How to make Sloppy Joe?

You’ve found it. Ground beef Nirvana. This magically delicious, super easy Sloppy Joe recipe may not save humanity, but it will restore your faith in it. Or at least in ground beef. Warning: severely habit forming.

Easy Sloppy Joe Recipe: Ingredients

  • Sauce:
    • 1 8 oz can Tomato sauce
    • 1.5 tablespoons dry minced garlic
    • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, or try molasses
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
    • 1 tsp oregano
    • 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
    • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 lb ground beef (grass fed is best, or try buffalo or ostrich)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • Hamburger buns
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Fresh cilantro (optional)
  • Love! (required)


Mix up the sauce in a bowl and set it aside. Saute the onion in the olive oil until clear. Add the ground beef, and cook until brown. Drain off the excess fat. (You can make this step a lot easier with a canning funnel and a pour-off sieve. Just hold the strainer over the bottom of the pan and use the funnel to strain the excess fat into the empty tomato sauce can, which you can toss after it cools.)

Add sauce, lower heat, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. (If you like ‘em extra sloppy, cover the pan.) Spoon the mixture onto the buns and sprinkle with cilantro, if desired. And you’re ready to serve up the love! Be sure to toast the buns first, though. Untoasted buns will just disintegrate.

 How to make Sloppy Joe?

A Note on Cookware

Every cook knows that cast iron pans are the best for ground beef. The trouble is, tomato sauce and vinegar aren’t good for cast iron, as the acid content can dissolve the pan seasoning. So if you’re using cast iron for the beef, switch to another pan when you add the sauce. Or if you reall want to roll in style, you can use enameled cast iron and do it all in one pan. Nice.