This Easy 3 Ingredient Sloppy Joes Recipe is so easy to make! Our simple sloppy joe recipe tastes just like the old-fashioned sloppy joes recipe with ketchup that your grandma made back in the 80's.
We are all about a dinner idea that is simple to make and quick to throw together for your family! If you are big on nostalgia, this recipe will remind you of sloppy joes day in the school cafeteria.
I wonder if they still serve sloppy joes in schools? When Angeline was in school - even in the late 2000s and early 2010s, they didn't' serve them anymore!
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Why you should make our recipe for 3 ingredient Sloppy Joes
Homemade sloppy joes are an American classic, and making them is so easy with this easy recipe for sloppy joes! There is no need to spend time mixing up a complicated joe sauce or including a cup barbecue sauce.
Free up some of your valuable time this week with an easy sloppy joe sauce and just a few minutes cook time. You can totally take shortcuts in the kitchen and still please the whole family!
With just 3 simple ingredients, you can whip up a delicious dinner with our super easy Sloppy Joe recipe in no time with our easy recipe. Whether it's for a quick weeknight dinner or a family gathering, this three ingredient sloppy joe recipe will have everyone asking for seconds!
Are you looking for other easy dinner recipes like our simple sloppy joes recipe?
If you are looking for other easy dinner ideas, check out some of these dinner recipes! We have shared everything from an Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Soup Recipe to Chicken Cordon Blue. There is really something for everyone!
Ingredients you will need to make these 3 ingredient sloppy joes
This 3 Ingredient Sloppy Joes Recipe is a quick and easy dinner recipe. Our easy meal is full of nostalgia that will bring you back to your childhood and create fun new memories for your family too!
For this easy 3 ingredient sloppy joe recipe, you will need:
- Ground beef
- Light brown sugar
This combination of ingredients makes the perfect sloppy joes! Brown sugar and ketchup add a bit of sweetness to the easy sloppy joe sauce, while the mustard gives it a savory kick.
The brown ground beef is the base of the recipe, giving it a hearty flavor that is sure to please. With just these ingredients, we will show you how to make easy sloppy joes that your entire family will love.
How To Make 3 Ingredient Sloppy Joes With the Ingredients Listed Above
You are going to start these simple sloppy joes with 3 main ingredients. This is why this simple recipe is one of our favorite easy dinners, it is so simple to make and versatile too!
Begin by browning the pound ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat. Once you have brown ground beef and it has been cooked through, drain the excess fat.
Next, add in the ketchup, the brown sugar, and the mustard. These 3 ingredients and their flavors provide the perfect balance in our easy sloppy joes sauce.
Of course you can always make an easy sloppy joe recipe with tomato paste, but 4 ingredient sloppy joes or even an easy sloppy joe recipe 5 ingredients is too much hassle sometimes.
Stir all of the ingredients together until they are fully combined in the joe meat. Then let your ground beef sloppy joe mixture simmer on low heat for just about 10 minutes. You want the flavors to soak into the ground beef.
This will allow all of the flavors to come together perfectly and make a delicious sloppy joe mixture!
How to Serve your 3 Ingredient Sloppy Joes
Spoon a heaping portion of your easy sloppy joe recipes on hamburger or sandwich buns!
- Make a simple side salad, or our Red Pepper Pasta Salad
- Add a serving of french fries or tater tots.
- Pickle Spear - If you are anything like me, you will also want to add a nice juicy and fat kosher dill pickle to the dinner plate!
You can also use this easy sloppy joe recipe tomato sauce in another dish! Use it to fill tacos or use it as a topping for nachos and enjoy this easy yet delicious family favorite.
When I told you that I was going to show you how to make sloppy joes easy, did you anticipate that the recipe would be THIS easy?
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Substitutions and Variations for these Not so Sloppy Joes
As far as I am concerned, the sloppy joe secret ingredient is the ketchup...or shall we say, the Heinz KETCHUP?!
- Tomato Sauce - I am a big fan of Heinz, it is the only ketchup that I ever buy, BUT I realize that not everyone likes Heinz. If you do not want to use ketchup, you can use tomato sauce (canned sauce is fine) and a dash of Worcestershire sauce if you like.
- Spicy Brown Mustard - You should be using regular yellow mustard for this recipe, but it is okay to mix it up and try something different to try a different flavor profile!
- Ground Turkey - You can substitute the beef with ground turkey for a healthier meal.
- Green Bell Pepper - You can add very finely diced green peppers to the sauce for an extra kick!
- Red pepper - add a sprinkling of red pepper flakes or chili powder to kick the heat up!
- Barbecue sauce - Some people like throwing a teaspoon of barbecue sauce into the meat mixture while it cooks over medium-high heat.
How to Make our 3-ingredient Sloppy Joe Weight Watchers or Low Carb Friendly
If you want, you can make this 3-ingredient sloppy joe weight watchers or low carb friendly. All you have to do is make the following substitutions.
- Replace the brown sugar with Truvia. A decent replacement for light brown sugar is this Truvia Brown Sugar Blend, Mix of Natural Stevia Sweetener and Brown Sugar. Where as a normal teaspoon of brown sugar contains 4.5 carbohydrates, Truvia contains only 2 net carbs per serving. You can buy it here on Amazon.
- Golden Monk Fruit Sweetener - this brown sugar blend contains 4 carbohydrates, but they come from sugar alcohol, which nets ZERO carbs. 2-in-1 blend with erythritol to create a naturally sweet tasting sugar free sweetener that won’t cause an aftertaste. 1:1 brown sugar substitute that has 0 fat, sugar, and calories. You can buy it here on Amazon.
What should I serve with our family favorite Easy Sloppy Joes?
Your whole family may enjoy our sheetpan Ranch potatoes with sloppy joes! You can also make some french fries (from frozen) in your air fryer. Or to please the pickiest of eaters, serve this great recipe with potato chips or whip up a batch of our Cheesy Bacon Potatoes in your Instant Pot using the slow cooker setting.
Are you looking for other Easy Dinner Recipes to serve like this Easy Sloppy Joes Recipe?
Check out these delicious recipes that I have shared over the years that are just perfect for those nights when you really aren’t in the mood for cooking but don’t want to reduce yourself to ordering pizza or UberEats.
FAQs about our 3 Ingredient Sloppy Joes
Regular hamburger buns are our favorite for eating sloppy joes, but you can also use white sandwich bread, hot dog buns, brioche - whatever you like! You might also like a toasted bun. If so, just brush a dab of olive oil on the inside before toasting.
To print our 3 Ingredient Sloppy Joes, simply click the recipe card below!
I know that many people still like to print out recipes and keep them in a recipe binder, or simply have the printed recipe sitting in front of them when it comes time to cook!
Sometimes it is just easier to go off a recipe when it is printed right in front of you. Who wants to swipe their screen on their phone or tablet when their hands are greasy? So I love offering this option as well!
Easy Sloppy Joe Recipe 3 Ingredients Only
- 1 pound of ground beef
- ⅛ C. brown sugar
- ⅛ C. mustard
- ¾ C. ketchup
- Brown the ground beef and drain.
- Add in the brown sugar, mustard and ketchup into the ground beef.
- Simmer on low 8-10 minutes to allow the flavors to combine.
Have you ever wondered about The History of Sloppy Joes?
I have heard of sloppy joes referred to as Manwich before, but I knew that the brand didn't invent the sandwiches. I just did a bit of research because if there is one thing I love, it is knowing random, useless facts. Ha!
Early and mid-20th century American cookbooks offer lots of sloppy joes style recipes. However, they are called all sorts of things: Toasted Deviled Hamburgers, Chopped Meat Sandwiches, Spanish Hamburgers, Hamburg a la Creole, Beef Mironton, and Minced Beef Spanish Style.
One theory of the sandwich's origin is that in 1917, Havana, Cuba, bar owner José "Sloppy Joe" Abeal y Otero created "a simple sandwich filled with ground beef stewed in tomatoes." This was possibly his interpretation of ropa vieja. His bar was reportedly frequented by Americans and Britons, including Errol Flynn, Ernest Hemingway, and Graham Greene. Circa 1937, Hemingway convinced Joe Russell, a bar owner in Key West, Florida, to rename his Silver Slipper bar Sloppy Joe's.
Marilyn Brown, director of the consumer test kitchen at H.J. Heinz in Pittsburgh, says their research at the Carnegie Library suggests that the sloppy joe's origins lie with the "loose meat sandwiches" sold in Sioux City, Iowa, in the 1930s and were the creation of a cook named Joe.
A 1940 advertisement illustrates another use for the term "Sloppy Joe;" a women's cardigan sweater, described as "ever popular."
References to sloppy joes as sandwiches begin by the 1940s. One example from Ohio is a 1944 Coshocton Tribune ad under the heading "'Good Things to Eat' says 'Sloppy Joes' – 10c – Originated in Cuba – You'll ask for more – The Hamburg Shop" and elsewhere on the same page, "Hap is introducing that new sandwich at The Hamburg Shop – Sloppy Joes."
Food companies began producing packaged sloppy joe, in cans with meat, or just the sauce, such as Manwich, by the 1960s. Source: wikipedia.com