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This classic and easy Old Fashioned Sloppy Joes Recipe (my Great Grandma’s!) goes back generations in my family, and it’s as easy as it is delicious. The epitome of wham-bam weekday meals, this old school favorite is on the table in under 20 minutes. The easy homemade sloppy joe sauce makes it!

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A delicious, fast and easy Old Fashioned Sloppy Joes recipe the whole family will love!

No Sloppy Joe (in my humble opinion) is as good as my Great Grandma’s recipe. Her Sloppy Joes from scratch were super easy, and super satisfying. I grew up eating them, and have always been a HUGE fan. Her Easy homemade sloppy joe sauce is SOOOO good, I am always craving it, especially in summer BBQ season.

For such a simple recipe, you’d be surprised how many times my Mom and I have laughed over losing the recipe for this Sloppy Joe AGAIN and AGAIN. My mom likes to joke that it’s my Great Grandma’s way of looking down and messing with us from time to time. When I decided to add this recipe to the blog, I was excited that we would finally have it in one place for safe keeping (bookmark this page, mom!).

homemade sloppy joe

Looking for more great beef recipes?

Try my Shredded Beef and Smoked Gouda Enchiladas, World’s Best Pot Roast, Bacon Wrapped Meatloaf with Creamy Baked Bean Gravy, or Thai Burger Sliders with Green Curry Mayo!

The best homemade sloppy joes

This Old Fashioned Sloppy Joe recipe couldn’t be any easier; made quickly without any fuss with ingredients you probably have lying around the kitchen. Sauté some onions and green pepper, brown ground meat, add a few condiments, grab your hamburger buns, and voila- a family-friendly dinner is on the table (in under 30 minutes).

sloppy joe ingredients

Making the homemade Sloppy Joes

To make this super easy Sloppy Joe recipe, you will need:

  • 1 lb 80/20 ground beef.
  • A small onion.
  • A green bell pepper.

What goes into making the easy homemade sloppy joe sauce?

  • Some Worcestershire sauce. Only Lea & Perrins will do.
  • A bit of Sugar, ketchup and yellow mustard.
  • A touch of canola oil, for cooking.
homemade sloppy joe

Can I use ground turkey instead of ground beef?

I wouldn’t. A lot of the dish’s flavor comes from the beef. If you want to go with a leaner option, I’d go with ground bison or lean ground beef.

I use 80/20 ground beef for this recipe, but you could go with 85/15 or bison and this would still be super flavorful.

sloppy joe on potato roll

Can I use a different kind of mustard for the Old fashioned sloppy joes recipe?

Please don’t! I have tried Dijon and spicy mustard trying to be fancy, and it completely changes the flavor of the dish (not in a good way). Stick with tried and true classic yellow mustard and you won’t be disappointed.

easy sloppy joe

If you make my Great Grandma’s Sloppy Joe, please be sure to leave me a comment! I would love to hear from you, and value your feedback! Lastly, if you make the recipe and love it, please tag me on Instagram! I love to see your photos!

Old Fashioned Sloppy Joes Recipe (Great Grandma’s)

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: Dinner, game day, lunch, Main Course
Keyword: easy weeknight dinner, ground beef, sandwiches, sloppy joe
Servings: 6


  • 1 lb 80/20 ground beef*
  • 1 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1 medium green pepper, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp canola oil


  • Sauté onions and pepper in 1 tbsp canola oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, until they begin to soften. 

    2. Move onions and peppers to outer edge of pan and increase heat to medium-high. Spread ground beef out in center of pan in an even layer and cook, undisturbed, for 5 minutes, or until meat begins to brown.

    3. Season beef with salt and pepper, and flip over. Continue to cook, breaking meat apart into small pieces as you go with a wooden spoon or spatula, until meat is cooked through and no longer pink, about 2-3 minutes. 

    4. Reduce heat to medium-low and add in ketchup, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce and sugar. Cook 2-3 minutes until flavors are melded. Serve on burger buns, brioche buns or potato rolls. 

The same portion of lean ground beef or bison could replace the 80/20 ground beef.

© Jawns I Cooked. All images & content are the sole property of Jawns I Cooked. Please ask permission prior to using my photos. If you would like to share one of my recipes,  please link back to this post and re-write the instructions in your own words.