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Homemade Sloppy Joes Recipe

In Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, Sandra Castillo simmers up a big batch of this tangy sandwich filling, then freezes the extras. "Just thaw and reheat it for a quick dinner. It's also good for larger gatherings," she writes.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. Cook: 30 min. YIELD:12 servings


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Hamburger buns, split


  • 1. In a large skillet, cook the beef, onions and garlic over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the ketchup, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, Italian seasoning, onion powder and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
  • 2. Serve about 1/2 cup meat mixture on each bun. Or cool and freeze in freezer containers for up to 3 months.
  • 3. To use frozen sloppy joes: Thaw in the refrigerator; place in a saucepan and heat though. Serve on buns. Yield: 12 servings (about 6 cups).

Reviews for Homemade Sloppy Joes

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[email protected] User ID: 1665956 256790
Reviewed Nov. 14, 2016

"A favorite family stand by for years!"

[email protected] User ID: 2044675 245924
Reviewed Mar. 24, 2016

"When I was growing up I hated sloppy joes, too dang "tomatoee"! This is the only one I will make because of that. I agree with mamaknowsbest. If you have a favorite BBQ sauce that's what makes the difference to me since I like the more smokey flavor. You can always adjust the vinegar and sugar flavor up and down to suit tastes."

mamaknowsbest User ID: 5826120 92022
Reviewed Apr. 28, 2014

"I had been looking for a sloppy joe recipe that would taste like what I grew up eating. This is it!!! Everyone has loved this recipe. The taste can vary depending on the BBQ sauce you choose. We used our family favorite so we knew were starting out with a taste profile we liked. The ability to change the BBQ sauce allows for wide and fun variations of this classic recipe. Also good to note, that it freezers very well."

DJ2Fan User ID: 6713910 36681
Reviewed Jan. 15, 2014

"This recipe turned out delicious and is definitely going on my "make again" list! I made half the recipe and it was perfect for two hungry adults with some leftover. But I did not have enough ketchup on hand so I substituted 8 oz. tomato sauce. The flavor was great--I didn't miss the ketchup at all--and that was the only substitution I made."

Francisca3032 User ID: 6052254 90242
Reviewed Dec. 1, 2013

"This is really good I followed the recipe to the T and everyone loved it. I used Sweet and Spicy Chipotle BBQ sauce and it hit home with the kids and hubby."

Sugie42 User ID: 7119252 36677
Reviewed Feb. 2, 2013

"just my husband and I ,and we ENJOYthis type of cooking on the weekends,very good,i JUST PUT IN A LOT LESS SUGAR"

[email protected] User ID: 3102613 38120
Reviewed Oct. 29, 2012

"We are used to a little more savory/tomato based sloppy joe. This was a little sweeter than we are used to and the cider vinegar was too strong. I'd try it again but use some diced tomatoes and cut way back on the vinegar. The seasonings were good and in general a good consistency after simmering for a while."

cookinama User ID: 5947968 31532
Reviewed Jan. 30, 2012

"This is delicious. I made it for a large group of friends and it was all gone! Definitely a keeper!"

cookinama User ID: 5947968 90241
Reviewed Jan. 30, 2012

"I made this for a party and all my friends loved it! I've never really liked sloppy joes, but this is delicious! I had an empty crock pot,they ate it all!"

pastagrammie User ID: 5636060 36675
Reviewed Aug. 1, 2011

"My family really enjoyed this recipe. I used 1 1/2 lb.beef & 1 1/2 lb. deer meat -very good. definitly a keeper. Thank you Sandra"

stacienbob User ID: 3130162 89406
Reviewed Jul. 3, 2011

"Just made this for a family gathering after I discovered I didn't have any canned "name brand" sloppy joe mix in my cabinet. Very easy to put together and everyone loved it. I used 3 pounds of burger but used everything else pretty much in the amount as listed on the recipe."

auntiggy User ID: 2101141 56008
Reviewed Jun. 30, 2011

"My daycare kids loved this one!!! It is in my recipe box!"

pdtomlinson User ID: 1501572 31480
Reviewed Feb. 9, 2011

"It was very tasty. I used Honey BBQ sauce, (live in Honduras and it was all that it was the only kind available) and with the brown sugar is was a little to sweet, but it is on the make agian list."

snidely_whiplash67 User ID: 4873502 91888
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2010

"Might be one of the best sloppy joes recipe I've found yet. I did cut the sugar down a tad, but everyone loved it."

rharkless User ID: 1200027 89405
Reviewed Oct. 29, 2010

"It's a little sweet (and that's with cutting the sugar in half), but very tasty. A little zippier than the canned variety. I'll be making this again!"

ajkan User ID: 5338812 90240
Reviewed Oct. 10, 2010

"Made this recipe buy instead of simmering I placed in crock pot on low for a few hours and served. Cooking for a large harvest crew and it was a big hit!!"

mcjezdimir User ID: 2635363 126123
Reviewed Jul. 10, 2010

"I thought it was too sweet so I added some crushed tomatoes which helped"

mother of 3 User ID: 1726536 80754
Reviewed Feb. 11, 2010

"I've been making this since it was published in 2001. Tonight only my husband was eating, so I reduced the ingredient amounts. He ate all of it-wonderful, no leftovers. He looks forward to the nights I make this. It's also good with ground turkey."

Julie20fan User ID: 3959278 38112
Reviewed Apr. 19, 2009

"I have made this twice and each time it has come out wonderful. I enjoy trying new things and this is one I will continue to make. I did not realize these are ingredients I already have in my home."

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