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Sloppy Joes

Loaded with rich ground beef, sweet tomatoes, and tangy mustard in soft buns, these Sloppy Joes are a hearty and comforting sandwich. They’re packed with spice and umami and are so easy to make. 

A plate with a sloppy joe sandwich and potatoe chips


Sloppy joes are a classic food for a reason. What’s not to love about a sandwich overflowing with beef, tomatoes, and onions? This is my favorite sloppy joe recipe because it’s so easy to make, and is full of beefy flavor. The meat is seasoned with mustard, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce, making it spicy, tangy, and full of umami. 

This recipe is a crowd-pleaser. Kids and adults love it, and it works as a fun weekend treat or an easy weeknight dinner. It only takes half an hour to make, and it’s packed with protein. You’ve got to try it! 

Why These Are the Best Homemade Sloppy Joes 

I make these beefy sandwiches anytime I’m craving comfort food. Here’s why I know you’ll love them as much as I do.

  • Quick and easy. This is such a simple recipe to make. It only takes 30 minutes, and it uses ingredients that you’re likely to already have in your kitchen. The instructions are so simple that you can practically make these spicy sloppy joes in your sleep.
  • Perfect for parties. I love to make homemade sloppy joe sandwiches for parties. Whether it’s a Super Bowl party or a kid’s birthday, these sandwiches will be a hit. Everyone likes them, and it’s so easy to double or triple the recipe. You can keep the sloppy joe mixture warm in a slow cooker and fill your table with condiments, and people can serve themselves sandwiches whenever they want. 
  • Mess-free. These sandwiches may be a little bit messy to eat, but they’re not messy to make. This is my favorite kind of meal: a one-pan meal. You won’t dirty up your kitchen with multiple pots, pans, and mixing bowls. 
Overhead view of the ingredients needed for sloppy joes: a bowl of ground beef, a pyrex of tomato sauce, a bowl of onions, a bowl of mustard, a bowl of Worcestershire sauce, a bowl of sugar, a salt grinder, and a pepper grinder

Ingredients Needed

Here are the 9 ingredients you’ll need to make this easy and super meaty sandwich. Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the page for the exact amounts for each ingredient.

  • Ground beef – It’s best to use lean ground beef for this recipe.
  • Onion – I use a yellow onion for this recipe, but a white or red onion will work, too. 
  • Tomato sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce – This will make the sloppy joes taste extra beefy. 
  • Granulated sugar
  • Yellow mustard
  • Salt
  • Black pepper – Always use freshly cracked pepper.
  • Hamburger buns 

How to Make Sloppy Joes

These savory sandwiches really couldn’t be any easier to make. Here’s how to do it. 

  • Cook the beef and onions. Add the ground beef and chopped onions to a skillet and cook until the beef is browned and the onions are soft.
Raw beef and onions being mixed together in a skillet
  • Drain. Pour off any excess beef grease from the pan. 
  • Add the other ingredients. Put the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper in the skillet and stir to combine.
  • Cook. Simmer the sloppy joe mixture until the sauce thickens, which should take 10-15 minutes.
  • Season. Taste the sloppy joes and add more salt or pepper if needed. 
  • Serve. Spoon the mixture onto hamburger buns, and eat while hot. 

Tricks and Tips

Here are a few tricks and tips to use when making this hearty sloppy joe recipe. 

  • Toast the buns. I like to toast my hamburger buns before serving these sandwiches. Toasting the buns will keep them from getting as soggy when you add the juicy sloppy joe mixture. Plus, if you toast your buns in a skillet with oil or butter, you’ll add some extra flavor.
  • Brown the beef. Make sure to really brown the beef when you’re cooking it. When you brown beef, you add a lot of flavor to the meat. Get the beef nice and brown instead of grey, and your sloppy joes will have so much more flavor.
  • Use a crock pot to keep warm. The best way to serve sloppy joes is in a slow cooker turned to the warm setting. This will keep the mixture warm and the perfect texture for hours.
  • Add any ingredients you like. This is a perfect sloppy joe recipe, but feel free to adjust it based on your tastes. You can add chili flakes if you want extra heat or herbs like thyme and rosemary to make the flavors more complex. Lots of people like bell peppers, add them when you add the onions. Lots of possibilities!

What to Serve With This Easy Sloppy Joes Recipe

Since this is a classic American sandwich, I like to serve it alongside some classic sides. You can’t go wrong by serving beefy sloppy joes with these side dishes. 

A sloppy joe sandwich on a plate with chips and a kiwi

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

Leftover sloppy joe mixture can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat, cook on the stove over medium, while stirring frequently, until warm all the way through. This should take about 5 minutes. You can also reheat in the microwave in 20-second increments. Make sure to store the mixture by itself, and only put it on the buns when you’re ready to eat. 

Can You Freeze This Recipe?

Yes, you can absolutely freeze leftover sloppy joe mixture. Make sure it’s completely cool, then add it to an airtight container and store in the freezer for 3 months. Thaw or defrost the sloppy joes before reheating, and then assemble your sandwiches. 

More Easy Sandwiches

Is there anything better than a delicious and easy-to-make sandwich? I sure don’t think so! Here are some more of my favorite recipes. 

Yield: 4

Sloppy Joes

Close up of a sloppy joe sandwich on a plate with chips

Packed with beef, tomatoes, onions, and mustard, these sloppy joes are rich and meaty. They're an easy one-pan meal, and only take half an hour to make.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns


  1. In a large skillet, cook the ground beef and onion until the beef is browned and fully cooked, and the onion is soft.
  2. Drain the grease from the skillet.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper to the skillet, and stir to combine.
  4. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  5. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasonings if necessary, then serve on hamburger buns.


  • Store leftover sloppy joe mixture in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days or in the freezer for 3 months. Reheat over medium heat on the stove, or in the microwave in 20-second increments.
  • For best results, toast the hamburger buns before serving.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 426Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 101mgSodium 1218mgCarbohydrates 32gFiber 2gSugar 9gProtein 38g

Nutrition Disclaimer: All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on should only be used as a general guideline.

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Monday 2nd of October 2023

This was a huge hit at my house! Such a really comforting meal!


Friday 29th of September 2023

These look amazing! I make sloppy Joes all the time, but it's always from the can. I can't wait to make a homemade version.

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