Best Ever Sloppy Joes
Best Ever Sloppy Joes

The Best Sloppy Joes Ever! These cook in a pot with minced meat, onions, garlic, carrots and celery in a sweet and sour tomato sauce. Served intentionally messy, over hamburger buns.

Just hearing the words “sloppy joes” from my mom used to get us kids excited. It was wonderfully fun to eat a burger/sandwich that was inherently messy.

After my nephew explained to me that he doesn’t like tomatoes with his hamburger and he wanted his onions on top, I explained to him that sloppy joes are made by mixing the onions with the beef. And he’s eating spaghetti, so what’s wrong with tomatoes?

He gave in.

When he was called to dinner, he ate the whole thing (and loved it)!

Video: Easy Sloppy Joes Recipe


How to make Sloppy Joes

What is a Sloppy Joe?

It’s a mess. On purpose. Although it is in a bun, it must be eaten with a fork.

How to make Sloppy Joes

What makes this Sloppy Joe so special is that I start with a mirepoix, or sautéed chopped carrots, onions, and celery. Then I brown the ground beef and pull it all together with a heavily flavored tomato sauce. It’s one of my favorite recipes on the site. I hope you like it too!

Tips for making the best sloppy joes

  • Prepare vegetables in a food processor: Make prep a breeze by roughly chopping the onion, celery, and carrots, then pulse in the food processor a few times (carrots first; you can do the onions and celery together).
  • Working in batches: That way, the pan doesn’t get overcrowded when searing the beef.
  • Don’t stir the beef: Once you’ve added the beef, don’t stir the meat much until well browned on one side.
  • Add water if needed: If the sloppy joe meat looks like it’s going to get dry while cooking, just add a little water to get the consistency you want.

Can you freeze leftovers?

You can freeze these for up to 3 months. Simply transfer the cooked and cooled mixture into a ziplock bag, lay flat in the freezer (saves space) and freeze.

When it’s time to reheat, place in a saucepan with some water, heat and serve with freshly toasted hamburger buns.

Who doesn’t love a good messy sandwich?

  • Pulled pork sandwich
  • Braised BBQ Beef Sandwich
  • Hot turkey sandwich
  • Croque Monsieur ham and cheese sandwich

The best sloppy joes ever

preparation time
10 mins

cooking time
30 minutes

total time
40 minutes

4 servings

Save prep time by pulsing coarsely chopped veggies in a food processor.

Fry the meat well. Don’t overcrowd the pan, work in batches, and don’t stir the meat until well browned on one side.


  • 1 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 Cup chopped carrots (can chopped peppers)

  • 1 cup finely chopped onion (approx 1 Middle Onion)

  • 1/2 Cup fine chopped celery

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt

  • 1 1/4 lb ground beef

  • 1/2 Cup Ketchup

  • 2 cups Tomato sauce (or 1 15-ounce can whole tomatoes, mashed)

  • 1 tablespoon Worcester sauce

  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon Brown sugar

  • prize Ground carnations

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • prize cayenne pepper

  • 2 turns off freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 Hamburger buns


  1. Sweat the carrots, onions, celery and garlic:

    Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped carrots and sauté for 5 minutes. (If using peppers instead of carrots, add them at the same time as the onions.)

    Add the chopped onion and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent, about 5 more minutes.

    Add the chopped garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from stove. Transfer the vegetables from the pan to a medium bowl, set aside.

  2. Fry ground beef:

    In the same pan, crumble the ground beef (or you can cook the meat at the same time as the veggies in a separate pan to save time) and crumble in the pan. If using extra lean beef, you may need to add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan. Sprinkle the meat with salt.

    Don’t stir the ground beef, just let it cook until well browned on one side. Then flip the pieces and brown the second side.

    If cooking in batches, remove the ground beef from the pan with a slotted spoon (can be added to the reserved vegetables) and repeat the process with the remaining ground beef.

    When the meat is done, drain all but 1 tablespoon of the fat in the pan.

  3. Make the Sloppy Joe Mixture:

    Return the cooked ground beef and vegetables to the pan. Using a wooden spoon, break up the ground beef into smaller pieces.

    Add ketchup, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, and brown sugar to the pan. Stir to mix well. Add ground cloves, thyme and cayenne pepper.

    Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust the spices to taste.

  4. Serve the Sloppy Joes:

    Serve immediately or refrigerate and reheat before serving. Serve with toasted hamburger buns.

nutritional information (per serving)
677 calories
31g Fat
54g carbohydrates
46g protein
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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!