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Sloppy Joe on a paper bag

The Best Sloppy Joe Sauce

This recipe seriously makes the best sloppy joes! It's tangy, saucy and sweet, with just a little bit of a kick-- it's my favorite sloppy joe recipe and I hope it will become yours, too! 
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword easy sandwich, ground beef sandwich, Quick dinner
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 sandwiches
Calories 333kcal


  • 1 pound ground beef or turkey see notes
  • 4 ounces canned diced green chiles
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoon Worchestershire Sauce
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 4 hamburger buns


  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add hamburger and onion, cooking and crumbling the meat until no longer pink.
  • Remove meat from pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels or bags to drain off the excess fat.
  • Once drained, put the meat back into the skillet and add all remaining ingredients. Stir until combined and let simmer 10-15 minutes or until slighlty thickened. 
  • Serve on toasted hamburger buns with a slice of cheese if you'd like. 


  • Choosing Meat: I've found that 85/15 ground beef (85% meat, 15% fat) and 90/10 ground turkey is perfect to keep the meat tender and avoid greasiness.
  • Simmer as long as you'd like: Simmering the meat in the sauce allows the meat to cook down and the flavors of the sauce to meld. I typically am making sloppy joes because I need something quick, but always enjoy them more when I let the sauce simmer 30 minutes on low. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a little bit of water to loosen it up. 
  • Toast The Buns: Toasted, buttered buns hold the sloppy joe sauce better and add texture and flavor. Brush the buns with melted butter and place them face up under the broiler for just a minute (watch closely!)


Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 333kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 865mg | Potassium: 498mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 489IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 3mg