Sloppy Joe Sandwiches

| January 30, 2012 | 7 Comments

Sloppy Joe Sandwiches
Here’s a quick and easy comfort food recipe that makes some great sandwiches.  I’ve loved a good
Sloppy Joe sandwich since my early days in school.  Say what you want about school lunches, but
I always seemed to enjoy mine.  I especially enjoyed the Yeast Rolls they served and they were
even better on the days they used them as buns for Sloppy Joes.

I’m going to try and re-create those Yeast Rolls one day soon so watch for it.  Our school made
these rolls practically every day of the school year.  Sometimes they were just bread with our meals
and then some days they would be hamburger buns, pizza crust or the buns for Sloppy Joes.

It’s been quite some time since I’ve made Sloppy Joes from scratch.  It’s too easy to buy that mix that comes in the can these days.  And, I have to admit that it’s not all that bad.  It’s just….these are BETTER.

Sloppy Joes are really easy to prepare and perfect for a quick and easy lunch or dinner meal.  They are
great when the kids have friends over, or when everyone gathers around the TV for a big game.

You can serve them on store bought hamburger type buns or perhaps make “sliders” out of them by
using packaged dinner rolls as buns.  You can also make them a little more “grown-up” if you bake up
some homemade rolls of your own like those school Yeast Rolls or some crusty bread type of roll.

Ready to give them a try?  A printable version of the recipe follows the step-by-step photos.

Let’s Get Cooking!


Sloppy Joe Sandwich ingredients
You’ll need these ingredients.  I’m using Ground Beef with an 80/20 fat content.  I’m also using some
frozen chopped bell peppers that I keep in the freezer for just such purposes.


Chop some onions.
Begin by chopping up about one half of a small to medium sized Onion.


Either chop up about 1/2 cup of fresh bell pepper or, if you have it in your freezer, measure out
1/2 cup of what you already have.

Bell Peppers get up to around $1.78 EACH sometimes during the winter months around here.
I can usually find them around 5 for $1.00 during the summer when they are coming fresh
out of the gardens so I stock up.  I chop them up, and then freeze them in Ziploc type bags for later.
It’s thrifty and convenient at the same time.  Try it.


Place ground beef in the pan.
Place your large skillet on medium heat and then add your ground beef.


Stir the beef as it cooks.
I used a wooden spoon to start breaking up the hunk of beef and stirring it as it begins to brown.


Beef as it begins to brown.
When it gets mostly brown, check to see how much fat (grease) you have in your pan.  Mine had
hardly any at all.  You don’t want a lot of grease but you do need about 2 or 3 tablespoons of it.  If
your ground beef has produced a lot of fat, use a spoon and scoop some of it out or carefully pour
it out of your pan.


Add the chopped bell pepper.
Add in the chopped Bell Peppers.


Add the chopped onions.
Add the chopped Onions.


Stir the mixture.
Stir it all up real good.  Don’t let the meat stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.  Simmer over
medium heat for about 5 minutes, letting the onions begin to turn translucent.


Add granulated garlic powder.
Sprinkle in the 1/2 teaspoon of Granulated Garlic Powder.


Add the chili powder.
Sprinkle in the 1/2 teaspoon of Chili Powder.


Add tomato sauce.
Add the 8oz. can of Tomato Sauce.


Add ketchup
Then add in the 1/4th cup of Ketchup.


Stir the mixture.
Give it another good stir.


Add some water.
Add the 1/2 cup of water.


Add some mustard.
Add 1 teaspoon of Mustard, the regular old yellow stuff in the bottle.


Sprinkle in some black pepper.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper.


Add the brown sugar.
Finally, add the 2 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar.  Give it all another good stir.


Stir and let simmer.
Reduce the heat down to medium-low and let it all simmer for about 20-25 minutes.  You’ll need
to stir it every once in awhile and make sure it’s not sticking to the bottom of the pan.  You
shouldn’t have a problem with sticking if you have the heat turned down to a proper simmer.

Let the juices reduce down but don’t let it get all dried out.  You need some good juice…thus the
“Sloppy” part of the name.  If it’s too watery, it will just soak down your buns and that want
be good….soaked buns that is. (Smile)  It’s not necessary to cover the pot while it simmers either.

When it’s cooked down to your liking, remove from heat and serve immediately.  It will cool down
rather quickly once it’s out of the pan so you need to have everything else ready to go at this point.


Serve on bread of choice and Enjoy.



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Sloppy Joes

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish, Beef
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American


Here’s a quick and easy comfort food recipe that makes some great sandwiches. I’ve loved a good Sloppy Joe Sandwich since my early days in school. Say what you want about school lunches, but I always enjoyed mine. I especially enjoyed the Yeast Rolls they served and they were even better on the days they used them as buns for Sloppy Joes.



  • 1 – pound of Ground Beef
  • 1/2 – small Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 – cup of Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 – teaspoon of Granulated Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 – teaspoon of Chili Powder
  • 18oz. can of Tomato Sauce
  • 1/4 – cup of bottled Ketchup
  • 1/2 – cup of Water
  • 1 – teaspoon of Mustard, the yellow kind in the bottle
  • 1/2 – teaspoon of Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 – Tablespoons of Brown Sugar


  1. Chop the Onion and the Bell Peppers.
  2. Place the Ground Beef in a large skillet on medium heat.
  3. Use a fork or spoon to chop up and separate the beef, stirring as you go.
  4. When the beef has browned, add the Bell Peppers
  5. Add the chopped Onions and stir it all up. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring as you go.
  6. Add Granulated Garlic Powder
  7. Add Chili Powder
  8. Add Tomato Sauce
  9. Add Ketchup and stir it again until it’s all mixed well.
  10. Add Water
  11. Add Mustard
  12. Add Black Pepper
  13. Add Brown Sugar and stir it all again.
  14. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes. You’ll need to stir it about every 5 minutes and watch for the level of the liquids to reduce sufficiently. Don’t let it get too dry, you want it to be juicy but not watery, sloppy and not dry.
  15. Spoon the meat mixture over hamburger buns and Enjoy. Add cheese if you’re really adventuresome.


The meat mixture will cool pretty quickly once it’s removed from the heat. Serve it as soon as possible. If you leave it on the heat, it might dry out; add a little more water if needed but…not too much or you will water down the flavors. Enjoy!!!

Keywords: Sloppy Joe Sandwiches, made from scratch, homemade, school recipes, southern recipes


Your Comments:

We’d love to hear from you if you try our recipes.  Please feel free to leave your comments in the section below.  Did you have these when you were in school?  Let us hear from you.

Be Blessed!!!


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Category: Beef, Main Dishes

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (7)

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  1. Robin Greeley says:

    Great sloppy joe recipe!! Thank you!!

  2. cynthia says:

    Just made these for dinner, they were pretty good. I doubled the recipe all except for the brown sugar and ketchup, I was afraid it might make it to sweet. Every one seemed to enjoy them. Thanks, cynthia

  3. Melinda Robinson says:

    Love your recipes!!! I can hardly write them down fast enough. My dear mom would make sloppy Joe’s very much like yours but she would always add a can of chicken gumbo soup. Her six children loved it. Oh, and she added a spoonful of coleslaw on top when she served them. Yum!!

  4. Kim Key says:

    I was thinking of using your recipe to make sloppy joes tonight, but I have a question. You do not drain your hamburger meat or is that just a given that you just always drain it? Thank you, and by the way, I am so happy that I found your site. You have made my life a lot easier.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Kim, I’m thankful you’ve found Taste of Southern, and I appreciate your question.

      I didn’t have enough fat (grease) after cooking the meat that required me to drain any off. It will really depend on the meat to fat ratio of what you’re using. You would like to keep a small amount of the fat, but if you think it’s too much, or more than you’d like, by all means drain it off. You could certainly just drain it all off anyway if you’d like to remove as much fat as possible.

      I hope this helps. Let me know if you make the Sloppy Joe Sandwiches. I do appreciate your visit and trust you’ll stop by for another visit with us… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  5. cathy mashburn says:

    love your web site !!! thank you for sharing can’t wait to try these awesome recipes.I loved school food too! thanks Steve

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Thank you for your comments Cathy, I’m glad you stopped by. Let me know if you try a recipe, I’ll be looking forward to hearing how it turns out. Be Blessed!!! –Steve

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