How to Make Sloppy Joes


How to Make Sloppy Joes


We all know how to make sloppy joes using canned sauce and ground beef, but it's easier than you think to make homemade sloppy joes. Use these simple recipes and watch our how-to video for great tips and tricks for making sloppy joes.

Sloppy Joe and Coleslaw

If you've never made your own sloppy joes, you probably have no idea how easy it really is! Canned sloppy joe sauce is typically a combination of tomato sauce, onions, Worcestershire sauce, seasonings and a few other ingredients. Many of the items you use to make homemade sloppy joe sauce are probably already in your pantry right now - and if they aren't, they are generally cheap ingredients that you won't mind having around. Homemade sloppy joe sauces often use tomato sauce and/or paste, onions, peppers, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, vinegar and seasonings. Try the recipe below for a traditional, homestyle sloppy joe sauce that the whole family will love.

Table of Contents

Homestyle Sloppy Joes Recipe
Sloppy Joe Recipe Variation
Betty's Kitchen Sloppy Joe Cooking Video

Homestyle Sloppy Joes

This classic sloppy joe recipe uses ground beef and tomato sauce. The simple combination of every day ingredients will make this a quick weeknight meal for the whole family.


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 15-oz cans tomato sauce or more
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 8 hamburger buns, split


  1. In a large skillet, cook ground beef, onion, and bell pepper over medium-high heat until beef is brown and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally; drain.
  2. Stir in tomato sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Spoon onto buns and serve.

Sloppy Joe Recipe Variations

There are, of course, thousands of combinations of ingredients that will produce delicious sloppy joes. Try some of the variations below.

Betty's Kitchen Sloppy Joe Cooking Video 

Betty's Made From Scratch Sloppy Joes

You may serve this plain over hamburger buns, or dress it up a bit by using Kaiser buns, spread with sandwich spread, with a few thin slices of tomato,or place the sloppy Joe mix on a Kaiser bun, sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese, and a few jalapeno slices - or be creative and add anything you like! It's great with just about any sandwich topper!


1 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped celery
8 ounce can tomato sauce
10 3/4 ounce can condensed tomato soup
Dash of bottled hot pepper sauce
1/2 teaspoon chili powder


  1. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt over 1 pound of ground beef, and then brown the ground beef over low heat, stirring constantly, until all pink is gone and the beef is crumbly.
  2. Add onion, celery, tomato sauce, tomato soup, hot pepper sauce, and chili powder. Stir, until completely combined.
  3. Simmer, uncovered, over low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.



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Wow, all of these different sloppy Joe recipes have my mind wandering. I've never liked the canned mix for sloppy joes, it just seems so overly sweet and artificial to me...but homemade are yummy! I usually go for the more traditional version but like to add in red peppers and serve it on a toasted Hawaiian roll with's so good! I'm not sure if I'd go with Tofu as my base but the garden version sounds delicious!

This has to be my all time lazy meal. i love how simple the recipe is written and it does not contain any expensive ingredients. I am going to be eating this until my finals are over this month.

I haven't tried sloppy joes before but they sure look delicious. I sometimes make tuna burgers in a similar way but I never thought of adding tomato sauce to the tuna. I'm wondering if ground turkey could be used in place of ground beef for this recipe, since I don't really eat beef.


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