30 Minute Sloppy Joes

Pan of Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes have always been a comfort food for me.  This 30 Minute Sloppy Joes Recipe is a keeper. It’s almost as comforting as the recipe I’ve grown to love, which is the one my Mom makes and of course, can’t be replicated.  She just throws ingredients together, then tastes it, and it is magically perfect!

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My recipe is very, very similar to hers, and uses the ingredients that she does, with a few added herbs and spices.  It was very easy to make, and even though the recipe ingredient list looks long, most of the ingredients are spices.

It excludes the garlic and green/red pepper that many Sloppy Joe recipes use, so the only chopping is an onion. This not only keeps the flavor simple but keeps the preparation simple, too! It really is a breeze to mix together for a quick, filling, comforting family dinner.

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Sloppy Joe Memories

I have precious memories of my Mom making Sloppy Joes for our family when I was sick and going through chemo. She would make it the same day I had chemo, which was great because I would have time to eat before side effects of chemo would kick in the following day.

I remember coming home very tired, but still able to eat. Her cooking was such a gift to our family, and I loved that my girls would walk in the door from school, smell a yummy homemade dinner being made by Grandma, and have full, happy tummies even on chemo day. My Mom did this a couple of times for me and it was a gift I will not ever forget.


Pan of Sloppy Joes ingredients

There are many recipes for Sloppy Joes out there.  This one is not as sloppy as most, but if you want it to be you can add more ketchup.  I like mine a bit more like a loose meat sandwich, but with that traditional sloppy joe flavor.  I don’t like it so sloppy that it makes my bun soggy!

This recipe is quick, easy, & can be made in 30 minutes! I’m happy to have found a Sloppy Joe recipe that is a keeper!

30 Minute Sloppy Joes
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins

These Sloppy Joes are quick, easy, filling & family-friendly. This is my go-to Sloppy Joe recipe and can be made in 30 minutes! 

Recipe Type: Meals
Servings: 6
  • 6 Hamburger Buns
  • 11/2 lbs Ground Beef organic, grass-fed is best!
  • 1 Small Onion Chopped
  • 3/4 cup Ketchup
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Mustard
  • 1/2 Lemon squeezed
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Paprika I prefer smoked paprika
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Oregano
  1. In a large skillet, saute the ground beef and onion until the beef is no longer pink and the onion is tender & translucent. 

  2. Drain meat.

  3. Mix in ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, & all seasonings.
  4. Simmer on medium heat or until flavors meld, about 20 minutes. 

  5. Serve on buns and enjoy!


30 Minute Sloppy Joe Recipe

{above image for your Pinning Pleasure}

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  • Anonymous
    March 15, 2017 at 11:42 pm

    I have made this recipe several times and my family loves it! The Sloppy Joe seasoning packet is no longer allowed in our home. I’m trying it with ground turkey tonight since I have one daughter that doesn’t eat beef and my 1 year old grandson is coming for dinner tomorrow and loves ground turkey! I’m sure it will be wonderful! I get home late, so they can heat it up before I get home. Thank you for sharing.

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      March 20, 2017 at 9:46 am

      I’m so glad you love it as much as I do! Let me know how it turns out with the ground turkey.

  • The 11 year old baker
    February 7, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    I ❤️ to bake and cook, baking and cooking is my passion, I have been cooking burgers for the family and I’ve been trying to find a recipe that could possibly spice up the burgers in a way, this was my solution, thank you for your time in effort that you put into this recipe, it was AWESOME. My family loved it and now we have it for dinner every Friday night!

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      February 8, 2017 at 2:38 pm

      Every Friday night! Great idea. Thank you for your kind comment. It made me smile. <3

  • Georgia
    December 15, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Love this recipe! DO you know roughly how many calories are in it?


    • AmyNewNostalgia
      December 19, 2016 at 11:10 am

      I don’t! I’m sorry.

  • Kristina Ferguson
    October 20, 2016 at 5:31 pm


    • AmyNewNostalgia
      October 24, 2016 at 10:08 am

      Glad you liked it!

  • Anonymous
    October 20, 2016 at 8:02 am

    Family loved it!! We used apple cider vinegar instead of lemon

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      October 24, 2016 at 10:10 am

      Great substitute idea! Both are perfectly acidic. <3

  • Tracy
    October 12, 2016 at 6:12 pm

    I’ve made this for years. Love it. Spices are interchangeable or just left out to taste or in stock at the time. I alway use vinegar, never thought of lemon. Also you can change the mustard to spicy, spicy brown or stone ground to change up the taste for picky eaters. Thanks for the reminder.

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      October 13, 2016 at 1:13 pm

      Thanks for your great insightful comments & for reading the blog!

  • Connie
    October 3, 2016 at 2:27 pm

    The recipe calls for mustard, but I’m not sure if that is the ground mustard seasoning or yellow mustard (the liquidy kind). Please advise.

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      October 3, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      Hi Connie…It is yellow mustard, although if you don’t have it I’m sure you could substitute a 1/2 tsp of ground.

  • Michelle
    September 26, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    These were fabulous!! I added a dash of apple cider vinegar (I love a strong vinegar taste), and otherwise cooked just as suggested. Delish!!

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      October 3, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      Apple Cider Vinegar is a great addition…it is acidic like the lemon juice. Mmmm!

  • Shannon
    September 15, 2016 at 11:29 am

    Any idea of the Nutrition Information for those watching their calories???

  • Kim @ What's That Smell?
    September 10, 2016 at 7:52 am

    This turned out really good, perfect for my picky family (looks around suspiciously) who doesn’t like chunks of peppers and such in their sloppy joe. My daughter said “finally, something my brother and I both like.”

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      September 12, 2016 at 7:56 pm

      Oh how I love your daughter’s comment! <3

  • Ganeeban
    September 1, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    I made this the other night and it was a hit! Thanks for sharing. I also blogged about it and referenced your pin and also your website. I ‘borrowed’ your pic to go with your recipe, but linked back that it was your image. If any of this is an issue, let me know and I’ll edit my post!

    Thanks for the great, family friendly recipe!

    xoxo, ganeeban

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      September 6, 2016 at 12:44 pm

      Thanks for sharing the sloppy joe love!

  • Sherri Hulsey
    August 25, 2016 at 8:23 am

    gonna try this but cut in thirds, cooking only for one. Dont have any oregano so have to skip that. I like the fact that it will be thick and there is no tomato sauce or tomato paste. Thanks for the recipe.

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      August 25, 2016 at 9:43 pm

      Glad you like it! It freezes really well if you wanted to make the whole thing and freeze some for another time.

  • Anonymous
    August 13, 2016 at 10:28 am

    I will be doubling this and taking it out to the field tonight for our harvest crew! Hope it’s a hit ???? I’ve always used McCormick dry mix so we will see what the guys think!!

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      August 15, 2016 at 1:35 pm

      I wonder what your crew thought? It has been a great recipe for us, especially large groups! I doubled it and served a pool party last week. 🙂

  • Misty
    July 12, 2016 at 1:26 am

    I made this tonight for the family. My 4 year old ate it, which says A LOT! But both my husband and I agreed that the flavor was really great. We’re definitely NOT buying Sloppy Joe packet mixes again. Thanks for this!

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      July 14, 2016 at 11:30 am

      So glad you liked it and that even your 4 year old ate it! Love that!

  • Caroline
    July 6, 2016 at 3:24 am

    I’ve always used the canned version as well. I’ve also used the sloppy joe mix. Lemon? I wonder if you can omit the lemon. Thanks for sharing I’ll let you know how it turned out.

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      July 6, 2016 at 7:54 am

      Yes! Use the lemon. The acid in the lemon brings all the other flavors, rounds them out and adds a beautiful balance. Acid from lemon (or vinegar) can instantly take a recipe from bland to grand! It is a chefs secret to seasoning a dish perfectly. Let me know what you think of the recipe.

  • maryham
    June 29, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    do you drain the fat after you cook the meat?

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      July 2, 2016 at 9:45 am

      Yes I do. I changed the instructions to reflect that. Thank you for the heads up and question!

  • Beverly
    June 26, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    This is so easy to make and had many layers of flavor. I used only one pound of beef and cut the rest of the ingredients by 1/3 as there are only two of us. Very easy to do that. This is a keeper as I will keep coming back to it again and again.

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      June 26, 2016 at 5:33 pm

      So glad you liked it. Thank you for the simple suggestion of cutting the recipe down for 2!

  • Dairy Free Meals to Bring a New Momma - Efficient Momma
    June 15, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    […] This recipe is amazing! It only takes about 20 minutes to put together, travels well, and is super easy to reheat. I bet it would probably be a good freezer meal too. […]

  • Anonymous
    June 12, 2016 at 8:46 pm

    This sounds great. I am going to make it tomorrow.

  • Ashlyn Deacon
    May 23, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    If you have a problem with red meat try switching the ground beef to turkey. It tastes fantastic :).

    Thanks for a great recipe.

  • Paula Niziolek
    May 19, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Making this to go on french bread tomorrow night when our grandkids are here. Thanks much!

  • kimche3
    May 16, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    I am hesitant of any recipe that starts with Ketchup so I substituted Tomato Sauce instead. Added apple cider vinegar, onions, garlic & mushrooms to the listed ingredients. FABULOUS as in never buy canned sauce again good. Thank you!

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      May 17, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      I hear you about the ketchup, but I use Trader Joes brand and it has no high fructose corn syrup & organic ingredients! Organic tomato paste, organic sugar, organic white vinegar, organic onion & organic spices! Not bad, and the sugar content is low. Making your own is great, too! So glad you liked it.

  • Anonymous
    April 21, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    I have always had the canned version. This is so much better! Delicious! I will definitely be making this for years to come. Thank you!

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      April 22, 2016 at 11:09 am

      I’m so glad you loved it. There is a time for canned, but I hear you! This version is YuM!

  • Anita Zeeff
    April 21, 2016 at 4:18 pm

    It has a really good taste to it. I’m going to keep making it this way, the only thing I did different is I added frozen peas & carrots. Yum.

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      April 22, 2016 at 11:10 am

      OOO…GREAT WAY to add some veggies to the menu!

  • Lilbuns
    March 29, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    Yay! I’ve been needing to find a good one like moms! Nothing so far has been very good. Excited to try it.

    • AmyNewNostalgia
      April 4, 2016 at 6:27 pm

      It is so yummy! Let me know what you think. Love you sister!