Here’s a really easy sloppy joe recipe 3 ingredients that is homemade! Your whole family will enjoy this comfort meal and I bet you never realized just how easy they were to make from scratch! Use just 3 basic ingredients for a tangy yet sweet meal!
We love easy Sloppy Joes in our house! We created an easy sloppy joe recipe using just 3 things + the meat. I know you already have 2 in the door of your refrigerator. Here is where our experimenting began and why you will never buy the can again after making them this way. (originally published 6/14, photos updated 12/17, affiliate links present)
Easy Sloppy Joe Recipe 3 Ingredients
After several trials and “more of this” and “less of that”, we came up with a simple sloppy joe recipe. Instead of using Manwich we used just these 3 ingredients. You have what you need in your fridge and cupboard right now and I guarantee you’ll never buy that can again after this!
Years ago this was created, out of need because I hadn’t gone to the store to buy my regular sauce. Fast forward 10 years and my family will NOT let me buy it premade from the store ever again. Seriously, it is way better. Your husband kids are going to love this one, I guarantee it!
Homemade Sloppy Joes
I am all about easy recipes because we both work full time and let’s face it, we don’t have time to spend an hour in the kitchen. Plus this meal tastes fabulous!! If you have little ones it is all about fun at meal time too right? When your kids are excited about what is on their plate there’s a better chance they’ll try it.
We make this often. After a while you can also start integrating small diced bits of vegetables inside too. Hidden veggies are great when they’re non the wiser.
Finely chopped bell peppers and onions totally work. I have drained a can of corn before and thrown that in too and my girls thought that was “so fun”.
Easy sloppy joe recipe
As far as the protein goes you can use your fave. I prefer 80/20 beef that has been ground but I have actually used 1/2 lb. of spicy ground sausage with 1/2 beef for a meat mixture before and it was insanely great!! Red pepper flakes can add heat too. For leaner and a healthy option go with ground chicken or turkey if you like.
- Ground beef can be sauteed on the stovetop or you can make air fryer ground beef too
- Brown Sugar
- Hamburger buns
First you’re going to want to cook your ground beef, or ground turkey, and diced onions if you want them. You don’t want really really lean, 80/20 is better if you ask me. It has a lot more flavor overall and to be honest I usually do not drain the fat, it tastes better with it.
3 Ingredient Sloppy Joes
If I am serving it for a large crowd I use a 2 quart crockpot that you can find here because it is just big enough and small enough where the juices really get soaked up by the ground beef. You just cook it all beforehand and then transfer it into your slow cooker to sit on warm.
Then your batch will be ready for meals all day long. If you like diced bell pepper you could add them when cooking your ground beef too, totally up to you. I have a printable recipe card at the bottom of this post but here is a quick rundown so you get the jist.
- Cook the ground beef or turkey in a large skillet over medium high heat. I buy whichever is on sale at the time.
- Pour in diced onions if you’d like, then drain some of the juices off.
- Add the mustard, ketchup, and brown sugar.
- Mix well and taste.
- Add more ketchup if you want it wetter or mustard if you like it more tangy.
- Increase brown sugar if you like yours sweeter.
- Allow to simmer once combined for 5 minutes, covered, to soak up all the juices and mixture so it’s nice and yummy!
Turn heat off. Put on buns and serve. You could put a slice of cheese on top if you like, or sliced pickles is sometimes a fave too. An easy dinner that takes about 20 minutes flat that we all love. Loose meat sandwiches are seriously the bomb y’all!
Loose Meat Sandwiches
It creates a yummy tangy sweet meat mix to put on any bun and if you drain the meat (sometimes I even put the meat in a strainer and run hot water on top to make it extra healthy). You will want to cook the meat first, then add the above ingredients and continue to cook on low so it simmers a bit and really gets that flavor into the meat before plating.
Tweaks that can be made with this could be adding pinches of seasonings like garlic powder, salt and pepper if you like. Like I said sometimes we like a slice of cheese on top like you see in the top photo so it melts. Lastly if you ran out of ketchup you could swap in tomato sauce instead (though ketchup is better).
Once you try these easy homemade sloppy joes you’ll be hooked and you should will want to try our sloppy joe casserole. If you love this easy sloppy joe recipe you should try these 5 ingredient crockpot chili. It is to die for and so EASY!
Homemade Sloppy Joes Recipe
I used to just add some minced dehydrated onions but now I add fresh onions and they soften up nicely so my kids don’t mind them in it either.
Taste along the way to see if you want it a bit sweeter or tangier (more sugar or mustard to taste). You can even cook the meat, add the ingredients and mix it up.
Throw it in a crockpot if you are heading out for a few hours and the juices really get soaked up by the meat and it is just fantastic. Just put it on low while you are gone and slap it on buns when you get back.
Want to see a few of my favorite things that I am totally obsessed with?? Take a peek and see how many you might already have…twinsies!
Easy Sloppy Joe Recipe 3 Ingredients
- 1 pan
- Cook the ground beef or turkey (I buy whichever is on sale at the time) + diced onions, drain some of the juices off, and then add the mustard, ketchup, and brown sugar.
- Mix well and taste. Add more ketchup if you want it wetter or mustard if you like it more tangy. Increase brown sugar if you like yours sweeter.
- Allow to simmer once combined for 5 minutes, covered, to soak up all the juices and mixture so it's nice and yummy!
- Turn heat off. Put on buns and serve.