Sloppy Joes In 30 Minutes Or Less

Feb 17, 2020 | meat, Recipes

Good morning friends! It is, of course, Monday, I am back from my vacation, and that can only mean one thing, 30 Minutes Or Less! I hope that you are all as excited as I am. Today, we are going to be taking a look at something that most of us probably haven’t had in a very long time, Sloppy Joes. Bonus points to anyone who can get through this post without hearing Adam Sandler in their head singing “Lunch Lady Land”.

When I decided I was going to make Sloppy Joes for today’s 30 Minutes Or Less, I took a few minutes and thought about what a Sloppy Joe is. What I realized is that every Sloppy Joe I’ve ever had was made with leftover spaghetti sauce, rather than some specific Sloppy Joe mixture. After a quick Google search I realized that to the rest of the world, or at least the Goolecentric part of it, a Sloppy Joe isn’t actually what I thought it was at all.

I did some research and came to the very surprising conclusion that I’d never had an actual Sloppy Joe before. It was obviously time to change that. I compiled my research, broke it down, took some pieces away, added a few of my own and what I was left with was the recipe I’m about to share with you. An entirely new-to-me Sloppy Joe recipe.

Most of the recipes I found had a base of ketchup and mustard. I couldn’t bring myself to pour a bunch of ketchup into my pan so I used tomato purée and added a little sugar and cider vinegar to kind of replicate the ketchup flavour. I also added fresh garlic when most of the recipes called for garlic powder. And, I used mustard powder when most recipes called for prepared mustard. Other than that I didn’t change too much. I wasn’t trying to reinvent the wheel, just make a delicious Sloppy Joe.

And with that, this is how to make…

Sloppy Joes in 30 Minutes Or Less

12:20 pm – Getting Started

First things first I put a large frying pan on the stove over medium-high heat. While that was heating up I diced one medium-sized onion by cutting the top off, then cut it down through the middle. I peeled the onion and then made a few horizontal slices about 3/4 of the way through the onion. I then made a few verticle slices all the while keeping the root of the onion intact so it didn’t fall apart. After that, I cut across the slices, and like magic, perfectly diced onions.

By the time the onion was cut the pan was hot and ready. I add about 1 tbsp of olive oil along with 2 lbs lean ground beef and my diced onions. I stirred the beef to break it up and to make sure everything was cooking evenly. Finally, I seasoned the beef and onions generously with salt and pepper then move on to my next task.

12:25 pm – Peppers & Garlic

With the beef and onions cooking away I diced up about a 1/2 cup of green bell pepper which was about 1/2 the pepper. Then I peeled and sliced 2 cloves of garlic.

By the time I was done with my slicing and dicing the onions were translucent and the beef was cooked through. It was time to add in the bell pepper and garlic. I cooked everything together stirring fro a few minutes.

12:31 – Seasonings

After a couple of minutes of cooking the bell peppers and onions, it was time to add in my seasonings. First up was 2 tbsp of brown sugar, 2 tsp ground mustard, 2 tsp cider vinegar, 1 tbsp soy sauce, and 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes. I stirred the seasonings into the meat mixture and cooked it all together for about 2-3 minutes before moving on.

12:34 pm – Sauce

The last two ingredients to go into the Sloppy Joe mixture were 1 cup of tomato purée and 1 cup of beef stock. Once these were added in I turned the heat up slightly on the pan and brought it to a boil. Then, I reduced the heat to medium and let it simmer away.

12:37 pm – Salad

While the mixture was simmering on the stove I got to work making a quick salad. I first sliced up a chunk of cucumber, then a radish, and a carrot. I put of mesclun mix in two small bowls and topped it with the cut vegetables and couple cherry tomatoes.

12:45 – Buns

The salad was done, the Sloppy Joe mixture was almost done, all that was left was to toast the buns. I cut them in half and popped them in the toaster. My toaster has a “bagel setting” which only turns on one side of the element. I usually use this to taste the buns 90% of the way and then finish them on the regular setting. It works really well for me and my toaster.

12:47 pm – Sloppy Joe

The Sloppy Joe mixture was done when there was very little moisture left in it. Essentially, when I scraped the bottom of the pan with a spoon, a clean line stayed. You can see this in the pictures below. That’s how you know the mixture is thick enough.

I big scoop of the filling on my bun dressed my salad and dinner was ready.


These Sloppy Joes were really tasty, and I would be more than happy to eat them again. However, what I realized is that what I actually wanted, was the spaghetti sauce style Sloppy Joes I had always had before. So, as good as this were, there was some sense of disappointment that went along with them for me. But all that means is that I will have to make so spaghetti sauce and redo this for lunch someday in the near future.

Oh, and one other thing. I actually put hot sauce on my Sloppy Joe as I was eating it. I felt like it needed a bit of a kick and I was right. If you are all right with a bit of heat, put some hot sauce on this, you’ll be happy you did.

And that does it for today. Thank you as always for reading and remember to tune into Dinner with Ben tonight and every Monday night at 6 pm on my Facebook page. Tonight we are making Chicken Fried Steak! See you then.

Awesome Sloppy Joe

A classic and delicious Sloppy Joe Recipe.
Total Time: 26 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lunch, Sandwich, sloppy joe
Servings: 4
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 2 lb Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 Onion, Diced
  • 1/2 cup Diced Green Bell Pepper
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Peeled and Sliced
  • 1 cup Tomato Purée
  • 1 cup Beef Stock or water
  • 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tsp Mustard Powder
  • 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Addin the ground beef and onions and cook until the onions are soft and the beef is cooked through (5-8 minutes). Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Add the green pepper and garlic to the beef and onions and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Next up, add in all the seasonings cook for 2 minutes then add in the tomato purée and beef stock. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until thick.
  • The mixture is done when a spoon dragged across the bottom of the pan leaves a clean line. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
  • Serve on toasted buns with a side salad.
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