Homemade Sloppy Joes Recipe - Allrecipes.com
Homemade Sloppy Joes Recipe
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How to Make Classic Sloppy Joes
Watch how to make this delicious cafeteria classic from scratch. See more

Homemade Sloppy Joes

Recipe by  

"Despite the name of this iconic retro dish, the secret to a great sloppy joe is a thick, rich, almost dry consistency, which allows the sandwich to be eaten with your hands. Serve on hamburger buns."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 6 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    55 mins

    1 hr 10 mins


  1. Place ground beef and onion in a large skillet. Turn heat to medium and cook and stir the mixture constantly until the beef is browned and forms small crumbles, about 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in garlic and green bell pepper; cook and stir until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 cup water and stir, scraping the pan to dissolve any brown flavor bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  3. Mix in ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, salt, and black pepper. Add 1 more cup water and return mixture to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated and the mixture is thick, about 40 minutes.
  4. Season with salt , black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Mar 15, 2012

No more Manwich for my family! My family loved this recipie--I just added a splash of cider vinegar for an extra tang! Perfect. Thanks Chef John-Cant wait to try more of your recipies.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Apr 04, 2012

Too sweet for my liking...I had to add more worcestire and a bunch of hot sauce to tone down the sweetness. Good for a starter recipe.

Mar 24, 2012

very yummy. homemade is so much better . Love this site !!!! i added celery diced real small and added the garlic in the beginning.. and the last cup of water ?? id do half that next time..using lean meat is the way to go !!

Aug 12, 2012

I have never been a fan of Sloppy Joes made from canned Manwich. But this recipe was great, the whole family liked it. I didn’t have brown sugar so used a little maple syrup. Sometimes you have to improvise and that’s ok.

Jul 08, 2012

Once again, Chef John, "Thank you" seems so inadequate. Made this for dinner last night and there was happy silence from my husband's corner as he finished his portion and then not-so-silent (but relatively subdued lest he resemble Bambi in the headlights before running away) ecstatic chatter from mine, when he got up for seconds. Normally, when I make sloppy joes, there is the animated discussion about how ketchup should be used only as a condiment on the side to adorn hot dogs, hamburgers, the occasional french fry, but it should never -- and he repeats never -- be used as an ingredient. There was none of that with this meal :) -- not even the suspicious, "Did you put ketchup in this?" or the disappointed, "Honey, you Know I'm not a big sweet-and-sour fan". A note to those reviewers who thought this was too "sloppy", I would say make this again and be more patient next time -- the liquid does evaporate eventually. The flavour is superb that it is well worth the wait. So .. Thanks again! I have myself a new sloppy joe recipe!

Feb 16, 2015

Im only 13 and i made it great and it was easy.

Oct 12, 2014

Boy does this recipe bring back memories! I haven't had sloppy joes since I was a kid. Definitely a "retro" kinda meal that dare I say...tastes better than my Mom's! This was so easy and so good - perfect for Sunday football. I doubled the recipe using 96/4 ground beef, one red pepper and one green pepper, half ketchup and half Bennetts Original Chili Sauce along with a generous splash of white wine vinegar, and brown sugar to taste along with the rest of the ingredients. I highly recommend watching Chef John's video. It's only a few minutes long and was very helpful. You really do need to add the water and let it simmer down for at least 30 minutes - and don't be afraid to add the cayenne it really does make a difference but doesn't make it "hot". All I did was keep it warm in a crock pot during the game. I served these on slider rolls with chips and pickles to rave reveiws. Thanks Chef John for another awesome recipe!

Sep 03, 2013

OMG! It was a hit in this house!!! My kids loved it and they didn't even come home on meth for 2 whole nights afterword thanks soooo much!!!


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  • Calories
  • 251 kcal
  • 13%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 14.4 g
  • 5%
  • Cholesterol
  • 69 mg
  • 23%
  • Fat
  • 11.9 g
  • 18%
  • Fiber
  • 0.7 g
  • 3%
  • Protein
  • 21.5 g
  • 43%
  • Sodium
  • 1002 mg
  • 40%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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