Homemade Sloppy Joes


Homemade Sloppy Joes don't have to be difficult to eat. 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.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
55 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 10 mins


  • 1 ½ pounds extra-lean ground beef

  • ½ onion, diced

  • 1 green pepper, diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 cups water, divided

  • ¾ cup ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt, or to taste

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste


  1. Place ground beef and onion in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir until beef is browned and crumbled, about 10 minutes.

  2. Stir in green pepper and garlic; 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. Stir in ketchup, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, salt, black pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. Add remaining 1 cup water and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid has evaporated and mixture is thick, about 40 minutes.

  4. Season with salt, black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and cayenne pepper.

    close up view of a sloppy joe in a bun, on a plate
    Toni DeSantis

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

251 Calories
12g Fat
14g Carbs
22g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 251
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 5g 24%
Cholesterol 69mg 23%
Sodium 1002mg 44%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 22g
Vitamin C 22mg 108%
Calcium 25mg 2%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 442mg 9%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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