Classic Sloppy Joes in 20 minutes with a homemade tomato gravy and bell peppers on hamburger buns that have won 3 sloppy joe competitions!
Classic Comfort Food recipes like Slow Cooker Pot Roast, Ultimate Beef Stew and Slow Cooker Chili are popular because they’re family favorites that bring back happy food memories!
Ultimate Sloppy Joes are a quick meal made without the canned sauce or the packets of Sloppy Joe seasoning you may have grown up with. With just a few pantry ingredients you’ll have a whole new appreciation for classic American dinner favorite Sloppy Joe.
These are called Ultimate Sloppy Joes (also known as a Loose Meat Sandwich is some parts), but you may also want to refer to them as Award Winning Sloppy Joes because this recipe has been victorious in three separate sandwich contests including one competition where it beat out over 50 other Sloppy Joe recipes!
Plus, it wins the most important contest of all, the kid contest. Kids LOVE this recipe because it is the perfect combination of sweet and savory flavors. You will not see a single kid refuse these Sloppy Joes during any weeknight dinners.
These are the best Sloppy Joes. They’re so good that the base of this recipe made led us to create 25 more Sloppy Joe recipes! There are so many delicious meals, from Philly Cheese Steak, Bacon Cheeseburger, to Pizza too, so if you love these Classic Sloppy Joes you should definitely try out more (another favorite is the Bacon, Beer and Cheese Sloppy Joes)!
How to Make Ultimate Sloppy Joes
Homemade Sloppy Joes are made with ground beef, onion and green bell peppers that are simmered in a brown sugar and ketchup gravy until thickened and served on a bun.
- Step One: Cook the beef until it begins to get a yummy brown crust on the edges. To get a good sear on the meat use high heat instead of medium heat or even medium-high heat, this will create a nice crust giving it a texture more like hamburgers.
- Step Two: After excess oil is drained, add in the butter and chopped onion and green peppers.
- Step Three: After a couple of minutes of browning, drop the heat to medium, add the rest of the sauce ingredients to the meat mixture, and cook until ready to eat!
- Step Four: Spoon beef mixture onto toasted buns. Make sure to toast your bun before adding the filling. If you don’t your bun it may get too soggy, too quickly (psst, you could also butter it to make it even more delicious).
More Sloppy Joe Sandwiches
Frequently Asked Questions
Make sure not to cook down the sauce too much, sometimes the Sloppy Joes can get dry. You’re looking for a consistency where you can see the individual bits of meat, but not dry enough where they don’t cling to each other in sauce.
Sloppy Joes can be served again the next day if you add a bit of liquid to help create a bit more Sloppy Joe sauce. To avoid more sugar being added, start with some tomato sauce and water in ¼ cup increments as you gently reheat and taste.
If you look at the back of the store bought sauce, many of the ingredients are similar, though this recipe is not exactly like a homemade version of the canned Sloppy Joes. This is also not the same as if you grew up eating Sloppy Joes made with tomato sauce, but the ketchup in the recipe acts in a similar way.
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Key Ingredients in Ultimate Sloppy Joes
- Beef: Lean ground beef is the best for this recipe. High fat ground beef will cook down too much so compensate if need be. This recipe calls for one pound ground beef, but you can double everything to make more!
- Ketchup: Your favorite kind will do.
- Mustard: Classic American yellow mustard will do the trick.
- Bell Peppers: This recipe calls for green peepers, but you can use the less bitter red, orange, or even yellow bell peppers (also called capsicum). You can also leave it out, but remember you are removing probably a half cup or more of ingredients, so it will be saucier.
- Brown Sugar: Brown sugar is white sugar with molasses added. You can even raw granulated sugar if preferred.
- Garlic: You can mince one or two cloves garlic, or use pre-minced garlic cloves.
- Onion: We’re using a medium onion in this recipe.
Variations on Ultimate Sloppy Joes
- Meat: Make the Sloppy Joe recipe a little healthier by swapping ground beef for ground turkey.
- Spicy Joes: You can add a tablespoon of red pepper flakes, or hot sauce to give this yummy recipe a good kick!
- Smokey Joes: Add a half cup of your favorite BBQ sauce to make this sandwich sizzle with an incredible depth of flavor!
- Cheese: It’s delicious to add in some American, mozzarella cheese, or cheddar cheese to the filling when it is done. Some people like to top the sandwich with cheese. Either way cheese makes it just a little more awesome.
- More Flavor: If you want a bit more savory flavor you can also add a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce to the Sloppy Joe meat. A teaspoon onion powder and a dash of chili powder will take it up a notch too!
- Tomato Sauce: If you would like to swap the ketchup for tomato sauce or tomato paste, just play with the rest of the ingredients to increase the sweetness more as the ketchup adds a definite sweet flavor.
- Leftovers: If you would like to use leftovers you may have in another recipe, just use the method found in Ground Philly Cheesesteak Grilled Cheese and you’ll be in heaven!
Alternative Cooking Methods for Ultimate Sloppy Joes
- Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes: Add the ingredients (minus the buns) to the crock pot and cook on low for 4 hours. Stir before serving and scoop onto your toasted hamburger bun.
- Instant Pot Sloppy Joes: Brown the ground beef in the instant pot on the sauté setting per the instructions, then add in the rest of the ingredients (except the buns). Add the lid and set the pressure to high for ten minutes. Release the pressure naturally for five minutes, open the top and scooped onto toasted hamburger buns.
How to Serve Sloppy Joes
Homemade Sloppy Joes are all about comfort food flavors so you’ll love serving them with Onion Rings, Potato Wedges, Sweet Potato Fries or Roasted Potatoes along with some healthier Roasted Vegetables.
More Yummy Sandwiches
How to Store Ultimate Sloppy Joes
- Serve: These sandwiches are best served fresh once they are assembled. You can keep the filling warm in a slow cooker for up to 4 hours or at room temperature for 2 hours.
- Store: Store the Ultimate Sloppy Joes filling separately in an air tight container and assemble the sandwiches right before you want to serve. The filling can be kept refrigerated for up to 4 days.
- Freeze: Cool the beef mixture completely and place in a sealed container. Freeze Sloppy Joes filling for up to 3 months and thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 yellow onion , chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper , chopped
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- Add the ground beef to a large skillet (this browns very well) on high heat and brown until a deep brown crust appears before breaking the beef apart.
- Stir the ground beef and brown until a deep crust appears on about 50 or so percent of the beef, and it is cooked through, then remove the beef, drain the excess liquid and add the butter, onions and bell pepper to the pan.
- Let brown for 1-2 minutes before stirring, then let brown for another 1-2 minutes before stirring again and add the beef back into the pan.
- Add the garlic, mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, to the pan and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated (about 75% of the mixture is above liquid), 3-5 minutes.
- Serve on toasted hamburger buns.
Photos used in a previous version of this post.
Made this tonight with ground turkey and it was delicious. It reminded me of the way my mom used to make them. We really enjoyed them!
Awesome. Added some cowboy candy and it was bomb. My grandsons loved it. Not a morsel left
Used this recipe when I realized I didn’t have the packet of sloppy Joe seasoning. I didn’t have bell pepper but I had just about all of the rest of the ingredients. I have to say this was DELICIOUS!! I will never use a packet again!! It was a hit with the family! Thank you!!
I liked the recipe but found it was too sweet. I added about 4 oz of tomato sauce to cut the sweetness. Next time, I will just use less brown sugar and substitute some of the ketchup with water or tomato sauce.
Great flavor! A little dry for me but just added more catsup. My hubby told m how much he liked it. Thanks for sharing. ?
Always used canned sloppy joes till I found this recipe a few months ago, and now it’s all I’ll use!! Whole family loves it!
I always used canned sloppy Joe sauce until I found this recipe. I usually use 1/2-1 lb more beef and a can of tomato paste. If needed, I add beef broth to thin it out.
This sloppy Joe recipe is fantastic!! My husband was blown away- said it was fantastic! Thanks for sharing! It’s all I’ll use moving forward; period!
First time making this. It turned out well and my husband loved it. I used ground chicken instead of beef. I also used some mini peppers because that was what I had. My only issue is that the recipe is for 6 people. They must have very small portions or used slider rolls. There was just enough for 4 people. Will make again.
Great recipe! I followed your directions and made no changes. I can totally understand why this recipe has won blue ribbons ;o)
This will now be my “go to” recipe for Sloppy Joes. We really liked it a lot.
Yummy sloppy joes! I love that the beef is charred at first – that adds a nice texture to the meat. I added a few tbsps of water to my ketchup measuring cup since my sauce was kinda thick. Thanks for the great recipe.
Easy and good recipe!!!!
Loved it!! Used only 1 T brown sugar and 8 oz tomato sauce with a few T water instead of catsup. Also added chili powder and smoked paprika .
My new go-to for sloppy joes – made this last night for dinner. So quick and easy and soooo good!!!
I followed the recipe exactly but didn’t feel like it was very saucy. I added 1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce and 10 oz tomato sauce and it came out delicious! Husband loved it too. Toasted buns were the finishing touch. Will definitely use this recipe in the future.
This is so tasty, so easy and quick. Definite go to when not sure what to do with ground meat during warmer mo that. Love it! Thank you for sharing!
I just made your sloppy joe’s and they are THE best. I will be savings this recipe. Thank you.
Very good and so easy….
I have been searching forever for the perfect sloppy joe recipe and I finally found it. Thank you so much! I did exactly what you said to do except I puréed the onion and bell pepper in the food processor to hide them from my kids. Muahahaha!
Soooo good! I made these today and will definitely make again! I didn’t have a green pepper, so I substituted a red one indyead’
This was so easy and every kitchen has these ingredients! I added a little paprika and chili powder too and it was sooo good! Everyone had seconds! 🙂
Awesomeness. The whole family loved it!! Super easy to make too
From 6 to 65 the whole family loved these! Second time making this recipe ?
Made these for my teenagers last night and they gobbled them up. I added more mustard and a whole onion and green bell instead of 1/2. I will only add 1/2 the brown sugar or omit it next time as it was too sweet for me. But I loved the crust that developed on the meat by letting it sit for a few minutes. Great idea and I’ll be using this method on more recipes. Thank you for a great and quick mid-week meal.
Super easy and Super yummy. This is definitely the go to recipe
My whole family loves this recipe! We will never go back to canned sloppy joes!
Very easy to make. I used ketchup but I don’t like the vinegar soreness so I added a can of tomatoes paste and added water to the paste. It took most of the vinegar taste out of it. But the receipe is great. It’s just my taste.
Wow. Looks tasty!
Your site is my “go to” for recipes. Always easy to make and so tasty! Thank you. Please don’t go anywhere!
Great dish. My husband & great granddaughter love it. I serve fries with it and sometimes put cheese on it. Thanks, I need help as I’m not the best cook.
Im sure you are better than you give yourself credit for!
Just made this tonight. Fantastic. Thank you so much for the recipe!!!!!
I use this recipe for homemade sloppy joes regularly!!! It tastes so much better then the canned sloppy Joe sauce, and it’s so easy to make!!!
If I add all the ingredients to a slow cooker, should I pan cook the meat, onion, and pepper first? Thanks.
I would suggest it yes
Hands down the best sloppy joes you will ever eat! I didn’t chang a thing. My coworkers loved them so much they are still talking about them months after I made them! They request them at every food day at work!
This really IS the ULTIMATE! Just loved the flavor..since we like sweet, I didn’t add the Worcestershire, and it was awesome! May add some pineapple and lettuce and make it a wrap next time!…or just eat it with a spoon! Thank you!
I made this tonight omitting the brown sugar (I thought it was too sweet last time) and adding a little worcestershire sauce as others recommended. It was perfect!
So glad you liked it Heidi!
This is the best I have ever had, I did add 1 tablespoon A-1 steak sauce also.
I made these for dinner last night and they were amazing. My husband said they were the best Sloppy Joe’s he’s ever had. Thank you for the recipe!
Just made these tonight for dinner. Easy and oh so good! This is my go-to recipes when I crave a good Sloppy Joe!
This is by far the absolute BEST sloppy joe recipe. The richness is out of this world! My family ate it in seconds…literally lol
Wow! Thanks, Deidra.
this is a great recipe.. thank you!
You’re welcome, Charlie. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
We made this recipe yesterday and it was awesome. Just a tip for vegan, plant based, or dairy free readers: We substituted Beyond Meat for the ground beef and it tasted great! We used Arnold brand hamburger buns and Violife vegan cheddar slices to top it all off. You could not tell that it was veganized at all! Great recipe!
Thanks for the tips, Mel!
Best homemade recipe I’ve tried! I used red pepper (instead of green) since that was all I had and added a little worcestershire. The whole family loved it!! Thanks for the recipe!
Once again, your sloppy joe recipe is amazing! My family loves the ones we have tried, and this is no exception. Thank you so much for sharing!
You just made my day, Tamara. Thanks!
Great recipe! Left out brown sugar and added some Worcestershire sauce and it was great!
Thanks for the 5 stars, Julie.
I will never, ever make a sloppy joe recipe other than this! Just….excellent – the tips were great as well. Thank you!
Wow, that’s a HUGE compliment, Barb!! Thanks so much!
Excellent tasting Sloppy Jo recipe! Much like what was served in school cafeterias back in the day. Way back in the day, say 1950’s…. For my personal taste I added sweet relish and added a bit of water for a little looser consistency to make it a little more “sloppier”.
I love this recipe. Before this, I’d get a craving for sloppy Joes and every recipe or can left me disappointed afterward. I made this to give them one last chance and now I make it at least once a month, with the addition of some grated zucchini cooked down with the meat because hidden veggies are awesome. It reheats so well and is fab on top of a sweet potato.
Hi! This looks delicious and really want to try it! Can you tell me what kind of buns you used and what you did with them? The pic is what sold me, but I don’t see anything about the buns mentioned at the end of the recipe. Thank you!
I used Brioche buns and toasted them. I also butter mine before toasting because it’s add even more depth of flavor. Enjoy!
Made this tonight, it was great. I only used 1 Tbsp of brown sugar and I also added a little smoked paprika. Will definitely make again
Add a little smoked paprika & little smoked garlic. Stratospheric sloppyness!!!
this was outstanding. Told my soon, and he is eager to try. Philly cheese steak sloppy Joe’s are next. Thanks ?
I made these the other day just to see if they would be good to serve at my granddaughters birthday party they were really good.
I need to make these this weekend for her birthday what is the best way to make these in a crockpot for about 30 people and how much hamburger do you suggest
Plan on making these a head of time and put them in a crockpot the day of. Please send suggestions as I don’t want to disappoint my guests
There are instructions in the post on how to make these in the slow cooker. You’ll probably need to make 5 times this recipe for enough to serve 30 people. I would definitely recommend using multiple slow cookers. Hope this helps.
This is the best sloppy joes Ihave ever had. My husband and I love this recipe. You have to try it.
This recipe is okay. The techniques make for a levelled up sloppy joe. Crust on the meat and caramelized peppers and onions make the ingredients sing. Otherwise it’s super sweet and boring. (Probably good for kids?) I added chilli powder, tomato paste, chilli flakes, Worcestershire sauce, a splash of apple cider vinegar at the end, a tsp of sugar and not as much ketchup. My batch also needed some water to simmer in (about 1/3 C) Take the cooking methods and look for added spices in other 5 star sloppy joe recipes. If you like a lot of flavour – you might be disappointed in this recipe as is.
I added more brown sugar for little more sweetness, but delicious
Hi! My husband and I really liked your recipe! I have been using the can version of sloppy joe mix for years, but not 100% happy with it, so I looked online for an easy recipe and I decided to try yours, since I had all of the ingredients on hand. I think this will be my go-to recipe from now on! Thanks a bunch!
This was really good and very fast and easy to make. I added 4 oz of diced portobello mushrooms I needed to use up, browning them with the meat so the extra liquid poured off with the fat. Couldn’t taste them but a nice hidden veggie. Definitely on the sweeter side, so I will cut back the brown sugar to 1 tbsp next time for personal preference (and there will definitely be a next time). Added a few drops off green pepper sauce on mine because I like heat. Thanks for the recipe!
I made for a friend and her family, but of course taste tested first. It was great and my friend and family thought so as well. I appreciated the detail on the crusting of the ground beef. I understand the difference that made in the taste.
does this tastes like ketchup? im not a big fan of ketchup and was wondering if i should use tomato sauce instead
We loved it! Served it on split and toasted kaiser rolls! Hubby went for seconds.
Great sloppy Joe recipe, not too sweet. I really appreciate the detailed instructions. The only (minor) change I made was to add a single drop of smoke flavor. Gave it just a bit of depth. This will be my go-to recipe from now on.
Thanks for the suggestion, Jenny.
I am wondering if I am missing something. At the beginning of the recipe you give times for making it in the crock pot for 4 hours and then also using the instantpot for 20 minutes with a pressure release of 5 minutes. After the ingredients the recipe instructions have you brown the meat and sauté vegetables in the Instantpot. It says to cook the sauce down for 3-5 minutes. No where does it say to put the lid in and pressure cook for 20 min. Usually you need at least a 1/2 cup of thin liquid to pressurize and this recipe does not have that listed.
Thank you for this recipe!!
Made this tonight for my whole family and everyone loved it, I added the Worcestershire sauce and I think it turned out perfect!!
This recipe was delicious! I did add the tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce like mentioned above the recipe. My husband and I both loved it. Best sloppy Joe recipe!
Delicious! The only difference I made was substituted a can of tomato sauce for the ketchup.
made this came out dynamite. made changes to the fact this is all I had in freezer I used some hot sausage and hamburger 5O%X 50% Came out so great. and added some red wine. cooked off wine. Really good
Thanks for coming back to let me know how much you enjoyed it. I appreciate the 5 stars.
this is a great recipe.. thanks for sharing!
This was delicious! A big thumbs up from all the family
Yay! So glad you enjoyed it! Thank you so much for the review.
This is the best sloppy joe ever! And over browning the ground beef, genius!
I’ve used this recipe several times and we continue to enjoy this. It is far better and safer than using a can of premade sauce. Thanks for sharing ?
I made these ultimatum sloppy joes for dinner tonight. I have not made sloppy joes since the early days of our marriage when all I used was Manwich. My husband declared he was not fond of that meal so I stopped making it 49 years ago. We both really enjoyed your recipe tonight. I think it will also be great to serve when the grandkids come to visit in the summer. Thank you for all your time and expertise you put into your recipes.
You’re so welcome, Karen. I really appreciate the 5 stars.
Too sweet. Missing some tang. Just like a lot of bad sloppy joe recipes that taste more like you mixed meat with bbq sauce and a touch of mustard. Traditional sloppy joes have are less sweet and have a more unique flavor, not like bbq sauce.
If you had read all her tips she addresses this preference by suggesting you add a tablespoon of Worcester sauce.
Worcestershire would give it a little bite but I think it’s tons better than any other sloppy joe I’ve ever made!
Just had to scroll down here to sincerely thank you for the time and effort you put into this!
I needed this tonight … some fresh ideas . Thank you!
Gotta go, the meat is sizzling…
Connie, thank you so much for the kind words! Hope dinner was a hit!
Just made this for Christmas Eve, and it was a HUGE hit!!! All my guests asked for the recipe. I will never buy canned sloppy Joe again!!
It was super good & I will be fixing it for Christmas Eve party. Mine also didn’t have the gravy but I Think that might be because I use 93% lean hamburger. Do you think using 85% lean would make it so there would be more gravy?
Yes, I would recommend using 85% lean. When making it ahead of time, I would add more ketchup mustard sauce or even a bit of water to loosen the sauce back up. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!
Easy, delicious, husband loved it!!! This recipe is a keeper!
Too sweet for me with ketchup & brown sugar. I’m sure my husband will love it.
I will make it again using tomato sauce, half the brown sugar & ketchup. Thank you.
Everyone loved this recipe though I did 1 1/2 and added ingredients to make it turn out perfect.
These are delicious! And I learned something new – giving a deep brown sear really enhanced the flavor. I’ve never done that, just cooked my hamburger the same boring way I always do.
My mixture did not end up with a gravy. It was thick and sticky and bun-ready immediately with no need to cook it down. Is there an ingredient missing? Tomato sauce or broth or something?
It doesn’t sound like anything wrong if you followed the recipe, sometimes it will be thicker depending on the heat and the moisture in the meat. So glad you liked the searing the trick!
If a added sloppy joe mix before I cooked the meat is this still ok?
I cooked the meat with sauce for 20 minutes then let it simmer.
You won’t get a nice brown on the meat and the flavor of browning but as long as the meat cooks it’s fine.
I made this last night and it was delicious! It was also very quick and easy. I had it on the table in about 30 minutes.
My wife and I love a good sloppy joe, and this recipe has become our go to favorite! BTW this is the first review I’ve ever done, it’s that good! Thanks and God bless you.
We are huge Sloppy Joe fans over here too – I believe I have 26 recipes on the site and many more to come haha!
If you ever wanna switch them up – I’d go with the Philly cheesesteak Sloppy Joes – my two favorite things combined!
Just finished eating these. They were great! My husband loved them too!
Awesome! Love it when it’s a hit all around!
This Is the best sloppy Joe recipe. My husband and I loved this. It is quick and easy. I will be making this again! Some nice grilled buns and dinner was a hit!
I made this tonight and I didn’t have any veggies to add unfortunately (we’re broke) but it still turned out great! I used garlic powder & dried minced onion, less than half the amount of brown sugar. My husband said it’s way better than the canned sauce. Super happy to have found this recipe. Next time I will try it with fresh onions and bell peppers!
I’m glad it turned out great for you guys! A good veggie saving tip is go with frozen veggies. Most places have an onion and bell pepper mix and frozen veggies are picked at the peak of their season so while not as crisp as fresh, they are just as good for you! I would defrost & drain the veggies so they don’t release too much extra liquid.
For the Instant Pot version, when adding the meat and other ingredients do you stir everything prior to starting? Or just add ingredients on top and start? Thanks!
Yes, you want to give it a good stir before starting the IP cooking time.
I made this for my husband. He said it is the best sloppy joe he has ever had. It was very easy and quick to make. I did add about 1/4 tsp chili powder to offset some of the sweetness. I could have used half the brown sugar but my husband says he wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you for this recipe. It will now be part of our regular rotation.
My husband and I are solidly from the “Sloppy Joe Generation.” We grew up in the 80s and Manwich was a common occurrence, and I personally wasn’t a fan. This recipe, however, is awesome! It’s everything that a Sloppy Joe should be. I make it with ground turkey as beef doesn’t agree with my stomach, but to make it a bit “beefy” I add 1/2 c. water and a bit of beef bullion. I also add a bit of Worcestershire Sauce and double the recipe since we have a big family. This is a new family favorite!
I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it! Thanks for coming back to let me know!
If opting for the crockpot, do you brown the meat before putting it in the crockpot? Thanks!
Yes 🙂 Enjoy!
What a fantastic recipe! Better than Manwich. Add a splash of apple cider vinegar. Wow, it makes a delicious meal!
Great recipe! I had four uncooked hamburgers left from the night before so meat was about 1.5 lbs. Used one full onion and whole green pepper. I overestimated the brown sugar (not big on measuring) so I added 3/4 cup of marinara sauce. Husband and grown boys loved this!
I’m so glad you all enjoyed it! Thanks for the 5 stars Cari.
Unfortunately this recipe didnt work. It is way too sweet and waaaay too much ketchup.
I tried this after reading that it’s kid approved. My toddler feasts on my hopes and dreams and the occasional cup of milk, so I was willing to give it a try. No such luck, she spit out the first bite and refused to eat anymore. I don’t hold that against this recipe though. These sloppy joes are absolutely delicious. My husband said he only wants this recipe from now on.
I’m not a fan of sloppy Joe’s but this recipe is excellent. Even I had one! Goes together quickly with ingredients on hand. I will make these from now on. Thanks for sharing the recipe.
Glad you decided to give it a try!
I made this for my family and they are all very picky eaters and they loved it!!! I didn’t have brown sugar so I used white sugar instead and it was delicious
Oh YUM!!!! These are wonderful. I only had Dijon mustard and I don’t use brown sugar so I used agave. But these are so good. And yes def butter and toast the buns. Thanks can’t wait to try your other recipes.
So glad you enjoyed it!
Can this be made ahead of time and put in the freezer?
Yes but when you reheat you may need to add a bit of liquid to help create more of the sauce for the sloppy joes. Try adding a bit of water or tomato sauce little by little until it’s the right consistency. Enjoy!
I added a bit of Worcestershire sauce, best thing!
This is now my favorite Sloppy Joe recipe! The entire family LOVED it! Can’t wait to try the rest of your recipe’s!! Thanks So Much!!!
Thank you so much, Tammy! I look forward to seeing you around the site.
My family loved this recipe; with or without the cheese, it has great flavor! I appreciate how simple and quick these were to make and that there was no tomato paste involved! Thank you 🙂
Receta arroz integral por favor, Srita. Sabrina.
Just made this tonight. It was delicious. My sceptical husband asked for seconds.
These were great! My 4 year old twins ate them even though “we don’t like onions”. Managed to sneak the green peppers right past them – suckers!
Served mine with sharp cheddar cheese slice on Kings Hawaiian buns. Nice sweet kick to round it out.
Haha, love it!
These are the Absolute Best Sloppy Joes I’ve ever had! Soooo Delicious ???????????. Don’t forget to toast the bun! THX
I was looking for something quick to make for dinner since I ended up working late. Most of the ingredients I had at home and only had to stop to get some ground beef on my way home. I’ve never been a huge fan of Sloppy Joes but my SO really likes them so I thought “why not”. And boy oh boy am I happy I landed on this recipe. This recipe has permanently changed my mind on what a good sloppy joe is. Thank you so much for sharing this. I can’t wait to make them again!
I made these! They are amazing! My Fiance’s mother uses this recipe too!
I made this sloppy joe for supper tonight. I will be making again cause it was delicious. Thanks for sharing this recipe.
We are making these for the second weekend in a row…they are awesome.
Fantastic! So happy you love them so much!
Interesting how only positive reviews are posted.
This recipe was dreadful. For anyone who liked it; save yourself the work and simply pour some of your favorite bbq sauce into your hamburger. Much easier. However, probably won’t improve the outcome.
I’m sorry this recipe didn’t live up to your expectation.
I had it for lunch It was Delicious
I told my boyfriend I wanted to make sloppy joes for dinner… not from a packet but homemade and low in salt. He said “meh, okay” (disapproving but no other idea for dinner). I made these ultimate sloppy joes last night for dinner. I made the recipe as isand added some chopped jalapenos at the end. My boyfriend woofed them down and asked what was in these because they were the best sloppy joes he’s ever had. Thanks, Sabrina.
Yay!! Thanks so much for coming back to let me know, Carol.
This recipe was delicious! Ran out of ketchup. Used tomato sauce and half of the brown sugar. We couldn’t get enough.
Awesome recipe I would totally recommend this to anyone!!! I just added some jalapeño peppers and Worcestershire and siracha and used half ketchup and half tomato sauce!!?
So glad you enjoyed it, Rebecca!
Great recipe for the Ultimate Sloppy Joes !!!!! These are awesome!!! I added some siracha and BBQ sauce and Worcestershire and jalapeño peppers to add a little spice ?
Love this recipe. Huge hit with my wife. I want to make this in the slow cooker so I have a question about that. Do you brown the beef before adding it to the slow cooker or add beef uncooked?
Yes, brown before adding for sure, also got that email taken care of for you. 🙂
Why must every recipe on the Internet come with a long-winded tale? I don’t want to know your life story, foodies. I just want a damn recipe.
Below the title of every recipe at the top of the page is a “jump to recipe” button. Click on that and it’ll take you right there.
Without a doubt, BEST sloppy joe recipe EVER!!! This is my #1 go to sloppy jo that I go to every time! Never, ever will I buy that canned stuff again!
Yay!! This just made me so happy!!
Excellent. Will be making again!
I Wanted to make Sloppy Joes this afternoon and needed the recipe for the sauce after scouring the pantree and finding no Manwich. Very Delicious! I will continue to make this insted of buying the can. Thank you!
Yay so glad to hear it! Thank you so much for coming back and leaving the review!
I made these last night. I’d used 3 cloves of garlic to start with (we were in the mood for garlic), but I’m afraid we thought the final result tasted bland. I ended up adding extra salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and then some vinegar from pickled banana peppers. They all helped a bit, but it just didn’t taste like Sloppy Jo sauces I’ve made over the years. I even accidentally used too much yellow mustard to start with, and was afraid it would taste too sharp, but it just tasted like something was missing. I feel badly that we didn’t like it – it was not terrible, by any means, it just didn’t taste like what we were expecting.
Awesome sloppy joes! My son could not get enough.
These sloppy joes are the best ever. I give them. 100 stars.
I made this with bear meat, and opted out of peppers (ick!). But I added mushrooms and a couple splashes of Worcestershire sauce. Bear meat is really lean, so I didn’t have any grease to drain off. We didn’t have any cheese, so that was out, too. I served it on toasted sourdough hoagie rolls. This was shockingly easy to make, and actually took the amount of time listed to make, which never happens to me. Holy crow, they were delicious–my two-year-olds loved them! I am way less than stellar in the kitchen, so I’m counting the success of these “sloppy bears” as a major victory!
I’m so glad you were able to customize them to your liking! Thanks so much for the 5 star rating!
I like to add chopped celery to sloppy joes; in about half as much as the onions and/or peppers. I think it adds a depth to the mixture; maybe it’s just that my mom always did this and I liked hers a lot. Made these according to your directions, though, and they were very good. I have to make a bunch of these for an upcoming event, a big batch of beef sloppy joes, a fairly large batch of chicken or turkey sloppy joes, and a small lentil or jackfruit version. Will probably use your recipe for them, just varying the protein. May or may not add the celery this time, but thanks for a great recipe.
Just made this, so tasty! Just exactly like sloppy joes are supposed to be. I always wing it and sometimes it wouldn’t come out right, then I saw this recipe and the ingredients were very close to mine so now I have the correct measurements so they’ll come out great every time!
Yep. This recipe is written with great care, which always draws our attention. We thought 2 Tsp was a lot of sugar, so we used 2 tsp instead, and we melted 1 anchovie with the onions like one would for a ragu.
Fantastic Sloppy Joe recipe! Amazing smell and flavor. ?
Not rocket science and nothing new. How sloppy joes have been made for forty years.
But for those of you who are new to making sloppy joes. This is the recipe to follow.
I made them this afternoon and they were amazing. I’m not a great cook, so thank you for the easy recipe.
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Harry! Thanks for taking the time to come back and let me know.
Made this tonight and it was so easy and delicious. I added a bit of beef broth to add some moisture back. Also subbed 1 tablespoon of worcestershire sauce for 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar. Also- if you like the tanginess of goat cheese, it tasted AMAZING with it. Would definitely make again. Only thing I would change is make 1.25 lbs of beef next time since it’s a little short of enough for 6 brioche buns.
Thanks for all of your suggestions and feedback. So glad you enjoyed it!
I found this tasted too much like ketchup–but a tablespoon of chili powder did the trick! I tossed in some oregano and thyme, too. (Brown mustard would also be good.) Good consistency for a traditional Sloppy Joe! I added a cup of grated carrot for some invisible veggies.
Glad you were able to customize it to your liking! Love the veggie trick too!
I added the brown sugar to the pepper and onion mixture after they cooked for a bit in order for the sugar to dissolve. This is very tasty and so easy!
I will never use a can of Sloppy Joes again! My son said this is heartier.
So fantastic to hear, Gayle! Thanks for the 5 stars!
I made this recipe for dinner and it tasted too much like ketchup and was a little bland. I would recommend adding a second clove of garlic, one or two teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, more black pepper, and a pinch more salt.
Feel free to customize the flavor to your liking. 🙂
Yum! I added a little cayenne and Worcestershire to add a little spunk and it turned out beautifully! Even my picky S/O liked it and before now he said “hated” sloppy Joe’s! It was so simple and called for ingredients i always have on hand! Even when I don’t have fresh beef or fresh onion and pepper, I always have some frozen! Added to my recipe cards for easy access for those “what to do” nights! Thanks!
Just found this recipe and had to try it. My girlfriend and I added Mountain Zinfadil red wine to the vegies as they were softening, 1/4 cup to a doubled up recipe, and it came out marvelous.
Thanks for the suggestion! I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it!
This came out very yummy! My whole family enjoyed it.
Made it. Husband went for seconds, so I’d say it was a success. I added a few shakes of worcestershire sauce to give a little depth. Way better than the canned stuff and not too much work. A good meal for the work week. I served with corn on the cob.
So glad it was a hit with your family, Brenda!
Loved it!!!! This recipe is gonna be a staple in my house…it was really easy to make and I love the taste of this over canned sloppy joe sauce. Thank you!!!!
So glad you loved it! Thanks for coming back to tell us about it!
Any time I have ever made sloppy joes I would just use Manwhich and thought it was pretty good. I made this recipe tonight and it is sooooo much better that the canned stuff. So glad I tried it! I will make this from now on for sure.
Fantastic! Thanks for coming back to let me know!
Can this be made a day ahead and reheated?
Absolutely! I’d toast the buns right before eating instead of making sandwiches ahead of time, but there’s no reason the meat can’t rest in the fridge for a day.
What if I don’t have bell peppers? What do I put in then?
You can just leave them out if you’d like. 🙂
These are the absolute best Sloppy Joes we have ever eaten. I cannot get over how easy and quick these were to make. I won’t buy a package mix again that’s for sure! I followed the instructions exactly, with the exception of using ground turkey because we can’t do beef. The sauce is beautiful and thick, and the aroma as everything came together – exceptional! My 2 year old grandson ate his entire meal in one sitting, and said it was delicious! Thank you so very much for sharing this recipe.
I know how hard it is to please little kids in the food department, so I take that as a huge compliment!! So glad you all love it!
Unbelievably delicious! Follow the exact recipe, iron skillet and all. Thank you for this recipe!!
I love your recipes but you sight is so overwhelmingly filled with adds it’s hard to copy down the recipe (yes copy I don’t print them) because every time a new add loads the page jumps, kind of a big bummer
Thank you for the recipe 🙂
Just made this for lunch today and apparently my beef is dry from the beginning. I didn’t need to cook it down since there’s no liquid from the beginning. What did I do wrong? ?
You didn’t do anything wrong, it just sounds like your beef didn’t have a lot of fat to begin with.
I don’t see brown mustard in the recipe, so i am confused….
I thought the recipe calls for YELLOW mustard. Please explain. Thank you
Sorry for the confusion…yes, the recipe calls for YELLOW mustard. Looks like I need more coffee before responding at times, haha!
I am out of brown mustard can i use regular yellow mustard
Yeah you can, I’d use about half as much though.
dont have brown mustartd will regular work
It said use yellow mustard
Made this last night and it was DELICIOUS!! My son devoured it and asked for me.
I didn’t have an onion and used celery instead. Thanks for a great recipe!!
I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it! Thanks for coming back to let me know!
i try and make as much home made food for me and my small family of 4 our girls are so picky but when i make this they jump up and down in the kitchen screaming yay so thanks for making this mom and dads dinner time easier 🙂
You’re welcome! Definitley sounds like a winner!!
Wow! I made them last night for my boyfriend and I (cravings!!)
Not a fan of mustard so we skipped that and added more ketchup instead. as well as a little more brown sugar to get that sweetness. As per the recipe, we pre-buttered brioche buns before toasting them 350F in a conventional oven, for 5 minutes.
So good!! Although I just wished it would have been a brighter red colour to the sauce so it would look good for an instagram post haha
Taste wise, I’ve been told that it “tastes so f*king good” and is “bomb”. Definitely a new dish for future work potlucks too. Thank you!!
This is a yummy recipe. I like the sweetness flavor. Thank you for sharing.
Best Sloppy Joe’s ever!! I added a can of pork and beans to stretch the already doubled recipe to feed 9. We loved the beans in it so will probably do it again next time. I also added Worcestershire sauce and shredded cheddar. I served on grilled Texas toast. Yummy!
Sounds fantastic! Love the texas toast idea!
Great recipe. Tastes so good.
I don’t normally like sloppy joes but these were the best and really easy
Thanks Denise! So glad you enjoyed it!
Fast and with easy ingredients. Great flavor and of course, add a slice of cheese!
So far these are my favorite sloppy joes!
Great quick recipe!!
Thank you for sharing!!
Ohhhh, yeah. OH yeah. Can’t wait for the fries to come out of the oven, because this is incredible!
Easy and very good. Made this several times now and always a hit!
Thanks for the 5 star rating! So glad you enjoyed it!
So delicious! Followed the recipe and it was the best home made sloppy joe I’ve ever had!
Is the serving size equivalent to 1 cup?
It’s probably a bit smaller. I would say to yield 6 servings, the size would be about 1/3 cup. It also depends on how fatty your beef is. The more fat, the less meat left over after cooking down. I hope this helps.
This recipe was wonderful I just added manwich instead of making my own sauce
You didn’t really make this recipe if you used manwich. Lol
Sloppy Joe’s aren’t always my favorite, but these are better than most every other one I’ve had. My husband, on the other hand, loves sloppy Joes and loves these. I added a couple (6) small dashes of mild pepper sauce to mine for a little kick. Very good. Thanks.
So glad you both enjoyed it! Thanks for coming back to let me know!
I just made this today. I am vegan so I used veggie crumbles. It’s super tasty. The only change I made was i added a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce to add some more tanginess. I feel I only needed to add that because of the bland flavor of the crumbles.
Thanks for a great recipe I will make over and over again!
Thanks for the substitution recommendation! So glad you enjoyed it!
Worstershire sauce is not vegan… It has anchovies in it.
I have made this recipe several times and doubled or tripled it for a crowd. It is always a hit! I don’t put quite as much brown sugar in and add a little Worcestershire sauce as we didn’t prefer quite as much sweetness. It is definitely a favorite at our house!
Thanks for the 5 star rating Darla! So glad you all enjoy it!
I want to make this but need to know how many this recipe serves.
It’s serves about 6 but that may vary depending on how big or small you load your sandwiches. I hope you enjoy it!
Yum!!! We made this for dinner tonight. Not sure if mustard is normally in sloppy Joe’s but I loved the use here. Great recipe. Definitely will make often.
I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it! Thanks for coming back to let me know!
They look amazing! I haven’t had sloppy joes in SO long!
Sloppy Joes are our family’s favorite! We need to add cheese next time!
This Ultimate Sloppy Joe looks fantastic! I would love one right now!:)
I love sloppy joes! I will have to make this recipe!!
These look delicious, and I love that they’re so easy!
Man, that is making me hungry – so ready to chomp into one of those right now!
We love sloppy joes here, and I’ll definitely give yours a try!
Thanks Amanda! They’re always a huge hit in our house too.