Essential Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes. I don’t know if I ever used a recipe for the basic Sloppy Joe. They always seemed to come from standing in front of the fridge and rummaging through the cupboards as the clock struck five and I was wondering what to make for dinner!

Essential Sloppy Joe

Essential Sloppy Joe

My Mom used to make the old Campbell’s Gumbo Soup recipe and I have another recipe on my site for a marvelous, long simmering Sloppy Joe, Kaltenbach Farms Sloppy Joe, that serves a huge crowd (or gives you some for the freezer), but here’s my go to dinner save – more along the lines of Manwich. This is so easy, don’t buy that stuff!

Soft and slightly sweet with just a bit of a bite from the mustard powder (yep, mustard powder, as in my Top Secret Super Stealth Arsenal of Ingredients) these are a fabulous save! Especially if you have a pound of hamburger you can thaw in the microwave in a few minutes.


Make them and you’ll wonder why you don’t make them more often – heck, double the recipe, you won’t be sorry! I had to estimate amounts as I threw these together the other night, so feel free to adjust to your taste. I tend to go on the light side of the sugar spectrum.

Essential Sloppy Joe

Essential Sloppy Joe

Remember to buy items like ground beef on sale, and divide into portions and freeze, especially if you won’t be using them for burgers. There’s no sense in buying ground beef at full price.

Watch for sales on bell peppers, too, and buy a few extra to last for the next week when you see them on sale. If you click over to the Kaltenbach Farms Zesty Sloppy Joes, you’ll see a link for Strategies Applied that gives more money saving tips.

Essential Sloppy Joe

Essential Sloppy Joe

Essential Sloppy Joe

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 half bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons to 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon dried mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • salt and pepper to taste

Brown hamburger, along with onion and bell pepper. Drain well. Add the rest of ingredients, stirring well. Bring to a simmer and stir now and then for 10 minutes or so until desired moisture level is reached.

Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

Serve on buns with pickle.

from the kitchen of

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You know I’ll be bringing this to our Throwback Thursday #40 Link Party, hosted by Quinn of Dad What’s for Dinner, Meaghan of 4 Sons are Us, Alli of Tornadough, Carlee from Cooking with Carlee and Moi! That’s right – me!

Click over to our latest Throwback Thursday post for links to their blogs and social media, rules and more info or just click on the blue leapfrog, below, to view all the Throwback Thursday Posts or enter your own!

I’ll also be bring this to Angie’s Fiesta Friday, so check it out!


23 thoughts on “Essential Sloppy Joes

  1. Hi Molly, These sound so delicious & I haven’t even had breakfast yet! I may have to skip breakfast and go on to Sloppy Joes! I look forward to trying your recipe! Happy Memorial Day Weekend! Blessings, Janet

    • They say they were “invented” by a guy named Joe in Sioux City, Iowa, based off a “loose meat” sandwich, in the 1950’s. They’re very popular down home cooking here in the states. 🙂

  2. My sloppy joes are usually a bit of this and a bit of that too. We went through a phase where I was making different versions pretty frequently, but we haven’t had them in quite a while now. I’ll need to make your recipe soon!

  3. Kathryn

    We love sloppy Joe’s! I usually substitute ground turkey for mine — and I like to spice them up for the adults — but it’s such a classic and always such a crowd pleaser! Great tips to stock up on the basic items when they’re on sale – it all freezes so well 🙂

    • Oh my gosh – I have been trying to think or or get inspired for some new dips for Memorial Day – I have never had sloppy joe dip but the thought of it is sending off instant cravings!! Thanks for stopping by and commenting and maybe you’d like to share your dip recipe?

  4. My mom used Heinz Chili Sauce to make her Sloppy Joes. I made them from scratch frequently about 5 years ago when I went through a Sloppy Joe addiction episode. ; )

    Your recipe sounds great! My new hubby won’t touch them so I’ll have to save this for when he’s working late!

    • I’m helping my folks out and one has all kinds of problems with dentures, so we’re always looking for things she can eat – the big surprise was how much I like them still, after all these years! Congrats on your marriage and blessings!! 🙂

  5. It was always a treat when Mom made sloppy joes she used the canned sauce and I remember how much I loved them. Yours look delicious and a definite improvement over the canned sauce.

    • I know, right back to childhood! I think I watched that with my daughter and it was fun and heartwarming! Might be worth checking Netflix for now that you’ve mentioned it!!

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