Homemade Sloppy Joes


I loved sloppy joes as a kid but I don’t know if my mom made them from the canned sauce, a sauce packet or from scratch. I tried the canned stuff once and it was awful! I’ve tried making up recipes a couple of times with mild success but they just didn’t taste right to me. So, I gave up and didn’t think much about it for the last year or two. But recently I’ve run across a couple of homemade sloppy joe recipes that made me want to try again! The first was at Something So Clever. The photo is what made me start craving them again! Then I ran across another recipe in Real Simple’s cookbook. I don’t own the book but was able to browse through it online and saw the recipe. This recipe is loosely based on the Real Simple version but I added ketchup and brown sugar to sweeten it up a bit.

Homemade Sloppy Joes
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1 onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound ground beef

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 small can tomato paste

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/4 cup ketchup

1/2 cup water


1. Saute onions, peppers and garlic in olive oil until softened.

2. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain fat.

3. Add all other ingredients to the ground beef mixture and cook, stirring, over low heat for a few minutes until thickened. Add more water if it gets too thick.

4. Serve in hamburger buns and make a mess!


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  1. Pamela

    I’ve never eaten sloppy joes but this looks really yummy and makes me want to give them a try!

    5:26 pm  Jul 31st, 2006
  2. Curt

    If you’ve never tried it, next time you make sloppy joes, put plain potato chips on the sandwich, too… It adds a texture that’s irresistable!

    6:13 pm  Aug 15th, 2006
  3. httpmom

    Thank you so much for this recipe. My daughter loves sloppy joes and for some reason (who coulda guessed) I was unable to find a decent one…so I gave up…until this came so lovingly free in my email!
    It’s just right!

    7:47 pm  Nov 8th, 2007
  4. Steff

    My boys love sloppy joes…manwich…ewe…I do not…
    Now we all love this healthier version much better! Thank you!!

    2:46 pm  Nov 28th, 2007
  5. Stacey

    Thanks for the recipe. Will be trying this real soon. I know what you mean about the canned stuff, like Manwich and some others. They’re absolutely vile. I usually end up using about a half bottle of barbecue sauce to try and cover up their taste. Of course, Spagetti-O’s have been in business for ages, and they’re not particularly tasty, either.
    –Cinnamon in this, how unusual.

    10:43 am  Jul 13th, 2008
  6. chad bonanno

    Made this tonight- very awesome- I added a little bit more brown sugar and threw in 2 tablespoons of dill relish! Yum

    8:25 pm  Sep 23rd, 2008
  7. Nicole

    Chad: Glad you liked it! Did you see the other, more recent, sloppy joe recipe? Check it out the The Ultimate Manwich!

    7:25 am  Sep 24th, 2008
  8. Mark

    Love this sloppy Joe.It was funny that Stacey brought up spagetti o’s . I cant see how people can open up a can of that stuff and still be breathing.The rancid sauce alone would knock a prize fighter out.Anyway good sloppy joe.

    9:36 am  Nov 23rd, 2008
  9. Egg

    Awsome recipe and very simple to prepare, I’ve even got the kids in my corner when it comes to who makes them =P Yeah my wife is a lill peved

    4:53 pm  Apr 2nd, 2009
  10. wm1

    I love sloppy joes! I did not have cumin or the chili pepper; so I used a “seriously great taco” blend I got online at Juliet Mae Spices. It has four different chili peppers and the cumin plus some other spices. Fantastic sloppy joes! Maybe because I reinvented the recipe I think it is the “Best Ever”, but try and see if I lie…

    7:04 am  Apr 22nd, 2009
  11. therbs

    made this and i loved it. both on plain buns and the way i love my “joes” with
    hoffmans super sharp cheese melted on the bun and hamburger (sweet) pickle
    chips, and some extra mustard.

    6:21 pm  Jul 30th, 2009
  12. MommaCooks » Blog Archive » Homemade Sloppy Joes

    […] I do change anything? I followed the recipe as is, but the next time I make them I think I will leave out the cinnamon. This entry was posted […]

    10:28 pm  May 4th, 2010
  13. andi

    I made these sloppy Joes tonight and they are very tasty. Have a little bit of a bite and a keeper of a recipe for me. Thank you

    6:00 pm  Nov 19th, 2010
  14. Reem

    Am on my way to the kitchen to make them !! 😀

    5:04 pm  Feb 3rd, 2011
  15. Nisha

    I made these today and they are delish! No cinnamon added though.

    12:36 pm  Nov 28th, 2011
  16. Evi

    I tried this out- with some changes, and mainly rather than using ground beef I used the MorningStar crumbles- turned out delicious! Definitely better than the stuff from a can!

    8:17 am  May 30th, 2012
  17. sara

    I tried this recipe last night – it was totally perfect! Thanks for a great recipe! 🙂

    9:51 am  Jun 1st, 2012
  18. Vegetarian Sloppy Joes | Fifthfloorkitchen's Blog

    […] Sloppy Joes Inspired from: Pinch My Salt I was making these sloppy joe’s vegetarian, so I added the MorningStar Crumbles; but if you […]

    7:57 am  Jun 6th, 2012
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