Give canned sauce the boot and try these Homemade Sloppy Joes! A handful of simple ingredients in all you need to make this quick and easy supper!
Ground beef is one of those things that can really work to stretch a family’s grocery budget. And while it might not be as affordable as it once was, it’s still an economical way to put food on the table.
This quick and super easy Sloppy Joes recipe is a great alternative to the canned sauce. Even my wife, who doesn’t like Sloppy Joes, loves this version.
What is a sloppy joe and where did it come from?
Sloppy Joes are simple, loose meat sandwiches with a sweet and tangy sauce that are typically served on hamburger buns. They’re a hearty, comforting dish that everyone in the family will love – especially the kids!
The history of Sloppy Joes is a little fuzzy, though. Some say they were created by a cook named Joe at a restaurant in Sioux City, Iowa. Others credit a bar owner in Havana, Cuba named José “Sloppy Joe” Abeal y Otero when he stewed ground beef and tomatoes together.
Are sloppy joes and Manwiches the same?
Well, yes and no. Sloppy Joe are a dish and Manwich is a brand of premade, canned sloppy joe sauce.
This homemade version replaces the canned sauce with one that you can make with just a handful of simple ingredients. You’ll know exactly what’s in this scratch version and I think it has a much better taste!
- Ground Beef – Any type or ratio of ground beef will work in this recipe. I typically buy ground chuck, but ground sirloin, round, etc. will work. You could even use ground turkey or ground chicken if you’d like.
- Onion – I typically use whatever onion I have on-hand. Yellow, white, red, and sweet onions will all work. I suppose you could use about 1 tablespoon of onion powder instead.
- Green Bell Pepper – I use half of a small green bell pepper that has been seeded and finely diced. For those picky eaters, you can mince the pepper and onion in a food chopper.
- Garlic Powder – I like the milder flavor of garlic powder for this recipe, but you can use a clove of minced fresh garlic as well.
- Ketchup – Pick your favorite brand. I’m a Heinz guy.
- Brown Sugar – Light or dark brown sugar will work. The darker sugar will give it more molasses flavor.
- Yellow Mustard – Yellow mustard gives the sauce and tangy bite.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple cider vinegar gives the sauce a tang to help cut through the sweet and fat.
- Soy Sauce – In many homemade sloppy joe recipes, you’ll find worcestershire sauce. You can absolutely use that unpronounceable sauce here, but I like the flavor of soy better.
How to Make Homemade Sloppy Joes
- Brown the onions and green peppers with ground beef in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat until the meat is cooked through and vegetables are soft. Drain away the excess grease and return the meat to the pan.
- Over medium-low heat, add the garlic powder, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, and soy sauce to the meat mixture and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Serve on soft hamburger buns alongside chip or french fries, if desired.
Homemade Sloppy Joes
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 small green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- hamburger buns
- Brown the onions and green peppers with ground beef in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat until the meat is cooked through and vegetables are soft. Drain the meat and return to pan.
- Over medium-low heat, add the garlic powder, ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, and soy sauce and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Serve on soft hamburger buns.
If nutritional values are provided, they are an estimate and will vary depending on the brands used. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, I recommend grabbing your favorite brands and plugging those ingredients into an online nutritional calculator.