Sloppy Joes are the perfect sandwiches made with a super flavorful sweet and savory meat mixture made with simple pantry ingredients like barbecue sauce.
Homemade Sloppy Joes are one of those comfort foods in my home. My mom made these growing up and now I make them for my kids. This is also one of those perfect recipes for meal-prep because it reheats so well.
Ever wondered why they are called sloppy Joes? There are quite a few theories about where the name came from. Let’s face, they could be called messy loose meat sandwiches and we’d still eat them!
This recipe is pretty simple.
It’s just ground beef, onion, barbeque sauce, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and a little bit of garlic powder.
One of the important factors when making this recipe is the browning of the ground beef. I have seen too many people take ground beef, cook it until it turns grey, and then dump out the remaining moisture.
Brown the ground beef completely – Brown your meat and cook down the moisture and fry your ground beef until the tips and edges start to turn brown. This will make for a better deeper more beefy flavor in the final dish.
For this dish, start off browning about two lbs of ground beef in a pain.
Once the beef is cooked through and gone through the ‘gray’ stage, go ahead and add about half a white or yellow onion that has been finely diced.
Keep browning the beef until the edges of the meat have started to turn a deeper brown color.
This recipe is really about freeform cooking for me. I hate measuring out stuff, so this recipe is more of a guideline.
Feel free to mix and match ingredient ratios to your liking. You can find a starting amount in the recipe below.
Add to the ground beef: your favorite BBQ sauce (we like Sweet Baby Rays), ketchup, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder.
Bring all of this to a simmer and you’re ready to rock and roll.
How to Serve
The obvious choice is to serve it on a bun but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it in other places!
Try making sloppy Joe fries by topping crispy French fries with sloppy joe meat and some cheese.
Make some sloppy Joe nachos or serve it on top of rice for your gluten-free friends.
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Homemade Sloppy Joes
- Cook ground beef in a skillet or saucepan until browned and cooked through.
- Add the onion to the beef and continue to brown until the ground beef has crispy brown edges and the onions are translucent.
- Add the barbeque sauce, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder and stir.
- Bring to a simmer and heat through.