Sloppy Joes

An easy sloppy joe recipe that’s great to cook outside all year round.

By Jimmy Kennedy
Cook Ambassador

These are even better than the ones you remember from your childhood and are easy and fun to cook over a campfire. Serve this recipe over good bread, grit cakes, biscuits, cornbread, pasta, eggs or just about anything. 


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 small onions, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Water, beer or broth as needed
(Photo: Justin Broulliard)


  1. Heat a large, heavy cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  2. Put in the ground beef and brown it, stirring often. Drain and discard the drippings.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a separate skillet and cook the onions until they are soft, 7 to 10 minutes.
  4. Add the cooked onions and remaining ingredients to the cooked beef and bring to a simmer. If the mixture isn’t wet enough for your liking, add a little water, beer, barbecue sauce or broth until you get the perfect amount of sloppiness.
  5. Cook, with the skillet mostly covered, for about 15 to 20 minutes, adding more liquid if needed.
  6. When good and hot, serve over your choice of bread and bring back the memories!
(Photo: Justin Broulliard)

Note: If you want a one-dish meal, you can add the onions to the beef when it is about halfway done instead of using two skillets. 

  • Yield: about 6 servings
  • Prep time: 10 to 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes

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