Two Sloppy Joe's
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Homemade Sloppy Joe

My grandmother's recipe from 100 years ago still holds strong. Simple ingredients from your pantry and some ground meat can create a meal!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Entree, Sandwich
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Sloppy Joe Recipe
Servings: 8 sandwiches
Calories: 100kcal
Author: SmartyPantsKitchen


  • 2 lbs. ground beef cooked and drained
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper chopped
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 12 oz. beef broth
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons ground mustard
  • 2 teaspoons paprika smokey, not sweet
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 burger buns
  • 4 oz. cheese optional


Meat Sauce

  • In a large skillet on medium heat, add 1 tablespoon oil; add ground beef and cook until its no longer pink; drain and add back to skillet; add onions and bell peppers; cook till tender (about 10 minutes)
  • Add remaining ingredients: broth, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, paprika and brown sugar; combine well
  • Turn heat to medium-low allow to cook for 15 minutes, until flavors have married
  • Taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasonings accordingly
  • Once buns are browned, place beef mixture on buns and top with cheese (optional)

Bread Instructions

  • Turn on oven to 500ºF, or broil setting
  • Lightly butter buns and place on baking sheet cut side-up; place under broiler
  • Once buns are lightly toasted, remove from oven and set aside


How To Make a Sloppy Joe Sandwich

This seasoned ground beef mess-of-a-sandwich is pretty easy to make; the secret's in the sauce!
  1. Cook ground beef in a skillet with a little oil until the meat is no longer pink
  2. Add onions and bell peppers to beef; cook for 3 minutes
  3. Drain the ground beef mixture in a colander and add it back to the skillet
  4. Add remaining ingredients and allow to simmer uncovered until the mixture thickens
  5. Taste for salt and pepper

How Much Meat Do I Use Per Bun for Homemade Sloppy Joe's?

Generally speaking, about 4 oz., or 1/2 a cup of meat sauce is plenty... remember, they're called "Sloppy Joe's" for a reason... so the sauce will run out a bit, but that's what makes it so yummy.

Can I Substitute Ground Turkey for Ground Beef?

Ground turkey is an excellent and leaner substitute for ground beef; however, if you use ground turkey, you may need to increase the broth in order to ensure a truly "sloppy" experience!

Can I Make the Meat Sauce In Advance?

Absolutely! Make it, freeze it in a safe container, then reheat on the stove top or microwave. If you reheat using a microwave, be sure to use microwave -safe containers.

How Do I Make a Vegan Sloppy Joe Sandwich?

An excellent choice for vegans is Jackfruit. Jackfruit will naturally absorb the seasonings you mix it with, like mushrooms. Drain the jackfruit and use it in the recipe as you use ground beef.