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Spicy Sloppy Joes

Go Forth and Be Sloppy

I think the last time I ate a sloppy joe was a decade ago, but I decided to made them this week on a whim. As soon as I took one generous bite and the sloppy contents plopped onto my plate, I knew there was a reason why I loved sloppy joes as a kid. It's completely acceptable (and unavoidable) to be messy while eating a sloppy joe. For kids, it's like receiving permission to cover your hands and face with your food. As an adult, I will unabashedly admit that it's still fun.

If you're living in an apartment and/or don't have a grill, sloppy joes are a great faux-grilled food. The bacon in this sloppy joe offers the smoky satisfaction you get from grilling burgers. Serve these with beer, potato chips, pickles, and a stack of napkins, of course!

Spicy Sloppy Joes

Spicy Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joe Recipe


  1. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  2. 2 tablespoons steak seasoning blend, such as McCormick brand Montreal Seasoning
  3. 1 teaspoon chili powder
  4. 1 teaspoon cumin
  5. 4 slices of bacon
  6. 1 1/4 pounds ground beef sirloin
  7. 1 medium onion, chopped
  8. 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  9. 1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  10. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  11. 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  12. 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  13. 2 cups tomato sauce
  14. 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  15. 6 hamburger buns, split and toasted
  16. 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese


  1. Combine brown sugar, steak seasoning, chili powder, and cumin in a small bowl. Set aside
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon to the pan. Cook for 5 minutes until the bacon is soft and renders fat. Add ground beef and do not break it up. Let it sear on one side, about 2-3 minutes. Flip it and sear on the other side, about 2-3 minutes. Then begin to break meat up with a metal spatula or wooden spoon, cooking it until the meat is no longer pink. Add sugar and spice mixture to the skillet and stir to combine. Add onion, red peppers, jalapeño, and garlic to the skillet. Reduce heat to medium. Add red wine vinegar and Worcestershire sauce to the mixture, and cook for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and paste to pan. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 25-35 minutes longer until mixture is thick and no longer soupy.
  3. Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, pile sloppy meat onto toasted, bun bottoms, sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese and cover with bun tops.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Anna Monette Roberts
Join The Conversation
PriyaSachan1363346315 PriyaSachan1363346315 4 years
Melissss Melissss 8 years
This recipe is so good. I made it with ground chicken, and about tsp of bacon grease left over from the morning (no add't bacon). The flavor is great, and they have this sweet/spicy thing going on. I used bulkie rolls, a tip for you, cut to roll, butter and then toast in a pan on the stove, butter side down, they get all soft and warm. Yum!! Enjoy :)
chiefdishwasher chiefdishwasher 8 years
Where did you get the buns? They look wonderful.
lady_jade lady_jade 8 years
This sounds so good, but the lighting in the pic is pretty unflattering to the dish...
emalove emalove 8 years
I would love these with ground turkey instead of beef...
Food Food 8 years
That looks delicious! I can't wait to make it.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
:drool: I love Sloppy Joe's!
PartySister PartySister 8 years
these are tasty! and you don't feel that unhealthy if you just eat one, on a mini brioche bun.
Smacks83 Smacks83 8 years
Mmmmm... I have some ground Bison, I wonder if that would work too?
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