Sloppy Joe’s are kind of like a hamburger, but it’s what makes them sloppy that makes them so much fun.


Slightly spicier than most hamburgers, Sloppy Joes’ typically feature certain seasonings due to the addition of onions, tomato sauce or ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. Note, our recipe uses Dr. Pepper soda which we feel gives it an extra bit of something. We also use ground turkey, green pepper, yellow mustard and vinegar to enhance the taste.

As a dish, Sloppy Joes originated in America in the early 20th century. It is believed that they were inspired by the loose meat sandwiches sold in Sioux City, Iowa and were the creation of a cook named Joe.

Early on, they were referred to using various names like Toasted Deviled Hamburgers, Chopped Meat Sandwiches and Spanish Hamburgers, but by the 1940’s Sloppy Joe became the popular term.

Home Made Sloppy Joe Recipes

There are many variations on the Sloppy Joe recipe. In Quebec, Canada, stewed ground beef is served on hot dog buns. Originating in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, a sandwich called ‘the dynamite’ uses ground meat with onions, peppers and sometimes celery.

Different types of meat can be used as well. Beef can be substituted with pork, lamb, turkey or keema, a minced stewed, curried meat. This makes for a variation popularly prepared in Indian cuisine.

Textured vegetable protein can also be used to make the dish perfect for vegetarians.

If you make a Sloppy Joe at home, you will be able to create a recipe that is perfectly suited to all tastes, dietary restrictions and more. Here are just some examples of the Sloppy Joes you will be able to make:

Hawaiian Vegan Sloppy Joes: Here, the meat is substituted with lentils and fresh pineapple is added to give it a Hawaiian kick.

Buffalo Chicken Sloppy Joes: If you love Buffalo sauce, add it to your meat with a blue cheese ranch sauce to counter the heat.

Sloppy Joe French Bread Pizza: Just add Sloppy Joes to your Frozen French bread pizza or make the recipe from scratch.

Low Carb Sloppy Joes: Those on a low carb diet will benefit from substituting bread with lettuce.

And what’s more, sloppy joes are easy to make, nearly as easy as using the canned version, but they are often more delicious and they are, of course, made with love. You can also feel confident that the ingredients you use are pure and not processed.

When preparing homemade sloppy joes, a crockpot will work as the perfect secret weapon, These are ideal because they give the meat, flavorings and sauces a good amount of time to sit so the flavor can be absorbed.

Crockpots are also good because you can just throw your ingredients in, turn on your slow cooker… and when you come home, your meal will be ready to go. Just go ahead and put the meat on a sandwich and serve with the side of your choice.

Sloppy Joe Casserole

But there is no hard and fast rule that says that Sloppy Joes have to be served on a sandwich. There are other recipes that can include Sloppy Joes including the Sloppy Joe casserole.

Of course, there is no limit to how you can make your own Sloppy Joe casserole, but the recipe usually involves mixing the Sloppy Joe with veggies like peppers and onions and a bit of cheese.

Then a crust can go over the top. You can create your own crust using flour, potatoes, cornbread or a premade dough. These will all make perfect topping that you can eat through to get to the steamy, spicy beef.

But when thinking of a Sloppy Joe casserole, no one says the crust has to go on the top. One variation is to put the crust on the bottom making for a sort of Sloppy Joe pastry.

If you are looking for a meal that is a little bit lighter, forgo the bread altogether. You can mix your Sloppy Joes with pasta, veggies….and the list goes on. Some may even want to make a Sloppy Joe lasagna layering pasta and cheese with the yummy mixture until their heart’s content!  

For our purpose, we are making a recipe that is perfect when served on buns. However, you can take the cue for the general prep and add it to any sort of recipe you prefer. This trusty sloppy joe recipe has the perfect blend of sauce and spices (and the secret ingredient…Dr. Pepper) to make tasty, hearty sandwiches.

Sloppy Joes aren’t just kid favorites, they’re the type of meal that everyone runs to the table for. Serve with tater tots, baked potatoes, or French fries for an easy but filling meal.

If you enjoyed this recipe, make sure to check out our 30 Minutes Mexican Lasagna Recipe and our Bread Bowl Potato Soup Recipe.

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sloppy joe recipe

Sloppy Joe Recipe

  • Author: Moms Who Think
  • Total Time: 30 Minutes


This trusty sloppy joe recipe has the perfect blend of sauce and spices to make tasty, hearty sandwiches.


  1. 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  2. 1/2 pound lean ground turkey
  3. 1/4 cup chopped onion
  4. 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  5. 2 teaspoons flour
  6. 3/4 cup Dr. Pepper (or regular cola)
  7. 1/2 cup ketchup
  8. 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
  9. 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  10. 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  11. 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Mix ground turkey and ground beef together in a large bowl.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, brown the meat with the onion and green pepper. Drain.
  3. In large bowl, mix all other ingredients well. Pour over hamburger meat in skillet.
  4. Simmer on low for 15-20 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Serve on hamburger buns.
  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 Minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Stewing
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: homemade sloppy joe recipe, sloppy joe casserole