Sloppy Joes With Just 5-Ingredients

three sloppy joe sandwiches

Today’s Best Recipe is Sloppy Joes with just 5 ingredients.

Easy recipes are a must for busy weeknight dinners and this easy sloppy joe recipe is a quick meal the whole family will enjoy.

What is a Sloppy Joe?

It’s a simple recipe for a hot, messy sandwich.

A Sloppy Joe is a sandwich made with ground beef, ketchup, and Worcestershire Sauce.

You can saute chopped onions if you like, as they are a common ingredient.

The meat is then sandwiched on a hamburger bun.

This is NOT the Canned Sloppy Joe:

My children will eat almost anything.

The night I decided canned sloppy joe was an easy dinner recipe, was the night we ended up ordering pizza.

No one would eat it.

If I make easy homemade sloppy joes, they gather and feast!

Five simple ingredients for delicious flavors!

We like to serve ours with sweet potatoes fries, potato chips, or a simple green veggie.

Origin of the Sloppy Joe:

Its origin is typically credited to Floyd Angell’s Café cook, Joe, in Sioux City, Iowa.

He is said to have added tomato sauce to his “loose meat” sandwiches and it became popular.

There’s a second legend to the origin.

The second one gives credit to Ernest Hemingway who is said to have enjoyed Sloppy Joe’s in Havana, Cuba.

He convinced his friend Joe Russell who has a bar named the Silver Slipper in Key West. 

Apparently, due to selling liquor and seafood, the floor was always wet, and the customers liked to talk trash to Joe about how sloppy an establishment he ran. 

The legend says Hemingway convinced Russel to change the bar’s name to Sloppy Joe’s and serve the sandwich, that may have been inspired by the Cuban dishes Ropa Vieja and Picadillo.

The Silver Slipper (or is it Sloppy Joe’s?) is one of the top places to visit while in Florida.

Whichever legend you choose to believe, (I tend to be of the first origin of thought) it’s hard to disagree the Sloppy Joe’s are a delicious sandwich!

You’ll find more dinner inspiration on our Pinterest Dinner Board!


Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

Quick and Easy

row of sloppy joe sandwiches


Sloppy Joe Recipe Ingredients

1 pound ground beef

3/4 cup ketchup or tomato paste

1/4 cup mustard

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

4 Hamburger Buns

How to Make the Best Sloppy Joe Sandwiches:

Make the Sloppy Joe Mixture:

In a large skillet, over medium high heat, brown ground beef.

Use a wooden spoon to break up meat.

Drain the grease.

Make Sloppy Joe Sauce:

To a small saucepan, add the ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, and Worcestershire Sauce.

Stir until well combined.

Heat sauce mixture over medium heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes.

Toast Hamburger Buns:

Place buns face up on a baking sheet and place in a preheated 350°F oven on top rack until buns are warmed through and lightly crispy, about 5 minutes.

To keep the buns from getting too crunchy or hard after toasting, place them in a nice basket with a towel over them or wrap them in tinfoil; you can toast 30 minutes to an hour ahead of time.


Scoop beef mixture onto hamburger bun and serve.

sloppy joe


Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container.

Make Ahead:

Make a double or triple batch and freeze the left overs.

You can freeze them in a freezer bag.

Then reheat in a crockpot or in a skillet for an easy, last-minute dinner!

You can also portion meat mixture into silicone cupcake molds then place it in a freezer bag.

It’s an easy prep-ahead dish.

You can skip the bread and serve over rice or cauliflower rice.

Jazz It Up:

Add 1 small chopped onion to the meat while browning.

Add 1 small, chopped bell pepper to the meat mixture while browning meat.

Try adding chili powder, red pepper flakes, bbq sauce, olive oil, or other spices to kick it up.

For a quick prep: 

Use leftover marinara and season.

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