Homemade Sloppy Joes Recipe

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Ever since I was a kid, Sloppy Joes have been a staple in my family’s kitchen, bringing back fond memories of laughter-filled dinners. Now, as a parent, I’ve recreated this beloved childhood recipe, and it’s a huge hit with my kids too! It’s amazing how this saucy, hearty delight bridges generations with its irresistible taste.

Sloppy Joe Recipe

How To Make Homemade Sloppy Joes

Creating the perfect Homemade Sloppy Joes is an art that combines simplicity with rich flavors. Here’s how you can whip up this classic, comforting dish that’s sure to be a crowd-pleaser:

  1. Heat the Skillet: Start by heating 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Cook the Beef: Add 1 ½ pounds of lean ground beef to the skillet. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, crumbling the beef as it cooks. Drain any excess fat.
  3. Add Vegetables: Stir in 1 diced small sweet onion and 1 diced small green bell pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes until they are tender.
  4. Mix in Flavorings: Add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 3 minced garlic cloves, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper. Cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.
  5. Pour in Liquids: Stir in 1 ½ cups of beef stock, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  6. Add Remaining Ingredients: Mix in 1 cup of ketchup, 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  7. Simmer: Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer. Stir occasionally for about 15-20 minutes until the mixture has thickened and the flavors have blended.
  8. Serve: Serve the Sloppy Joe mixture immediately on toasted hamburger buns or your choice of bread.

Ingredients

Vegetable Oil: Used for cooking the ground beef, ensuring it doesn’t stick to the skillet.

Lean Ground Beef (90/10): The main ingredient, providing the bulk and protein for the sloppy joes.

Sweet Onion: Adds a sweet, aromatic flavor to the dish.

Green Bell Pepper: Contributes a fresh, slightly tangy taste and texture.

Tomato Paste: Intensifies the tomato flavor, adding depth and richness.

Garlic: Enhances the overall flavor profile with its pungent, aromatic qualities.

Smoked Paprika: Adds a smoky, slightly sweet flavor.

Chili Powder: Provides a mild heat and complexity to the dish.

Cayenne Pepper: Adds a bit of spice and warmth.

Beef Stock: Used to deglaze the skillet and form the base of the sloppy joe sauce.

Ketchup: Adds sweetness and tanginess, contributing to the classic sloppy joe flavor.

Dijon Mustard: Offers a sharp, tangy element to balance the sweetness.

Worcestershire Sauce: Adds umami and a slightly tangy taste.

Brown Sugar: Enhances the sweetness and helps balance the acidity of the tomato and mustard.

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper: Used to season the dish to taste.

Hamburger Buns: These are essential, handheld base for the Sloppy Joe mixture, perfectly complementing its saucy texture and rich flavors

Homemade Sloppy Joes Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Recipe by Laura Ritterman Course: MainCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes

Make these comfort food Homemade Sloppy Joes, a classic favorite that’s both hearty and delicious. Perfect for a quick, satisfying meal that serves 6 people.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Vegetable Oil

  • 1 1 ½ pounds Lean Ground Beef (90/10)

  • 1 small 1 Sweet Onion, diced

  • 1 small 1 Green Bell Pepper, diced

  • 2 tablespoons 2 Tomato Paste

  • 3 cloves 3 Garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon 1 Smoked Paprika

  • 1 teaspoon 1 Chili Powder

  • ⅛ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

  • 1 1 ½ cups Beef Stock

  • 1 cup 1 Ketchup

  • 2 tablespoons 2 Dijon Mustard

  • 2 teaspoons 2 Worcestershire Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon 1 Brown Sugar

  • Kosher Salt, to taste

  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, to taste

  • 6 6 Hamburger Buns

Directions

  • In a large cast iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add 1 ½ pounds of lean ground beef to the skillet. Cook for about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks. Drain any excess fat.
  • Incorporate 1 diced small sweet onion and 1 diced small green bell pepper to the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 3-4 minutes.
  • Mix in 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, 3 minced cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of chili powder, and ⅛ teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Pour in 1 ½ cups of beef stock, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.
  • Add 1 cup of ketchup, 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to the skillet. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat. Let it simmer, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened and the flavors are well blended, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Once the mixture is ready, serve it immediately on toasted hamburger buns or your preferred type of bread.

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Tips & Tricks

  • Quality of Meat Matters: I always opt for lean ground beef, around 90/10. It provides enough fat for flavor but not so much that it makes the dish greasy. The quality of the meat really elevates the taste of the Sloppy Joes.
  • Balancing Flavors: To get that perfect balance of sweet, tangy, and savory, I adjust the amounts of ketchup, Dijon mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Sometimes I add a bit more brown sugar if I want it sweeter, or an extra splash of Worcestershire for depth.
  • Letting It Simmer: I give the mixture time to simmer. This step is crucial as it allows the flavors to meld together beautifully. I usually let it simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  • The Bread is Key: A good Sloppy Joe needs a sturdy bun. I prefer brioche buns for their slight sweetness and ability to hold up against the saucy beef. Toasting the buns before serving is a game-changer – it adds texture and prevents the bread from getting too soggy.
  • Customize with Toppings: While traditional Sloppy Joes are fantastic, I love adding my own twist with toppings. A slice of sharp cheddar cheese, some pickled jalapeños, or even a spoonful of coleslaw can turn a classic Sloppy Joe into a gourmet experience.

See Also: Sloppy Joe Pizza

Sloppy Joes on a plate

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Conclusion

After making this Homemade Sloppy Joes recipe, I’m always reminded of the simple joy that comes from creating something so hearty and delicious in my own kitchen. It’s a dish that never fails to satisfy and brings a touch of comfort to any meal. I hope you find as much pleasure in making and sharing these Sloppy Joes with your loved ones as I do

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