Skip to Content

The Best Sloppy Joe Recipe {Homemade!}

Looking for a quick and easy recipe to make with ground beef? This Best Ever Homemade Sloppy Joe recipe will impress the whole family! With a few simple ingredients, including a package of ground beef, a batch of this childhood favorite can be ready in less than 30 minutes.

Homemade old fashioned Sloppy Joe recipe

Old Fashioned Sloppy Joes Recipe

Most of us remember the messy, lick-your-fingers dish of Sloppy Joe sandwiches mom would make! She would create this family-friendly meal by cooking burger in a skillet, opening a can of “sloppy sauce”, putting that sloppy joe mixture on hamburger buns, and voila, dinner was served. 

This budget-friendly meal is perfect for busy weeknights when you don't have a lot of extra time to put together a complex dinner.

ground beef loose meat sandwich sauce

Which is Better: Homemade Sloppy Sauce or canned sauce?

For me, there is no contest when it comes to homemade Sloppy Joe sauce. Don't get me wrong, I grew up on the canned Manwich sauce as a kid. When I learned how super easy it is to make this classic sandwich with homemade sauce, it changed my view forever. 

Homemade sauce is really very easy and it tastes SO MUCH BETTER!

Start with a base of ketchup and BBQ sauce and add a few more ingredients like mustard and vinegar to give that classic tang, and brown sugar for a little sweetness.

Don't worry if you see an ingredient that you normally don't like; once they all come together, you will see they create a delicious meaty sauce.

Ground Beef is perfect for easy meal prep

What you will need to make classic sloppy joes

Simple tools and ingredients are all you need to make this American classic!


Best homemade sloppy joes

How to make this easy meal

Over medium high heat, brown ground meat and onion until cooked through. If you have excess grease, carefully remove it with a spoon.

In a separate bowl, combine the remaining sauce ingredients.

Pour the sauce mixture over the cooked meat mixture and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes until thickened.

Serve sloppy joe meat on hamburger buns or if you want to make it into smaller sandwiches, use potato dinner rolls.

Substitution Ideas:

If you do not have or do not want to use lean ground beef, you can substitute with lentils for a lentil sloppy joes dish, or try ground turkey or ground chicken.

Awesome side dishes for sloppy joes

These are some of our favorite sides to serve with this comfort food dish.

  • Tater Tots or French Fries– cook in an air fryer while your sloppy joe filling is cooking or make a comforting taco tater tot casserole!
  • Cole Slaw- try our super tasty broccoli slawit is a great recipe and just as simple to put together as this easy sloppy joe recipe.
  • Sweet Potatoes are also a nice side to enjoy. Roast potato cubes in a 425-degree oven for 20 minutes with a little bit of olive oil and a pinch of salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and chili powder, or make our shredded sweet potatoes.
  • Salad- A nice mixed green salad is always a family favorite in our house.
  • Potato Chips- simple and delicious.

This is one of my favorite ground beef recipes and the best recipe for a homemade dinner in less than 30 minutes! When your day has been a hectic one, the kids’ schedules are full of practice or homework, then pull out this recipe for the best homemade Sloppy Joes.

The Best Homemade Sloppy Joe Recipe

Yield: 6

The Best Homemade Sloppy Joe Recipe

Sloppy joe minis one slider with sweet potato fries

This super easy Homemade Sloppy Joe Recipe really is the BEST! Ready in under 30 minutes, this dish is full of sweet & tangy sauce and perfect for those "What to make for dinner?!" nights! 

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes


  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup Ketchup
  • 1/4 cup Barbecue Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp yellow mustard
  • 1/2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Worchester sauce
  • 8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 1 Tsp. pepper


  1. In a frying pan over medium-high heat, brown ground beef and onion until cooked through. 
  2. Drain fat out of pan.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining ingredients. 
  4. Pour over cooked beef and onion and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes until thickened. 
  5. Serve on hamburger buns or potato dinner rolls. 

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 262Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 806mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 21g

Did you make this recipe?

We would love for a share on Pinterest! You can also leave us a review in the recipe card. Click the buttons below to share on FACEBOOK too! Thank you!

Updated post 3/23/23

Easy Recipes for summer picnics and celebrations: A collaboration - Convos with Karen

Wednesday 26th of June 2019

[…] like sloppy joes that can stay warm in a crock pot until it’s time to eat. Either way, these homemade sloppy joes from Kelly Pugliano at Eat Picks will remind you of childhood, but they’re even better! I […]

Skip to Recipe