Get ready to ditch the canned sauce because today we are whipping up Homemade Sloppy Joes that are a total game-changer. Imagine a mouth-watering, saucy delight, bursting with flavors, that’s both easy and quick to make. Perfect for those busy weeknights or when you’re craving something comforting and utterly delicious.
Why You’ll Love This Easy Dinner Idea
- Healthier Options: You can opt for leaner meats, lower sodium, and fresh ingredients, making it a better choice than pre-made sauces or mixes.
- Fun and Easy: Sloppy Joes are super simple to make, making them perfect for a fun cooking session, even with kids.
- Budget-Friendly: Using simple, affordable ingredients, homemade Sloppy Joes are kind to your wallet while being a crowd-pleaser.
I have always been a fan of Manwich and their sloppy joes sauce. It’s one of those classic comfort foods from the 90’s that we all grew up with. Unfortunately for me, my husband and child have never been fans. Until now, that is. This homemade version has passed the test of even the pickiest eaters and is now a staple on our monthly menu. My teen, who despises ketchup, even declared this the “best sloppy joes.”
Imagine a thick, hearty sauce, rich with a perfect blend of sweet and tangy flavors, hugging chunks of tender, savory ground meat. Each bite is a delightful dance of classic ketchup and mustard, with hints of onion and garlic playing in the background, all rounded out by a touch of brown sugar sweetness. The texture is wonderfully messy and satisfying – a bit of crunch from the onions, the softness of the meat, all piled high on a soft, warm bun. It’s a symphony of familiar, comforting flavors that come together to create a dish that’s both unpretentious and irresistibly delicious.
Sloppy Joes ingredients
This loose meat sandwich is exactly as the same suggests, sloppy. It’s an easy meal that gives you a pile of ground beef in the most flavor packed sauce and eaten on your favorite buns. All around a winner and even freezer friendly. Here is a quick breakdown of the simple ingredients:
- Ground Beef: I use lean ground beef. It packs a meaty punch without being overshadowed by excess fat. This means the spices and sauce get to shine, making each bite a flavor fiesta!
- Onion and Green Pepper: Onions and green peppers add depth to the taste. The onion brings a subtle sweetness and savoriness, while the green pepper adds a fresh, slightly tangy note. Together, they create a flavor profile that’s way more interesting than just meat and sauce.
- Garlic: Garlic has this magical ability to tie together the different flavors in the dish – the meat, the veggies, and the sauce – creating a harmonious and mouth-watering blend. Fresh works best but you can use garlic powder in a pinch.
- Ketchup: Ketchup provides that classic, beloved sweet and tangy flavor that’s essential to the Sloppy Joe sauce. It’s the backbone of that signature taste we all crave.
- Worcestershire Sauce: If your sauce is skewing too sweet, a splash of Worcestershire can cut through that, bringing a balanced and rounded flavor.
- Mustard: I like to use yellow mustard but you can definitely use Dijon mustard for a little more kick.
- Seasonings: Salt and black pepper and brown sugar, which is perfect for smoothing out the tanginess of the tomatoes and vinegar, as well as mellowing any spicy heat.
Sloppy Joe Sauce Recipe
Ready to see just how easy this homemade sloppy joes recipe really is? Let’s dive in.
- PREP: Chop the onion and green bell pepper into small pieces.
- MEAT: Add them both to a large deep skillet with the ground beef over medium heat. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the ground beef is cooked through and the vegetables are soft. Drain off the grease and then stir in the garlic and cook one minute more.
- SIMMER: Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a strong simmer and allow the meat mixture to cook for 20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened but is still juicy.
- ENJOY: Serve the mixture on your bun of choice. We like a classic hamburger bun or brioche bun.
Easy peasy! The leftover sloppy joe meat stores extremely well making any leftovers disappear in minutes!
For your classic sloppy joes, having the right tools can make your cooking experience smoother and more enjoyable. Here’s a list of kitchen essentials that’ll help you master this recipe:
- Large Skillet or Frying Pan: Key for browning the meat and simmering the sauce.
- Wooden Spoon or Spatula: Perfect for stirring and breaking up the meat.
- Measuring Cups and Spoons: For precise ingredient measurements.
- Garlic Press: To easily mince garlic, if you’re using fresh cloves.
- Cutting Board: A must-have for chopping onions or any other veggies.
Absolutely! Ground turkey or chicken works great for a leaner option. Just keep the flavors bold!
It’s all about balance – a good mix of sweet, tangy, and savory. Brown sugar, mustard, and ketchup are key players.
Definitely! They actually taste better the next day as the flavors meld together. Just reheat before serving.
Stored in an airtight container, it’ll last 3-4 days in the fridge.
Yes, it freezes beautifully! Store in freezer-safe bags or containers for up to 3 months.
Add some heat with chili powder or jalapeños, or try a smoky twist with smoked paprika.
Let it simmer uncovered for a bit longer, or add a small amount of tomato paste to thicken it up.
Soft buns like brioche or hamburger buns are perfect. Toasting them adds a nice touch!
Easy Sloppy Joes
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 cup green bell pepper chopped
- 3/4 cup onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- Add the chopped pepper and onion to a large deep skillet with the ground beef over medium heat.
- Cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the ground beef is cooked through and the vegetables are soft.
- Drain off the grease and then stir in the garlic and cook one minute more.
- Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a strong simmer and allow the meat mixture to cook for 20 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened but is still juicy.
- Serve the mixture on your bun of choice. We like a classic hamburger bun or brioche bun.