Sloppy Joes

Aug 30, 2011 by Visual Recipes | 0 Comments| Share it:   



2 ratings


  • Prep: ~30 mins.
  • Cook: ~30 mins.
  • Serves: 5

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This is a delicious, quick and easy Sloppy Joe recipe that has just the right amount of sweetness. With this homemade Sloppy Joe recipe you can use lean ground beef or ground turkey (When you use ground turkey the sandwich is actually called a Sloppy Jane). For vegetarians wanting a made from scratch Sloppy Joe, you could probably substitute textured soy protein in place of the meat.

Sloppy Joes are an American classic. There probably isn’t a school cafeteria in the country who hasn’t had it on their menu. I know that it was my second favorite menu item at my school, the first being square shaped pizza. Also, Sloppy Joes are even pretty popular in pop culture. For those that watched Saturday Night Live you may remember that the phrase “Sloppy Joes” was the main hook of Adam Sandler’s “Lunch Lady” song that he performed with the late Chris Farley. 

A couple of interesting facts that I’ve learned about Sloppy Joes are that the sandwich is said to have been created by Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West, Fl and that in Australia they have something extremely similar to Sloppy Joes called savoury mince rolls.

If you have been wanting to learn how to make Sloppy Joes from scratch then give this recipe a try. If you have any suggestions for improvements, or if you think that you have the best Sloppy Joe recipe, please let everyone know by leaving a comment.


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (85%) or ground turkey
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp. Sriracha (more if you want it spicy)
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard
  • toasted hamburger buns

Step 1

Add the vegetable oil to a pan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and salt and stir around the pan. Reduce the heat down to medium and cover the pan with a lid. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the onions become soft.

Step 2

Take off the lid and put it aside because you won't need it anymore. Add the chopped garlic and chili powder to the onions and stir for no more than a minute.

Step 3

Add your ground beef or ground turkey, turn up the heat a bit, and use your spatula to break up the meat as it cooks. Stir the meat around and flip it as you need to.

Step 4

Once the meat is almost fully cooked and only has a very slight pinkish color you can add the brown sugar, tomato puree, ground pepper, ketchup, yellow mustard, Sriracha, and water.

Step 5

Mix everything up and let is simmer (sauce should slowly bubble) for 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened up. Be sure to stir every so often while it thickens up.
Once the sloppy joe mixture is done, toast some hamburgers buns. While I just used a basic slot toaster, you could use a buttered griddle to toast the bread for extra flavor.
Scoop a nice hefty amount of the sloppy joe mixture onto the buns. Feel free to top with cheese, pickles, a bit of mustard, etc.

Now that you have learned how to make sloppy joes, please be sure to view these other turkey recipes and these beef recipes.

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