The Very Best Sloppy Joe Recipe

A family favorite, this is the BEST Sloppy Joe Recipe ever! Secretly packed with healthy ingredients, your veggie haters will have no clue that you’re pulling a fast one.

The Very Best Sloppy Joe Recipe |

School’s out, officially, everywhere (I think) now. The buses are long gone and the kids are hanging out in the cul-de-sac playing kickball, basketball, and, surprisingly, not on their phones.  It’s kind of nice to see.  We set up the waterslide, again, in the yard since Father’s Day was a bit of a scorcher around here.  It didn’t help that we “brunched” al fresco at the only table NOT in the shade, so I was already wilted by the time my bloody mary arrived.  Plus, there was a car show in the village so my husband wanted to walk around a bit to check things out. Did I mention I was wilting. But it was Father’s Day and I wanted him to be able to do whatever he wanted without having to hear me cackle about it. *wilting*  I needed any kind of relief to cool off…even if it was a 10 foot inflatable spewing water all over the place.  Works for me.

The Very Best Sloppy Joe Recipe |

After my body temperature returned to normal, I started my usual prep for the week….the planning what I’m going to make for all of you and share here on the blog….and our own weekly meal plan….and trying to figure out when the heck I’m going to be able to get back to the shore….and what gifts I’m going to buy all the grads that I know. (Suggestions on that last one are welcome!)  And, of course, dinner for Monday night.  I admit, I’ve been holding out a little bit on you….I’ve been keeping a secret and it’s how I get my kids to eat things like mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes and onions.  They’re not real big fans so I try to sneak them into things like meatloaf and burgers.  And this….the Very Best Sloppy Joe Recipe.  I’m not even lying…it’s the best…and they’ll never know what hit ’em.

The Very Best Sloppy Joe Recipe |

This thing is loaded….I mean, LOADED with vegetables. And what they think is ground beef…is, actually, a blend of ground beef and heavily minced mushrooms.  A ton of them.  It’s like almost half mushrooms. And the thing about mushrooms is…they don’t have much flavor when they’re tossed around in a sauce with ground beef.  You don’t even know they’re there.  My kids had no idea and the older one may know NOW because sometimes she’ll read my post but most of the time….not.  So, hey…Katie…if you read this…..HA!!!

The Very Best Sloppy Joe Recipe |

The Very Best Sloppy Joe recipe is super easy to make and is ready in less than 30 minutes. It’s great to make ahead since the flavors have more time to develop and it freezes beautifully too!  It’s wonderful piled on a soft fluffy hamburger roll.  Serve with a little tortellini salad and you’re in business!

The Very Best Sloppy Joe Recipe |

The Very Best Sloppy Joe Recipe

Hidden veggies are my secret ingredient to the BEST Sloppy Joe Recipe ever. 
4 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dinner, lunch
Cuisine American
Servings 8 servings
Calories 154 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups diced sweet onion
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper diced
  • 1 cup matchstick cut carrots
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes I LOVE Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes!
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 14 ounces finely minced mushrooms


  • Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium/high heat. Add the onion to the pan and cook until softened. Add the bell peppers and carrots to the pan. Continue cooking until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook until the mixture turns a deep burgundy in color, approximately 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the dijon, sugar, vinegar, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, salt and pepper. Stir the mixture to combine thoroughly.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil. Turn off the heat.
  • Carefully, transfer the mixture to a blender and cover with the lid. Hold the lid with a towel (to prevent burning yourself, pressure will build up from the hot ingredients) and puree until smooth. Set aside.
  • Return the skillet to the heat and brown the ground beef over medium/high until no longer pink, approximately 10-15 minutes.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the beef to a bowl and drain off the fat.
  • Return the skillet to the heat and add the mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms over medium/high until softened and most of the moisture has evaporated.
  • Return the beef to the skillet and toss to combine.
  • Pour the sauce over the beef mixture and stir.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, the lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Serve on hamburger buns.


If you're more of a chunky veggie sloppy joe fan, puree only 1/2 of the vegetable mixture and create the sauce that way. You may need a bit of canned tomato sauce to make it more saucy but it's just as tasty!


Serving: 1gCalories: 154kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 15gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 357mgPotassium: 661mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 3355IUVitamin C: 56mgCalcium: 42mgIron: 2.6mg
Keyword sloppy joe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

17 comments on “The Very Best Sloppy Joe Recipe”

  1. I grew up on sloppy joe’s! My kids would go crazy for these!

  2. Man, I haven’t had sloppy joe’s in AGES and that’s got to change because these look and sound fabulous!

  3. I haven’t had this since I was a little girl…brings back memories.

  4. This looks amazing and I love that you snuck all those veggies in!

  5. This is perfect for hiding those veggies. I love recipes like this. My husband swears he doesn’t like mushrooms but I hide them in so many recipes! Can’t wait to try this one!

  6. My kids obble up sloppy joes, I’ll definitely be giving this recipe a try!

  7. I love mushrooms, but I’m the only one in the household. I need to try chopping them up really small and sneaking them into sauces. This sloppy joe recipe sounds amazing!

  8. Sloppy Joe’s have always been a favorite family meal around here. Your recipe looks very tasty. I also notice that you have a new site design and logo. Very nice!

  9. I haven’t made sloppy joe’s in years! My husband will be so excited when I tell him this is what I am making for dinner, lol.

  10. Sloppy Joes are a seriously favorite of mine! I love that you made this from scratch vs. out of a can. LOVE!

  11. Y’all, if you’re reviewing a recipe, it would be great if you actually made the meal. All this, “It looks so tasty!” is not helpful.


    I actually made this recipe and, while it WAS very tasty, it CANNOT be prepared in under 30 minutes. The amount of prep time alone was about 30 minutes just to chop all the vegetables. Plan for at least an hour if you don’t have help with prep. The author mentioned in another comment to mince the mushrooms to the point of being almost like mashed potatoes (especially if you have picky eaters). Next time I might try actually using a potato masher on the raw mushrooms to speed up the process. So much mushroom chopping…Just a thought. Another thought, I felt the final product was a little under-sauced. I had to add some extra tomato paste and Ketsup along with more Worsterchire and Dijon at the end to feel like the meat and veg were fully coated (and hidden from the picky eaters!). The flavor of the sauce is phenomenal though. Very true to Manwich style sloppy Joe’s sauce. I love how light I felt after eating this as well! A better name for these would be Guiltless Joe’s! Will definitely be making this again.

    • Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your helpful tips. I’m a silly fast chopper because I do it all the time. Sometimes the food processor can help speed things up or if your kids are old enough put them to work. Anyway, I’m so glad you loved it and I agree that maybe it could use some extra sauce. I love your little additions. Thanks so much for your helpful comments!!!

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