The Best Sloppy Joes That I've Ever Had

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4.7 from 3 reviews

This is hands down the best sloppy joes recipe. Not only does it have BIG flavor thanks to the homemade sauce, it's a minimal effort recipe – made in one pan and done in 35 minutes!


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound 85-90% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced (about 1/2 small onion)
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons white or red vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon mustard
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4-5 brioche buns, toasted
  • optional toppings: sliced cheddar cheese, pickles, pickled red onion


  1. In a large skillet, like this one, over medium heat, heat the oil for 1 minute. Add the ground beef, peppers, and onions. Break apart the ground beef as it cooks— you want it in smaller pieces. Sauté the meat until browned and cooked through and the peppers/onions are soft, about 7-8 minutes. Then, stir in the garlic, paprika, salt, and pepper.
  2. Stir in the tomato paste and allow it cook with the ground beef for 1 minute. Then, stir in the worchestershire sauce, vinegar, ketchup and mustard. Give it a big stir and let it cook for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the chicken broth and BBQ sauce and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Give it a taste and see if it needs additional salt and pepper.
  4. Serve warm on a toasted brioche bun. Leftovers stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: This stays fresh for up to 1 week in the refrigerator. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and head as desired.
  2. Meat: You can use any fat % of ground beef. To make this healthier, you can use ground turkey.
  3. Chicken Broth: I find that using low-sodium chicken broth works best for this recipe.