Sloppy Joe Restaurant Recipe

Total Time
Prep 0 mins
Cook 15 mins

This is one of my most treasured recipes, it came from a friend who worked as a manager at a community restaurant years ago. The meat mixture is made from ground beef, onion, and ketchup, a bit of vinegar and sugar, and the secret ingredient being chili powder. Choose any type of bun you wish, then slap on some of this great tasting meat. This recipe serves 5 people with about 3/4 cup meat mixture per person. The recipe can easily be doubled.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 34 cup ketchup
  • 12-1 teaspoon salt (start with 1/2 tsp., then add more salt near end of cooking time, if desired)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard (Recipe called for Plochman's brand mild yellow mustard)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 lb lean ground beef (recipe called for ground round beef)
  • 1 medium white onion, diced 1/4-inch by 1/4-inch square
  • 5 hamburger buns (Use quality buns. Hoagie buns are delicious, just cut in half to equal 1 bun)


  1. In a small mixing bowl, thoroughly combine the ketchup, salt, vinegar, sugar, mustard, and chili powder; mix well and set aside.
  2. In a large frying pan or skillet, brown the ground beef and onions over medium-high heat until the beef no longer shows any visible signs of raw meat, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon as it is being cooked. Reduce the heat to low.
  3. Drain as much fat from the meat as possible by simply tilting the pan and letting the fat pool at the bottom. Spoon the fat into an empty tin can and discard. Extra fat may be removed by pressing a double layer of plain, white paper toweling against the meat.
  4. Add the ketchup mixture to the cooked ground beef and onions; mix to combine.
  5. Cook the ground beef and sauce mixture on low and simmer, uncovered, until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently to prevent it from burning on the bottom.
  6. YIELD: This recipe serves 5 people with about 3/4 cup meat mixture per person.


Most Helpful

I'm not surprised this is one of your most treasured recipes. It is a great easy recipe using ingredients usually on hand. I made this using 5 pounds of ground beef and multiplied all the other ingredients out. It made a ton- and was inhaled by everyone. I won't buy the ready-made stuff again, not when this is so easy and good.

MiMadre' March 12, 2011

I have made this several times before now and this was a hit with the whole family always! Perfectly easy to make and super delicious! I followed your recipe exactly and I put it in the lunch box of my daughter and gave her it today. She came home and said immediately, "Mom! Today's lunch was very delicious and I love it!!"-----This already has become the one of favorite meals of my families. I really appreciate finding this recipe. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

minmin-mika June 20, 2010

Very good and saucy and tastes like mild, sweet and tangy BBQ sauce. Quick and easy and ready to eat in less than 30 minutes. Thanks for posting Recipe Gal! made for I Recommend Tag Game - April 2010.

ElaineAnn May 05, 2010

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