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

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Season with salt , black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste.

Nutrition Facts

250.6 calories; protein 21.5g 43% DV; carbohydrates 14.4g 5% DV; fat 11.9g 18% DV; cholesterol 68.5mg 23% DV; sodium 1001.5mg 40% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (480)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
03/16/2012
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. Read More
(145)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
04/04/2012
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. Read More
(24)
608 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 462
  • 4 star values: 109
  • 3 star values: 25
  • 2 star values: 8
  • 1 star values: 4
Rating: 5 stars
03/15/2012
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. Read More
(145)
Rating: 5 stars
05/03/2014
My husband never likes my sloppy joes. We had his family over and I agreed to make sloppy joes. I panicked knowing mine were not up to par so I typed into my iPad and picked this recipe. As everyone was ranting and raving about the sloppy joes my husband leaned over and said these are the best sloppy joes you have ever made. My I have another one? We have been married for 43 years and I finally found the. Best sloppy joe recipe. Thank You! Read More
(87)
Rating: 5 stars
02/16/2015
Im only 13 and i made it great and it was easy. Read More
(82)
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Rating: 5 stars
03/24/2012
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 !! Read More
(65)
Rating: 5 stars
08/12/2012
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. Read More
(64)
Rating: 5 stars
07/08/2012
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! Read More
(35)
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Rating: 3 stars
04/04/2012
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. Read More
(24)
Rating: 5 stars
10/12/2014
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! Read More
(22)
Rating: 5 stars
03/13/2014
I made this into a sloppy joe pizza! Followed the recipe almost exactly (didn't have peppers in the house and I added a bit of red pepper flakes), made a homemade pizza dough and used the sloppy joe mix as the sauce and covered with sharp cheddar. Delicious and very filling! Read More
(21)