Classic Sloppy Joes

These an old fashioned family classic that part comfort food part cafeteria staple, and 100% delicious! YES! These Classic Sloppy Joes are the ground beef dinner you’ve been waiting for.

I’m always looking for a new way to use ground beef or even ground turkey. We always seem to have it and it’s so convenient to pull a package out and let it thaw while I rack my brain for something new to make.

Classic Sloppy Joes, while not new, are certainly a nice way to change up the dinner menu. If you haven’t had one since grade school it might be time to try Classic Sloppy Joes for dinner tonight.

A Quick Dinner!

And when they roll in ready to eat in under 25 minutes you can count on everyone being happy about dinner, the hungry man-cubs, the hangry teens, the cook and probably even the dog, if she’s lucky.

Maybe you want to use your instant pot for dinner. Try my EASY Instant Pot Sloppy Joes! If you double the recipe you have enough to feed a huge crowd!

Classic Sloppy Joes


Did you Have Sloppy Joes in a Real Cafeteria?

I remember Sloppy Joes day as the day I never had hot school lunch. I only got a hot lunch a few times a week and I saved it for pizza day and hamburger day.

Sloppy Joes? No way. And I’d just like to remind you that back when I went to school they were still making real food in schools. And it actually was decent, none of this vacuum-packed food, hermetically sealed in cardboard trays you see nowadays.

I grew up in the era of the Manwich, the can of sauce dedicated to turning your pound of ground beef into something better. That was a big no, my mom did not play the Manwich game or even the Hamburger Helper game, it was straight-up homemade or bust.

Sloppy Joes

What I’m trying to say is that I think I could actually count on one hand the number of times I’ve had a Sloppy Joe. When staring down a pack of ground beef I was thawing I decided to change that number and make real homemade Sloppy Joes.

I wasn’t sure how my boys might react to something totally different. But luckily hunger was on my side and they thoroughly enjoyed something new in the good old Classic Sloppy Joe.

Sloppy Joes

Classic Sloppy Joes

Classic Sloppy Joes


  • 1 TBSP butter, optional only needed if your beef is very lean
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 sweet bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic granules, minced in jars, or dried minced or powder work as well, just adjust amounts to your liking
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 TBSP quick cooking rolled oats, you can use whole regular rolled oats just lay them on the cutting board and chop them with a big knife first
  • 8 hamburger buns, toasted if you prefer


  1. melt the butter, if you're using it, in a dutch oven over medium high heat, begin to brown the ground beef, cooking and breaking it up
  2. after 5 minutes add the onions, celery and peppers, cook about 2 more minutes
  3. then add the rest of the ingredients through the rolled oats
  4. bring to a boil then reduce heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes, don't let it burn reduce heat to keep it simmering
  5. after 10 minutes remove the lid and continue simmering until the sauce is reduced and thickened about 5 minutes, stir as needed
  6. taste for salt and pepper, add if necessary
  7. serve on hamburger buns

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14 thoughts on “Classic Sloppy Joes”

  1. I don't make them often (now that we are empty nesters) but there is nothing like a GOOD sloppy joe for a quick dinner. GREAT photo!!


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