Easy Sloppy Joes Recipe

5 from 11 votes

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This Homemade Sloppy Joes recipe is better than any package of sloppy joe mix and you’ll even have a few bucks leftover for dessert.

Sloppy Joe plated with chips and salad pm table
Homemade Sloppy Joes are better than any sloppy Joe mix!

Homemade Sloppy Joes

I don’t know of many kids who don’t like a good helping of Sloppy Joe, or if you prefer, Sloppy Joes. Singular or plural, it’s the same delicious meal when it comes to making this Homemade Sloppy Joes recipe. Or these Sloppy Joe Hand Pies.

Legend has it that the sloppy joe sandwich as we know it has its origins in Sioux City, Iowa.  It seems there that back in the 1930s,  a local cook named Joe came up with the template of this taste of Americana with his tomato-based “loose meat” sandwich. Talk about humble beginnings.

Surely Joe had no idea that his kitchen creation would be destined to become ubiquitous with classic American cuisine.

Interestingly enough, in America’s heartland of Wisconsin, Sloppy Joes are often referred to as Spanish hamburgers. This fact was made known to me tonight, and after asking a couple of cheesehead friends, I was told that this is indeed the case.

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Homemade Sloppy Joe Ingredients:

  • Ground beef
  • Sweet onion
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Brown sugar
  • Garlic or garlic powder (or both)
  • Sweet bell pepper (Optional)
3 Sloppy Joe Sandwiches on board behind plated Joe with chips

Coming off the recent flavor high that was provided by our Simple Goulash Recipe just a few days ago, I was generous with the amount of onions that I added to this one-pot wonder recipe. I have had sloppy Joes, made from a seasoning packet, numerous times.

There is no comparison, in taste or flavor, of those processed envelopes of seasoning and this made from scratch Easy Sloppy Joes Recipe. We served these beauties with slices of Provolone cheese, bread and butter pickles, and chips and salad.

Give this simple and flavorful recipe a try. You won ‘t believe how delicious it is to enjoy!

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A plate of Sloppy Joe, chips and salad in front of 3 Joes on a board

Homemade Sloppy Joes

5 from 11 votes
A delicious, made from scratch version of a true taste of Americana.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Yield: 6 people


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 sweet onions, medium-size, coarse chop
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarse chop
  • 1/2 bell pepper, fine chop
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 lbs ground beef, lean
  • 1.5 cups ketchup
  • 2 tbsp mustard
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 6 hamburgr buns, toasted lightly in oven.
  • 2 tbsp butter


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, sautée onions and stir until wilted and light brown, about 5 minutes. Add diced pepper and garlic and continue to saute until pepper is softened. Add the ground beef and brown, drain off liquid from pain.
  • Stir in the mustard, garlic powder, brown sugar and  ketchup,  mix thoroughly. Reduce heat, and then simmer for about 20 minutes or until ready to serve.
  • Butter the hamburger buns and place under oven broiler for 2 minutes, just before serving.


Calories: 695kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 32g, Fat: 40g, Saturated Fat: 15g, Cholesterol: 117mg, Sodium: 961mg, Potassium: 836mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 21g, Vitamin A: 735IU, Vitamin C: 21.5mg, Calcium: 139mg, Iron: 5.1mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Dinner, lunch
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @plattertalk or tag #plattertalk!
A close up of Sloppy Joe plate with pickle, chips and salad

Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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5 from 11 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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  1. 5 stars
    Can you believe it but I’ve never actually tri d sloppy joes! But they look so cozy and satisfying! I can just imagine eating them on a patio during summer!

  2. I adore sloppy Joes and have one coming up on the blog, my dad always waxed poetic about the ones my grandmother made during the depression!

  3. Believe it or not…I’ve actually never had a sloppy joe (shameful, I know) I never knew these were called spanish hamburgers so you weren’t the only one who hadn’t heard that! You make it look so simple I feel like I have to try making them now!

    1. Too funny, Fiona! I hope you try these soon, you won’t ever forget how great they taste!

  4. I’ve always wondered if there was a story behind the creation of sloppy joes! 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Never tried Sloppy Joes but seeing that it’s a trademark dish going back to 1930’s, I would love to give a go!

  6. We love Sloppy Joes sandwiches. We grew up eating them and this reminds us of our childhood. Love the sweet bell peppers added in them. Great recipe – thanks!

  7. I really would like some of this right now. I find Sloppy Joes delicious and just reminds me of birthday parties and guests. I think I will need to try your recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    I was interested to read the history of Sloppy Joes. I had them first at a friend’s house whose Mom called them ‘Sloppy Sams’ as my Dad’s name was Joe! Your recipe sounds delicious – so much nicer than a packet!