Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joe is a real American classic, comfort food the way it’s meant to be. Although I didn’t grow up with the dish, the description of it was enough to convince me. Even the name: I figured something called Sloppy Joe must taste as straight-forward, unpretentiously good as it’s name implies. And it didn’t disappoint. It didn’t disappoint at all.

This isn’t the kind of dish you serve at a dinner party or on a date. No cutlery needed: it’s messy and relaxed. It’s exactly the comfort you need after a long day of work, when you’re really hungry or when life has been hard on you.

I love the smokiness, sweetness and little hint of spiciness in the meat mixture. The soft, fluffy bread is the perfect satisfying accompaniment.


sloppy joe sloppy joe


I know there are many variations for Sloppy Joes and for my non-authentic version I like to use the ingredients I simply have on hand. For me, there needs to be Worcester sauce in the beef mixture though, because I love the intense sweet and salty flavor. Sometimes I add some ketchup and brown sugar instead of barbecue sauce, or I add some mustard for spiciness.

I think the key is to really flavor the meat and to add a smokey touch, that’s why I always add some smoked paprika powder. In this version I used red pepper, but feel free to use whatever vegetables you want.

I like to make a big batch at once and freeze the leftovers. That way, ultimate comfort is just minutes away!


sloppy joe

Sloppy Joes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Sloppy Joes


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 pound (450 gr.) ground beef
1 teaspoon smoked paprika powder (optional, but good)
2 cups (480 ml) tomato sauce or passata
2 tablespoons bbq sauce
2-3 tablespoons Worcester sauce
a few drops of Tabasco (optional, but good)
4 bread buns
salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic and fry for 3 minutes, or until translucent. Add bell pepper and cook until soft, this will take about 3 minutes.
  2. Add ground beef with paprika powder, salt and pepper and break up meat with a spoon or fork. Cook for 4-6 minutes, or until browned and somewhat crispy.
  3. Stir tomato sauce, bbq sauce and Worcester sauce into the beef mixture. Let this simmer until thickened, while stirring now and then (this will take about 15 minutes).
  4. Finish with Tabsaco and extra salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve the meat mixture on bread buns.

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