This post may contain affiliate links for your convenience. Read our disclosure policy.
Homemade, delicious, and easy to make, these sloppy joes are perfect for busy weeknights or for when you need to get dinner on the table fast. Just a few simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry are required.
When I was growing up I hated when my mom made sloppy joes, but only because of the simple fact that they were messy. It had absolutely nothing to do with the flavor, I just simply hated having it drip all over the place. As an adult though? I can totally appreciate all the reasons my mom would make sloppy joes.
Sloppy joes are inexpensive, fast, delicious, and super easy to make. Are they sloppy? Yes. But I’m a much more careful eater as an adult. Ok, that last statement might not be 100% truthful, considering over the weekend my husband and I went out to eat and I spilled tomatillo sauce all down my shirt.
I will also admit, that up until a few years ago I truthfully had no idea that people made homemade sloppy joes. I always thought if you wanted sloppy joes, you had to buy the store-bought sauce. That is so NOT true.
What is true though, is this homemade sloppy joe recipe is actually better than using the store-bought sloppy joe sauce in a can. No joke. And would you believe that sloppy joes from scratch are incredibly easy to make? You probably have every single ingredient already in your fridge and pantry.
What’s in Homemade Sloppy Joe Sauce?
To make sloppy joes at home, you’ll need a pound of ground beef, mince onion and garlic, a small can of tomato sauce, a few tbsp of tomato paste, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, seasonings, and brown sugar. Putting everything together is simple and you’ll have homemade sloppy joes on the table in no time.
How to Make Homemade Sloppy Joes Recipe
First, brown the ground beef in a large skillet. Cook the beef on medium-high heat with a little bit of butter for the most flavor, but you could also use olive oil for a lighter option.
When the beef is cooked about half way through, add in the minced garlic and onion. This really brings out the most flavor! Once finished cooking, drain off the excess grease.
In a small bowl combine 8 oz tomato sauce, 2 tbsp tomato paste, 2 tsp yellow mustard, 1/4 cup brown sugar, salt, pepper, onion powder, paprika, and 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce. Pour the mixture over the cooked ground beef and stir everything together.
Bring the homemade sloppy joe meat to a low boil and immediately reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the sloppy joes simmer for a few minutes to thicken and reduce.
While the sloppy joe meat mixture is thickening, prepare the hamburger buns. We like to spread a bit of butter on the buns and add some garlic salt. Toast the buns in a pan set on high heat for about a minute. This gives the sloppy joes sandwich even more flavor!
What to serve with homemade sloppy joes
We like to eat our sloppy joe with a slice of onion and a dill pickle. Here are some side dish options that go well with this easy sloppy joe recipe too.
- Sugar Free Broccoli Salad
- Oven Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Rainbow Honey Lime Fruit Salad
- Cheesy Cauliflower Casserole
- Easy Oven Roasted Broccoli and Cauliflower
Don’t forget to pin it!
Easy Homemade Sloppy Joes
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 cup onion finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 8 oz tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp yellow mustard
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 4 hamburger buns
- In a large saute pan, heat butter over medium low heat. Add ground beef, onion and garlic and cook until beef is completely cooked through. Drain off excess fat.
- While meat is cooking, whisk together tomato sauce, paste, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, yellow mustard and seasonings in a medium bowl.
- Pour mixture over meat and mix in well. Bring pan to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes until heated through.
- Serve with pickles, onion and cheese if desired on hamburger buns.
- Optional–brown hamburger buns in butter on a hot pan before serving for extra flavor