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Spicy Sloppy Joes Sandwich

spicy sloppy joe recipe with ketchup

Sloppy Joe was one of my favorite things to eat when I was a small kid.  Even today I still enjoy a very sloppy joe, but I like to make it spicy.  And what I mean by very sloppy and spicy is that I pile on the beef and sauce mixture to the point you have to eat it with a fork.  I then top it off with pickled jalapenos.

The recipe also has cayenne pepper and a little tabasco pepper sauce.   I may even kick it up a notch with shredded sharp cheddar and coleslaw.  If you’ve never eaten a sloppy joe sandwich with coleslaw, you’re doing it wrong.  One of my fondest and earliest memories of eating sloppy joe was when I was in elementary school.

I loved eating the school’s “sloppy joe on a bun”.  It was always messy and greasy.  They served it with french fries, a cookie, and chocolate milk.  Boy was that a good lunch.  It’s a classic all-American sandwich that is easy to make and there aren’t too many people who don’t enjoy them.  They’re all-American like a burger, hot dog, and of course, meatloaf.

What are the good sides to eat with Sloppy Joes?

Well, my favorite is crispy tater tots.  What goes better with sloppy joe than frozen tater tots fried until they’re crispy on the outside and tender on the inside with Heinz ketchup on the side.  You also can’t go wrong with crispy crinkle-cut french fries.  I also enjoy the sloppy joe with baked beans and plain Lay’s potato chips.

Best toppings to add on a spicy Sloppy Joe

Of course, you need some heat like jalapeno peppers and some chopped onions.  You can also make a loose meat sandwich with the sloppy joe and add condiments and ingredients like you would a burger.  Loose meat sloppy joe sandwiches with mustard, pickles, and onion are amazing.

Have you tried it with coleslaw and fries piled high on a brioche bun?  If not, you’re missing out.  I love to get weird with my sloppy joe.  You can also treat it like a taco and stuff a hard corn tortilla shell with the sloppy joe mixture, lettuce, and shredded cheese.  And don’t forget to make it spicy with pickled jalapenos.

Best way to make sloppy joe without canned sauce

Sloppy joe has been around for years and people didn’t always make it with canned sauce.  You can make it with fresh tomatoes and use flour as a thickener.  I always add a little flour to my sloppy joe to keep it from falling off the bun.  I also do the same for my homemade taco meat.

If you don’t want to use canned tomato sauce, there is always ketchup.  It makes the sloppy joe sweet and delicious. I seldomly use canned sauce when making sloppy joe.  Ketchup gives it a little sweetness, tanginess, and a thicker texture.

How to make spicy homemade sloppy joe

The easiest way to make it is the old-fashioned way by browning and crumbling the ground beef and adding your vegetables, ketchup, and spices.  Let it simmer for a little while and enjoy on your favorite bread or roll.

spicy sloppy joe recipe with ketchup

Spicy Sloppy Joe

Quick and easy spicy Sloppy Joe sandwiches
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp yellow onion minced
  • 3 tbsp green bell pepper minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh jalapeno minced
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 water


  • Preheat a skillet on medium-high heat and start browning the ground beef, onions, and peppers. Stir in the spices.
  • Add the ketchup, water and white sugar and stir. Add the flour and stir.
  • Simmer for 25-30 minutes


If the mixture is too thick, add a couple of tablespoons of water. If you want it really spicy add a couple of drops of tabasco sauce. These were great served on a bakery hot dog roll with homemade coleslaw.
Keyword easy sandwich ideas, ground beef, sandwich
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