This quick and easy homemade Sloppy Joe recipe surpasses the store-bought canned sauce with its simplicity and flavor. Easy to make when you are in a rush, these make the perfect weeknight meal! Make sure to serve these with a side of homemade air fryer french fries!

A plate with a sloppy joe and french fries.

Classic Sloppy Joe Recipe

The Sloppy Joe sandwich is a classic meal adored by kids and a breeze for parents to whip up. Loved for their simplicity, they’re a go-to option for busy nights or casual gatherings. With their no-fuss preparation and universal appeal, Sloppy Joes remain a beloved favorite that brings joy to the table every time.

Ingredients & Substitutions

  • Ground Beef: The main ingredient; swap with turkey, chicken, or vegetarian alternatives.
  • Seasonings: Customize with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, or herbs like oregano.
  • Hamburger Buns: Choose classic, whole wheat, brioche, or even lettuce wraps for a healthier alternative.
  • Cheese (Optional): Top with cheddar, American, or vegan cheese for indulgence.
A sloppy joe on a plate with french fries.

Slow Cooker Instructions

Creating Sloppy Joes in a slow cooker is a convenient way to enjoy this classic dish with minimal effort. Follow these simple steps to achieve tender, flavorful Sloppy Joes:

  1. Brown Meat: Start by browning ground beef; drain excess grease.
  2. Combine Ingredients: Add the cooked meat and the rest of the ingredients to the slow cooker and stir to combine.
  3. Slow Cook: Cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours.

Making Sloppy Joes in a crockpot is ideal for busy days or when you want to have a warm, comforting meal ready and waiting for you. Plus, the long, slow cooking process allows the flavors to develop fully, resulting in a deliciously satisfying dish that the whole family will love.

Storing Leftovers

To preserve any leftovers, simply place it in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. When ready to enjoy again, reheat it either in the microwave or on the stovetop.

A plate with a sloppy joe and french fries.

Sloppy Joes

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
This Classic Sloppy Joe recipe is easy, kid-friendly, budget-friendly and delicious. Discover recipes & serving ideas!


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, finely diced
  • ½ teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 hamburger buns


  • In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef and onions until the beef is no longer pink. Drain.
  • Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute, mixing to combine.
  • Stir in the mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, and water, mixing until combined. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Serve warm on hamburger buns.

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