Homemade Sloppy Joes are a quick and simple recipe that replaces that store-bought can of sauce! Hearty, messy, and so delicious, this homemade sloppy joes recipe is one for the books!
Homemade Sloppy Joes Recipe
Who remembers sloppy joes from their childhood? Honestly, I don’t feel your childhood is complete without eating them at least once, am I right?!
Sure, they are messy (they don’t call them sloppy for nothing!), but they are so satisfying. They’re family-friendly too — I’ve never met a kid that won’t eat a messy and delicious ground beef sandwich.
I love a hearty meal that doesn’t take much effort to put together. These homemade sloppy joes are so easy to make and perfect for busy days when you don’t want to cook!
But, before I get ahead of myself — today I want to share my easy sloppy joe recipe with ketchup! The addition of everyone’s favorite condiment makes these sandwiches oh-so-tasty. Let’s jump right in.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe for Homemade Sloppy Joe Mix
- Super easy and quick to make
- Uses a few pantry staples to create an amazing-tasting sandwich
- The perfect combo of sweet and savory
- Can be made in the slow cooker
- Make a double batch and freeze for later
Key Ingredients to Make A Homemade Ground Beef Sandwich
- GROUND BEEF – Use whatever % lean you have. You can also use ground turkey or chicken too.
- ONION AND GARLIC – Adds flavor.
- TOMATO SAUCE – If you’re out, you can sub in a can of tomato soup.
- KETCHUP – Use tomato paste if you are out and add a tiny bit more sugar to balance it out.
- WORCESTERSHIRE – Don’t leave this out….it’s that secret ingredient that makes it taste so good! Soy sauce is also a decent substitute.
- BROWN SUGAR – Adds just a touch of sweetness.
- MUSTARD – For more complex savory flavor.
- CHILI POWDER – For a bit of heat! If you don’t like spicy foods at all, you can always replace this with some paprika.
Instructions to Make Homemade Sloppy Joes
COOK THE GROUND BEEF: Add the ground beef to a large skillet and brown with the onion and garlic. When the meat is no longer pink, drain any excess grease.
ADD THE OTHER INGREDIENTS: Incorporate the tomato sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire, brown sugar, chili powder, and mustard and stir until combined. Simmer on low for 5 minutes.
SEASON TO TASTE AND SERVE: Taste your homemade sloppy joe mix and add some salt and pepper if needed. Serve on hamburger buns along with your toppings of choice!
Tips for Making The Best Ground Beef Sandwich
- Toast your buns. I know it seems like an extra step, but it is so worth it. It protects the bottom bun from getting soggy so quickly and takes the sandwich to the next level.
- Add some toppings! Try a slice of cheese or pickles or both. Even slices of red onion are tasty.
- Have a roll of paper towels handy….you know you’re going to need them.
- Don’t skip the ketchup. This wouldn’t be an easy sloppy joe recipe with ketchup without, well, ketchup! Remember that you can replace it with tomato paste and sugar if you have to, but ketchup really is the best.
Uses for Homemade Sloppy Joe Mix
Don’t stop at sandwiches! There’s so much more you can do with your homemade sloppy joe mix:
- Spoon over fries or tater tots.
- Use it to top a baked potato and top it with toppings.
- Use a heaping tablespoon on top of crescent dough. Wrap up with a little cheddar and bake for 15 minutes or until golden. It’s the perfect poppable snack!
- Make it into a quesadilla instead of a sandwich.
I typically do, but it really depends on the ground beef you use. Leaner cuts have less fat, so you don’t need to worry about draining, whereas fattier varieties will require some drainage. The best (and easiest) way to remove all of that excess grease is to transfer the meat to a colander to drain. Put it back in the skillet when you’re done!
There are a few different options. Make a slurry with cornstarch or flour, or you can use potato starch. If you don’t want to add any extra ingredients, simply let your homemade sloppy joe mix simmer until it reduces.
Manwich is the brand name of the most popular store-bought sloppy joe mix. While the canned version can be used in a crunch, I definitely recommend making my homemade sloppy joes recipe instead!
There are tons of possibilities!
– Potato chips….of course!
– Old Fashioned Potato Salad
– Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad. Both are family favorites!
– And don’t forget dessert! Try these No Bake Peanut Butter Bars or these S’more Cookie Bars.
I’m sharing even more serving suggestions for this ground beef sandwich on the recipe card below.
More Sandwich Recipes To Try
- Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches
- Tuna Melt Sandwiches
- Italian Grilled Cheese Sandwich
- Grilled Buffalo Chicken Sandwich
Thanks so much for reading! Let me know what you think about my homemade sloppy joes!
Homemade Sloppy Joes
- 1 pound (500g) ground beef
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (15oz)(425g) can tomato sauce
- ¼ cup (70g) ketchup
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon prepared mustard
- Hamburger buns
- Toppings of choice: pickles, cheddar slices…
- In a large skillet brown the ground beef, onion and garlic over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain any grease. Add in the tomato sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire, brown sugar, chili powder and mustard. Stir well to combine and simmer on low for 5 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve on hamburger buns and toppings of choice.
- CROCKPOT VERSION: Brown the ground beef and add to slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Cover and cook on LOW for up to 8 hours and HIGH for 3-4 hours. The texture will be a little softer.
- FREEZER FRIENDLY: Cool completely and store in an airtight container or bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- MAKE IT YOUR OWN BY ADDING:
- chopped bell pepper
- chopped carrot
- minced celery
- bbq sauce
- cayenne pepper
- Be sure to toast your buns!
- Nutrition Facts: Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the information shown is just an estimate. Nutrition calculated without the buns.
*Originally published May 2016. Text and photos updated.*