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Homestyle Sloppy Joes

This classic sloppy joe recipe uses ground beef and tomato sauce. The simple combination of ingredients you already have in your pantry 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.

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This recipe makes really good sloppy joes. My oldest son doesn't really care for canned sloppy joes. These take the same amount of time to make as the canned version. I just add the ingredients for the sauce to a bowl while the burger is browning. That way I can just dump it in, mix, simmer, and done. Makes it go really quickly. These are great on a browned bun with some coleslaw on top.

Well, I haven't had sloppy joes in forever, so had to make this recipe. Next time I do want to try it with chili sauce and amend it if necessary. I love comfort food! And it was quick and easy to make, too.

Elsewhere on this site another version of this recipe is called "Barbecue Spoonburgers." They are also known in the Midwest as simply "Loose Meat Sandwiches" -- to my mind the best title because it is so descriptive.

I add Pfeifer Thousand Island dressing and use hot dog buns. The sloppy joes don't fall out of the bun as easily!!

My son and I recently collaborated (lol) on making some sloppy-joes from scratch. With 2 lbs of ground beef, onions, bell pepper, we used a whole bottle of the chili sauce as a base, adding brown sugar, vinegar, ketchup, to taste. Those sloppy-joes were the best I've ever had! Gotta have the chili sauce....!

scarlet: Thanks for the tip for using chili sauce. I'm sure our readers will appreciate it! Blair, editor for

This recipe is pretty much how I make my sloppy joes-tastes much better than that canned stuff. Sometimes I add a couple of tablespoons or so of chili sauce for a different twist.


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