Sweet and savory flavors of Root Beer Sloppy Joes go perfectly with sweet potatoes, so serve them with Sweet Potato Fries. For a backyard barbecue style dinner, serve these Root Beer BBQ Sloppy Joes with Coleslaw and Mac and Cheese. Then treat everyone to root beer floats for a fun summery dessert!


Root Beer Sloppy Joes sandwich filling in skillet with fried onions


  • Pork: Root Beer BBQ Sauce tastes amazing with pork, so substitute 1 pound ground pork for the ground beef. You can also use ground chicken or turkey too.
  • Wraps: Hamburger buns aren’t the only way to serve these delicious BBQ Sloppy Joes. Serve them in flour tortillas or lettuce wraps.
  • Onions: If you have a little extra time, swap out the canned French’s Fried Onions with these easy homemade Crispy Onion Strings!
  • Barbecue Sauce: You can substitute bottled barbecue sauce if you need to. Replace the 1 cup Root Beer BBQ sauce with 1 cup store bought BBQ sauce and ½ cup root beer.
  • Spicy: If you want Spicy Root Beer BBQ Sloppy Joes, add a can of hot diced green chiles, 1-2 chipotles in adobo sauce, or ¼ cup of your favorite hot sauce.

Slow Cooker Root Beer Sloppy Joes

    • Brown the ground beef, onions, and bell peppers with salt and pepper in a large skillet until no longer pink.
    • Drain beef and veggie mixture and add to the slow cooker.
    • Add the remaining ingredients, except buns and fried onions, to the crockpot and stir well.
    • If you have not made it ahead, add all the ingredients from Root Beer Barbecue Sauce along with beef broth, tomatoes, and Worcestershire sauce.
    • Secure lid on slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours, or low for 6-8 hours.
    • For a thicker sauce, cook uncovered on high for an additional 30 minutes.



  • Serve: Serve Root Beer Sloppy Joes warm and keep at room temperature for no more than 2 hours.
  • Store: Place Root Beer Sloppy Joe mixture, without fried onions or buns, in an airtight container and refrigerator up to 4 days.
  • Freeze: Cool the meat mixture completely before freezing Root Beer BBQ Sloppy Joes in a sealed container for up to 3 months.

Root Beer Sloppy Joes sandwich

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Root Beer Sloppy Joes

Root Beer Sloppy Joes are a quick, easy kid friendly dinner. Tasty sandwiches slathered in tangy sweet homemade BBQ sauce, topped with crispy fried onions!
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef , 85/15
  • 1 yellow onion , diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper , chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 14.5 ounces diced tomatoes , drained
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup Root Beer BBQ Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup French's Fried Onions
  • 6 brioche buns , toasted


  • In a large skillet add the beef, onions, green bell peppers, salt and pepper, cooking well, breaking it apart but leaving some chunks for 5-6 minutes.
  • Add in the canned diced tomatoes, beef broth, bbq sauce, and Worcestershire sauce, cooking until the sauce starts to evaporate and the mixture becomes "sloppy", about 5-6 minutes.
  • Spoon the mixture onto the brioche buns and top with French's Fried Onions.


Calories: 530kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 1429mg | Potassium: 717mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 224IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 138mg | Iron: 5mg

Root Beer Sloppy Joes collage

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. I have made this before on the stove. But we want to try the crockpot version. One thing I’m confused about: this recipe makes 6 servings, but the recipe for the sauce makes 12 servings. Do we need to double the ingredients from this recipe so there is enough meat, etc for the full root beer bbq sauce?

    1. I’m not seeing that when I look at the recipe. Please note that in the recipe you can adjust the yield which will, in turn, adjust the amount of each ingredient. Hope this helps, good luck!

    1. Sorry about that. I’ve linked it in the recipe card. If it still glitches, you can alway search use the search bar on the site to locate it but hopefully it sticks now. Thanks for letting me know it was missing. Enjoy!

  2. I never knew there were so many variations to Soppy Joes! But, Sabrina, you make each and everyone look so darn scrumptious! Has my mouth watering right now, lol. Which one do I choose, which one do I choose?? Welp guess it’s the tried and true method of … eenie, meenie, miney, moe! Lol! Thank you Sabrina for all of your hard work, LOVE and dedication that you put into each and every recipe that you share with us! You make the world a deliciously better place! Keep them coming, please Ma’am! ?