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Best Ever Homemade Sloppy Joes

~ Our families have declared this Homemade Sloppy Joe recipe the absolute best ever … so much better (and healthier!) than Manwich. Super-simple, and you can even make it ahead for busy nights! ~

This Recipe Is:     Ready in 30 Minutes or Less    Freezable    Make Ahead  

Best Ever Sloppy Joes Recipe {www.TwohealthyKitchens.com}

I love comfort food. Especially when it’s cold outside.

And friends, it’s cold in Ohio. Our kids have been to school a whopping 5.5 days so far in 2015. All the snow and extreme cold temps make it awfully tough for the buses to get our precious little ones to school safely, so we’ve had a few snow days.

I’m totally not complaining. I {heart} snow days. I still get super excited! Maybe even more than my kids … and they get pretty darn giddy! Ahhh … snow days are the best ever!

Best Ever Sloppy Joes Recipe {www.TwohealthyKitchens.com}

The chance to sleep in! Monopoly tournaments! Movies while snuggling on the couch! Sledding! (Ok, so the sledding is more for the kids … but I make the hot cocoa!)

And on those really cold days, I don’t know about you, but I’m craving comfort food! Mmmm … comfort food! It’s just the best ever! (So, if you’re following along, that would be best-ever comfort food on a best-ever snow day … that’s pretty darn best-est!)

Sometimes, though, good ‘ol comfort food takes a really long time to make. But on snow days, I don’t have that kind of time. (Remember … Monopoly, movies, the making of all the hot cocoa?)

Best Ever Sloppy Joes Recipe {www.TwohealthyKitchens.com}

I really want to whip up a delicious, hearty meal, but I need it to be quick, too. Something that will keep us toasty and cozy. And, of course, totally kid-approved!

Mmmmmm … I know! A wonderfully warm, yummy hot sandwich. Yes! That is what we shall have! Sloppy joes!

And when ya make your own, you know what’s in ’em. There’s no, shall we say … questionable ingredients.

Oh … and if you think you might get entangled in a never-ending Monopoly-a-thon, you can even make these in advance! They reheat perfectly!

Let the happy dance commence!

Best Ever Sloppy Joes Recipe {www.TwohealthyKitchens.com}

So fast! So easy! So healthy!

My littlest, who always used to ask for “No sauce, please” on her sloppy-joes-from-a-can, now asks for seconds of these! Choosing homemade over the brand name? For a kid? If that’s not a parental win, I don’t know what is!

Shelley’s son even dubbed these “the best sloppy joes ever” (yup, best ever – it’s today’s theme, ya know)! And really – I have to agree with him.

These sloppy joes are the perfect meal on a cold, snowy day. Or a busy weeknight. Or for a Saturday lunch before you head out to the slopes. Or for any day. At any time. They’re really just … the best ever!

Best Ever Sloppy Joes Recipe {www.TwohealthyKitchens.com}

So go ahead and pop in another movie and grab those kids for a few more snuggles. This super-easy-best-ever sloppy joes recipe will be ready in a flash!

More Sloppy Joe Joy

Wanna riff on this classic recipe? Shake things up and get a little creative? Try these unique sloppy joe recipes, too!

Best Ever Homemade Sloppy Joes Recipe

Best Ever Homemade Sloppy Joes Recipe

Yield: 3 cups
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes

This deliciously easy sloppy joe recipe is so much better than Manwich! A total family favorite! So simple, and you can even make it ahead for busy nights!

  Ready in 30 Minutes or Less    Freezable  •  Make Ahead  


  • 1 pound extra-lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup frozen, diced onions (see note)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste with Italian herbs
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Frank's Red Hot
  • 1/2 cup frozen, diced green peppers (see note)
  • 2-3 tablespoons water (see note)
  • whole wheat buns


  1. Preheat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat and add beef, onion, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Cook until beef is browned and cooked through, stirring to crumble, about 8-10 minutes. Drain if needed (although, if using very lean beef, you probably won’t need to).
  2. Add tomato paste, brown sugar, mustard, and hot sauce. Cook for 5-10 minutes to allow flavors to meld.
  3. Stir in green peppers, cooking just until peppers are hot and crisp-tender.
  4. Add water, until desired consistency is reached.
  5. Serve immediately on whole wheat buns, passing additional hot sauce as desired.


Frozen onions and peppers, and water: If you have fresh onions and green peppers on hand, these will work perfectly, as well. However, you'll need to add more water at the end of cooking, likely about 1/4 - 1/3 cup, if you use fresh vegetables. As frozen veggies thaw, they release more water than the fresh veggies do, which is why, with fresh vegetables, you'll need to add a little more water.

Make-ahead options: This reheats beautifully. If you're crunched for time in the evening, you can easily make this the night before or earlier in the day, and then simply reheat just prior to serving. It also freezes well if you want to make batches further in advance.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 servings Serving Size: 1 sandwich
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 327Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gFiber: 3g

Nutrition information should be considered an estimate only, and may vary depending on your choice of ingredients or preparation. No guarantees are made regarding allergies or dietary needs. Always consult a physician or dietician for specific advice and questions.

Did You Make This Recipe?

We'd LOVE to hear! Please leave a star-rating above. And, tag us on Instagram @twohealthykitchens

Best Ever Sloppy Joes Recipe {www.TwohealthyKitchens.com}
Best Ever Sloppy Joes Recipe {www.TwohealthyKitchens.com}


  1. We tried this recipe last night and it was one of the best sloppy joes I’ve ever had! Our friends came over and they loved it too! In fact, they loved it so much that they asked for the recipe! Thank you for sharing this yummy post with us!

    1. You’re so very welcome – I’m just absolutely thrilled to hear it, Anna! They really are the best sloppy joes, aren’t they? Delighted you enjoyed them and even had people asking for the recipe – that’s really a huge compliment! 😀 ~Shelley

  2. This is the best sloppy joes we’ve ever made. I was trying to figure out what to make ahead to give the grandsons when they stopped by when I came across this recipe. They loved it and I really liked the idea I could make it the day ahead and just warm up. So convenient and so good.

    1. Marisa, I’m so happy that these homemade sloppy joes were easy for you … and that they were such a complete hit with your grandsons. That’s awesome! And I totally agree – it’s wonderful that these can be made ahead (even frozen!) – such a lifesaver on super-busy days to be able to pull this out of the freezer and know the whole family will be happy at dinnertime! 😉 Thanks for taking the time to leave such a lovely note – I appreciate it! ~Shelley

  3. Good morning! I made these Homemade Sloppy Joes, and they turned out great. I loved the fact that all the kids could eat them—some like it hot, some not—so we let them adjust them with hot sauce to their liking. Worked like a charm, and all were happy campers. I will be making this Homemade Sloppy Joe recipe again soon!!!!

    1. Hi, Heidy! I’m so pleased to hear that these homemade sloppy joes were a hit with your whole family, and that you used our little strategy to allow spice lovers to amp up the heat if they wanted. That’s how it goes in our family, too – my guys like things spicy (and squirt hot sauce on practically everything!) … I’m a middle of the road kinda girl … and my daughter likes her food nice and calm. With this sloppy joe recipe, everybody can have it their way! So honored to have this recipe in your regular rotation now – that’s terrific! ~Shelley

  4. These sloppy Joes are total comfort food and ridiculously easy to whip up! I love anything with Frank’s hot sauce, so that was such a delicious addition for me. We’re definitely adding this to the regular weekly menu.

    1. Haha – we go through a lot of Frank’s at our house, too, Amanda! The hot sauce really doesn’t make this sloppy joe recipe spicy though, does it? It just adds an additional, wonderful layer of flavor. Although, of course, if you’re like my son and husband, you’ll want to add EXTRA Frank’s, so your sandwich actually is a bit spicy! But hey – everybody can have these their way, which is a great benefit of making homemade sloppy joes instead of dumping them out of a can! 😉 Honored these are going into regular rotation at your house – that’s a big compliment! ~Shelley

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