Sloppy Joes

5 stars
(2 ratings)
Sloppy Joes

Finally, it’s officially fall! The season of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, sweater weather (unless you are in peak heat in Southern California like me), and weekends of cheering from the [insert your kiddo’s sport] sidelines. (It’s also the season when Costco puts out their Christmas decor, to my great despair.) When I lived in New England, I embraced every beautiful breath of fall, knowing it was a harbinger of the grey and cold to come. It’s the season I miss most while living in my adopted state — it’s hard to get excited about chili when it’s 80 degrees! But, I can always get excited about this week’s Supper Club recipe! It’s the perfect anytime dinner, especially as a  bridge between seasons. 

I did not grow up eating Sloppy Joes, so I was pretty dubious when we developed this recipe for our Cafeteria Comeback kit back in 2016.  However, it quickly became a favorite of our family’s… subbing turkey meat at times, or Impossible meat for my vegetarian daughter. In fact, at home we’ve renamed this recipe Sloppy Jacks, after my son’s middle name, as it’s his all-time most requested weeknight recipe. As you’ll see in our Supper Smarts notes - it pairs well with air fryer green beans, a bagged salad if you’re in a rush, or roasted broccoli. It’s the perfect weeknight win, and I’m proud to say I can pretty much make it with my eyes closed. 

Up the flavor and the quality of this classic cafeteria sandwich, and have a crowd-pleasing dinner on the table in under 30 minutes!

  • Active Kitchen Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings


  • ½ onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 5 tsp brown sugar
  • 4 hamburger buns

Supper Smarts:

  • Serving Suggestions: Pair with sweet potato or regular fries, or try air-fried green beans.

  • Make Ahead: Cook the meat ahead of time, up through Step 8, then reheat when it’s time to serve.

  • Flavor Town: Make it melty — add a slice of cheddar or pepper jack cheese to your sandwich.

  • Mix It Up: You can use ground turkey or chicken or cooked red lentils if you want to skip the beef.


Peel half an onion. Cut away ends. Slice into strips, then make a small dice. Add to large bowl.
Cut sides away from 1 green bell pepper. Slice into strips, then make a small dice. Add to onions.
Smash and peel 2 garlic cloves. Mince and add to onions.
Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in skillet over medium-low heat.
Sweat vegetables until soft and translucent, 12-15 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Turn heat to medium-high. Add 1 lb ground beef, 1 ½ tsp kosher salt, ¼ tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp cumin, and 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce.
Break beef into small pieces using spatula or spoon. Cook to brown beef, 5-7 minutes.
Add 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce and 5 tsp brown sugar. Cook to thicken, 3-5 minutes.
Spoon mixture onto hamburger buns. TASTE & SHARE!

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Kathryn October 10, 2023 @ 09:02 AM
Delicious. Came together quickly and easy to reheat.
Brecklyn September 28, 2023 @ 08:01 AM
We made this tonight. It was straightforward, and delicious! Yes!!