Recipe: Sloppy Joes

Recipe: Sloppy Joes

These meat sandwiches are an American classic. Featuring that well-known barbecue flavour, which is characteristic of many staple dishes from the US, Sloppy Joes are a great crowd pleaser. They’re perfect for when you want to get everyone involved around the dinner table.


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 red (bell) pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow (bell) pepper, chopped
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) minced (ground) beef
  • 1 × 400-g (14-oz) tin chopped tomatoes
  • 90ml (6 tablespoons) barbecue sauce
  • A few splashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (concentrated purée)
  • 1/2–1 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 beef stock cube


  • 8 burger buns, halved and toasted
  • Cheddar cheese, grated (shredded)

Over a medium heat, drizzle the oil into a large frying pan (skillet) or saucepan and fry the onion until soft, around 6–8 minutes. Tip in the garlic and both red and yellow peppers and cook for a further 5 minutes until the peppers have softened. Mix in the beef and cook for a few minutes until browned.

Pour in the tinned tomatoes and stir in the barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, chilli power, if using, brown sugar and stock cube. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened and is not at all watery. Serve the mixture in the burger buns with grated Cheddar.

Make it smoky if you prefer a smokier barbecue flavour, try adding 2 teaspoons smoked paprika to the beef mixture when you add the chilli powder.

Recipe from Samuel Goldsmith’s The Tinned Tomatoes Cookbook

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