These Easy Homemade Sloppy Joes are a childhood classic with sweet and savory flavors. No need for a canned sauce when you can have this quick and simple homemade recipe! The perfect weeknight dinner the family goes wild for!
This post was originally posted on 5/3/2020 and updated on 10/5/2022.
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Why We Love These Easy Homemade Sloppy Joes
- Quick recipe perfect for busy weeknights! Its done and on the table in less than 30 minutes!
- Effortless recipe. So easy to make and put together.
- No canned sauce needed, these can be made with just a few simple pantry ingredients.
- Perfect recipe for pot lucks, family gatherings, parties or celebrations.
- This is a family friendly meal that everyone will love!
Sloppy Joe Recipe Ingredients
- Ground Beef: You can substitute with ground turkey or ground chicken.
- Ketchup: I like to use a low sugar option, but if you like you can use tomato sauce. You will have to let the sloppy joes simmer a bit longer so the mixture can thicken a bit.
- Brown Sugar: You can use dark brown sugar or honey. If using honey, you may need to let the sloppy joe mixture simmer a few extra minutes so it can thicken a little bit.
- Water: Use beef broth to add a little bit more flavor to the sloppy joes. They don't need it, but you can use it.
How to Make Homemade Sloppy Joes
- First, in a large sauce pan cook the beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain any grease if needed.
- Now, add the minced garlic and cook for a minute and until the garlic is fragrant.
- Then add the remaining ingredients: ketchup, brown sugar, water, salt and black pepper. Stir it all together and simmer the mixture on low for 5-10 minutes.
- Spoon that sloppy joe mixture on the bottom half of your favorite bun! Throw the top bun on and devour! Add some pickles if you like, but this recipe is so delicious I could just eat the meat mixture by the spoonful!
Should I Toast the Buns?
I prefer no toasted buns so the sauce can soak into the bread. However, if you are a toasted bun fan, toast em! But don't burn em!
Storing Sloppy Joes
Storing: You can store the cooled leftover sloppy joe mixture in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freezing: If you prefer, you can freeze the leftover sloppy joe mix. Add the cooled meat and sauce to a freezer safe airtight container or freezer bag. Label, date and freeze for up to 4 months. When you are ready to enjoy, thaw the sloppy joes overnight in the fridge.
Reheating: The sloppy joes can be reheated on the stove over low heat or in the microwave until completely warmed through. If you like, you can also add the meat to a crock pot on low heat for an hour, and then adjust it to the keep warm setting.
FAQs About Homemade Sloppy Joes
My Sloppy Joe sauce recipe is made of ketchup, brown sugar, garlic, water salt and black pepper. A very simple recipe with fabulous results.
Manwich is a processed sauce that is bought in grocery stores. You add it to ground meat to make sloppy joes. I believe it's purpose is meant to make the sandwich super easy to make, but they are just as easy to make homemade without the canned sauce.
I prefer to drain the grease. If you don't mind a greasy sauce, you can leave the grease. However, if there is too much grease it can cause the sauce to look and feel separated too. My recommendation is to always drain the grease.
One pound of hamburger is equal to about 6 sandwiches. If making it for 30 servings, I would use at least 5 pounds of hamburger. To be on the safe side, you can always use 6 pounds and have some leftover for the freezer.
More Delicious Sandwich Recipes
- Italian Sloppy Joes
- Crock Pot Pizza Joes
- Iowa Maid Rites
- Instant Pot Drip Beef Sandwiches
- Pulled Pork Sandwiches
- Ham and Cheese Sliders
- Parmesan Crusted Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Easy Homemade Sloppy Joes
- In a large sauce pan, brown the ground beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain any grease if needed.
- Add the minced garlic and sauté a minute and until fragrant.
- Stir in the ketchup, brown sugar, water, salt and black pepper.
- Let the mixture simmer for 5-10 minutes.
- Serve on hamburger buns and enjoy!