Kristin Kveno

Sloppy Joes have been a staple in our cooking rotation at the Kveno house for years now. I grew up with my mom opening up a can of Manwich sauce to mix with the ground beef and that’s how we sloppy joe’d. My sorority house at North Dakota State University made “barbeques.” The first time I heard that barbeques would be served for dinner there I thought it would be some type of meat with barbecue sauce slathered on top … but it was just sloppy joes. There’s lots of different names and ways to prepare sloppy joes; but any way you slice it, it’s delicious.

I’ve perfected my sloppy joe sauce. It consists of onion powder, ketchup, mustard and brown sugar. All are staples in our kitchen; thus sloppy joes are always a quick meal during the busy week. Let’s take the regular, but tasty sloppy joe and give it some flair. Here are some sloppy joe culinary delights.

This sloppy joes recipe encompasses some of my very favorite foods: grilled cheese, pickles and sloppy joes. How can you say no to this tasty take on the classic sloppy joe?

Dill Pickle Sloppy Joe Grilled Cheese

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound lean ground beef

1 small sweet onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 cup ketchup

2 teaspoons yellow mustard

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup diced dill pickle

8 slices Texas Toast bread (or any thick/sturdy bread of your choice)

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

unsalted butter

In a large non-stick skillet, over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add in the ground beef and onions; cook until the onions are softened and no pink remains in the beef, about 3 minutes. Drain off all the grease. Stir in garlic powder, ketchup, mustard and brown sugar. Mix well. Season with the salt and pepper. Stir in the dill pickles and mix to combine. Transfer sloppy joe mixture to a bowl and set aside; cover to keep warm. Wipe out your skillet and return pan to medium heat. Spread butter over one side of a slice of bread. Place butter side down into the skillet, top with a little cheese, generous amount of sloppy joe mixture, additional cheese and finish with another buttered slice of bread, butter side up. Cook in the skillet until lightly browned on the bottom, about 1-2 minutes, and flip over. Press down to flatten slightly, so the cheese can melt. Continue cooking until the other side has browned and the cheese has melted, another 1-2 minutes or so. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. Serve right away with potato chips or dill pickles on the side.


Time to add some Philly style to sloppy joes. The peppers, onions and cheese combined with the ground beef to make this simply delicious.

Philly Cheese Steak Sloppy Joes

1 pound lean ground beef

2 tablespoons butter

1 small yellow onion diced

1 small green bell pepper diced

8 ounces brown mushrooms minced

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 tablespoon  cornstarch

1  cup beef broth

8  ounces Provolone Cheese Slices chopped (use 6oz if you don't want it very cheesy)

6 brioche hamburger buns

Add the ground beef to a large cast iron skillet (this browns very well) and brown until a deep brown crust appears before breaking the beef apart. Stir the ground beef and brown until a deep crust appears on about 50 or so percent of the beef. Remove the beef (you can leave the fat) and add the butter and the onions and bell peppers and mushrooms. Let brown for 1-2 minutes before stirring, then let brown for another 1-2 minutes before stirring again. Add the beef back into the pan. In a small cup mix the beef broth and cornstarch together add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, salt, black pepper, beef broth/cornstarch mixture into the pan. Cook until the mixture is only slightly liquidly (about 75 percent of the mixture is above liquid), 3-5 minutes. Turn off the heat, add in the provolone cheese. Served on toasted brioche buns.


Chinese food is wonderful and so are sloppy joes. Thus, combining the two together just makes sense. The flavor combination in this recipe is delectable.

Asian Sloppy Joes

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1/2 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 pounds ground pork (or ground beef)

1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 cup hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 cup shredded cabbage

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

Juice of half lime

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

2 thinly sliced green onions

4 sesame buns

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat sesame oil until fragrant, about 30 seconds. (Sesame oil can burn quickly, so don't heat it for too long!) Add onions and cook until beginning to turn tender, about 4 minutes, then stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add ground pork, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, and cook until no longer pink, about 6 minutes. Add ketchup, hoisin, soy sauce, brown sugar and apple cider vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and bring mixture to a simmer. Cook until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. In a medium bowl, combine shredded cabbage, mayonnaise and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper. Make sandwiches: Top the bottom half of each bun with sloppy joe mixture then sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds. Top with remaining bun halves.


If you’ve never made a Mississippi Roast, then I’m sorry to say you’re missing out on an awesome, tender roast full of flavor. This recipe takes those flavors and packs it all in a sloppy joe.

Mississippi Roast Sloppy Joes

drizzle of olive oil

1 pound ground beef

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoons sliced pepperoncini peppers

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoons ketchup

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup beef broth

2 teaspoons cornstarch

6 slices provolone cheese

6 toasted brioche buns (or your favorite type)

ranch sauce:

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1/2 teaspoon milk

1/4 teaspoon dried dill

dash of paprika

splash of pepperoncini juice from jar

To a large skillet, add olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Add beef and cook, crumbling as it browns, for about 4-5 minutes. Drain beef and set aside on a plate. To same skillet, add onion and cook another 4-5 minutes, stirring just occasionally, so the onions are softened, but a little charred on the edges. Add the beef back to the pan, along with the minced garlic. Cook about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium. Season with salt and pepper, then add in sauce ingredients (mayonnaise, vinegar, milk, dill, paprika and pepper juice), and stir well to combine. Stir in peppers, Worcestershire sauce and ketchup. Top with butter and stir until melted. In a small bowl, whisk together beef broth and cornstarch. Pour into the skillet and cook, stirring often, until thickened, usually about 5 minutes or so. Serve on toasted buns with a slice of provolone cheese and a couple extra slices of pepperoncini peppers (optional).

The recipes for sloppy joes are endless, so if you’re ever in a sloppy joes rut then try one of these flavor-enhanced recipes and fall back in love with sloppy joes again.

Kristin Kveno scours the internet, pours over old family recipes and searches everywhere in between to find interesting food ideas for feeding your crew. Do you have a recipe you want to share? You can reach Kristin at