Taco Sloppy Joes

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Taco Sloppy Joes – How to make homemade taco sloppy joes with ground beef and all the fixings. Easy dinner recipe your family will love, especially the kids!

I've already shared how much I loved sloppy joes as a kid; and I've shared my love for tacos, especially ground beef tacos. So I thought it only appropriate to combine the two into a delicious new recipe, taco sloppy joes.

My kids weren't too sure about this combination at first. And then we had them for dinner, and their minds were forever changed; I got lots of compliments that night.

I think it's safe to say this recipe, much like Philly cheesesteak sloppy joes, will be a regular on our dinnertime menu. The nice thing is you can eat these on a toasted bun, or if you're trying to go more low carb, you can top off a bed of lettuce or spinach and make a taco salad instead.

You can even swap out buns for bell peppers and make the most delicious beef taco stuffed peppers.

While this sloppy joe makes a nice juicy burger, you can top it off with taco ingredients like lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, avocados, and green onions if desired.

holding taco sloppy joe in hands

It's a quick and easy sloppy joe recipe you can even make ahead of time, then pull out the meat and warm it up to go with all the fixings.

Who's ready for a dinner recipe your kids will love? I'm ready to make them again.

More family favorite sloppy joe recipes your kids will love… Grilled Cheese Sloppy JoesSloppy Joe Stuffed Peppers, Pepperoni Pizza Sloppy Joes, and Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes.


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 taco sloppy joes – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card.


Just in case you've never had sloppy joes, they're 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.

Well, as can be expected, taco sloppy joes are a little bit different. They're still a loose meat sandwich, but instead of ketchup, you make them with pretty much the same ingredients you'd use to make taco meat.

taco sloppy joe or juicy burger made with taco seasoned ground beef

Some people use salsa or picante sauce to season their taco meat. I like to use a mix of ingredients like onion, garlic, lemon juice, chili powder, and chopped tomato.

And while I use ground beef, you can also make a good sloppy joe sandwich with ground pork or ground turkey.

Then you serve the meat on a toasted bun (or on a bed of lettuce for a low carb option), along with all the fixings you'd use in tacos.


You can use frozen hamburger meat to make homemade sloppy joes, but you may need to sauté your onion, garlic, and bell pepper in a different skillet so they can be added to the ground beef once it's thawed. We actually do this quite often because we forget to get the meat out, so don't fret if you've forgotten it too.

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.

taco sloppy joes ground beef mixture in cast iron skillet

You can add the sautéed onion, garlic, and pepper once the meat has loosened up.

When it’s fully cooked, you can drain off any excess oil.


This is a super easy sloppy joe recipe that's perfect for taco lovers.

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, onion, and bell pepper really well. I like mincing them up so they blend well with the meat and the sauce.

garlic, onions, and peppers minced and sautéing in cast iron skillet for taco sloppy joe recipe

You’ll start by sautéing the garlic, onion, and bell pepper in a large skillet. Then add the meat and mix together with the vegetables, cooking the mixture well.

ground beef mixture for taco sloppy joes cooking in cast iron skillet on stovetop

Be sure to drain off any excess oil when the meat has finished cooking.

adding ingredients for taco seasoning to taco sloppy joes meat in cast iron skillet on stovetop

Once you add the sloppy joe sauce ingredients, just let the whole mixture simmer for a good 10 minutes.

taco meat for homemade sloppy joes

Meanwhile, you can toast hamburger buns in another skillet or on a griddle 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 taco sloppy joe meat.

toasting hamburger buns for taco sloppy joes loose meat sandwich on cast iron griddle

Add the meat to a toasted bun and top with your favorite taco ingredients, like lettuce, chopped tomatoes, shredded cheddar, mashed avocados, and maybe even green onions.

taco ingredients like avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, and shredded cheddar piled on sloppy joes on gray plate with tortilla chips

However you choose to enjoy your taco sloppy joes, they're sure to be delicious!

taco sloppy joes on toasted buns served on gray plate with tortilla chips and cast iron skillet of juicy burger meat behind it


Skillet – We love using our cast iron skillets and griddle for pretty much everything both at home and while camping; they are very much a part of our camping cooking gear on every trip.

Hamburger Chopper – This handy dandy tool makes it easier to chop up the meat into a much looser mixture.

Wooden Spatula

Ninja Food Chopper Express or Cutting Board and Chef's Knife

All-in-One Avocado Slicer

Cheese Grater


If you love this taco sloppy joe recipe as much as I do, please write a 5 star review, and help me share the recipe on Facebook and Pinterest! If you make the recipe, be sure to share that you tried it on Pinterest. I love when readers share feedback!

Easy Homemade Taco Sloppy Joes Recipe


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open faced taco sloppy joes sandwich with avocado, chopped tomatoes, lettuce, and shredded cheddar on a gray plate with tortilla chips

Taco Sloppy Joes

How to make homemade taco sloppy joes with ground beef and all the fixings. Easy dinner recipe your family will love, especially the kids!
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Course: Burgers & Sandwiches
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 402kcal
Author: Mel Lockcuff


  • 1 tablespooon bacon grease *
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion minced
  • 1 large bell pepper chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 3 cups lettuce shredded
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
  • 2 whole avocados mashed
  • 5 green onions chopped


  • Heat the bacon grease in a large skillet until hot. 
  • Then add in the garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the onion and bell pepper in with the garlic and sauté for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the ground beef into the skillet, stirring the garlic, onions, and bell pepper 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 lemon juice, chili powder, salt, black pepper, and chopped tomato into the meat, stirring until combined.
  • Let the taco sloppy joe mixture simmer for at least 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prep the taco ingredients, including lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, avocados, green onions, and whatever else you like on your tacos.
  • Serve on toasted buns or on a bed of lettuce or spinach.


**I recommend using bacon grease for the added flavor it will give 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.


Serving: 5servings | Calories: 402kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 25g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 100mg | Sodium: 771mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g
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