This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

This easy homemade sloppy joes recipe delivers saucy, messy satisfaction with just simple ingredients you likely have on hand. Made with a savory tomato sauce and ground beef, it’s a family-friendly meal perfect for busy weeknights.

Much like old fashioned meatloaf, or easy Salisbury steak, this recipe transforms ground beef into a simple, comforting, delicious dinner that will leave the family fighting over the leftovers.

Homemade sloppy joes served on a bun with tater tots.
Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email below and I’ll send it straight to your inbox. Plus you’ll get great recipe ideas from me every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Why Make Homemade Sloppy Joes?

  • This classic recipe brings back childhood memories of an easy weeknight dinner. Making your own allows you to control ingredients and skip preservatives. I rank this nostalgic favorite right up there with Country Fried Steak and Beef and Noodles.
  • The sweet tomato-based sauce is so quick to throw together. Just brown the meat, stir in pantry staples and dinner is ready in 30 minutes.
  • Kids and adults alike will devour these saucy sandwiches. Serve with tater tots or fries for a meal the entire family will ask for again and again!

So skip the canned stuff and enjoy old-fashioned sloppy joe flavor from this easy homemade recipe!

Spooning homemade sloppy joe mixture onto buns.

Easy Sloppy Joe Ingredients

  • Ground beef 
  • Onion and bell pepper
  • Tomato sauce and tomato paste
  • Ketchup
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Chili powder and spices
Ingredients needed to make sloppy joes.

How to Make Sloppy Joes

Step 1: Brown the Meat

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the ground meat with onion and pepper until no longer pink. 

Step 2: Add the Sauce

Combine remaining ingredients like tomato sauce, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire and seasonings in a small bowl. Add to the ground beef mixture.

Step 3: Simmer and Serve

Simmer the sloppy joe mixture over low heat for at least ten minutes,15-20 minutes is best, to meld flavors.

Pile meat mixture onto toasted buns and enjoy!

Tips for Best Homemade Sloppy Joes

  • Use 80/20 ground beef for juicy, beefy flavor. Leaner meat dries out.
  • Add hot sauce or red pepper flakes for extra heat.
  • Sweeten to taste with brown sugar or honey.
  • Garnish with homemade dill pickles, cheese, or crispy fried onions for texture.
Homemade sloppy joes served on a bun with tater tots.


Can I use ground turkey instead?

Yes, ground turkey works well too. Because it is more lean, just be sure to not overcook it as it may taste dried out compared to the ground beef.

Do I have to use green pepper?

No, you can substitute another color bell pepper, or leave it out entirely.

What type of buns are best?

Sturdy brioche or kaiser rolls hold up well to the saucy filling, especially when toasted.

Can I make this in a slow cooker?

Yes, brown the ground beef with the onions and peppers and then cook on low 4-6 hours until beef is very tender.

How long will sloppy joes last refrigerated?

Up to 4 days in an airtight container. Reheat gently before serving.

Can I freeze leftover sloppy joe mix?

Yes, freeze cooled meat mixture up to 2-3 months. Thaw before reheating.

What sides go well with sloppy joes?

French fries, tater tots, coleslaw, baked beans or potato salad.

What condiments go well on sloppy joes?

No toppings are needed, but pickles, sliced jalapeno, sautéed mushrooms, or cheese slices all work.

Love easy ground beef dinner recipes?

You’ll definitely have to try these favorites.

Pin this now to save it for later

Pin It

Easy Sloppy Joes

Prep10 minutes
Cook25 minutes
Total35 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Load your buns up with these Easy Sloppy Joes. Ground beef, onion and bell pepper simmer in a flavorful sauce creating the ultimate family comfort food.


Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email below and I’ll send it straight to your inbox. Plus you’ll get great recipe ideas from me every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.


  • In a large skillet over medium high heat, cook onions, pepper, and ground beef until meat is slightly browned and crumbly, about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, whisk together tomato sauce, ketchup, tomato paste, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, salt, sugar, oregano, and pepper. Stir mixture into skillet with meat, onion, and bell pepper and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and allow to simmer for a minimum of 10 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
  • Spoon hot sloppy joe mixture onto buns and serve.


Store any leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate. Use within a few days. Leftovers also freeze well.


Calories: 458kcal, Carbohydrates: 32g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 24g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 80mg, Sodium: 1051mg, Potassium: 771mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 610IU, Vitamin C: 24.8mg, Calcium: 118mg, Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

This post was originally created in September 2014 and has been updated with process photos and more information to help you recreate the recipe.

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you're in the right place! Stick around... I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

You May Also Like

Leave a comment

Ask a question or leave a comment. I'm happy to help in any way and I love hearing what you think about the recipe. Be sure to leave a rating!

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  1. 5 stars
    These sloppy joes will be a new go to at our house. My kids LOVED them and I loved how simple they were to throw together!

  2. 5 stars
    Amazing! I have made this tons of times now and it never ever disappoints. Delicious! So fun to use veggies for such a tasty meal.