Classic Sloppy Joes – An Old Fashioned Sloppy Joe Recipe

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These Classic Sloppy Joes are made with just a few simple ingredients and can be served as a sandwich or used as a topping on a baked potato or sweet potato.

Sloppy joes are one of those dishes that almost everyone grew up eating and this recipe harkens back to those messy sandwiches of your childhood.

Classic Sloppy Joes are a classic ground beef sandwiches.

The recipe for these Classic Sloppy Joes is originally from Darene Gutschenritter published in the Pot O’Gold Cookbook compiled by the St. Patrick Altar Society of Imogen, Iowa. Check out the bottom of this post for more recipes from this great cookbook.

Sloppy Joe sandwiches are truly a throwback recipe from the 1950s (maybe earlier). Ask almost anyone and we bet their mother served sloppy joes as an easy weeknight meal. Many may refer to these as “Manwich” sandwiches because their mom added a can of the classic sloppy joe sauce to a pound of ground beef and magically dinner was ready!

No need to go for the canned sauce since this recipe uses many ingredients that you probably already have in the house.

These Classic Sloppy Joes are made with just a few simple ingredients and can be served as a sandwich or used as toppings on a baked potato.

Classic Sloppy Joes

When Barbara can’t come up with any other dinner ideas, her fall back dish is Sloppy Joes. Why? Because her family always eats them and never complains. That’s a win in any mom’s book.

And these ingredients are always on hand. Simple ingredients = Happy Mom

Her husband eats his as a sandwich. Barbara says, “Do yourself a favor and butter and toast the bun. This keeps the sandwich from getting soggy.”

While he prefers a traditional sandwich, Barbara prefers to eat hers as an open faced sandwich with a fork. This keeps the meat to bun ratio higher.

What do you do with leftover Sloppy joes?

If by chance you somehow have leftover sloppy joes, then switch it up for a whole new meal. Try serving it over baked potatoes or baked sweet potatoes, mixed with shredded cheese in a quesadilla, or make tasty Sloppy Joe Cups out of refrigerated biscuits. We sometimes mix it with Velveeta for a yummy new spin on queso dip to eat with tortilla chips.

How do you make sloppy joes thicker?

If your sloppy joe sauce is too thin, continue to simmer until the sauce thickens.  On the flip side, if you want a saucier sloppy joe sauce, add a little bit of water to thin it out, approximately 1/4 cup at a time.

These Classic Sloppy Joes are made with just a few simple ingredients and can be served as a sandwich or used as toppings on a baked potato.

Vintage Sloppy Joes Recipe Ingredients:

Ground Beef

Diced Onions

Chopped Celery

Ketchup

Water

White Vinegar

Lemon Juice

Dry Mustard

Brown Sugar

Salt and Pepper

How to Make Classic Sloppy Joes

Full recipe and ingredient list for old fashioned sloppy joe recipe can be found at the end of this post.

  1. Brown ground beef with onion and celery.
  2. Drain excess grease, if needed.
  3. Add ground beef back to skillet.
  4. Combine ketchup, white vinegar, lemon juice, brown sugar, dry mustard, water, salt and pepper.
  5. Add ketchup mixture to ground beef, and cook for 20-25 minutes on low heat until sauce thickens.
  6. Serve on buns, over bread, or over a baked potato.

These Classic Sloppy Joes are made with just a few simple ingredients and can be served as a sandwich or used as toppings on a baked potato.

Notes About Sloppy Joes from Scratch:

  • Substitute ground turkey for ground beef, if desired.
  • Drain excess grease from ground beef, if needed.
  • Bottled lemon juice works just fine in this old fashioned sloppy joe recipe.
  • Regular yellow mustard is an easy substitute for dry mustard, if needed.
  • For a cheesy spin, add a slice of your favorite cheese and under the broiled until melted.
  • Serve on a toasted bun to keep your bread from getting soggy.  To toast a bun, butter both cut sides, and broil on low until lightly browned. Do not walk away or it will burn quickly.
  • Check out our Amazon store for our favorite kitchen and pantry essentials.

What do you serve with sloppy joes?

We’ve got a whole assortment of perfect side dishes.

Creamed Peas

Buttermilk Mac and Cheese

Potato Salad (made with leftover mashed potatoes)

Cheesy Potatoes (with Bacon)

Mom’s Cucumbers and Onions

Creamed Cheesy Corn

Sweet and Simple Coleslaw

Old Fashioned Sloppy Joe Recipes

We love Sloppy Joes over here at These Old Cookbooks! Check out some other versions, including Italian Joes from The Farmwife Feeds.

Easy Sloppy Joes

The main ingredient - after the ground beef - in these Easy Sloppy Joes is one that can be found in almost every household.

Sloppy Joe Cups

Sloppy Joe Cups have all the flavor of the classic sandwich in an easier to eat package - a biscuit - and topped with yummy cheese.

French Onion Joes

These French Onion Joes are an easy alternative to traditional sloppy joes without the tomatoes. With just four ingredients, this loose meat sandwich is quick dinner option.

Frisco Melt Sloppy Joes

Frisco Melt Sloppy Joes are a fun new spin on classic sloppy joes. Featuring all the flavors of a Steak N Shake Frisco Melt, this ground beef sloppy joe can be made in just thirty minutes.

Stroganoff Loose Meat Sandwiches

With a skillet and just a handful of ingredients, Stroganoff Loose Meat Sandwiches are on the table in just a matter of minutes. These tavern burgers are chalked full of flavor in a simple beef stroganoff-inspired sauce.

Ground Beef Stromboli on Hoagie Buns

Ground Beef Stromboli Sandwich Recipe is the cheesy, beefy and perfect. This particular Stromboli recipe makes a hamburger sauce like a Stromboli Joe and is served on a hoagie. 

Ground Beef BBQ

Ground Beef BBQ Sloppy Joe Recipe is an old fashioned ground beef barbecue sandwich recipe from the farm without brown sugar.  Served over bread, baked potatoes, or even on a cracker, you can't go wrong with this easy ground beef barbecue recipe.

These Classic Sloppy Joes are made with just a few simple ingredients and can be served as a sandwich or used as toppings on a baked potato.
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Classic Sloppy Joes

These Classic Sloppy Joes are made with just a few simple ingredients and can be served as a sandwich or used as a topping on a baked potato or sweet potato.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Keyword: classic sloppy joes
Servings: 6
Calories: 239kcal
Author: Barbara

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 TablespoonS brown sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dry mustard or substitute regular mustard
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup water

Instructions

  • Brown ground beef over medium heat in a flat bottomed skilled.
  • When the meat is pink and slightly under-cooked, add the onion and celery; finish browning the ground beef.
    These Classic Sloppy Joes are made with just a few simple ingredients and can be served as a sandwich or used as toppings on a baked potato.
  • Drain off grease if needed.
  • Mix remaining ingredients and add to skillet.
    These Classic Sloppy Joes are made with just a few simple ingredients and can be served as a sandwich or used as toppings on a baked potato.
  • Cook for 20-25 minutes over low heat until sauce thickens, stirring often.
    These Classic Sloppy Joes are made with just a few simple ingredients and can be served as a sandwich or used as toppings on a baked potato.

Notes

 
  • Substitute ground turkey for ground beef, if desired.
  • Drain excess grease from ground beef, if needed. 
  • Bottled lemon juice works just fine in this old fashioned sloppy joe recipe. 
  • Regular yellow mustard is an easy substitute for dry mustard, if needed.
  • For a cheesy spin, add a slice of your favorite cheese and under the broiled until melted. 
  • Serve on a toasted bun to keep your bread from getting soggy.  To toast a bun, butter both cut sides, and broil on low until lightly browned. Do not walk away or it will burn quickly.
  • Make a double batch and serve them again later in the week over a baked potato or sweet potato.
  • Try a fun new spin---French Onion Joes.

Nutrition

Calories: 239kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 241mg | Potassium: 302mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 140IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 2mg

Want to try other recipes from the Pot O’ Gold Cookbook?

Here’s our Great-Aunt Gertie’s Classic Orange Julius.

Some of our other favorite Pot O’ Gold recipes are Crock Pot Ground Beef Acapulco Enchiladas, Instant Pot Buttery ChickenCrock Pot Baked Beans with Pineapple, Campfire Potatoes, and Ranch Cauliflower Salad.

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6 Comments

  1. Hi ? My name is Helen. I love the old time cookbooks & recipes from them. I think it’s Great that you have them. I’ll be making many of these recipes?? Thank You ?? Helen Knopp

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