Sloppy Joe Casserole

8 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Easy Sloppy Joe Casserole is a quick family-friendly dinner! Baked sesame seed bun topping with a cheesy ground beef filling from scratch!

Indulge in the delightful world of Hearty Casseroles with these comforting, mouthwatering dishes perfect for family dinners and gatherings. Discover the scrumptious flavors of Chicken Tetrazzini, Tater Tot Casserole, and Baked Spaghetti that your whole family will love on the regular! 

Sloppy Joe Casserole cross-section in baking dish

Sloppy Joe Casserole is a delicious and filling meal that transforms the classic Sloppy Joe into a delightful casserole dish. This easy-to-make dish uses simple and budget-friendly ingredients, making it perfect for busy weeknights. The combination of ground beef, onions, bell peppers, and a flavorful tomato sauce creates a savory base, topped with slices of cheese and French bread dough for added texture and taste.

Sloppy Joe Casserole is so easy to make, the prep time is only about 15 minutes including chopping veggies and browning the beef. From start to finish, this quick dinner recipe is ready to eat in less than an hour. You can prep it ahead of time and freeze it for a fast weeknight dinner ready to bake whenever you don’t feel like cooking.

The French bread dough is what gives this Sloppy Joe Casserole that same hamburger bun taste and texture you get with Sloppy Joes Sandwiches. Instead of making the French Bread Dough from scratch, this recipe uses the canned kind. Canned dough saves time without sacrificing flavor, plus it’s easier to use since it’s already in a sheet. Save the homemade dough for dinner parties and just stick with the canned stuff. Serve with a delicious Easy Macaroni Salad.

Sloppy Joe Casserole filling before and after cooking

How to Make Sloppy Joe Casserole

Creating a delicious Sloppy Joe Casserole is simpler than you might think, and can be done right in the comfort of your own kitchen. With familiar ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, you’ll have a delectable meal in no time. Check it out!

  • Step One: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef until browned and cooked through about 5-6 minutes. Drain the fat and lower the heat to medium.
  • Step Two: Add butter, onions, and bell pepper to the pan. Cook until the onions and green bell peppers are translucent, about 6-8 minutes. Add garlic, mustard, tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, salt, and black pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes until slightly thickened.
  • Step Three: Transfer the ground beef mixture to a 9×13 baking dish. Evenly distribute sliced cheese over the beef mixture. Unroll the French bread dough and place it over the cheese slices.
  • Step Four: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix the beaten egg with water and brush the top of the dough with the egg mixture. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top. Bake the casserole for 25-30 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown and cooked through.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef?

Yes, you can substitute ground turkey for ground beef in this recipe. Just be aware that the flavor and texture might be slightly different.

What type of cheese should I use?

You can use any type of cheese that you prefer, such as cheddar, Colby-Jack, or Monterey Jack. Just make sure it melts well.

Can I freeze Sloppy Joe Casserole?

Yes, you can freeze this casserole. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place it in a freezer-safe container or a resealable plastic bag. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Can I add vegetables to the casserole?

Absolutely! Feel free to add your favorite vegetables to the ground beef mixture, such as corn, peas, or diced carrots, for extra nutrition and flavor.

Sloppy Joe Casserole in baking dish before and after baking

Key Ingredients in Sloppy Joe Casserole

Sloppy Joe Casserole is an easy-to-make and flavorful dish that relies on simple ingredients to create a satisfying meal. All of these ingredients are pantry staples, and unique ingredients can be easily found at your local grocery store.

  • Ground Beef: The base of this casserole, ground beef provides a hearty, protein-packed foundation. If desired, you can substitute ground turkey or chicken for a lighter option.
  • Yellow Onion and Green Bell Pepper: These vegetables add a touch of sweetness and crunch to the dish, complementing the savory ground beef mixture.
  • Tomato Sauce and Ketchup: These ingredients create a rich, tangy sauce that enhances the flavor of the casserole.
  • Yellow Mustard and Brown Sugar: These ingredients contribute to the distinctive Sloppy Joe sauce flavor, balancing tanginess and sweetness.
  • French Bread Dough: This topping adds a unique twist to the casserole, providing a crispy, golden-brown crust that contrasts with the saucy filling.

Can I Make Sloppy Joe Casserole Ahead of Time?

Yes, you can prepare Sloppy Joe Casserole in advance. Assemble the casserole as directed, then cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before baking. You may need to add a few extra minutes to the baking time if the casserole is cold from the refrigerator. If you wish, you can also freeze the unbaked casserole for up to 3 months. Just be sure to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before baking. Bake from frozen for 45-55 minutes, or thawed for 30 minutes.

Sloppy Joe Casserole serving in bowl

Substitutions in Sloppy Joe Casserole

  • Ground Turkey or Chicken: Replace the ground beef with ground turkey or chicken for a lighter option.
  • Cheese: Use your favorite cheese variety, such as cheddar, Colby-Jack, or Monterey Jack.
  • Vegetarian: Substitute a plant-based ground meat alternative, like Beyond Meat or Impossible Burger, for the ground beef.
  • Gluten-free: Use a gluten-free dough or a gluten-free biscuit mix for the topping, and ensure all other ingredients are gluten-free.

Variations on Sloppy Joe Casserole

  • Spicy Sloppy Joe Casserole: Add jalapeños or crushed red pepper flakes to the ground beef mixture for a spicy kick.
  • Tex-Mex Sloppy Joe Casserole: Incorporate taco seasoning, black beans, and corn into the ground beef mixture, and top the casserole with crushed tortilla chips instead of French bread dough.
  • BBQ Sloppy Joe Casserole: Replace the ketchup with your favorite barbecue sauce for a smoky, tangy twist on the classic Sloppy Joe flavor.
  • Meat: You can use any ground meat instead of ground beef, like ground turkey or ground chicken. If you are using leaner meat, brown the meat in 2 tablespoons of olive oil so it isn’t too fatty.
  • Topping: You can use canned biscuit dough, puff pastry, crescent dough sheets, or homemade Cornbread Batter instead of the French bread dough. Bake until golden brown and the pastry is cooked through.
  • Cheese: Swap out the American cheese with any sliced or shredded cheese like cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, provolone slices, or pepper jack cheese. If you use slices of cheese, make sure they are thin slices.
  • Sloppy Sauce: Instead of ketchup, use BBQ Sauce or add other favorite Sloppy Joes’ seasonings like Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, or chili sauce.
  • Tater Tots: Another topping you can use instead of French bread dough is frozen tater tots. Prepare Sloppy Joes’ filling like normal, then top with a 32-ounce bag of frozen tater tots. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes for a Sloppy Joe Tater Tot Casserole.

How to Serve Sloppy Joes Casserole

This Sloppy Joes Casserole is a filling dinner that kids of all ages will love! The mild tomato sauce is still packed with flavor while staying kid-friendly. Serve Sloppy Joe Casserole with easy veggie sides like Sautéed Green Beans or Roasted Broccoli. For an extra delicious casserole, mix a cup of Sautéed Mushrooms into your beef filling!

More Family-Friendly Casserole Dishes

How to Store Sloppy Joe Casserole

  • Serve: Sloppy Joe Casserole is best served warm and fresh from the oven. Keep at room temperature for up to 2 hours and cool before storing.
  • Store: Once cool, wrap the pan tightly with plastic wrap before refrigerating Sloppy Joe Casserole for up to 4 days. Reheat the casserole in the oven, covered in foil so the bread doesn’t burn, on low heat until hot. 
  • Freeze: Cool Sloppy Joe Casserole completely, then wrap tightly with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Freeze casserole for up to 3 months. To reheat, remove plastic wrap and recover with foil, and heat in the oven for 30-45 minutes, until hot.
Sloppy Joe Casserole serving on spatula

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Sloppy Joe Casserole

Easy Sloppy Joe Casserole is a quick family-friendly dinner! Baked sesame seed bun topping with a cheesy ground beef filling from scratch!
Yield 8 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef , 85/15
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion , chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper , chopped
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon course ground black pepper
  • 12 slices cheese
  • 1 can French bread dough (Pillsbury or store brand)
  • 1 large egg , beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Add the ground beef to a large skillet on medium-high heat and brown until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes.
  • Drain the fat, lower heat to medium and add the butter, onions and bell pepper to the pan.
  • Cook vegetables with the beef until onions and green bell peppers are translucent, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, mustard, tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, salt, black pepper to the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes until slightly thickened.
  • Add the ground beef mixture into a 9×13 baking dish.
  • Top with sliced cheese evenly over the beef mixture.
  • Unroll the French bread dough over the cheese slices
  • Mix the egg well with water then brush the top of the dough with the egg mixture and top with sesame seeds.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes.


Calories: 468kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 137mg | Sodium: 1133mg | Potassium: 608mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 708IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 377mg | Iron: 3mg
Sloppy Joe Casserole Pin 1

Photos used in a previous version of this post.

Sloppy Joe Casserole 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.

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    1. Cheese: Swap out the American cheese with any sliced or shredded cheese like cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, provolone slices, or pepper jack cheese. If you use slices of cheese, make sure they are thin slices.

  1. And here I thought I had seen it all when it comes to comfort food! Where has this been?! Must try soon…

  2. This recipe sounds amazing. I LOVE SLOPPY Joes.

    I have one request, and I hope that you will be able to do this in the future. You always have great suggestions/additions to your recipes. Could you PLEASE include those in maybe a note at the bottom of the recipe.