The classic American BBQ food – with lots of flavor and a little heat


We’ve lived in the US for over 2 years now and we’ve tried Sloppy Joes many times.  In fact the kids love them.  Abby remembers when we lived in Chile and they were given Sloppy Joes after one year of exams were finished … and Henry constantly asks for them.  So I figured I should do the right thing by them and come up with a recipe that Grant and I would be happy with as well.  And so this was born.

I think it’s a pretty simple recipe, adapted from way too many places that I’m not going to identify them here, but all you really need to know is that it uses ground meat (beef, turkey, etc), onions, some green pepper (capsicum for you Aussies!), with some tomato paste and whatever spices you wish to add.  However much red pepper you wish.  I also added some chili powder, mustard and Worcestershire sauce to satisfy Grant’s requirements for it to not just be ground meat in tomato sauce … and I think it’s a winner.  The kids definitely loved it, I liked it, so I think you’ll like it too!

Sloppy Joes

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings 6


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 green pepper diced
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tin tomato sauce
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire sauce


  1. Heat a medium frying pan on high heat and add cooking oil.
  2. Add the onion, green pepper and garlic and saute until onion and green pepper are soft.
  3. Add the ground meat and spices and mix to combine well.
  4. Add the tomato sauce and Worcestershire sauce and cook down until desired level of 'sloppiness' is obtained.

Recipe Notes

Serve on bread rolls, or Portobello mushrooms, with salad or cheese, depending on taste and dietary requirements.