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A hand holding up a hamburger bun that is very full of the best homemade sloppy Joe mix.

Homemade Sloppy Joes

Everyone loves a juicy and messy sloppy Joe. And guess what, these are the best sloppy Joes you'll ever find! They are saucy with lots of flavor. This is an easy meal that can be prepped in advanced and reheated when needed, or even frozen!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 5 sloppy joes
Calories 308kcal


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef can also use ground turkey
  • 1/2 green bell pepper finely diced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 small yellow onion finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar packed, can reduce brown sugar if desired
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • pinch red pepper flakes add more depending on your heat tolerance
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • buns for serving


  • In a medium skillet over medium heat add the olive oil, ground beef, bell pepper, and onion. Cook, breaking up the meat into small chunks as you go, until the meat is browned and cooked through. Drain excess grease. Add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. 
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the ketchup, water, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes (if using), salt, and pepper. Mix to incorporate. 
  • Cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and serve on toasted buns. 


To toast buns: multiple options, can use a grill, toast in a toaster oven, or heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the buns to the skillet and toast until golden brown, flip over and toast the other side to your liking.
To freeze: Make the mixture then cool to room temperature. Portion into a freezer safe container (or freezer-safe bags) and freeze for up to 4 months. When ready to use, remove from freezer and let thaw in the fridge overnight. Reheat before using.
Can also add finely diced celery (1-2 stalks) as well (just add when adding the pepper and onion).
Nutritional information is based on 1 serving. 
Nutritional information is an estimate and does not include buns. 


Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 653mg | Potassium: 451mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 284IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 2mg