Chef John's Sloppy Joes
The secret to a great 'Sloppy Joe' is a thick, rich, almost dry consistency, which allows it to be eaten two-fisted, sans fork.
The secret to a great 'Sloppy Joe' is a thick, rich, almost dry consistency, which allows it to be eaten two-fisted, sans fork.
I've made this numerous times and never changed one thing . The recipe is perfect as are all of Chef John's recipes. If you're finding it more like soup, then you haven't let the water evaporate. You need to take your time and let it simmer for awhile. You will not be disappointed with the results. It's delicious!!!Read More
I've made this numerous times and never changed one thing . The recipe is perfect as are all of Chef John's recipes. If you're finding it more like soup, then you haven't let the water evaporate. You need to take your time and let it simmer for awhile. You will not be disappointed with the results. It's delicious!!!
I only made one switch out--one red bell pepper instead of green bell pepper because my family prefers the red over green. I topped each "joe" with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese. My husband and kids liked these sloppy joes, mostly because they were not sloppy. My husband said that was the best part because he could take the leftovers in his truck the next day and not worry about getting his lunch everywhere.
I actually made this recipe as is, except replacing the meat for meat analog so that the vegetarians in my household could also enjoy. I think with the liquid slowly reducing also help hydrate the meat analog which made the sloppy joes taste like the real meat version. As hubby said, who has been a vegetarian longer than I have been alive stated, it was better than his mom's sloppy joes that he ate when he was a kid. Two wonderful and definite thumbs up!!
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!
What can I say? It's yet another Chef John HIT! WE LOVED IT! My son had 2of them last night! If we hadn't already had French fries with our lunch, we would have had tater tots with it! We settled for some coleslaw to accompany it instead DELICIOUS! AND...worth the time it takes to make it. Be patient because I know the amazing smell it creates; just do it. You won't be sorry ;-) Made this again today for my husband. He LOVES it! SCORE! made it as written, let it simmer for over an hour and it was AMAZING!!!! I love Chef John and his creations!
I followed this recipe, but added some red bell pepper with the green bell pepper. It smelled delicious while cooking, but after 45 minutes on the stove, it was still soupy. I had to turn up the heat and add some cornstarch to thicken it up. I then added the meat to rolled out biscuits, folded them over, sealed them up and baked in the oven for 15 minutes...Yum!
this was excellent ... the only thing I will change is I will only add 1 Tblsp of brown sugar ...
Followed the recipe to a T and it turned out more like a soup than sloppy joe....I needed to add four tablespoons of flour to thicken up the sauce enough to eat on a bun. Overall the taste was good.
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!
Very very good.....nice balance of sweet and heat. Loved the bell pepper in it.......I made it exactly by the recipe . Went well with (store bought) macaroni salad. Hey I cant do it all !!
This is a great base recipe for a standard sloppy joe. I used onion powder, sweet red pepper, and a good pinch of cayenne powder, doubled the worcestershire, and cut back some on the water. Instead of salt I used a bit of chicken bouillion granules. This took a little over an hour to simmer down to nearly dry. This was just standard sloppy joe, not tangy enough for me though and I like it kicked up a bit. But overall this was still pretty darned good, Thanks Chef John.
I am ashamed to say that I have been using a can mix for my sloppy joes for many years. I did not have a can yesterday, but had a taste for a sloppy joe, so I googled a recipe. I found this one and was so pleased that I had all of the ingredients. I followed the recipe to a T, and it was sensational!! Way better than the can and my hubby concurs! No more cans for us! Thank you, Chef John!
I think that this is a great and easy meal. It was easy to make and came out great. I followed as written. I only added a 1/2 cup of water the second time and this helps with it being to watery. Also if its still watery turn the heat up to med. so the water simmers out quicker (if you do this you have to stir every few minutes to keep it from burning).
Wow!! Made it as directed and it was fabulous!! No changes made.
I was worried that this recipe didn't call for as much ketchup as the sloppy joes I grew up with, but this is an excellent recipe. Followed directions to a tee, and they were great!
My husband and I were both happy with these sloppy joes as written. On the reviews I noticed some people had some problems with the water content. The recipe said to use a large skillet. If you use a smaller skillet or a pot it would take longer to evaporate. The more surface area you have to work with the quicker it will reduce. Just an FYI...
I'm giving this 5 stars even though I tweaked here n there. I did recalculate to 4 servings for 1 lb 91% grnd beef. I think that's fairly lean. Anyway, I salt n peppered the beef as it was being cooked/crumbled down. I also added a bit of Montreal Steak seasoning. I also had 1/3 C of chicken stock I needed to use up so in it went. I eyeballed the onion, grn pepper, worscester, etc. I did reduced the 2/3 cup of water in each application to 1/2 C. I felt the ketchup made it sweet enough for myself so I added a drizzle of molasses to get that flavor profile. Oh, I was lazy so used garlic powder. I think allowing the liquid to cook down is the way to go. I've been trying different recipes here and they were all too 'heavy' with the sauce for my pref. This reminds me of a cross between loose meat and SJ, which I really like! Oh yes, I did add a small amount of pecan liquid smoke as I like that little bit of a smokey flavor. Good stuff - is my go-to 'unsloppy joe' recipe from now on. Uncomplicated and easy, thanks a bunch CJ.
As sloppy joes go, this was pretty good. It wasn't as saucy I as remember as a kid, but I doubt Manwich would taste all that good today. I enjoyed it.
I did this with previously steamed lentils instead of meat. I used a whole onion and only maybe a half cup of water since I didn't want lentils to go mushy. Also used yellow mustard instead of dijon, bumped up the W to 5-6 good dashes.
Delicious!! My son came home from college tonight and I made these to welcome him home. I wasn't sure how good they could be with such a simple bunch of ingrediants but they were great. I had them simmering and ready to go while I waited for him to arrive. I popped the buns into the oven to toast while the car was unpacked and served it with a ceasar salad. Voila...he was as happy as a clam and wolfed them down with lots of yumms and comments about not eating caf food. Hubby had 2! There is chocolate cake to complete the night. I made as written but subbed red pepper for green (personal preference) and just one cup of water. This will be my go to recipe. I liked all the ingrediants. Thanks, Chef John. Added: I have made this with ground beef, turkey and chicken. Made it with and without the peppers. Made it scaled with 1, 1 1/2 or 2 lbs of meat. It always comes out great! Serve with toasted buns, a salad or roasted veggies....delicious.
These had to be the best sloppy joes we have ever had. Followed directions exactly except that I might have had a bit more ground beef than called for and possibly I ran out of ketchup before reaching the required amount but it didn't matter anyway. Served over ciabatta hamburger buns, hubby and I inhaled these last night for dinner. A bit of grated sharp cheddar to top it off. Added to my regular rotation. Thanks for posting.
Pefect recipe for Sloppy Joes! The cooking method is what makes this recipe outstanding. The long simmer, because of the addition of water (best to use filtered so you don't have a tap water aftertaste), makes the meat tender and allows for all the flavors to come together well. No waiting overnight for this dish to improve. I do not like green peppers so I used a stalk of celery diced small instead. I did add a smidgen more of ketchup, mustard, brown sugar and Worchestershire sauce - but just a little of all to taste. I'll be using this recipe from now on. Another winner Chef John! Thanks.
Totally loved this recipe and this is the first time I had made a huge batch and tbere were absolutely NO leftovers. My family loved it too, I guess.
Yummmm! I have made this recipe a few times (exactly as written) and my whole family loved it. It reminds me of an old fashioned recipe - if there is one for Sloppy Joes... Simmering the filling for 45 minutes makes it seem like your making something more than fast food. Don't forget the Tatter Tots - a Chef John recommendation :)
I thought this was ok but I like a little more tomato flavor so I added a 6 oz can of tomato paste and a TBS of Country Bob's steak sauce. Delicious.
This is so good. I followed the recipe exactly and it made 10 sandwiches. My son said they were the best sloppy joes he ever had. At first it seems theres too much water in the recipe, but after 40 minutes of simmering, it all boiled down and it was perfect consistancy. Definitely going to make these again and I wouldnt change anything.
This was so good!! Next time I will add a little more cayenne...no more canned Sloppy Joe mix for this family:) This is worlds better:)
This turned out yummy, but it calls for WAY too much water. We only used 1 cup and it took 45-50 mins for it to get close to sloppy joe consistency. We also added more ketchup and Worcestershire sauce towards the end because the water seemed to dilute the flavor.
Made this recipe last night and must say there isn't much good about it. First of all, I did not add the 2nd cup of water. After adding the first it was already soupy and there wasn't need for another cup of water for a recipe that was touted as thick. So after boiling down to appropriate consistency I took a taste and much to my dismay it tasted just like a plain hamburger with ketchup. So, in an effort to save the meal I ended up adding the following: An extra TBS of Dijon mustard, 2 tsp extra black pepper, and 2 TBS of "Bill Echols Taco Seasoning" (recipe on this site). Sadly, I will be highly skeptical of any future "CHEF JOHN" recipes. This is the 2nd time I have been highly disappointed with what he has contributed although this is the first time I have posted so. Honestly, I don't think this recipe was tested this before it was contributed. The 2nd cup of water still mystifies me. Look for another recipe or just make a hamburger and use ketchup and you will save yourself a lot of time and disappointment.
I have made this. I mixed ketchup and bbq sauce.
Flavor was okay however never got thick like promised. Very soupy.
This was a total hit with my picky eater husband and son!! I let it simmer over medium and the liquid was absorbed in 30 min using a large stainless steel pan. Such an easy weeknight meal and I always have the ingredients on hand. My son requested it goes into our monthly meal rotation! Thanks Chef John!
Very tasty. I used ground turkey instead of beef and only added 1/2 cup of water. I also added some additional seasonings such as italian, garlic powder and paprika. I would definitely make it again.
Great recipe! My husband loves sloppy joes but grew up eating the canned stuff which I think is horrible and too sweet. This recipe is perfect for both of us and the kiddo loves it too. I’ve made it a couple of times and didn’t change anything.
I have this simmering on the stove as I am typing this. I have made this several times and it comes out perfect every single time. I use red pepper instead of the green and I reduce the last adding of water to only 1/2 a cup but other than these 2 minor changes, I follow the rest of recipe exactly. This is the only recipe I use since the first time I tried it. You will not be disappointed!!!
This hit the spot!! Absolutely perfect consistency with just the right amount of tang. I added a bit more than a dash of Worcestershire sauce but otherwise followed the recipe. No cayenne for us but the simmering for at least an hour is what makes this just so yummy. Thanks Chef John for another fantastic recipe. I've been making another sloppy joe recipe from here but if I'm not in a big hurry this will be my go-to recipe.
This is excellent! I agree with many others that patience is a virtue. Let it simmer the whole 45 minutes. Unfortunately I don't have gas so on a electric stove top simmer is about 3 or 4. on the dial. 5 stars from the family
Too sweet and runny
Loved this! I let it simmer for an hour until it was the consistency I wanted. Next time I will cut down on the brown sugar as it was a bit sweet for us. This is perfect for making a large batch & freezing in meal size pouches to have on hand and wouldn't it be great to use on a hot dog for a change up from chili
Bland. Needs something to kick it up. I' m not a good enough cook to know what it is. Would have done better with Hamburger Helper
Worked perfectly. Family loved it. Good sweet flavor and nice texture. Very easy to make.
I used beef stock and jalapenos, loose hot sausage and ground venison. Was a little sweet. Hard to believe the recipe calls for 2 cups of plain water instead of beef stock.
My friend that loves sloppy joes but hates the mess really liked these. I liked them too, but next time will leave out the brown sugar. Everything else about them was great (of course - it's Chef John!!)
To us, the meat had a good flavor but once you put it on the buns it just wasn't strong enough. Made sort of a bland dinner.
BEST BBQ EVER!! I made enough for 4 but my husband and I ate it all that night! Thanks for sharing!
It was delicious! I made one change, I used 93% lean turkey. With all the liquid added it cooked more then 45 min, thank goodness I started earlier. Definitely will use this recipe again.
Quite a nice variation on Sloppy joes! I always love Chef John's stuff and I learned a new thing (about how to get it so it's crumbly). I followed it exactly, but mine turned out soupy which was disappointing and I guess I didn't leave it long enough (even though it was there for about 35 min. pretty much unchanged). Ah well, the flavours were nice, and after I drained a bit of the juices it was quite yummy. I'll try it again sometime to see if I can get the better consistency. Lovely recipe though!
This is an excellent Sloppy Joe recipe. My husband loves it. He says it is way better than the canned stuff. I agree. I followed the recipe pretty closely although I used red bell pepper & I added a fresh diced tomato about the last 10 minutes. For the people who are finding it soupy, it needs to be cooked medium high or high depending on you stove top. Some get hotter than others. Plus, the water is added in two separate interval. I mix the first cup with my ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, salt, pepper & cayenne (I do not care for Worcestershire). Then once that has cooked down to almost dry I add the second cup of water. Then cook that down to almost dry. It takes about 35-40. This is an excellent base recipe. Of course you can always add or subtract based on your own preferences. This has now become my go to Sloppy Joe mix.
It was very good, made as written.
This is a great recipe! Thank you Chef John! Guest said next time I need to make a double batch.
It was just okay. But I did use a red pepper and ground turkey. Maybe that's why. I'll try again with beef and green pepper.
This is a keeper! Awesome flavor! A huge hit with Family,
DELICIOUS! I always find Chef John's recipes to be top notch, so I was somewhat taken aback when making this Sloppy Joe recipe. It seemed so watery and frankly, kinda gross. WRONG! If you follow the recipe you will end up with one of the best Sloppy Joe sandwiches you've ever eaten. Be patient, let the water simmer away until the meat is dry, and jazz it up a bit for your tastes (I added more heat for my family). Making them again this afternoon, along with Chef John's hamburger buns, and my family will be thrilled. Great recipe!
Consistency was fine, fresh peppers were nice but overall the combination of ketchup and sugar was way to sweet (even after reducing the sugar) Other than sweet very bland. Going back to an envelope of low-sodium Sloppy Joe seasoning, Rotel tomatoes with chiles and a small can of tomato sauce.
The best sloppy Joe recipe I have made. I add a little bit of liquid smoke and cut back slightly on the green pepper.
After seeing that canned Sloppy Joe mixes contain High Fructose Corn Syrup, I came online to find a recipe I could make from scratch. This recipe lived up to my expectations. I started with only half the amount of brown sugar and tasted it as it mixed in. I ended up adding another 1/2 tablespoon as my ketchup added a strong vinegar component and the brown sugar helped even that out. Otherwise, I stuck to the recipe. My kids were always on the fence about Sloppy Joes, but this time they enjoyed them and even ate up the leftovers. Note: Make sure your ketchup doesn't contain HFCS if you are trying to avoid it like I am.
I put this in the crock pot for 5 hours. ONLY used 1 cup water. Added red pepper instead of green. Good.
I've made it twice and it's delicious
Another Chef John winner! Amazing how a simple dish like sloppy joes can make such a fantastic meal. Definitely take the time to simmer long enough to evaporate all the liquid. The flavor of the beef mixture was out of this world. Served on toasted buns with sliced green onions and dill pickles. Hubby raved about this meal, only thing he complained about was eating too much.
This is such a great recipe. I love how American it really tastes lol. I followed the exact ingredient but I added a tablespoon of tomato paste. I also didn’t brown the beef, I just made sure it wasn’t pink. I wanted to make it thicker because I don’t like the idea of soggy bread so I left it to thicken for quite a bit. It was a hit and we absolutely loved it. I used homemade buns with a side of baked potato and carrot fries. Yum!!
too sweet for us. the baby lives it though!
We love the taste and it is now my go to recipe for sloppy Joe’s. You usually always have the ingredients on hand. I only use one cup of water and will probably cut back some more. Even with one cup, it takes longer than 45 minutes to thicken up.
We don’t eat beef so I was looking forward to making this with ground turkey. The only thing I didn’t do was add the green pepper and cayenne pepper. It was delicious!
Really good flavour. I didn't add the full two cups of water, and it simmered down nicely.
These are the best sloppy joe's we've ever had. I went searching for recipes because I dislike the canned sauces. This is a home run. The family loved it. We added just a tad horseradish which helps cut the sweetness a bit. Thanks Chef John!
Very good recipe. I added a bit of habanero sauce when it was simmering down to give it an extra kick. It may have been a bit too sweet without the heat.
Whoa, Way too sweet! That was even with cutting the sugar in half. Of course ketchup has a lot of sugar on it's own. If I ever make this recipe again will leave out the sugar altogether. I put about a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, helped to cut the sweet. I also subbed dark beer for water. Put in a few dashes of hot sauce. I usually love Chef John's recipes, but this one not so much. The other favors are good, it's just for me and my family, the sweet overpowered all.
Best sloppy joes ever.Perfect on a fall evening. Just add cole slaw or a vegetable salad & you will have a tasty nutritious meal!
These were really good - everyone in the family liked. Followed recipe exactly. A lot of stirring time involved, but worth it. Not as messy as sloppy joes normally are.
It was good! Smelled so good while cooking too. I had to omit the onion and garlic due to diet restrictions but it was still good. I used 2 small yellow peppers instead of green (I don't like green peppers). I let it simmer for 45 minutes. It was a tad soupy but still good. I think next time I may try adding tomato paste or some canned chopped tomatoes in place of the ketchup and some of the water. Update - Made it again tonight and replaced the ketchup with a 6 oz. can of tomato paste. The result was much less soupy. I will use the paste from now on.
Simple, easy, tasty. I followed the recipe and arrived fairly close to Chef John's result. Lots of room to modify to suit individual testes. I have some fire roasted diced tomatoes in the pantry that I plan to add to my next batch.
This will be my new go-to recipe for Sloppy Joes. I made as written but substituted Yellow pepper for green. Don't like green peppers. I was skeptical with all the water in it but it boiled down nicely. You have to be patient and follow the directions. I used this on a french loaf cut in half lengthwise and topped with grated cheese. I baked it on a cookie sheet at 350 for 10 minutes. Very yummy.
I made this for a group of youth and they gobbled it up. Next time I would just cut the brown sugar in half because it's a little too sweet for my taste
Enjoyed this, however with the second cup of water, it took at least an hour to simmer down. I think however this is what makes the final result so good. 2nd TIME: Used regular ground beef (not lean) so the fat had to be drained. Added only 1T of brown sugar, seemed good w/o too sweet. Reduced water by 1/2 a cup.
These are without a doubt the best sloppy joes ever! I have made them numerous times and it is always delicious. No changes needed! (I hate it when people review a recipe and say it was great but made a few changes and proceed to write another recipe)
This recipe was great! I will be making them again soon!
My family loves them!! Amazing recipe! Thank you Chef John!!
I made for Superbowl Sunday. I don't know how the game is going to end, but, Chef John, once again you are the star. Delicious and easy to eat.
Served these for lunch today sprinkled with mozzarella cheese. I used ground chuck and all of the ingredients as listed. This is not a quick recipe as you must allow the ingredients to simmer for at least 45 minutes to allow all of the water to be absorbed. Everyone loved it. It is a keeper Chef John!
Fantastic. Best sloppy joes ever!
I added an 8oz can of tomato sauce & simmered for another 30 minutes. Used red pepper because I don't like green pepper (& the color was nice!). Added some cumin and chili powder because that is the "chili flavor" that I need. Great sloppy joes & even used it for chili topping for hot dogs. Plan on throwing my other hot dog sauce recipe away & using this! Yes, would definitely make it again!
After reading the reviews I decided to add only 3/4 cup of water in total and use only 1 tbls. sugar. Still too sweet and had to cook for an hour to reduce the liquid. Also added quite a bit of cayenne to distract from the sweetness.
This was a delicious recipe. Not soupy at all, as long as you give it the time to reduce, and once it reduces that is where the flavors come out. Definitely not your traditional sloppy joe out of the can (I can't stand that stuff!) This is soooo much better, and well worth the wait! Be patient people, it will be worth it!
My husband said these were the finest sloppy joes he has ever eaten (WOW!,
Really really delicious!!! So much healthier then the canned type!
Quick,easy and I’m making this amazing sloppy joe again tonight. Right now. Thank you chef John
This is another delicious recipe from Chef John. No need to change anything! It did take a little longer than 45 minutes for the water to boil off completely but I just let it go a while longer and it turned out perfect.
I have made this so many times I have lost count. In fact this is the first Chef John recipe I ever made. It is common place for dinner now. All I do differently is no cayenne. I Served on sesame seed buns with tots or onion rings of course. If you haven't been to Chef Johns blog food wishes, do yourself a favor and check it out.
I love this recipe. It's perfect just the way it is. Thank you! It's what's for dinner tonight.
Since I like my Joes on the "sweet" side, this was delicious! I liked the fact that these were not laden with heavy tomato sauce, of which I don't care for. Two full cups of water seemed way too much for this recipe. One cup of water seemed to be plenty. Adding more just didn't make any sense. It still took awhile for it to cook down to the consistency I was looking for. The flavors were heaven. Other than a reduction in water, I wouldn't change a thing. I'll never buy a packet or can again. Thanks, Chef John!
I didn’t have a green pepper so I used a orange pepper instead. Overall it was good but I found it on the sweet side. Next time I will use 1 tablespoon of brown sugar instead of 2.
This is delicious. Much better than anything in a can.
Such an easy and satisfying meal. The video really helped with the step by-step demonstration.
As usual with Chef John's recipes, this was wonderful. My whole family loves Sloppy Joes and I love any recipe that I can cook early in the day and heat up come dinner time.
WOW, this Sloppy Joe recipe will be my go to recipe from now on! I had a ton of potato rolls leftover from a picnic, so I decided to try this Sloppy Joe recipe…and it is perfect! My only change to the recipe was to replace the green pepper with some paprika because a few of my family members do not like peppers. I took the other reviewers advice and did let it simmer until the liquid absorbed, which it did and it turned out great! Thanks Chef John!
These turned out super amazing. The video really helped to point out to let the liquid simmer out. Mine took a little longer to get the required consistency so check the food not the time. I served it on home made buns and they were an instant hit.
I can't believe that I am going to suggest changing one of Chef John's recipes, but as is I have to agree that there is too much water. After I let mine simmer for an hour, made Chef John's cottage fries to go with this, there was still a lot of water. I did not want to drain out the flavor or add flour, so I increased the mixture to a high heat and it boiled off in about 8 minutes. When I tried the mix it was too sweet for my family's taste, so I added Frank's hot sauce for a kick and another big squeeze of yellow mustard to combat the sweet taste. My husband loved the result although we discussed using only half of the brown sugar next time. My toddler refused to touch it, but oh well, my husband enjoyed his as well, and my son was enjoying eating the fries.
None with the exception of a making a smaller amount, as it is just my husband and I. However, I have doubled it before as well, when kids and grand kids were eating with us. I've tried several sloppy joe recipes and have never been completely pleased with any of them until I tried this one.