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Sloppy joe sandwich

Teri’s Sloppy Joes

  • Author: nocrumbsleft
  • Prep Time: 40 min
  • Cook Time: 5 hr 30 min
  • Total Time: 6 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American


This recipe is so good, it’s mandatory to double it! This dish ends up being rather spicy, so if you want a more mild, kid-friendly version leave out the chipotle peppers, cayenne and hot sauce.


  •   1 1/4 pound ground beef
  •   1 – 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, if needed
  •   2 teaspoons kosher salt, or more if needed
  •   1 medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  •   1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  •   ½ red bell pepper, seeded & finely chopped
  •   2 cloves garlic, minced
  •   2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  •   1 teaspoon fresh dry mustard (if yours is from 1989 it’s time to invest in a new one)
  •   ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  •   1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  •   1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper, optional
  •   1 teaspoon sumac, optional
  •   2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  •   1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (or 2 tablespoons if not using apple cider vinegar)
  •   1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar 
  •   1 – 14 oz. can tomatoes with liquid(fire roasted if possible), pureed
  •   1 – 6 oz can tomato paste
  •   2 oz. chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, pureed, optional (these make the dish spicy)
  •   1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, optional (if gluten-free, leave this ingredient out)
  •   A few dashes of hot sauce, optional
  •   6 gluten free or regular hamburger buns
  •   6 slices cheddar cheese
  •   Sliced pickles
  •   Marinated Red Onions
  •   potato chips 


  1. Preheat the oven to 200F.
  2. Prepare and measure all ingredients. Set aside.
  3. Place a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the beef and if needed, 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add half the salt and, stirring occasionally, cook for 3 minutes. 
  4. Add the onion, celery, bell pepper and garlic, and stirring to break up the meat and frequently, cook until meat is cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the rest of the salt, smoked paprika, dry mustard, pepper, cayenne pepper, and the optional Aleppo pepper and sumac, stirring to combine. 
  5. Add the brown sugar and vinegars stirring to combine well. 
  6. Add the pureed tomatoes, tomato paste, and all remaining optional ingredients (Adobe peppers, Worcestershire and hot sauce), stirring to combine well. 
  7. Transfer to a slow cooker, Bain Marie, or keep in the Dutch oven and place into a larger pan with water and place in the oven. Cover and cook, stirring every ninety minutes, until done, about 6 hours. 
  8. To serve, toast burger buns (gluten free or regular) with cheddar cheese until the bread is toasty and the cheese is melted. Spoon a good amount of the sloppy Joe mixture and if you’d like, top with sliced pickles and marinated red onions. Serve with potato chips and enjoy!


Make sure to replenish water in the pan when needed, if it evaporates. I like to try a bit along the way and decide when it tastes perfect. (We generally can’t wait much longer than 5 or 6 hours because anyone who comes within a mile of my kitchen or happens to call me on the phone that day is eager to eat it.) You may end up cooking between 4-6 hours, depending on your idea of the perfect Sloppy Joe. Add more sugar or vinegar as desired. 

Click here for the Paleo version.

If you’d like to make a double batch for meal prep, I suggest you double the ingredients except for the paprika, cayenne pepper, and Aleppo pepper and sumac if using — you an do 1.5 times the written amounts. 


  • Serving Size: 1 sandwich
  • Calories: 205
  • Sugar: 10.8 g
  • Sodium: 620.2 mg
  • Fat: 4.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 17.3 g
  • Protein: 23 g
  • Cholesterol: 56.5 mg

Keywords: sloppy joes, sandwich, beef, easy dinner