Tips To Serve Sloppy Joe Sauce The Best

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The humble Sloppy Joe: a childhood favorite, a weeknight dinner hero, and a recipe with endless variations. But have you ever wondered how to make the perfect Sloppy Joe sauce? Fear not, for this guide will take you on a journey through the ingredients, techniques, and delicious possibilities of crafting the ultimate Sloppy Joe sauce.


Manwich - Sloppy Joe Sauce "Original" ( g)
Manwich – Sloppy Joe Sauce “Original” ( g)

1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced (optional)
  • 1 pound ground beef (or your preferred protein substitute)
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Directions

    1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion (and green pepper, if using) and cook until softened and translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
    2. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the ground beef. Cook, breaking it up with a spoon, until browned throughout. Drain any excess grease.
    3. Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika (if using). Bring to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to meld. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.


    For a thicker sauce, simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes.

  • Want a bit of spice? Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce during simmering.
  • This sauce is incredibly versatile! Feel free to experiment with different protein options like ground turkey, chicken, or even lentils for a vegetarian twist.

  • Nutrition Facts (per serving, based on a 4-serving recipe)

    Calories: 400

  • Fat: 20g
  • Saturated Fat: 8g
  • Cholesterol: 70mg
  • Sodium: 600mg (depending on the sodium content of your ingredients)
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Sugar: 20g
  • Protein: 25g

  • Please note: This is a general estimate and the actual nutritional content may vary depending on the specific ingredients used.


    With this recipe in your arsenal, you’ll be a Sloppy Joe maestro in no time. The rich, flavorful sauce combined with your choice of protein creates a dish that’s satisfying and perfect for any occasion. So grab your favorite burger buns, pile on the sauce, and get ready to enjoy a delicious classic!

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    1. Can I use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef?

    Absolutely! This recipe is easily adaptable to your dietary preferences. Simply substitute the ground beef with ground turkey, chicken, or even lentils for a vegetarian option.

    2. How can I make this recipe in a slow cooker?

    For a hands-off approach, you can easily prepare Sloppy Joe sauce in a slow cooker. Brown the ground beef in a skillet as directed, then add all ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours.

    3. What are some good side dishes to serve with Sloppy Joes?

    Classic options like french fries, onion rings, or coleslaw pair perfectly with Sloppy Joes. For a healthier twist, try roasted vegetables, a side salad, or sweet potato fries.

    4. Can I freeze leftover Sloppy Joe sauce?

    Yes! Let the sauce cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

    5. How can I add a bit of a kick to my Sloppy Joe sauce?