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Sloppy Joes

Homemade Sloppy Joes, from scratch, so easy and good, made with ground beef and pork breakfast sausage ~ like mom made growing up but even better.

Sloppy Joes, sandwich on a platter with potato chips.

Does anyone, besides my mom, make sloppy joes anymore?  Manwich came out when I was a kid and she would make that.  Didn’t like or dislike, they were okay.  Over the years, she has passed on homemade sloppy joe recipes to me.  She seems to always be discovering new ways to make them.  So I was digging around in my messy recipe drawer and found a few.  The sloppy joes I just made were the bomb.  They are so retro to me, and when I do make them, everyone loves them and wants seconds.

Sloppy Joes, in pot with wooden spoon.

I have no idea where my mom got this recipe.  I think maybe she tore it out of my newspaper when she was visiting, either in St. Paul or St. Louis.  This recipe has a lot of the traditional, familiar ingredients one would find in a sloppy joe.  But this recipe also has breakfast-style ground pork sausage.  Never heard of that and I found that intriguing.  This is the third sloppy joe recipe I have tried that she has given me, and this was by far the best one.

Sloppy Joes, ingredients photo

I’m pretty sure the recipe was for a slow cooker, but I made the version on the stovetop, per my mom’s instructions over the phone.  They gave it both ways in the recipe she had.  My mom insists on sesame seed hamburger buns for sloppy joes.  This time, however, I used lightly buttered and toasted brioche buns.  Uh, wow, is all I can say.

Sloppy Joes, close up in pot with wooden spoon.

I don’t need to tell you how much Meathead loved these sloppy joes.  I had to stop him from eating too much so we would have leftovers.  And my mom said she was getting the ingredients to make these the next day.  What goes with sloppy joes?  Potato chips of course!  And some fresh strawberries.  That was dinner the other night, in front of the TV watching football.  Well, Meathead was watching football.  I was enjoying my sloppy joe and thinking of my mom, and missing her. Best, Kelly

Sloppy Joes, sandwich on white rectangular plate with chips.

If you’ve tried these Sloppy Joes or any other recipe on the blog, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how yours turned out in the comments below ~ I love hearing from you!  HUNGRY FOR MORE?  Subscribe to The Hungry Bluebird Newsletter for a weekly email of new content and follow along on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM and PINTEREST.

Sloppy Joes, sandwich on plate with chips.

Sloppy Joes

Homemade Sloppy Joes, from scratch, made with ground beef and pork breakfast sausage ~ like mom made growing up but even better.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Sandwich
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 8


  • pounds lean ground beef (I like ground sirloin)
  • 1 16-ounce package ground pork sausage, breakfast-style
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ green pepper, chopped
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup catsup
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • In a large pot, crumble ground beef and sausage, add chopped onion and green pepper. Turn heat on to medium high and brown well, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes. Drain grease well and return meat mixture to pot.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients, bring to a boil and then turn down to low and cover pot. Simmer for 30 minutes, covered, stirring occasionally. Taste for salt.
  • Serve on sesame seed hamburger buns, or better yet, toasted brioche buns. And potato chips.


For Sloppy Joe Macaroni Casserole:
Reserve 1½ cups sloppy joe mixture for another use (sandwiches!).  Add 12 ounces cooked elbow macaroni to the pot and combine.  Pour sloppy joe/mac mixture into 9" X 13" baking dish.  Top with 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese and bake in 400º oven for 15 - 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and lightly browned and casserole is bubbly hot.
Keyword: sloppy joes, sloppy joes from scratch, beef and sausage sloppy joes
Did you make this recipe? Please comment, rate it and share! And mention me on Instagram @thehungrybluebird or tag #thehungrybluebird so I can see!

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Sloppy Joe Macaroni Casserole


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Saturday 16th of July 2016

At the end of Step 1, you write, “Drain grease well and return meat mixture to the pot.”

In draining the grease well, do you intend that I use my fat separater and return the broth to the pot with the meat mixture, or do you discard all the liquid from the browning process, returning only the drained meat to the pot?

Dan Friend of Jill and Jim in California

P.S. I love everything you have posted. Fun and delicious (and also pretty.) Your web site is one of my “staple cookbooks.” This must be my fifth go at your Sloppy Joes. The best.


Monday 18th of July 2016

Hi Dan. No, I do not use a fat separator but I think you could if you want. See how much you get and you could certainly add de-fatted juices back in, good flavor there. I always discard it all, seems mostly fatty to me from the breakfast sausage.

I'm so glad you enjoy the blog, I really enjoy sharing on it.

Cheers, Kelly


Tuesday 23rd of February 2016

WOW!!! The Sloppy Joe recipe is so classic. It’s archetypal. The individual voice of each ingredient blends into one choir. My search for the definitive Sloppy Joe is finally over. No need to look further. My wife loved it over a baked potato. Thank you for the gift. Dan (Friend of Quinn and Jim.)


Tuesday 23rd of February 2016

Thank you so much! Glad you liked. Yeah, pretty classic Americana cooking, nothing quite like a good sloppy joe. (I love Jill and Jim, too!)


Tuesday 23rd of February 2016

Thanks for sharing the receipe. Sorry for my ignorance but wht is catsup? :) Also, the tomato sauce, is it the regular one or with herbs? Thanks!


Tuesday 23rd of February 2016

Hi. It's regular tomato sauce. Catsup or ketchup is a tomato condiment, by the mustard in the grocery store.


Saturday 13th of February 2016

Don and Matt loved these...good alternative on those winter days when you do not want to grill hamburgers!


Wednesday 17th of February 2016

Good to hear, we had some in freezer for a couple last minute meals. So good!


Monday 1st of February 2016

Hi ...making these tonight...thanks!


Monday 1st of February 2016

Great! Let me know how they turn out.