Essential Sloppy Joes

Essential Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes. I don’t know if I ever used a recipe for the basic Sloppy Joe before. 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! And ground beef seemed an easy answer. In goes a touch of mustard, ketchup, a little brown sugar. But you know what’s so much better? Essential Sloppy Joes!

Essential Sloppy Joe

Essential Sloppy Joe


My Mom used to make the old Campbell’s Gumbo Soup recipe and I have that on my site, now. 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 these Essential Sloppy Joes are now a go-to dinner save – and they are more along the lines of Manwich, except for really good! This is so easy, don’t buy that stuff!

About Essential Sloppy Joes:

Essential Sloppy Joes are soft in just the way a long-simmered Sloppy Joe should be. And they’re just slightly sweet with the just right bit of a bite from the mustard powder (yep, mustard powder, as in my Top Secret Super Stealth Arsenal of Ingredients). Essential Sloppy Joes are really fab and they’re going to be perfect for everyone from the littles up to a more sophisticated adult palate.

The Essential Sloppy Joe recipe is quick, too, so you can have it on the table in no time, especially if you have ground beef already thawed. Give it a bit of time in the microwave if you need a quick defrost. Oh, and you might just want to double the recipe; Sloppy Joes are one of those items that are even better the next day.

Make these Essential Sloppy Joes, and you’ll be making them again. And again. And loving every minute of it! At our house, we always serve our Sloppy Joes on the small, basic grocery store buns. Hey, they’re cheap, but they’re also so delish and squishy once the Sloppy Joe is on & it’s just the right amount so it can be finished before the bun get’s, well, sloppy! I have never said the word sloppy so many times in my life!!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Making Essential Sloppy Joes:

Check out this recipe; a handful of ingredients and minutes to make. I’d say if you’re quick it can be on the table in a hair over 15 minutes but count on 20. There is onion to chop!

Definately adjust the Essential Sloppy Joe recipe to your taste. I tend to go lighter on the sugar, so if you do enjoy your Sloppy Joes on the sweet side, add more. And of course any spice you add should be done keeping in mind who will be at your table.

I always use a potato masher for my ground beef. The kind that has wires, not the flat kind with holes. It makes short work of breaking down ground beef (or other ground items, including sausage) and you probably have one around. If you don’t they’re inexpensive, unlike the special ground beef mashers you can buy now – I just priced them out when I heard about them – $10.99 to $19.99 on Amazon. Wowza.

Essential Sloppy Joe

Essential Sloppy Joe

Saving Money on Essential Sloppy Joes:

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 – personally, when I make burgers, I’d rather not use previously frozen beef. There’s no sense in buying ground beef at full price when it is so often on sale.

Watch for sales on bell peppers, too, and buy a few extra to last for the next week when you see them on sale. They do keep well in the fridge, usually for a week and maybe even a bit longer. Onions, you’ll want to buy in the larger bags; they’re less per pound. The onions themselves might be larger, too, which always helps speed things along when you’re making a recipe – less to peel.

It’s a good idea to stock up on condiments like ketchup during the summer sales for the year. Yeah, they’ll never be lower; if you miss those great summer sales, watch around the Super Bowl when the stores want to draw you in with low prices.

And of course, I mentioned the soft, white squishy grocery store buns – they’re always inexpensive and on sale can be bought for a pittance. If we have any leftover, I love to make my Family’s Parmesan Toast with them; even if they are a little stale, they work beautifully and crisp up on the top and get all soft in the oven.

Essential Sloppy Joes

Essential Sloppy Joes

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

Taste and add salt and pepper as desired.

Serve on buns with pickle.

Kitchen & Cooking Hacks:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


You know I’ll be bringing Essential Sloppy Joes 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 bring Essential Sloppy Joes 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!!

Hearing from you makes my day! Comment below.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.