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Emeril's Sloppy Joes


This kid's classic and favorite leaves time for the family to enjoy summer evenings together. The recipe for the flavorful meat sauce can easily be doubled. Feel free to make a big batch of it over the weekend, then freeze it in smaller portions for busy weeknights.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Source: Everyday Food, June 2010


  • 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced small (2 cups)
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced small (1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced small (1/2 cup)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 3 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cups prepared tomato sauce
  • 1 cup homemade beef or chicken stock or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons hot-pepper sauce (optional)
  • 4 hamburger buns, split


  1. In a large skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, season with salt and pepper, and cook until vegetables soften, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add beef, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, and cook until browned, 2 minutes. Add brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. Add hot-pepper sauce (if using) and remove beef mixture from heat.

  2. Meanwhile, heat broiler, with rack in top position. Place buns, cut side up, on a baking sheet and lightly brush with 2 tablespoons oil. Broil until buns are golden, about 3 minutes. (Alternatively, toast on a grill pan or in a skillet, oiled side down, over medium-high.)

  3. Generously spoon beef mixture over toasted bun bottoms. Sandwich with bun tops and serve.

Reviews Add a comment

  • MS10778616
    9 OCT, 2010
    This is an excellent recipe! I allowed the extra time needed for the sauce to thicken. The vegetables were nondetectable to the eye, they just melted, disappearing into the sauce. Amazing flavor. Thanks Emeril.
  • bethwankel
    27 AUG, 2010
    I used less liquids as the other users suggested. I also simmered it for more like 20 minutes. Turned out great! And so delicious!
  • stephiek1984
    3 AUG, 2010
    I too found it had too much liquid. I reduced the broth to 1/2 a cup and had to cook it longer. I also reduced the brown sugar. Otherwise it was great! This froze well too.
  • Momandcook
    16 JUL, 2010
    I just got done making these sloppy joes. We found them to be too baland and too watery. I am going to eliminate some of the liquid and jazz them up alittle