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Sloppy Joes are a delicious sandwich made with ground beef in a sweet and spicy tomato sauce. Don’t forget the napkins!

Sloppy Joes

When my husband Jack told me that he wanted to make a Sloppy Joes recipe to feature here on A Family Feast – it made me smile!  Jack and I both remember having Sloppy Joes as kids growing up – and even today, it’s still a delicious, kid-friendly meal!


Sloppy Joes

What are Sloppy Joes?

A Sloppy Joe is a classic American sandwich made with ground beef (or sometimes ground pork) in a tomato sauce that has been seasoned with Worcestershire sauce and other seasonings.

Our recipe is a super-flavorful mixture of ground beef, onions, shredded carrots and celery combined with a tomato-based sauce that is flavored with Colman’s dry mustard, balsamic vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce for some added zip to the sauce. It all cooks up together in a skillet until hot and bubbly and the flavors all meld together.

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are served over a hearty kaiser roll – or on a ‘bulkie’ roll as they are called here in New England.

Some people like to eat their Sloppy Joes with a fork and knife. But we we think half the fun of a Sloppy Joe is eating it with your hands like any other sandwich, and letting things get – sloppy! (You’ll need plenty of napkins!)


Sloppy Joes

Our version of Sloppy Joes also has bell pepper added to the mix which is a nod to a variation of the sandwich called the “Dynamite” in the Woonsocket area of Rhode Island.  The origins of the Dynamite sandwich are not well documented, but some locals attribute it back to Canada – based on a heavy concentration of residents in Woonsocket with a French Canadian heritage.

What do I serve with Sloppy Joes?

Sloppy Joes are great served with chips, and coleslaw on the side, and make a great family-friendly meal anytime of the year. Sloppy Joes are a great option when cooking over the fire on a summer camping trip, or for a game day party menu. Either way, Sloppy Joes are a delicious and hearty meal for kids of all ages!

Sloppy Joes

This Sloppy Joes recipe originally appeared on A Family Feast in July 2013. We’ve updated the photos and recipe a bit.

You may like these other sandwich recipes:

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Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes

  • Author: A Family Feast
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings
  • Category: entree
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided

2 pounds 80/20 ground beef

1 cup diced onion

¼ cup finely diced green bell pepper

½ cup finely shredded carrot (small holes of grater)

¼ cup finely minced celery

1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon Colman’s dry mustard powder

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

1 14.5-ounce can pureed tomatoes

1 tablespoon chili powder

½ teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bulkie rolls for serving


In a 14-inch skillet or saute pan over medium heat add one tablespoon of the oil and once hot cook ground beef until browned. Remove from heat and pour into a strainer over a bowl. Set browned beef aside. Let the fat rise to the top of the liquid left in the bowl, then skim off all but one tablespoon of the fat on top of the liquid. (Save the liquid, discard the fat you skimmed off.) Add the browned beef into the bowl with the liquid and set aside.

In the same pan over medium heat, add the remaining two tablespoons of the olive oil and once hot, add the onions, peppers, carrot and celery and sauté four minutes. Add garlic and sauté for one more minute. Add tomato paste and cook for another two minutes.

Add the balsamic vinegar and loosen up any brown bits from the bottom.

Add all other ingredients including cooked beef and the reserved liquid. Stir to combine.

Cook over medium heat for ten minutes to incorporate flavors, stirring often. Remove from heat and serve on bulkie rolls or your favorite burger bun.


If your Sloppy Joes mixture dries out, simply reheat with a little water to loosen it up.

Keywords: Sloppy Joes


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  • Herb Korn wrote:

    I am a cook at a local restaurant and always enjoy looking for what others think are good recipes. Most fail miserably. On the other hand, I have looked at a few dozen of yours and I am VERY impressed.
    Keep up the good work.
    Herb Korn

    • Jack wrote:

      Thank you Herb

      I spent my life in kitchens with my ears open and mouth shut listening to everyone I worked for and with. If I saw a recipe that I liked or a tip or trick, I wrote it down. Today I pull these out and try to incorporate them into our blog.

      Thank you for your kind words,

  • Henrianna Pearce wrote:

    You said to save 1 tbsp of fat but you never said what to do with it or when to add it. Please let me know what and when. Thanks

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Henrianna – Thanks so much for your question – we probably need to clarify our instructions. That tablespoon of fat would be left behind in the liquid which gets combined with the beef in the first step. (So – perhaps it is more clear to say skim off all but one tablespoon of fat from the liquid.) We will update the recipe as soon as possible. Apologies for the confusion!

  • Lisa Behsman wrote:

    The recipe sounds great! I make something similar and I like the idea of adding carrots and celery. My daughter is a picky eater and I’m hoping to get her to try this. Thanks again!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Lisa! Hope your daughter enjoys this too! Thanks for stopping by our site!

  • Laura wrote:

    Looks like a great recipe! I love hearing new terms for food, etc..keep doing what you are doing because it really educates us midwesterners! I’m making these for my family tomorrow night and I am willing to bet they will be a hit.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks for your very kind message Laura! We hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Cassie | Web Design Cincinnati wrote:

    Yummy. This one looks really delicious. Thank you for sharing this.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Cassie!

  • Courtney wrote:

    By the way, I will definitely be using a Bulkie Roll for Kenny, and will try my darndest to recreate a GF Bulkie Roll for JC. They are too delicious to pass up! Thank you yet ANOTHER great recipe!

  • Jean Carpenter wrote:

    I can’t wait to make this! My boys grew up eating dynamites lovingly prepared by their Meme, yes, in Woonsocket, RI. So I can relate. I never cared for the “heat” in dynamites so I think this recipe will be great.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Jean! We hope you enjoy the recipe! Our version is definitely not as spicy as the Dynamite sandwiches that I’ve had… Enjoy!

  • Courtney wrote:

    Yes! Can’t wait to make these for your handsome Grandson!

    • Martha wrote:

      He loved this when he had it at our house!! Make a double recipe! 🙂

  • Kathy wrote:

    Wow! These sloppy joes look absolutely delicious!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Kathy!

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