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Homemade Sloppy Joes

Growing up my mom worked long hours away from home. Homemade Sloppy Joes was one of her go-to dinner meals. And I couldn’t have been any more excited to see it served.

Honestly what’s better then perfectly flavored ground hamburger, diced onions, ketchup, mustard, and other seasonings between warm, toasted buttery buns?

And let’s not forget this classic meal is ready in minutes, requires minimal ingredients, and is a one-skillet meal. Which is code for you won’t be spending hours in the kitchen prepping this meal.

My favorite way to serve this is with a side of baked potato wedges and steamed green beans.

Oh this is a delicious easy, meal that my family always looks forward too.

A white platter with 3 sloppy joes- a meat mixture in a bun with French fries on the side.

You know what else makes this meal perfect? Not only can it be prepared days ahead of time, it also creates the perfect leftovers.

And with this recipe we always have enough leftovers for a delicious lunch or dinner the next day.

It’s also worth noting if you’re into freezer meals you’ll want to pin this recipe now. Nothing is easier than doubling this recipe and freezing half for an easy freezer meal.

homemade sloppy joe recipe ingredients + notes

  • oil
  • onion
  • ground beef
  • Worcestershire sauce– we use the Lea & Perrins brand in the US, in Canada check out French’s
  • brown sugar— spooned and packed
  • ketchup
  • mustard
  • hamburger buns— we prefer Udi’s buns that are also soy and nut free
  • hot dog buns— placing this meat mixture in a hot dog buns is the perfect food hack and cuts down on the messiness for littles
  • gluten free French fried crispy onions— this is a great way to change up this meal. Add French fried crispy onions on top of the sloppy joe mix for extra added flavor and yummy crunch. Purchase gluten free fried onions here.
  • optional: diced green bell peppers
  • pro trip: for restaurant style buns toast them in the oven over broil. Only toast for a minute or two at the most and watch closely. The buns will easily burn. Remove from the oven and lightly spread melted dairy free butter over each bun…. y’all this definitely takes your homemade sloppy joe game up a level.
A white platter full of a meat mixture between hamburger buns with French fries.

more delicious dinner ideas

  • taco tater tot skillet— the whole family loves this one skillet meal. Don’t have an oven safe skillet then use a 9 x 13 baking dish. This meal is full of flavor and so filling.
  • shepherd’s pie— this is the ultimate comfort food recipe for your family.
  • easy skillet lasagna— another 1 pan meal. You won’t need to boil lasagna noodles with this recipe, it’s so easy.
  • potato corn chowder— here’s one of our favorite soup recipes, and it can be enjoyed year round with tender potato chunks and sweet corn in a thick creamy chowder. Yum.
A white platter full of a meat mixture between hamburger buns with French fries.

can this be made ahead of time

Yes! This Homemade Sloppy Joe recipe can be made days ahead of time then reheated when ready to serve.

And because of this we prepare extras to take with us when we travel. This easily reheats in a hotel or Airbnb microwave.

does this freeze well

This is one of my favorite recipes to freeze. Prepare the sloppy joes according to the recipe card below and allow meat mixture to completely cool. Then place in an air tight container and freeze up to 3 months.

Allow sloppy joes to completely thaw then reheat and serve.

in closing

However you look at it you can’t go wrong with this Homemade Sloppy Joe recipe.

There’s nothing better then enjoying a filling & easy to fix gluten and dairy free meal. Not to mention this recipes only calls for 6 simple ingredients.

You’ll find it’s the perfect meal for large family gatherings, holidays, potlucks, busy weeknights, and when traveling.

We know you’ll love this classic recipe.

Did you know there are more gluten and dairy free recipes on our website, Eating Gluten and Dairy Free. If you’re looking for kid snack ideas click here. And check out our helpful allergen friendly camping guide too.

Go ahead and follow along on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. Be sure to like and comment often on our social media posts so you don’t miss the best of eating gluten and dairy free.

Eat well and feel well,


Homemade Sloppy Joe’s

Keyword: Dairy Free, Gluten Free
Author: Eating Gluten and Dairy Free


  • 1 tsp oil
  • ½ onion diced
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • tbsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce
  • c brown sugar
  • ½ c ketchup
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • optional: diced green bell peppers


  • In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add onions.
  • After onions are translucent, add in ground beef and continue cooking. Add in green bell peppers now if using.
  • When meat is browned, drain excess grease.
  • Then add rest of ingredients and mix well. Allow to cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Serve warm.
  • Optional: toast gluten free buns in the oven over broil. Simply place buns open face on a baking sheet. Watch carefully so they don't burn. Then rub buns lightly with dairy free butter for restaurant-style buns.


This homemade sloppy joe mix can easily be made 2-3 days ahead of time and reheated. And can be frozen up to 2 months, thaw and reheat when ready. 

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Recipe Rating

Marcia Palm

Tuesday 2nd of November 2021

Absolutely delicious! I have Celiac Disease and can no longer use my go to of Manwich. This recipe is so much better! I did have to increase the ketchup and mustard and garlic, but it was truly a mouth watering recipe!!!!