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Plates of Sloppy Joes on plates with chips and pickles nearby.

The Best Sloppy Joes

When it comes to easy homemade dinners, it doesn’t get any better than the best Sloppy Joes, a longtime family favorite.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 294kcal



  • 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, vinegar, Worcestershire, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste (I like 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper). 
  • Pour sauce ingredients over drained beef and stir until evenly coated. Simmer uncovered 20 minutes, stirring occasionally (cover if you prefer a sloppier Sloppy Joe). Serve in buns.



  1. Ground beef: Or substitute ground turkey or venison.
  2. Onion: Finely chopped celery and bell peppers are great too!
  3. Brown sugar: Even a tablespoon is too much for some people. If you don't like the sound of brown sugar in your Sloppy Joe, please leave it out!
  4. Worcestershire sauce: In a pinch, you can substitute soy sauce.
  5. Yield: This recipe makes 4 to 6 cups of Sloppy Joe meat mixture, enough for 8 heaping sandwiches.
  6. Storage: Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  7. Freezer: Cool completely, then add to freezer containers (one big batch or individual portions), label and date, and freeze for up to 4 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.


Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 294kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 40mg | Sodium: 412mg | Potassium: 292mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 77IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 3mg