Easy Homemade Sloppy Joes

Homemade Sloppy JoesCredit: istockphoto.com

If you love sloppy joes but have been reading ingredients on those prepackaged cans of sloppy joe mix and want an easy sloppy joes recipe that you can do yourself, try this homemade sloppy joes that is sure to please, fast and easy to make. When you make homemade sloppy joes you get to control all the ingredients and can avoid eating too much sodium as well as many unknown ingredients that are used as preservatives so you end up cooking healthier recipes.  This recipe involves only eight steps and takes less than 45 minutes from start to finish.


Things you will need:

1 pound of extra lean ground beef

one small onion

one of each – red pepper, yellow pepper, orange pepper and green pepper

6-8 plum, heirloom or vine ripe tomatoes

one small jalepeno pepper (larger if you like hot and spicy food)

one cup tomato juice

one cup of water

2 fresh cloves of garlic

12 black olives

chili powder

salt and pepper


Step One:

In a large non stick skillet add ground beef on medium heat and brown, breaking up the large pieces into small diced sized bits.


Step Two:

Use a small food processor to dice vegetables or finely dice the onion, garlic, peppers, olives and tomatoes. I love and use the Kitchen Aid 3 Cup Chopper pictured here.

*A food processor works well to make sure that the vegetables are similar sizes and makes cutting vegetables much faster so that you will use more in every day recipes.


Step Three:

Continue browning the ground meat fully and drain off any excess fat.

*Use an empty can or other heat proof container to pour off excess fat and to allow the fat to cool fully and then discard.


Step Four:

Once the ground meat is browned, add the diced tomatoes and other vegetables. Add the tomato juice and water and turn the heat to simmer.

*No lid is needed as you want the sloppy joe sauce to reduce and thicken.


Step Five:

Add One tablespoon of chili powder to start and one teaspoon each of salt and pepper, mix in thoroughly.


Step Six:

Continue to simmer all ingredients while mixing to prevent sticking for at least 25-30 minutes. Taste to determine if more chili powder is required as it adds a spicy element to the sloppy joes as well as it will turn the sauce more of a brown color. Add more salt or pepper at this time as well if needed.


Step Seven:

Sloppy Joes should be done when all the liquid from the tomato juice and vegetables has reduced or thickened and the vegetables are softened. The thicker the meat mixture is, the less chance of it falling out of the bun and onto the plate.

*Avoid over cooking to prevent the mixture from drying out.


Step Eight:

Serve a large spoonful of sloppy joe mix onto a healthy whole wheat roll or bun and enjoy with a side of applesauce, cole slaw, mixed greens salad, fruit, pickles or serving of chips. Sloppy Joes can be messy so a fork will be needed as some of the meat mixture will inevitably fall onto the plate.

Recipe makes 12 sandwiches


Make homemade sloppy joes sure to please everyone for your next meal or your next picnic and chances are pretty good that you will always want to make your own recipes from scratch and avoid buying prepackaged cans of sloppy joe mix again. It's easy and you can rest easier knowing what each ingredient in your prepared meals is instead of store bought.

Kitchen Aid Chopper

My favorite small kitchen appliance!

KitchenAid 3-Cup Chef's Chopper, Chrome
Amazon Price: $59.99 Buy Now
(price as of May 1, 2016)
Keep this little chopper handy to add more chopped veggies to all your Sloppy Joe and other recipes. I use my chopper/food processor even for canning recipes and find it a real time saver in the kitchen. Makes a great gift for the newlywed or first time home buyer.