The Best Kind of Mess: Our Top 5 Sloppy Joe Recipes

Instead of relying on canned mixes, cook up Food Network's best five sloppy Joe recipes, each a fresh, family-friendly dinner that's a cinch to prepare.

Super Sloppy Joes

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

Just like the everyday hamburger, sloppy joes are blank culinary canvases, easily adaptable to your family’s favorite flavors and the current stock of ingredients in your refrigerator. Whether you make them with ground beef or turkey, tomato or Buffalo sauce, Italian seasoning or cayenne pepper, sloppy joes provide hearty, comforting dinners that make mealtime a cinch. 

This week, ditch the canned stuff and try fresh, family-friendly varieties instead from some of your favorite Food Network chefs like Rachael and Jeff. Our top five sloppy joe recipes below are simple to prepare on even the busiest of weeknights, and with classic and creative interpretations of the tried-and-true, there’s a sloppy sandwich below to please every palate.

Rachael suggests keeping “plenty of napkins on hand” when enjoying her top-rated sloppy joes. In just 25 minutes and with only one pan, she creates a sweet and tangy mixture boasting brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce, plus juicy beef and tender bell peppers.

Buffalo turkey sloppy joes with a side of carrots and celery from Rachael Ray's Week in a Day.

Pile a buttery ground turkey-hot sauce combination and creamy blue cheese topping between soft rolls to create Buffalo-style taste and texture in sandwich form, without any wings.

Made with a trifecta of ground meats — beef, pork and veal — the Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro’s, garlic-scented sloppy joes are served on crusty hero rolls with slices of provolone cheese and pickled vegetables.

Oscar_Sloppy Joe_v4.tif

Oscar_Sloppy Joe_v4.tif

Oscar Party Snacks against a white background

Though you may not want to serve these slider-sized sandwiches on plastic trays alongside cartons of milk, Food Network Magazine’s sloppy joes will surely harken your grade-school-lunch days. This updated version of the old-time favorite features a deliciously meaty bite and a thick, rich sauce of smoked paprika, ketchup and apple cider vinegar.

For a lighter take on the classic, Ellie opts for extra-lean ground beef sauteed with protein-rich red beans and serves the tomato-laced mixture between whole-wheat buns.

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