Sloppy Joes—the name may remind you of canned meat served in elementary school, but I promise you these homemade sloppy joes are flavor-packed and the perfect thing to make for a quick meal or potluck.
The last two summers, our parents served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the Heber Valley Girls Camp in Northern Utah. They often called us to fill us in on the different recipes they had at their weekly potluck with the other missionaries.
This particular recipe for sloppy joes is the one they raved about again and again. When my mom showed me the recipe I was like “Oh, yeah, sure Mom…I will have to make this sometime”…but kept putting it off.
I fully admit I was feeling just fine with my old ‘Manwich” sloppy joe in a can. Finally, she gave up on trying to get me to make them myself and she made them for me. Thanks, mom!
I think the thing that made me most skeptical was the addition of tomato soup—that sounds really weird to put in homemade sloppy joes! I’m happy to report that I was truly amazed at how GOOD these were!
The tomato soup really just takes the place of your tomato sauce or tomato paste that you would usually use in sloppy joes, so if you think of it that way it doesn’t seem so weird. These were full of flavor and I can honestly say I will never buy sloppy Joe sauce in a can again. As always, mom knows best!
Want to shake it up a bit? Use this recipe to make Sloppy Joe Cups, and it will take them to a whole new level. Yum!
Where Did the Name Sloppy Joe Come From?
The origin of sloppy joes is debatable. Three main institutions are credited with the invention: a cafe in Iowa, Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West, and another aptly-named restaurant called Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Havana Cuba.
It’s actually a pretty interesting story. This article does a great job of tracing the origins from the three places. It seems like the most accepted theory of origin is the “loose meat sandwich” from Iowa. I’m glad the name has changed, though!
What Kind of Cheese Tastes Best on a Sloppy Joe?
To be fair, not everyone loves cheese on a sloppy joe, but it is delicious, so give it a try! Provolone is a favorite, but cheddar, American, mozzarella, and Swiss cheese are all delicious on sloppy joes.
Other Quick Dinners with Ground Beef
- 15-Minute Beef and Noodle Skillet
- Southwestern Chili Frito Pie
- Cheesy Beef and Rice Skillet
- Baked Tator Tot Casserole
- Easy Beef Burrito Skillet
How to Make Homemade Sloppy Joes
- Fry ground beef, onion, and green pepper in a large skillet until onions become clear and beef is browned.
- Add tomato soup, ketchup, mustard, sugar, salt, black pepper, and cayenne.
- Simmer for at LEAST 30 mintues. The longer you simmer, the better it will be!
- Spoon mixture onto a bun (we like using a ciabatta bun because it doesn't get as soggy). Optional: add a little cheese on top of the hot mix.