One Pot Sloppy Joe Casserole Recipe

An easy recipe for Sloppy Joe Casserole, perfect for those times when you want to eat Sloppy Joes on a fork instead of on a bun. Based on my wildly popular Sloppy Joe recipe, it's made all in one pot and ready in 30 minutes or less, start to finish. 

My original Sloppy Joes are delicious too, or try my favorite Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes. Round out your menu with a simple salad such as my Strawberry Spinach Salad or easy Garden Salad, or just roast some broccoli or cauliflower.

An easy recipe for Sloppy Joe Casserole, perfect for those times when you want to eat Sloppy Joes on a fork instead of on a bun. Based on my wildly popular Sloppy Joes recipe, it's made all in one pot and ready in 30 minutes or less, start to finish. Perfect for busy weeknights and wickedly delicious!
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Whether you are wearing a white shirt, or your kids have small hands, sometimes you just don't want to pick up a giant, messy sandwich.

You could eat your Sloppy Joes open-faced, sure, with a fork and knife. But it just feels wrong, doesn't it? Better to swap out the bun for noodles.

Why are they called Sloppy Joes?

According to legends, Sloppy Joes are the offspring of Iowa's famous Loose Meat Sandwiches. An enterprising cook named Joe, at Floyd Angell's cafe in Sioux City, Iowa, added tomato sauce to his version of Loose Meat Sandwiches.

It’s easy to see why people have loved Sloppy Joes. It’s simply a thrifty, filling, and delicious meal. Swapping out the buns for noodles makes it even easier to eat, especially if you don't have buns around.

Sloppy Joe Casserole ingredients:

Here’s what you need to skip the Manwich:

  • Ground beef. Or ground turkey.
  • Onion. My mom always adds finely chopped celery, too.
  • Tomato sauce. Canned tomato sauce is perfect.
  • Ketchup.
  • Brown sugar. Because it tastes so good!
  • Ground mustard. (An equal amount of Dijon mustard works if you don’t have it.)
  • White vinegar.
  • Worcestershire sauce. This fermented British condiment, packed with umami flavors, is your sloppy Joe secret weapon. Just a little bit gives the sauce extra body and makes it rich and savory.
  • Pasta. I like curly rotini, but any small pasta will do.
  • Chicken broth. Or water is fine too.

How do you make Sloppy Joe Casserole?

  1. Brown the beef and onions, then drain the fat if you want.
  2. Stir in a mixture of tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce.
  3. Add pasta and chicken broth, bring to a boil, and simmer until the noodles are tender.

An easy recipe for Sloppy Joe Casserole, perfect for those times when you want to eat Sloppy Joes on a fork instead of on a bun. Based on my wildly popular Sloppy Joes recipe, it's made all in one pot and ready in 30 minutes or less, start to finish. Perfect for busy weeknights and wickedly delicious!

Sloppy Joe swaps:

  • Bread crumb topping. Just like baked mac and cheese, Sloppy Joe Casserole is fancy with a buttery crumb crust. Transfer the finished casserole to a baking dish, add your buttered crumbs, and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
  • Cheese on top. Sprinkle the top of your finished casserole with shredded cheddar, then cover until melted through, about 5 minutes.
  • Sloppy Joe Casserole with BBQ sauce. Your favorite barbecue sauce can be added in place of ketchup for a sweet and smoky taste.
  • Mix up the meat. Sub in ground turkey, chicken, or lamb. Got a venison connection? By all means, get wild and use it.
  • More veggies. Diced bell peppers, extra onion, shredded zucchini, even garlic make this simple recipe a little more unique. Your kids won't even know!
  • Tomato soup. A can of tomato soup can be added to the ground meat if that’s what you have. Add a little extra ketchup to give it some extra tomato flavor.
  • Spicy. If you love some heat, throw in a tablespoon of ancho chili powder, a teaspoon of ground cumin, or a couple of chipotle chilies in adobo. Don't forget to pass the hot sauce, too!
  • Wine is fine. As it does in a bolognese sauce, a splash of wine adds a wonderful depth of flavor and some acidity. Use it in place of some of the chicken broth. Don’t worry, the alcohol will cook out over time.
  • No sugar Sloppy Joe casserole. Leave the sugar out, and make this recipe with no-sugar-added ketchup. If you want a little sweetness, try monk fruit sugar or a tiny bit of honey.

How to freeze and reheat Sloppy Joe Casserole:

  1. Cool the finished casserole, then wrap tightly in foil and plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 2 months. If possible, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
  2. To reheat when thawed, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the casserole in foil and reheat until it reaches 165 degrees, about 30 minutes.
  3. To reheat straight from the freezer, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the casserole in foil and reheat until it reaches 165 degrees, about 45 minutes to an hour.
5 from 2 votes

One Pot Sloppy Joe Casserole Recipe

An easy recipe for Sloppy Joe Casserole, perfect for those times when you want to eat Sloppy Joes on a fork instead of on a bun. Based on my wildly popular Sloppy Joes recipe, it's made all in one pot and ready in 30 minutes or less, start to finish.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword ground beef
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 408kcal
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1 pound rotini pasta
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley chopped, for garnish (optional)
  • In a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, combine beef and onion. Cook until the meat is mostly browned, about 5 minutes. Drain well.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk together tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  • Pour sauce ingredients over drained beef and stir until evenly coated. Add broth and pasta. Bring to a boil, and cook until pasta is tender, about 10-12 minutes. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve.

Recipe Notes

How to freeze and reheat Sloppy Joe Casserole:
    1. Cool the finished casserole, then wrap tightly in foil and plastic wrap. Freeze for up to 2 months. If possible, thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
    2. To reheat when thawed, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the casserole in foil and reheat until it reaches 165 degrees, about 30 minutes. 
    3. To reheat straight from the freezer, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the casserole in foil and reheat until it reaches 165 degrees, about 45 minutes to an hour.

Nutrition

Calories: 408kcal

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  1. Meredith McGrath

    I received this email in an eblast right before dinner. I made it, which was super quick and easy. The whole family loved it and requested it on the “rotation”. Thanks!5 stars

    1. Meggan

      Wow! I’m so glad everyone loved it! -Meggan

  2. Dan Olsen

    Why do you drain the hamburger after onions onions were in it.? One just lost all that flavor.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to cook them separate then drain hamburger and combine?

    1. meggan

      Hi Dan, I’m actually a fan of NOT draining it at all because the fat has a lot of flavor. However, I also think the beef gets some of the flavor from the onion. I think overall cooking them separately would be a barrier to people who want easy recipes. You are clearly a go-to cook who is willing to take extra steps like that which I appreciate. I’ll put this on the list to test both ways (cooking them separately, cooking it as written) and compare the flavor. The first step I will take, though, is to make the draining step optional. Personally I wouldn’t do that, having gone to culinary school. But, I wrote this recipe before that so I didn’t know at the time. I appreciate your feedback! I look forward to finding out how different they taste. Thanks for the suggestion! -Meggan

  3. David Barlev

    Great recipe!5 stars

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