Sloppy Joes – Make your own homemade sloppy joes! Easy 30 minute sloppy joe recipe with a simple and delicious sauce. Serve on toasted buns or a bed of lettuce.
When I was a kid, sloppy joes were one of my favorite meals. Of course, Manwich was the sloppy joe sauce of choice back then.
But who needs canned sloppy joe sauce when you can make your own simple sauce? And it doesn't have to be an overbearing sauce either, completely masking the flavor of the meat.
Nope, you can make a sauce with minimal ketchup, a little bit of Worcestershire sauce, and a pinch of brown sugar. And it's out of this world delicious!
When I first made this recipe, it reminded me of the old days when Mom and Grandma would make the best juicy burger around. The toasted buns toasted in just a smidge of bacon grease really brought back a taste of home.
Are you ready for a dinnertime favorite your family will love? Let's get to it!
I JUST WANT THE RECIPE! TAKE ME TO THE SLOPPY JOES RECIPE!
If you’d rather skip all of my cooking tips, important cooking info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the delicious recipe for sloppy joes – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card.
WHAT ARE SLOPPY JOES?
If you've never had sloppy joes, never fear. It's never too late to add this yummy recipe to your weekly menu planning.
Sloppy joes are a sort of loose meat sandwich made with loose ground beef mixed with a tomato based sauce. The sauce usually has things like ketchup or tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sometimes a little mustard, and other ingredients.
You can also make a sloppy joe sandwich with ground pork or ground turkey.
It's a very flavorful sandwich that's otherwise known as a juicy burger (what my mama and grandma called it), loose meat sandwich, Manwich, dynamite, slush burger, tavern sandwich, a Maid-Rite, etc.
SLOPPY JOE INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED:
- Garlic clove
- Yellow onion
- Bacon grease (you can also use butter or olive oil)
- Ground beef
CAN I USE FROZEN HAMBURGER MEAT? DO I NEED TO THAW IT?
You can use frozen ground beef. In fact, we do this quite often because we forget to get the meat out.
Since it's a loose meat sandwich and you're not making hamburger patties, it's a little bit easier to do; though I do recommend thawing if at all possible.
Just put the meat into a skillet with maybe 1/2 cup water, turn the heat on medium, and place a lid on the skillet. This basically steams the meat.
When it's cooked, you can drain off any excess oil.
TIPS FOR HOW TO MAKE SLOPPY JOES
Sloppy joes are one of the easiest meals to make. I totally get why my mom liked making them.
Now I do recommend using bacon grease for the added flavor to the meat mixture (and for toasting the buns). But if you don't have bacon grease, no worries; you can also use butter or olive oil.
Be sure to mince up the garlic and the onion really well. I like mincing them up so they blend well with the meat and sauce.
You'll start by sautéing the garlic and onion in a large skillet. Then add the meat and mix together with the garlic and onion, cooking the mixture well.
Be sure to drain off any excess oil when the meat has finished cooking.
Once you add the sauce ingredients, just let the whole mixture simmer for a good 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, you can toast hamburger buns in another skillet in a little bit of bacon grease. Or you may choose a lower carb option and prep a plate of lettuce or spinach to go with your sloppy joe meat.
However you choose to enjoy your sloppy joes, hopefully with a nice big batch of homemade steak fries, this is sure to be a family favorite recipe for many meals to come.
KITCHEN TOOLS YOU MAY NEED TO MAKE SLOPPY JOES
Hamburger Chopper – This handy dandy tool makes it easier to chop up the meat into a much looser mixture.
SLOPPY JOE RECIPE
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Easy Homemade Sloppy Joes
- Heat the bacon grease in a large skillet until hot.
- Then add in the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
- Add the onion in with the garlic and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the ground beef into the skillet, stirring the onions and garlic into the meat. Cook on medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meat is well cooked.
- Be sure to drain off any excess oil when the meat has finished cooking.
- Mix the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar into the meat, stirring until combined.
- Let the sloppy joe mixture simmer for at least 5 minutes.
- Serve on toasted buns or on a bed of lettuce or spinach.