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5 from 2 votes

Best Homemade Sloppy Joes

Our easy Homemade Sloppy Joes are made from scratch in under 30 minutes for satisfying, saucy dinner sandwiches that the whole family loves! Pile the meat on your favorite soft buns and get ready to get messy with this classic comfort food!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 390kcal
Author: Amy Nash


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (85/15 or higher)
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • ½ red, yellow, orange, or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup beef broth or water
  • cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes


  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the ground beef, breaking it up into large chunks, but leaving it alone otherwise for a minute or two to sear on the bottom. Once the ground beef has started to develop a crust on the bottom, continue to break it up and cook until browned through. Drain off excess grease, if necessary.
  • Add the onion, chopped bell pepper, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper, then cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened.
  • Add tomato sauce, beef broth or water, ketchup, tomato paste, mustard, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, chili powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin, and red pepper flakes. Mix until combined.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened but saucy.
  • Serve on your favorite buns. A slice of cheese and pickles on top are optional, but delicious!



  • Healthier version: These could also be made with ground turkey, ground chicken, or ground bison for a healthier option. 
  • Slow cooker sloppy joes: Brown meat, onions, and peppers, then add sauce ingredients and spices and cook for 2 hours on low.
  • Instant pot sloppy joes: Brown the meat and saute the onions and peppers in the Instant Pot using the saute feature just as you would on the stove. Then add all of the sauce ingredients and spices and close and secure the lid. Make sure the valve is set to "seal" and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes, followed by a quick release. If your sauce is still too thin, turn the instant pot back onto saute mode and simmer for a few minutes until it thickens to your liking.
  • Storage: You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Freezing: This meat freezes well. Let it cool first than transfer to ziploc bags and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight and reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop, adding a little water to thin it out, if needed.
  • The nutrition facts are calculated without the bun.


Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 1065mg | Potassium: 540mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 872IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 3mg