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    Homemade Sloppy Joe Recipe

    Published January 8, 2020. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    Homemade sloppy joes are much easier to make than you may have thought, so learn how simple it is to do right from your own kitchen.

    sloppy joe on a brioche bun with pickles and cheese

    If you’re like me, you grew up eating sloppy joe sandwiches as it’s a great simple weeknight meal for the family.  Instead of popping a can of who knows what’s in there, learn how to make it from scratch.  It’s way more delicious and easier than you’re thinking, and if you love cooking with ground beef, then definitely check out my meatloaf recipe or my loco moco.

    Why is It Called Sloppy Joe?

    It’s been around since the 1950s and was created by a cook named Joe at a restaurant in Sioux City, Iowa, who put a bit of tomato sauce onto some ground beef and served it up on a bun, and simply called it a “sloppy joe.”

    Ingredients

    A homemade sloppy joe consists of a few ingredients, including:

    • Ground Beef
    • Tomato Puree
    • Tomato Paste
    • Mustard
    • Brown Sugar
    • Worcestershire Sauce
    • Vinegar
    • Chili Powder
    • Salt and Pepper

    You most likely have most of these ingredients already in your pantry, making it really easy to pull off.

    Is Manwich The Same Thing?

    Manwich is a processed and canned sauce that has attempted to replicate the original sauce with its own take.  It can be purchased from the grocery store, but I can promise you the homemade version is far superior to this.

    How to Make a Sloppy Joe

    Follow along below for quick how-to steps for making this recipe.

    1. Sweet some garlic and bell peppers in some oil in a large pot.
    2. Add in your beef and cook until all the pink is gone.
    sweating peppers in a pan with ground beef
    1. Stir in the tomato puree, tomato paste, mustard, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and chili powder and simmer over low heat for 25-30 minutes.
    2. Finish with salt and pepper and serve on a bun.
    simmering homemade sloppy joes in a pan and then on a bun

    My recommendation is to take this a step further and add on all the delicious toppings I did, such as cheese, caramelized onions, and pickles.

    Is It Healthy?

    I’m not sure I would classify this recipe as “healthy” because it has a high sodium content, but there are ways to reduce that in this recipe by not using Worcestershire sauce and going light on seasoning with salt.

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    How to Reheat: Simply add the desired amount of sloppy joe into a saucepan and cook over low heat until hot. You can also heat it in the microwave until hot.

    How to Store: Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

    How to Freeze: Keep it covered in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw for 1 day in the refrigerator before reheating it.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    chef notes + tips

    • This recipe makes a lot of sloppy joes, so please scale down or up to fit your needs.  Simply place your cursor over the servings amount in the recipe card and slide up or down to scale.
    • Try serving this with Southern Potato Salad or Pasta Salad

    More Beef Recipes

    Be sure to follow me on FacebookYoutube, Instagram, and Pinterest, and if you’ve had a chance to make this, then definitely drop me a comment and a rating below.

    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Video

    Homemade Sloppy Joe Recipe

    5 from 8 votes
    This homemade sloppy joe recipe is much easier to make than you may have thought, so learn how simple it is to do right from your kitchen.
    Servings: 10
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 40 minutes

    Ingredients 

    For the Sloppy Joe:

    • 2 tablespoons canola oil
    • 2 each seeded and small diced red and yellow bell peppers
    • 6 finely minced cloves of garlic
    • 4 pounds ground beef
    • 2 cups tomato puree
    • 3 tablespoons mustard
    • ¼ heaping cup light brown sugar
    • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    • 4 tablespoons distilled vinegar
    • 2 tablespoons chili powder
    • Sea salt and cracked pepper
    • 10 buns

    For the Toppings:

    Instructions

    • Add oil to a large pan over low to medium heat and sweat the peppers and garlic for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently.
    • Add in the ground beef, turn the heat to medium and cook until all of the pink is gone, about 7-9 minutes.
    • Next, pour the tomato puree, mustard, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and chili powder and simmer over low heat for 25-30 minutes.
    • Finish by stirring in salt and pepper and serve on buns with optional toppings.

    Notes

    How to Reheat: Simply add the desired amount of sloppy joe into a saucepan and cook over low heat until hot. You can also heat it in the microwave until hot.
    How to Store: Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
    How to Freeze: Keep it covered in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw for 1 day in the refrigerator before reheating it.
    This recipe makes a lot of sloppy joes, so please scale down or up to fit your needs.  Simply place your cursor over the servings amount in the recipe card and slide up or down to scale.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 702kcalCarbohydrates: 42gProtein: 38gFat: 42gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 129mgSodium: 574mgPotassium: 869mgFiber: 3gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 795IUVitamin C: 51mgCalcium: 70mgIron: 16mg
    Course: lunch, Main
    Cuisine: American