Homemade Sloppy Joes filling

Do you have those meals that you grew up eating and LOVED but didn’t realized until you were an adult that they were the most simple meals to prepare?  I thought my mom was a hero because she was such a good cook.  Well, she is a hero, but not just because of her kitchen skills.  And some of my favorite meals growing up are so simple.  See: French Onion Pork Chops.

Another favorite?  Sloppy Joes.  Meaty, tomato-ey, flavorful and even better served with original Lay’s potato chips, Sloppy Joes were definitely a staple of my childhood.  And recently they have become a staple of my adulthood as well.

Homemade Sloppy Joes

We have tons going on in the evenings lately.  In addition to normal youth/Paul’s work stuff, and me doing a little bit of work travel, we have been trying to take advantage of the spring-like weather and have been taking some long walks.  I cannot tell you how good it feels to get some activity in OUTSIDE.  I’ve felt pretty cooped up by the gym over the winter and I’m so ready to stretch my legs outside, not to mention, to soak up the sun.

So with all of that, spending an hour on dinner just hasn’t been at the top of my priority list.  And that’s where these Sloppy Joes come into play.  Now, let me say that these aren’t the healthiest of options.    I add sugar, and use ketchup as the base of the sauce.  Um, but at least I used small-ish whole wheat buns?  But let me also say that the super simple (not-super-healthy) sauce is super flavorful.  A little onion, green pepper (the star!), ketchup, Worcestershire (the other star!) and brown sugar and done.  It’s so rich it tastes like it simmered all day, when it only simmered for 15 minutes.  Springtime weeknight dinner perfection if you ask me.

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Homemade Sloppy Joes

Yield: 6-8 sandwiches

Total Time: 30 min

A quick & simple recipe for homemade Sloppy Joes with a tangy, flavorful sauce.


1 tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground sirloin
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1-2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Salt to taste
Hamburger Buns
Sliced cheese


Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or large high-sided skillet. Add the onions, green pepper and garlic with a small pinch of salt and cook for 4-5 minutes until tender and fragrant. Add the ground beef and break it up as it cooks.

If needed, drain some of the excess grease from the meat and return to the pan. Add the ketchup, water, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire and the pepper. I typically add a little more than 1 teaspoon, but start with 1 and add more to taste.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the mixture is thickened. Serve with toasted buns and cheese as desired.

Homemade Sloppy Joes