Best Ever Homemade Sloppy Joes

by Gretchen · May contain affiliate links

Published Updated April 21, 2022

~ 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 {}

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 {}

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 {}

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 {}

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 {}

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?

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Best Ever Sloppy Joes Recipe {}
Best Ever Sloppy Joes Recipe {}

50 thoughts on “Best Ever Homemade Sloppy Joes”

  1. What a treat! I had totally forgotten about sloppy joes. Thanks for reminding me of this old school favourite. I’m making this for my boys soon!

    • Hahaha – totally old school, for sure! Some things just never stop being awesome. 😉 I’m so excited for you to share this with your boys – I hope they’ll love this easy sloppy joe recipe just as much as my family does! ~Shelley

  2. I love the sound of your snow days, and I can’t imagine anything better than to have my hands wrapped around one of these sloppy Joes! I’m already dreaming about the tomatoes, lovely ground beef … with all those juices soaked into the bun!
    Totally yummy!

    • Oh, that’s so fun – I hope he’ll be surprised and {deliciously} happy! We love this easy sloppy joe recipe – we definitely crowned them as the BEST sloppy joes for good reason! Hope your hubby enjoys them just as much as we do! ~Shelley


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