Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (2024)

Sloppy Joes are a timeless American classic recipe that has been a staple in households for generations. There’s something special about crafting your own homemade Sloppy Joes from scratch! I am sharing my Grandma’s recipe with you today which I hold near and dear to my heart. She used ground beef and cooked it with onion, green pepper and garlic and then stirred in ketchup, yellow mustard, brown sugar and a little hot sauce and let it all simmer until the meat was tender and the sauce thickened. This nostalgic recipe is definitely a keeper and will continue being enjoyed for years to come!

Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (1)

The History of Sloppy Joes:

The origins of Sloppy Joes trace back to the early 20th century, with several claims to its invention. My personal favorite story credits a cook named Joe from Sioux City, Iowa who served loose meat sandwiches to patrons in the 1930s. Being that I am from Iowa, this story makes my heart happy. Sloppy Joes quickly became a hit, spreading across the US and becoming a beloved comfort food staple. No wonder my Grandma has been making them for years!

My Grandma’s Homemade Sloppy Joes Recipe:

Now, let’s dive into making the recipe! Here’s what you need to get you started.

Ingredients:

  • Ground beef: The classic meat choice for sloppy joes. The fat content of ground beef adds so much flavor.
  • Onion: another classic that’s added for flavor.
  • Garlic: Similar to onion, it’s a classic staple ingredient to flavor the meat.
  • Green pepper: green pepper pairs well with ground beef and my grandma used it, so I have to use it, too!
  • Ketchup: the base for the sauce. It’s important to have a sweet and salty sauce base.
  • Yellow mustard: I like the kick this gives to the overall dish.
  • Brown sugar: adding a little sweetness offsets the salt.
  • Tobasco sauce: adds just a touch of spice.
  • Water: water helps brings everything together and allows the meat tenderize while simmering.
  • Salt and pepper: use as needed. I typically salt and pepper at the end.
  • Bread and butter pickles: my favorite pickle hands down. I love how it pairs with the sloppy joes.
  • A good bun: a soft bun is perfect to soak up all the juices of sloppy joes.

Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (2)

Instructions:

Now that we have gone through the ingredients, let’s take a look at how to make Sloppy Joes!

1.) In a large skillet or pot over medium heat, add diced onion and green pepper. Let cook for few minutes then add garlic and sauté for an additional minute.

Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (3)

2.) Add the ground beef and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks.

Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (4)

3.) Next, add the ketchup, yellow mustard, brown sugar, hot sauce and water to the pot and stir. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Simmer 20 minutes allowing the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken. Taste for seasoning – add salt and pepper to your liking. Serve on a bun and enjoy!

Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (5)

Tips for Customizing Your Sloppy Joes:

  • Add extra vegetables: Feel free to add additional veggies such as diced celery, carrot or mushrooms for additional flavor and nutrition.
  • Healthier substitutions: Use tomato sauce instead of ketchup and coconut sugar instead of brown sugar.
  • Spice it up: Kick up the heat by adding additional hot sauce or red pepper flakes.
  • Try different meats: While traditional Sloppy Joes use ground beef, you could also use ground turkey, chicken or even lentils for a vegetarian option.
  • Get creative with toppings: Serve your sloppy Joes with shredded cheese, or even coleslaw for an added crunch.
  • Take a whole different approach and make Sloppy Joe Nachos, a Sloppy Joe Dog (on top of a hot dog) or serve over noodles.

Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (6)

Sloppy Joes are much more than a sandwich to me – they’re a comforting reminder of simpler times and cherished family meals around my grandparent’s dinner table. I hope my Grandma’s recipe brings as much joy to you as it does to me. I would love to see pictures of your own homemade Sloppy Joe Recipe! Please send me pictures, leave a comment or check out my Instagram page!

Yield: 4-6

Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (7)

Sloppy Joes are a classic American sandwich consisting of ground beef cooked in a sweet and tangy tomato-based sauce along with dice green pepper, onion and garlic. Enjoy on a bun with a side of pickles.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 garlic cloves)
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 5 dashes tobasco sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil for skillet
  • Buns
  • Bread and butter pickles

Instructions

    1. Add olive oil to a large skillet or dutch oven and place over medium heat. Add onion and green pepper and garlic and saute for a few minutes.
    2. Next, add ground beef and cook, breaking up meat as it cooks.
    3. Once the meat has browned, add ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, tobasco sauce, black pepper and waater, and stir.
    4. Turn heat down to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until thickened. Serve on a bun with bread and butter pickles.

Notes

Great for leftovers! Can also freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw in refrigerator over night and either microwave or re-heat in a large pot.

Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (8)

Next Post: Almond Sugar Cookies »

Reader Interactions


Comments

  1. Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (9)Shannon

    We are living overseas and missing comforts of home. I came across this recipe and my teenagers loved it so much they asked my to make it again with extras. Which they took to school the next day for lunch! It was a hit, thank you!

    Reply

    • Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (10)Jessica Erin

      so glad!

      Reply

  2. Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (11)Jaromin

    Can I freeze the leftovers?

    Reply

    • Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (12)Jessica Erin

      yes!

      Reply

  3. Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (13)Dianne Raveling

    Made a batch for my 90 year old Mom today….who happens to be a friend of your Grandma Tracy!!

    Reply

    • Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (14)Jessica Erin

      awww! That’s so amazing! This recipe is actually very similar to my Grandma’s! Hope she enjoyed them!

      Reply

  4. Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (15)carol

    We made lots of sloppy joes in the 40’s but it was a # of Ground Beef and a can of Campbells Chicken Gumbo Soup. Wish I could still find that soup.

    Reply

  5. Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (16)shellia easter

    I recently came across this recipe and after reading the ingredients I thought I would give it a try. To say these sloppy Joes have become a favorite would be a big understatement. It’s become such a favorite we have it at least once a week sometimes twice. I noticed you put this up a while back. Just wanted say thanks, these are great.

    • Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (17)Jessica Erin

      SO glad you enjoy them Shellia! We love them in our house, too!

      Reply

  6. Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (18)Mary Delgado

    I’ve been making homemade sloppy joes using my own recipe, but something was always missing. I’m going to try this recipe – it may contain the missing ingredient I’ve been looking for! Thank you!

    Reply

    • Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (19)Jessica Erin

      Great! Let me know what you think!

      Reply

  7. Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (20)michelle

    So glad for the pic. Out here Sweet Rolls are pastries like Danish and cinnamon raisin snails. Just reading recipe was sort of strange—but at the county fair yesterday they had Krispy Kreme Donut Hamburgers– so I took a look.
    Now that I am sure you meant something like hamburger buns I am very happy.
    Thanks

    Reply

    • Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (21)Jessica Erin

      Hi Michelle, yes the rolls are like hamburger buns but slightly sweeter! They compliment the saltiness of the meat. Enjoy!

      Reply

  8. Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (22)juliajolliff

    Love sloppy joes–they are so comforting and flavorful. Now you have me craving them!

    Reply

  9. Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (23)realfoodbydad

    I love how you flavored these, the look amazing!

    Reply

    • Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (24)Jessica Erin

      Thank you!!

      Reply

  10. Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (25)Nutmeg Nanny

    Homemade sloppy Joes are my favorite!

    Reply

Trackbacks

  1. […] Homemade Sloppy Joes […]

    Reply

Leave a Comment

Primary Sidebar

Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (26)I'm Jessica Erin and I am the recipe developer, photographer, and writer behind stuckonsweet.com! You will find a little of everything including healthy meals, comfort food, and my favorite - sweets. So stay awhile...I hope you're hungry!

Oh, and don't forget to save room for dessert... more about me

Subscribe to receive free recipes and updates!

Search for all my recipes

POPULAR RECIPES

Corn Casserole Recipe Video

Easy Sloppy Joes (My Grandma's Recipe) - Stuck On Sweet (2024)

FAQs

What if my sloppy joe is too sweet? ›

Offset sweet elements in your sloppy joe with sour ones such as Worcestershire sauce or red wine vinegar. For an extra kick, elevate the heat with red pepper flakes.

Why is sloppy joe so sweet? ›

It's no wonder that the sauce for Sloppy Joe filling is often candy‑sweet, since it contains anywhere from 1/2 cup to 1 cup of ketchup (and sometimes brown sugar, too).

How do you make sloppy joes taste better? ›

Try serving your sloppy joes with their own toppings such as slaw, melty cheese, grilled pineapple, or Hatch green chile. Even just adding a pickle gives extra flavor and crunch, transforming it from a bland sandwich into something great, like the recipe below!

How to fix runny sloppy joes? ›

  1. Flour can be used similar to corn starch.
  2. Other thickeners used are bread crumbs, potato flakes and oats. ...
  3. Go gradually with these. ...
  4. Use oats to thicken sloppy-joes as to absorb the excess but it will be thicker the next day.
  5. Barley can be used but is more expensive.
Oct 29, 2021

How do you fix a dish that is too sweet? ›

The Fix: Tone down an overly sweet dish by adding a sour, salty, or bitter ingredient to it. Sour fruit (such as blackberries or cherries), cooling herbs such as mint, and chopped nuts work well in sweets such as cakes, cookies, and pies.

How do you fix a sauce that is too sweet? ›

Balance with acidity

Add some lemon juice: The tartness of lemon can help cut through the sweetness. Squeeze in a little lemon juice and taste as you go until you achieve the desired balance. Vinegar: Balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar can also work wonders in reducing sweetness.

What's the difference between Sloppy Joes and Sloppy Jane? ›

A Sloppy Jane is a Sloppy Joe made with ground turkey instead of ground beef.

How much sugar is in Sloppy Joe sauce? ›

Nutrition Facts
  1. 0%
  2. Saturated Fat0 g. 0%
  3. Trans Fat0 g. %
  4. Cholesterol0 mg. 0%
  5. Sodium310 mg. 13%
  6. Total Carbohydrate8 g. 3%
  7. Dietary Fiber1 g. 4%
  8. Total Sugars6 g.

How to jazz up sloppy joes? ›

Give your Sloppy Joe a unique spin by replacing hamburger buns with taco shells and adding a little cumin, crisp lettuce, shredded cheese, and juicy tomatoes.

How to jazz up sloppy Joe sauce? ›

Add in mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Combine tomato paste and water and add to hamburger mixture. Add more water if desired. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste.

What should a sloppy joe taste like? ›

Once you've gathered the ingredients, it's basically like making Bolognese. And the flavour is somewhat reminiscent of it too, except Sloppy Joes taste a bit more like BBQ Sauce. The one big difference is that the sauce is cooked right down so it's really thick and not saucy at all.

What is the fancy name for sloppy joes? ›

Manwich, slush burger, yum yums, dynamite, spoonburgers, tavern sandwich; a Sloppy Joe can be called by many other names. The most well-known however is Manwich.

Will tomato paste thicken sloppy joes? ›

Garlic – A few minced garlic cloves bring out many flavors in this Sloppy Joe. Tomato Puree – You can puree fresh or canned tomatoes or purchase them already pureed. Tomato Paste – Plain tomato paste is needed to help thicken the mixture.

Is mayo good on a sloppy joe? ›

Spread Mayo or Miracle Whip over toasted hamburger buns top with sloppy joe mix, sliced pickles and sliced cheese.

What seasoning cancels out sweetness? ›

too sweet. Whatever you do, don't add salt because it will bring out the sweetness even more. Here, acid, bitterness and heat will counteract excessive sweetness, and add layers of flavor.

How do you tone down sweetness in chili? ›

However, if you find you are plum out of lemons and your chili is skewing toward the sweet end of the culinary spectrum, you can substitute a little vinegar to help rescue its taste. Just remember to start with a small amount so you don't ruin your pot of chili altogether.

What is Sloppy Joe supposed to taste like? ›

Once you've gathered the ingredients, it's basically like making Bolognese. And the flavour is somewhat reminiscent of it too, except Sloppy Joes taste a bit more like BBQ Sauce. The one big difference is that the sauce is cooked right down so it's really thick and not saucy at all.

How do you fix a broth that is too sweet? ›

If your soup becomes too sweet for your taste, try adding a little salt to tame down the sweetness or 1 teaspoon of apple cider or white vinegar. Be sure to taste test after each addition so that you do not change the taste of the soup too much or make it too salty. See below for more soup tips.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Tyson Zemlak

Last Updated:

Views: 6024

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (63 voted)

Reviews: 86% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Tyson Zemlak

Birthday: 1992-03-17

Address: Apt. 662 96191 Quigley Dam, Kubview, MA 42013

Phone: +441678032891

Job: Community-Services Orchestrator

Hobby: Coffee roasting, Calligraphy, Metalworking, Fashion, Vehicle restoration, Shopping, Photography

Introduction: My name is Tyson Zemlak, I am a excited, light, sparkling, super, open, fair, magnificent person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.