Sloppy Joes: A Family Favorite

Sloppy Joes: A Family Favorite

This is another one of those nostalgic recipes for me. The kind of recipe that made a regular appearance at the dinner table during my youth. The kind of recipe that originated from my grandma’s kitchen and was continued on through the generations now resting on my dinner table.

This recipe didn’t come with a card. It was only recently written because my cousins and I were curious exactly what was in it! It’s so simple and became such an traditional weeknight meal, no one ever thought to write it down!

I think it’s everyones favorite because it’s simple, it’s super-fast, there is no measuring required, kids will actually eat it and it includes staple ingredients in your pantry. Oh! And of course, it’s delicious!


I wrote a family cookbook for my mom’s side a couple years ago, compiling all of our favorite recipes and some handwritten ones from my grandmother as well. When I first asked my mom to include the sloppy joe recipe, she rattled off a little something like this…

MOM: “You just brown hamburger, add a little flour, brown sugar, mustard, ketchup and barbecue sauce. That’s it…”

ME: “Can you give me any kind of measurements? Haha!”

MOM: “Well I don’t measure… I do one big circle of mustard and a couple big circles of ketchup and barbecue sauce.”

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Needless to say writing a family cookbook was a bit more complicated than I thought it would be! However, I’m so happy I did and I’m glad my mom and I could evaluate this recipe together to actually record it… with real measurements.

When you make it as many times as we have, you will no longer need the recipe.

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I plated this sloppy joe with a thin bun to make it a little lighter. Sometimes I don’t eat it with a bun at all! It’s delicious!

This recipe is also a great treat when served over nachos or on a bun with nacho cheese on top! Mmm!

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Sloppy Joes: A Family Favorite
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 6

A weeknight family tradition!
  • 2 lbs. Ground Beef
  • 3 Tbsp. Flour
  • ½ c. Ketchup
  • ¼ c. Mustard
  • ½ c. Brown Sugar
  • 1 c. BBQ Sauce (KC Masterpiece – I have also used Sweet Baby Ray’s)
  • Onion powder, salt & pepper, to taste

  1. Season and brown hamburger, then drain.
  2. Sprinkle in the flour and stir together. Then add in the ketchup, mustard, brown sugar and bbq sauce.
  3. Stir together, taste and adjust to your liking. Serve on buns or over nachos!

Use what you have on hand but my mom swears by KC Masterpiece Original BBQ Sauce for this recipe! It’s delicious!

I hope it becomes a tradition for your family as well!

What recipes have become “unwritten traditions” in your family? 

Leave me your thoughts below! Would love to chat with you! 🙂



  1. Yummy! Making this tonight. Love good warm meals that I don’t have to heat the entire house with our oven. : )) Thanks Lauren!

    • laurenrustichoney says:

      Me too, Sara! Easy and quick too! Let me know how it goes! Hope your little man likes it too! 🙂