Sloppy Joes recipe

(141 ratings)

A classic American sandwich, sloppy Joes are a delicious burger packed with tender beef mince: quick, cheap and easy to make

Sloppy Joes burger with crisps
(Image credit: Getty / LauriPatterson)
Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time11 mins
Total Time21 mins
Cost RangeCheap

This sloppy Joes recipe is classic American sandwich based on seasoned hamburger meat cooked in a sauce. 

Traditionally this is served with potato wedges or chips, and dill pickles, but for a lighter version serve simply with a crisp salad. Unlike a regular burger, there's no need to add other fillings like sauces, sliced tomato or greenery - they spiced meat has everything it needs already. And don't worry if you make a mess while you're eating these - it's part of the fun. Some of the delicious filling might slip out as you go, but just be ready to tuck it back in. This is a great value recipe too, so we have included it in our best cheap family meals


  • 450g lean beef mince
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 150ml barbecue sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 burger buns, halved




  1. Put the beef mince and onion in a large frying pan and stir fry over a high heat for 5 mins until to brown.
  2. Add the soy sauce, sugar and ginger and simmer together for a further 5 mins until cooked through. Remove from the heat, and season to taste. Cover and keep warm.
  3. Preheat the grill to a hot setting, arrange the buns, cut side up, on the grill rack and grill for a few seconds to lightly toast.
  4. To serve, put the bun bases on warm serving plates and spoon over the mince mixture. Top with the other half and serve immediately.

Top tip for making Sloppy Joes

This is a versatile recipe so you can change the filling to any minced meat, and add your own spices to taste.

Octavia Lillywhite
Food and Lifestyle Writer

Octavia Lillywhite is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist with over 15 years of experience. With a passion for creating beautiful, tasty family meals that don’t use hundreds of ingredients or anything you have to source from obscure websites, she’s a champion of local and seasonal foods, using up leftovers and composting, which, she maintains, is probably the most important thing we all can do to protect the environment.