Today we are all about easy and affordable. Specifically, I’m talking this tangy, delicious, easy sloppy joe recipe. I used a lot of organic products to make these sloppy joes, and I was still able to stay within a $20 budget, so I call that a win.
Plus, the sweet and sour sauce for these sloppy joes are made almost exactly like my favorite tomatoey, sweet and sour appetizer sauce, cream cheese and red sauce. If you like these hot ground beef sandwiches, I think you’ll also really enjoy the red sauce!
I originally wrote this sloppy joe recipe as a sponsored post for
local supermarket chain Harris Teeter® to highlight their HT Organics products.
All opinions and the recipe are my own.You may also be pleasantly surprised at the number of HT Organics products I was able to use and still stay within a $20 budget! Thank you, Harris Teeter!
This post contains affiliate links. We are members of the Amazon Affiliate program. For any sale through our links, we earn a small commission. Your price is unaffected. For more information, please see our disclosure policy.
Sweet, Tangy, Easy Sloppy Joes
I grew up eating Sloppy Joes, so they’re a nostalgic treat for me. I’m cool with homemade or even pouring a can of Manwich into my own ground beef.
Either way is good for me. I just want the Sloppy Joe!
For this easy sloppy joe recipe, I decided to go in a sweet and sour direction. So, some of the ingredients you might not expect to see in a traditional sloppy joe. For example:
- lemon juice
- steak sauce
But man, if you’re a fan of sweet and sour, you won’t be able to resist these. Don’t even try!
Is This Sloppy Joe Recipe Organic?
As written, my sloppy joe recipe is not 100% organic, although I used many organic ingredients.
It’s mainly because I didn’t use organic ground beef.
You can absolutely make them organic by making sure all ingredients are organic, including the ground chuck.
The ingredient you might not be able to find an organic version for is the A1 steak sauce, but you can certainly substitute your favorite organic steak sauce.
Isn’t It Expensive to Eat Organic?
It can be, certainly. In part, organic means that producers have to take some extra steps to make sure they’re meeting federal regulations. That can translate to more expensive price tags at the counter.
The HT Organics line actually features quite a few products that are priced below some of their conventionally-produced counterparts.
And guess what?
If you are not totally happy with your HT Organics Items, you can take them back to the store.
Not only will they give you a refund, you can pick your own replacement (with some restrictions). This policy allows you to buy organic and not have any buyer’s remorse at all. Plus, you get the satisfaction of knowing you are feeding your family healthy foods and staying within your budget.
These days, most grocery stores offer a wide variety of organic options, many of them store brands, so take a look next time you’re in your local grocery and see if you can’t make some organic swaps for conventional ingredients and still stay within your food budget.
Organic Sloppy Joe Recipe Q & A
You may have some questions about making these easy sloppy joes, so here are some answers for you.
If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via email.
A sloppy joe is generally a ground beef-based hot sandwich, although it can also be made with other ground meat such as turkey or pork (or a mixture of ground meats). The ground beef is usually browned and then simmers together with a tomato-based sauce.
If you happen to have leftover sloppy joe mix, you can serve it over baked potatoes or pour it over tortilla chips and top with melted cheese for a nacho snack.
My favorite thing to do with leftovers is heat it up in a pan, crack eggs onto the top of it, and then bake it like you would a shakshuka. It makes a great brunch!
This is a personal choice, of course, but there is such a thing as a too sloppy sloppy joe. I like to put a generous enough amount on the buns so I can really taste it and so maybe some will fall out (because they are sloppy, after all), but not so much that all of it falls out or that the bun disintegrates. My rule of thumb is to allow about 1/2 cup (or a heaping 1/3 cup) of sloppy joe mix per person.
Since I have done a Whole30 before, I get this question pretty frequently. You’ll have to be very careful with your ingredients, and of course you won’t be able to add any sweetener unless you use soaked and blended dates, so sweet and sour sloppy joes are out for the duration of your whole30. But, if you serve them as lettuce wraps or over sweet potatoes or russet potatoes, you can certainly make a Whole30 compliant sloppy joe mix with ground beef, Whole30-approved Ketchup like Tessemae’s or canned whole tomatoes, mustard, chopped onion, green or red bell pepper and garlic, a touch of vinegar. I found this recipe for Whole30 Sloppy Joe Bowls for you that you might really enjoy–it sounds good to me!
Fortunately, it is easy to scale recipes for sloppy joes. Figure 1 pound of ground meat per 4-5 sandwiches, so for 30 people, you’ll want to start with 6 pounds of ground beef and scale all the sauce ingredients accordingly. For 50 sloppy joes, start with 10 pounds of ground beef, for 100, you’ll need 20, etc.
What to Serve with Sloppy Joes
As far as I’m concerned, sloppy joes are about as retro as it gets–and I mean that in a good way–so retro side dish recipes are the order of the day.
Try serving them with my mom-style macaroni salad, or maybe some no mayo potato salad (that also happens to be Whole30!). If you’d like a hot side dish, consider spicy succotash, an old-fashioned southern side dish I love to make.
Let’s Make These Easy Sloppy Joes, Shall We?
This easy sloppy joe recipe is loaded with organic onion and sweet red pepper goodness from the HT Organics line at Harris Teeter. And the sauce is sweet/sour/tangy.
I really hope you love this easy sloppy joe recipe, you guys! If you make it, please share a photo with me, either in the PCO Facebook Group or on instagram by tagging @onlinepastrychef and using hashtag #pcorecipe. Thanks, and enjoy!
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil or neutral vegetable oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, medium dice, I used an HT Organics onion
- 3-5 cloves garlic, minced, I used HT Organics garlic
- 1 red bell pepper, medium dice, I used HT Organics red bell pepper
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 pounds ground beef, I used 80% lean ground chuck from Harris Teeter
- 1 cup ketchup, I used HT Organics ketchup
- 2-3 Tablespoons honey (depending on how sweet you like things), I used HT Organics honey
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons A-1 Steak Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard, I used HT Organics yellow mustard
- 4 sandwich buns of your choice
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the oil and heat for a few seconds.
- Add the onion and garlic along with a heavy pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are translucent.
- Add the red bell pepper and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Make a space in the center of your pan and add the 2 pounds of ground beef, breaking it up well with a spatula. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook until the beef shows no remaining pink, stirring the vegetables back in as you cook. This step will take about 7 minutes.
- Move the meat and vegetables to one side of the pan and tilt the pan so the fat gathers in the "empty" side. Spoon off as much of the fat as you would like. Leave at least a couple of tablespoons behind, but you can leave more if you choose.
- Spread the meat back out in the pan and add the ketchup, honey, vinegar, lemon juice, A-1, and yellow mustard.
- Stir together and simmer for 5-10 minutes to marry the flavors. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Add a heaping 1/3 cup of the sloppy joe mixture to each of 4 buns,* and serve with sides of your choice.
*You will use about half of the mixture. You can of course enjoy more sloppy joes the next day, but I switched things up a bit and heated the leftover sloppy joe mix, made four "wells" in it, and cracked an egg in each. I cooked it on the stovetop for 3-4 minutes and then finished it under the broiler until the eggs were cooked to my liking, about 4-5 additional minutes. "Sloppy Joe Egg Bake" makes a great part of a hearty weekend breakfast. See a photo below.
Amount Per ServingCalories 464 Saturated Fat 9g Cholesterol 80mg Sodium 587mg Carbohydrates 29g Fiber 1g Sugar 12g Protein 23g
Thank you for spending some time with me today. Take care, and have a lovely day.