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Sloppy Joes

Ground beef with a hint of Cajun seasonings simmered slowly in a sweet and savory sauce. Looking for some excitement at meal time? Everyone will love these Sloppy Joes and you'll love this no-angst recipe.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Cajun
Keyword: sloppy joes
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 536kcal
Author: Sweet Daddy D

Here's What You Need

  • 2 tablespoons bacon grease See Notes
  • 2 pounds ground chuck 80/20
  • 2 cups yellow onion chopped - 1 large onion
  • 1 cup green pepper chopped - 1 small pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic chopped - about 3 cloves
  • 2 tablespoons jalapeno pepper chopped - Optional

Dry Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Creole seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard See Notes
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper Optional

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


  • 8 hamburger buns See Notes

Here's What You Do

  • Combine all wet ingredients together and set aside. See NOTES: Mix these together very well in case you end up not using all of this.
  • Mix all dry ingredients together and set aside.
  • Melt the bacon fat in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Sauté the onions and bell peppers in the bacon grease until the onions are starting to clear and brown.
  • Add garlic and stir until aromatic, about 2 minutes.
  • Next, add the ground beef by crumbling it into the onions. This will help brown the beef completely. Sauté the onions and beef until the pink is gone from the beef. Drain off excess fat.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the beef and onions and mix together thoroughly.
  • Now you will add the wet ingredients-starting off with about half. Mix this together very well before adding more. You may find that you don't need all of the wet ingredients to get the consistency you want. Set aside any that you have left over to add if needed.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer the mixture for about 15 minutes while the sauce thickens. Stir regularly. Taste for seasoning. See NOTES.
  • Serve on hamburger buns or rolls.


You can refer to my article on Sloppy Joes for more detail about the ingredients, process steps and these Notes.
If you don't have bacon grease on hand, fry 2 or 3 slices of smoked bacon. The bacon can be crumbled back into the beef mixture, or removed to be used in something else.  You can also substitute 2 tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil if you prefer.
Depending upon your personal preference and the density of your beef mixture, you may not use the entire 1 ½ cup (plus 3 tablespoons) of wet ingredient. I rarely do. Start by adding only half of the wet ingredients, mix thoroughly and decide if you want more.  Reserve the remainder in case you want to add more later.
You can substitute 1 tablespoon of prepared yellow mustard for the dry mustard.
You can substitute ground turkey or ground chicken in place of the ground beef. It will be delicious but the flavor, color and texture may change a little.
Reduce the amount of brown sugar if this is sweeter than you like.
Make sure to simmer the beef mixture for at least 15 minutes. Right after adding the wet ingredients, it will taste very ketchup-ey. As it simmers, the flavors will meld and the ketchup-ey taste will develop into a sweet sauce.
Leftovers can be refrigerated for 3 or 4 days or frozen for up to 6 months provided they are stored in an airtight container.  


Calories: 536kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 1041mg | Potassium: 667mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 658IU | Vitamin C: 26mg | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 4mg

This recipe came from First...You Have a Beer (www.firstyouhaveabeer.com). If you like it, please leave a 5 star rating and a comment on the site and, most importantly, SHARE it with your friends.