Kids love ’em. Grown-ups love ’em. And dogs love licking up the leftovers that fall on the floor thanks to said kiddos (and sometimes adults). Yes, I’m talking about the beloved childhood favorite, the sloppy joe. Filled with ground beef and hidden veggies in a flavorful tomato sauce, sloppy joes are one of the most delicious and classic comfort foods loved by the whole family. Today I’m sharing how to make my favorite homemade classic sloppy joe recipe. It’s quick, easy, and so delicious served on warm toasted buttery buns.
Brown the ground beef – Grab a large skillet and place it over medium-high heat. Add some olive oil, approximately 1 tablespoon. Once hot, brown the ground beef, breaking it apart into smaller pieces as it cooks. Once cooked transfer the meat to a fine-mesh strainer to drain.
Cook the veggies – Wipe any stuck-on bits from your skillet and return the skillet to medium heat. Add the butter and let it melt, then add the onion and bell pepper. Cook until soft – approximately 6-8 minutes. Add the garlic and continue to cook for an additional 30 seconds.
Return the meat – Return the cooked beef back to the skillet and stir in the tomato paste. Mix well to combine. Prepare the sauce – Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and water.
Add the sauce and season – Add the ketchup mixture to the meat mixture, thoroughly mixing to combine. Season with chili powder, red chili flakes (if using), salt, and black pepper. Cover and cook. Then serve!