This sloppy joe recipe is the only one you’ll ever need!

This homemade sloppy joe recipe is the ultimate weeknight win and the perfect answer to, how far can I stretch this package of ground beef? Six servings, one skillet, and it’s on the table in 30 minutes. 

All about that base. 

Chop up a bell pepper an onion, and a few garlic cloves. Grab your largest skillet, heat up a splash of olive oil, and cook your base veg until soft and fragrant. After that, you’ll be adding the ground beef. Cooking the vegetables first helps build flavor.

It’s a pantry party and you’re invited. 

No fancy ingredients here! You probably have everything you need already in your pantry and fridge. Gather up your ketchup, tomato paste, Worcestershire, brown sugar, and apple cider vinegar and you’re pretty much good to go.

Simmer down now. 

After you add in the ingredients for your sauce, you’ll be simmering for a quick 15 minutes to thicken it up and meld all of the flavors. This ensures your sauce is perfect—not too dry, not too runny. That’s it!

We love a sloppy joe in its classic form, served up on hamburger buns. You could switch it up though, and turn it into a quesadilla. And although it’s optional, we highly recommend topping with sliced red onion and pickle chips for texture and a fresh bite.


  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 c. tomato sauce
  • 1/2 c. ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 hamburger buns
  • 1 thinly sliced red onion (optional)
  • Pickle chips, for serving (optional) 


  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add bell pepper and onion and cook until soft, 5 minutes
  2. Stir in garlic and tomato paste and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink, about 6 minutes then add Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until mixture has thickened, about 15 minutes.
  3. Serve on hamburger buns with onions and pickles, if desired.