8 Sloppy Joe Recipes Inspired by Iconic Dishes Like the Reuben, Shepherd's Pie


Move OVER Manwich. The notoriously messy Sloppy Joe sandwich has long been regarded a lowbrow affair, better suited for kids' lunch trays than a gourmet chef's kitchen. But the truth is, its simplicity is what makes it so fun and perfect for a quick weeknight meal. With just a few unexpected ingredients like sauerkraut or horseradish mayonnaise, your traditional Sloppy Joe sandwich can go from sloppy to, frankly, pretty darn neat.

Once again we partnered with chef Frank Deloach to bring you eight simple, mind-blowing, next-level Sloppy Joe sandwiches. Trust us, the lunch lady's got nothing on these.


Each of the following recipes starts with the same basic Sloppy Joe:

Total Recipe Time: 30 to 35 minutes

Makes 4 servings


1 pound Ground Beef (93% lean or leaner)

1 cup finely chopped yellow onion

1 cup finely chopped green, red or yellow bell pepper

1 can (15 ounce) tomato sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

4 hamburger buns, split, toasted


1. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add Ground Beef, onion and bell pepper; cook 8 to 10 minutes, breaking into small crumbles and stirring occasionally.

2. Stir in tomato sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Bring to a boil and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until sauce is thickened, stirring occasionally. Season with salt, as desired.

3. Divide beef mixture evenly onto rolls. Garnish with toppings, if desired.


Shepherd’s Pie Sloppy Joe


Additional Ingredients:

5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and boiled 'til tender, strained

1/2 stick unsalted butter (may omit)

8 ounces whole milk, scalded

1 cup sharp cheddar, grated

4 ounces Guinness stout beer

Carrots as desired, sliced

Parsnips as desired, sliced

Corn as desired, sliced

Tomatoes as desired, sliced



1. Place strained mashed potatoes in pot, add hot milk and diced cold butter. Whisk until smooth.

2. With heat turned off, whisk cheese into hot mashed potatoes. Set aside.

3. Deglaze vegetables in Guinness until reduced by half. Fold deglazed vegetables into Sloppy Joe base. Top with mashed potatoes.


Dipped Italian Beef Sloppy Joe


Additional Ingredients:

6 ounces pepperoncini in jar with liquid

1 medium sized onion, sliced thinly

2 cups beef stock


1. Mix beef stock into Sloppy Joe base and assemble with onions and pepperoncini on toasted bread. Mix should be loose and runny.


Grilled Cheese Sloppy Joe


Additional Ingredients:

2 cups shredded cheddar

8 slices Velveeta

8 slices Chipotle Jack

1. Add shredded cheddar to Sloppy Joe base and mix until melted through.

2. Assemble Sloppy Joe mix along with 2 slices of cheese per sandwich on toasted bread. Press firmly.


Buffalo Blue Cheese Sloppy Joe


Additional Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups buffalo sauce

1 1/2 cups blue cheese crumbles

2 cups celery, sliced


1. Mix buffalo sauce with blue cheese in separate bowl. Add celery, then combine whole mixture with Sloppy Joe base.

2. Assemble on toasted bread, then top with more blue cheese and buffalo sauce to taste.



Reuben Sloppy Joe


Additional Ingredients:

8 slices Swiss cheese

2.5 ounces pastrami

Sauerkraut, as desired

Thousand Island:

4 ounces mayonnaise

2 1/2 ounces ketchup

1 1/2 ounces yellow mustard

1/2 ounces pickle juice

1 cup chopped pickles

1 tablespoon chopped capers

salt and pepper, as desired

1. Place warm Sloppy Joe base on bread, top with Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, pastrami, then Thousand Island.


Horseradish Roast Beef Sloppy Joe


Additional Ingredients:

4 large portobello mushroom caps, sliced lengthwise

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

2 ounces canola oil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon butter

Pickles, to taste

Horseradish Mayonnaise:

1 1/2 cups mayonnaise

1 cup prepared horseradish

2 tablespoons black pepper

Zest and juice of 1 lemon



1. Sauté mushrooms and onions in canola oil, salt, pepper, and butter.

2. Assemble Sloppy Joe base on bread, top with mushroom and onion mix, then top with horseradish mayonnaise.


Hawaiian Sloppy Joe


Additional/Substitute Ingredients:

1/2 cup sweet barbecue sauce (sub for tomato sauce)

Omit Worcestershire sauce

8 ounces crushed pineapple, undrained from can

Hawaiian dinner rolls

Sweet pickle or pickled jalapeño slices, as desired


1. Omit Worcestershire and tomato sauce and substitute sweet barbecue sauce in Sloppy Joe base. Add crushed pineapples with juice and mix thoroughly.

2. Assemble Sloppy Joe on sweet Hawaiian honey wheat dinner roll, and garnish with pickle slices or pickled jalapeños.


Moroccan/Mediterranean Sloppy Joe


Additional/Substitute Ingredients:

Omit Worcestershire sauce

1/2 cup raisins

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon nonfat Greek yogurt

Naan or pita pocket bread

Cucumber slices, as desired

Chopped pistachios, as desired


1. Add raisins, pumpkin pie spice, and ground cumin to Sloppy Joe base.

2. Remove from heat, stir in Greek yogurt.

3. Assemble Sloppy Joe mix in naan or pita bread and garnish with cucumbers or chopped pistachios as desired.

*Cook's Tip: Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed Ground Beef. Ground Beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Color is not a reliable indicator of Ground Beef doneness.

Recipes created in partnership with "Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner." Funded by the Beef Checkoff.