Basic Sloppy Joe

Homemade Sloppy Joes: A Classic Comfort Food Recipe

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Nothing says comfort food quite like a hearty Sloppy Joe sandwich. Whether you’re looking for a quick weeknight dinner or a crowd-pleasing meal for a gathering, this homemade Sloppy Joe recipe is sure to hit the spot. Made with simple ingredients and bursting with flavor, these saucy sandwiches are a timeless favorite that never disappoints. So, grab your apron and let’s get cooking!


  • 1 pound ground beef (as lean as possible)
  • 1/2 onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 green or red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey mustard
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon whole wheat flour
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4-6 burger buns


  1. Brown the Ground Beef: In a large skillet or frying pan, brown the ground beef over medium heat, breaking it apart with a spoon as it cooks. Cook until the beef is no longer pink, then drain off any excess fat.
  2. Add Aromatics: Add the diced onion and bell pepper to the skillet with the cooked ground beef. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Season: Stir in the garlic powder, honey mustard, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper, combining well with the beef and vegetables.
  4. Create Sauce: Pour in the ketchup and water, stirring to combine. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer.
  5. Thicken: In a small bowl, mix the whole wheat flour with a bit of water to create a slurry. Add the slurry to the skillet, stirring continuously until the sauce thickens slightly.
  6. Simmer: Reduce the heat to low and let the mixture simmer for about 10-15 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken further. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
  7. Toast the Buns: While the Sloppy Joe mixture simmers, lightly toast the burger buns under the broiler or in a toaster oven until golden brown.
  8. Serve: Once the Sloppy Joe mixture has reached your desired consistency, spoon it onto the toasted burger buns. Serve hot and enjoy!

Cook’s Notes and Variations:

  • Add Heat: If you like your Sloppy Joes with a bit of heat, add a dash of hot sauce or a pinch of red pepper flakes to the mixture.
  • Vegetarian Option: Swap the ground beef for plant-based ground “meat” or lentils for a vegetarian-friendly version of this classic dish.
  • Cheese Please: For an extra indulgent twist, top your Sloppy Joes with a slice of cheddar or American cheese before serving.
  • Bulk Up: Add extra veggies like diced carrots, celery, or mushrooms to boost the nutritional content of your Sloppy Joes.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: Can I make Sloppy Joes ahead of time? A: Absolutely! You can prepare the Sloppy Joe mixture in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Simply reheat it on the stove or in the microwave before serving.

Q: Can I freeze Sloppy Joes? A: Yes, Sloppy Joes freeze well. Allow the mixture to cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. Label with the date and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

Q: What can I serve with Sloppy Joes? A: Sloppy Joes pair well with a variety of side dishes, including coleslaw, potato salad, macaroni and cheese, french fries, or a simple green salad.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Keto Version: To make a keto-friendly version of Sloppy Joes, skip the bun and serve the meat mixture over a bed of lettuce or alongside steamed vegetables.
  • Low-Carb Version: Replace the burger buns with low-carb alternatives such as lettuce wraps, portobello mushroom caps, or almond flour buns.

With its savory, saucy goodness and nostalgic appeal, homemade Sloppy Joes are a classic comfort food that never goes out of style. This easy-to-follow recipe allows you to recreate the beloved flavors of your favorite childhood dish right in your own kitchen. Whether you’re cooking for a family dinner or a casual gathering with friends, these Sloppy Joes are sure to be a hit. So, fire up the stove, gather your ingredients, and get ready to enjoy a taste of pure comfort with every bite!

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healty meal, low carbs meals, keto meal

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