Recipe By Chef John
Published Nov 22nd
Chef John’s Sloppy Joes
Prep 15m Cook 40m Additional - Ready In 55m
Servings 6 servings Calories 271.1

The secret to a great ‘Sloppy Joe’ is a thick, rich, almost dry consistency, which allows it to be eaten two-fisted, sans fork.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds extra lean ground beef
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Combine the ground beef and onion in a cold skillet, place the skillet onto a stove burner, and turn the heat to medium; cook and stir until the beef is crumbly and browned
  2. 2 Stir the garlic and bell pepper into the beef mixture; continue cooking and stirring until the vegetables are tender, 2 to 3 more minutes
  3. 3 Add 1 cup of water
  4. 4 Mix in ketchup, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, salt, and pepper
  5. 5 Pour in 1 more cup of water
  6. 6 Bring to a simmer
  7. 7 Reduce heat to low and cook until the mixture becomes very thick, 30 to 45 minutes
  8. 8 Adjust salt and pepper as needed
  9. 9 Season with cayenne.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 271.1
  • Carbohydrate 14.4 g
  • Cholesterol 83.6 mg
  • Fat 12.6 g
  • Fiber 0.7 g
  • Protein 24.6 g
  • Saturated Fat 4.9 g
  • Sodium 991.9 mg
  • Sugar 12.1 g


  1. Boy does this recipe bring back memories! I haven't had sloppy joes since I was a kid. Definitely a "retro" kinda meal that dare I say...tastes better than my Mom's! This was so easy and so good - perfect for Sunday football. I doubled the recipe using 96/4 ground beef, one red pepper and one - Read more ...
  2. I followed this recipe, but added some red bell pepper with the green bell pepper. It smelled delicious while cooking, but after 45 minutes on the stove, it was still soupy. I had to turn up the heat and add some cornstarch to thicken it up. I then added the meat to rolled out biscuits, - Read more ...
  3. What can I say? It's yet another Chef John HIT! WE LOVED IT! My son had 2of them last night! If we hadn't already had French fries with our lunch, we would have had tater tots with it! We settled for some coleslaw to accompany it instead DELICIOUS! AND...worth the time it takes to make - Read more ...
  4. I only made one switch out--one red bell pepper instead of green bell pepper because my family prefers the red over green. I topped each "joe" with a slice of sharp cheddar cheese. My husband and kids liked these sloppy joes, mostly because they were not sloppy. My husband said that was the best part - Read more ...
  5. I actually made this recipe as is, except replacing the meat for meat analog so that the vegetarians in my household could also enjoy. I think with the liquid slowly reducing also help hydrate the meat analog which made the sloppy joes taste like the real meat version. As hubby said, who has been a - Read more ...
  6. I've made this numerous times and never changed one thing . The recipe is perfect as are all of Chef John's recipes. If you're finding it more like soup, then you haven't let the water evaporate. You need to take your time and let it simmer for awhile. You will not be disappointed with the - Read more ...
  7. Once again, Chef John, "Thank you" seems so inadequate. Made this for dinner last night and there was happy silence from my husband's corner as he finished his portion and then not-so-silent (but relatively subdued lest he resemble Bambi in the headlights before running away) ecstatic chatter from mine, when he got up for seconds. - Read more ...
  8. this was excellent ... the only thing I will change is I will only add 1 Tblsp of brown sugar ...
  9. Followed the recipe to a T and it turned out more like a soup than sloppy joe....I needed to add four tablespoons of flour to thicken up the sauce enough to eat on a bun. Overall the taste was good.