Sloppy Joes

We continue onto Week 9 of College Football, which means another delicious Football bite! Here is a kid-friendly football bite if you happen to have a few kiddos at your tailgate. Or at least a few kids at heart! 😉 Sloppy Joes are a quick and easy one-pan meal all of your tailgating guests will love. They are easy to make, serve and eat while cheering on your favorite team. Since I serve a variety of different foods when we are tailgating, I like to serve these sloppy joes on slider buns. That way everyone can enjoy a little bit of everything, and besides everything is cuter on slider buns! Serve with a few tater tots for a meal that will have everyone cheering for more!

One Year Ago: Halloween Sugar Cookies 

Sloppy Joes

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  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion , chopped fine
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 pound 85 percent lean ground beef
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 8 slider hamburger buns or 4 regular hamburger buns


  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat heat oil until shimmering. Add onion and salt and stir until coated with oil. Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 10 minutes (if onion begins to burn after 5 minutes, reduce heat to low).
  2. Add garlic and chili powder and cook, uncovered, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beef and cook, breaking up meat with wooden spoon, until just pink, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add pepper, brown sugar, tomato puree, ketchup, water, and hot sauce. Simmer until sauce is slightly thicker than ketchup, 8 to 10 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve.

Yields: 4 servings

Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, October 2005

If you’ve missed them, make sure to check out the rest of my College Football Bites: :)

Week One: Pizza Pretzel Bites               

Week Two: Slow Roasted Pulled Pork 

Week Three: Mini Corn Dogs                 

Week Four: Buffalo Chicken Bites         

Week Five: Texas Chili                            

Week Six: Beer Battered Fried Pickles 

Week Seven: Buffalo Wings                    

Week Eight: Queso Blanco Dip             

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19 Responses to Sloppy Joes

  1. I’m embarrassed to admit my Sloppy Joes have been previously concocted with a spice packet:) This recipe looks delicious and so much nicer than mine, I’ll have to switch!

  2. I haven’t had sloppy joes in years!

  3. Amy says:

    Sloppy Joes are one of my favorite foods! These little ones are so cute!

  4. ChgoJohn says:

    Like Greg, it’s been ages since I’ve enjoyed a Sloppy Joe. Making them with slider buns is a great idea when your tailgating. Love that you paired ’em with your tater tots.

  5. I’m totally craving red meat at the moment and these sound like the perfect solution!

  6. Christine says:

    I love sloppy joes, they rock. Great recipe.

  7. bakingjenn says:

    I love this! Switch out ground beef for ground turkey and count me in 🙂

  8. I love sloppy joes but I never think to make them. These are making me hungry!

  9. Lauren says:

    These look so good – adding to my recipes list!

  10. lacy says:

    I haven’t had a sloppy joe in so long but now that you’ve posted this I might need to make some asap! My mom used to use the little packet to make them, yours sounds so much more tasty lol!

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  18. quinersdiner says:

    You’ve got me starving. Some of the recipes look fabulous. Thank-you!

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