Homemade Sloppy Joe Recipe
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Homemade Sloppy Joe Recipe

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This homemade sloppy joe recipe is my daughter Heidi’s recipe. If you have family members with recipes you love, get them now. I really wish I had had my mom write down some of her recipes.

I have several of mom’s recipes but there are some no one in the family has, which is really sad. So if you have a minute, ask family members or friends for some of those recipes you all love.

I’ve always been a fan of making sloppy joes, so I asked Heidi for her recipe and then I made these for dinner. Adults and kids love this family-friendly meal, right?

If you’re like me, you think some recipes are too spicy, too sweet, or too bland. Well, this recipe is a keeper for sure! It’s full of chopped onions, ground beef, and a tangy tomato sauce.

Here’s another recipe list you should check out, you’ll be glad you did: 20 Delicious Potato Salad Recipes

Items You May Need In The Kitchen:

  • Frying Pan
  • Spatula
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
Homemade Sloppy Joe Recipe

Homemade Sloppy Joe Recipe

Step One: Gather Your Ingredients

Gather your ingredients because it helps so much to have everything ready to start.

Homemade Sloppy Joe Recipe

Step Two: Chop the Onions

I love chopping onions, I cut the ends off, then cut the onions in half, remove the outer skin and they are ready to chop.

Chop the Onions

Step Three: Combine Dry Ingredients

Combine the brown sugar, chili powder, dry mustard, salt, and curry powder. Set the bowl aside.

Dry Ingredients

Step Four: Brown the Onions and Ground Beef

Grab a large frying pan and brown the onions and ground beef until cooked through. Drain any excess liquid.

Cook the Meat and Onions

Step Five: Mix with Dry Ingredients

Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

Homemade Sloppy Joe Recipe

Finished Product

Serve on hamburger buns. We’ve been having these sloppy joes sandwiches for lunch almost every day. I even had one open-faced one day. You’ll enjoy the flavor, texture, and how full you’re feeling each time you have one. Enjoy.

Homemade Sloppy Joe Recipe

Homemade Sloppy Joe Recipe

5 from 3 votes
Homemade Sloppy Joe Recipe
Heidi’s Sloppy Joe Recipe
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 people
Author: Linda Loosli
  1. Combine the brown sugar, chili powder, dry mustard, salt, and curry powder. Set the bowl aside. Grab a large frying pan and brown the onions and ground beef until cooked through. Drain any excess liquid. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

How do I store the leftover sloppy joe mixture?

I store the leftovers in an airtight container in my fridge.

Can I freeze the leftover sloppy joe mixture?

This recipe is great to freeze! It will be good in your freezer if stored in an airtight container for 2-3 months.

What can I serve with these?

  • Baked Beans
  • Potato Chips
  • Tossed Salad
  • Macaroni Salad
  • Potato Salad
  • Dill Pickles
  • Coleslaw
  • Macaroni and Cheese

Why do Americans eat sloppy joes?

Back in the 1930s, people needed to stretch meals because of the economy, adding onions made it so they could feed a lot of people with less meat. Spooning the mixture on hamburger buns made a complete meal.

Is sloppy joe and Manwich the same?

Manwich was designed to help people make sloppy joes at home. It’s easier to make them from scratch in my opinion. But I like Manwich every so often.

What is the sloppy joe sauce made of?

It starts with ground beef and then adding a tomato sauce, tomato soup, or tomato paste.

How many sloppy joes can I get out of one pound of ground beef?

You can get approximately 6, depending on how many onions or filler you add, and how thick you like your sandwiches. Have a fork or spoon ready, this filling may fall out on your plate.

Read More of My Articles  Recipes You Can Make in Your Rice Cooker

How long can I safely store the mixture?

You can store this mixture in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

How can I make this sloppy joe mix more tangy?

I like to add more onions to mixtures like this if I need it to be more tange. There may be other spices you’d like to try. Be adventurous!

Final Word

There is something awesome about cooking with kids and grandkids in the kitchen. We are teaching them the skill of cooking from scratch and saving money at the same time by eating at home.

It’s all about stocking your pantry and freezer. I am shocked at the cost of ground beef these days, let alone any other cut of meat.

We are now only eating meat once a week. Please stock your pantry when you can, you will not regret it. May God Bless this world, Linda

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  1. Linda,

    We have Sloppy Joes maybe twice a month. Jane uses a recipe from Emeril that is similar to your daughter’s. It omits the curry and chili powders but adds diced red bell pepper and garlic. Delish!

    1. Carla, I just sent 2 comments with the second one a tavern recipe that could be easily canned. You’d just multiply the ingredients to make as much as you want to Can, doing the 75/90 timing at 10-11 lbs pressure.

  2. 5 stars
    I am with Ray on omitting the curry powder. Curry is one of the few spices that I just cannot stand to eat. But, I am sure this recipe would be great without it. And, as usual for us Texans, we can always throw in a few chopped jalapenos in place of the curry powder. LOL! Or, as Ray says, some diced bell pepper would be a great addition. This is a recipe that any individual can start with and tailor to their personal taste. Great job as usual.

    1. Hi Harry, thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend!! Well, we all know Texans know how to cook and BBQ! I need to try the jalapenos next time!! You’re the best! Thanks for your kind words! Linda

  3. 5 stars
    We eat Sloppy Joes a lot. We’ve always used Manwich. I will be trying your recipe next time we make them, though. I’ll omit the Curry though. We can’t eat spicey foods any more.

    1. Hi Deborah, Thank you for the 5 stars, my sweet friend. I was actually worried about adding the curry because Mark does not like curry but he didn’t say anything. Linda

  4. My brother and I were raised mostly by our single mom and we ate a lot of sloppy Joe’s. I have fond memories of this dish. Mom always topped it with a slice of cheese. Yum! Thank you for the recipe Linda. Another way to stretch this out is to cook lentils and use them as half the meat. Some people who cannot or choose not to eat red meat can substitute all lentils ot cooked ground turkey or venison.

    1. Hi Steff, I’m so glad you mentioned this about lentils. I learned how to cook with lentils from Janet, an awesome reader. I believe we will be making more and more meals that are meatless. I LOVE LOVE LOVE your comment! Linda

  5. We’ve had a family recipe for several generations that we use. Last night I actually made if for the first time using ground turkey and it had the same wonderful flavor, without the heavy in your stomach’s feeling. Not going back to expensive ground beef now. The family recipe is forever changed.

    1. Hi Renee, I hear you about the expensive beef, I will not be buying any beef until the prices come down. If it gets bad I will become a vegetarian. My husband picked this ground beef up for me because the post was scheduled to write and I choked when he told me it cost $8.00 a pound. And I need two pounds. I will have to try ground turkey, thank you for the tip! Linda

      1. I love sloppy joes. Want to give this one a try too! Thank you for sharing, Linda.
        Recently I made a double batch of sloppy joes using our family recipe and a 28 oz. can of ground beef. It worked well, so I have that in my storage now since canned meats will last a few years.

  6. This is one of the dishes I froze in 1 serving containers (which turned out to be 3 sandwiches..but that’s okey dokey) and I added green peppers. When using/heating/eating, the pepper sure adds a nice zing to the sandwich.
    I keep buns in the freezer with the loaves of bread …don’t even notice when thawed.

    1. Hi JayJay, I love this idea! One serving containers are awesome! Plus, having bread and some hamburger buns in the freezer, you can make a sloppy joe anytime you want one! Love this! Linda

  7. 5 stars

    I will try and make your sloppy Joe’s but I will exclude the Worcestershire sauce, Chilli and Curry Powder. My family does not like a lot of hot spices. In fact I don’t even use Chilli powder in our chilli. I will substitute Granulated onion and garlic in mine. My husband won’t eat it anyhow because he does not eat beef. Only pork and Chicken. I could try it out with some BBQ pork.

  8. Family recipes are such a treasure! After my mom passed in 2000, her recipes were left with my dad who had been using them with her as she lost her eyesight, so of course he was familiar with her piles/small notebooks/recipe cards…but there was one recipe he could not find: Impossible PB cookies. None of us could remember the ingredients! About 3 yrs later, my sis found the recipe card stuck in one of her old magazines, as a bookmark? Promptly shared it with dad and the rest of us. Here it is: 1 cup sugar, 1 egg, 1 cup PB, 1 tsp vanilla. Mix, drop onto baking sheet, bake at 325 for 5-8 minutes. Lol, mom added a note: replace the vanilla with a chocolate drop on top! What an easy recipe yet none of us had wrote it down nor remembered it. I made it a lot for my family after this! Years later, my dad gathered all her recipes and boxed them, made me take the whole kit and kaboodle. I’ve been copying them, sending recipe cards to the relatives, especially the younger ones. With a lot of recipes, there’s a lot of memories too.

    1. Hi Wendy, now I want to make those cookies with the chocolate drop on top!! Oh the box of recipes, what a treasure!! All the memories in one box!! AWESOME comment, Linda

      1. These cookies stay soft for a long time! And, it is odd but if the chocolate drop is used, the vanilla needs to Not be in the mix. I’ve memorized the recipe now, lol, it’s just 1 of each ingredient.

  9. I’m sharing your sloppy joe recipe with my son who loves cooking and loves Spice, including curry. My memory of sloppy joes is that SJ’s are different than Taverns, lol. While my family has used dry SJ mix, plain tomato soup or manwich, our favorite is for Taverns. In my small hometown, this recipe is named for the woman who seemed to introduce these…by bringing a pot to newcomers, to those having hard times or a death, or to celebrations. She passed a long time ago but her name is fondly attached to this recipe to this day. Here it is: Lorraine Rice Taverns. Brown together 2 lbs hamburger, 3/4 c chopped onion. (Don’t drain) Add 2 cans chicken gumbo soup, 1 can (or cup) tomato soup, 1 Tbsp catsup, 1 Tbsp mustard. Simmer at least half an hour. (this reduces the liquids).
    A couple of things I’ve noticed is that the gumbo soup has rice in it so the grease is absorbed and the okra (gumbo) helps to thicken it. The longer it’s simmered, the more thick it becomes. Not much sloppiness on the bun! It’s great to freeze especially using food saver bags. I haven’t done it but think this would be wonderful to Can as it has very little grease (which is problematic with meat sometimes). I’m sure it would taste fine with Any ground meat. I’ve even thought about making from scratch with plain gumbo of okra and rice, cooking with ground turkey, onion and tomato soup or sauce for a cheaper version. Sadly, chicken gumbo soup is now fairly pricey ($1.89/can here) so making big batches with hamburger (also a bit pricey) makes it iffy as to if I’d want to can the original recipe. I hope anyone reading this does try the recipe as it’s soooo good. Also very little salt for those who need to limit this.

    1. Hi Wendy, oh my gosh, I never thought about using chicken gumbo soup!! Now, I want to make some more sloppy joes! Thanks for sharing the recipe! Life is good when we cook from scratch! Yummy! Linda

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