Sloppy Joe Casserole

This recipe takes Sloppy Joe's and turns them into a casserole, solving the only problem Sloppy Joe's ever had - soggy bottoms!

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When I was young, my mother didn’t make Sloppy Joe’s very often, but I do remember loving them. They were tasty, sloppy and although I had no idea who Joe was and what he had to do with it, I remember trying to eat them very quickly before the bottom bun got soggy. I appreciated that the bun soaked up all the goodness, but I didn’t relish the soggy bun – who does? This recipe for sloppy Joe casserole solves the problem by baking the buns on top. They toast with cheese melting on top and the edges of the buns get crispy. They are just as delightful as the sloppy part. 

Sloppy Joe Casserole in a sauté pan on a wooden table with napkin over the handle.

Most folks make sloppy Joe’s with a spice packet they pick up from the grocery store, but they are really so easy to make from scratch and I bet you’ll find the homemade version a lot tastier too. You probably have most of the ingredients already in your kitchen. Of course, you could use any type of hamburger bun you like for the top, but I really like the size of slider buns. They give you a perfect template for a portion scoop and they have more edges to get crispy, so they are well worth the search.

A portion of Sloppy Joe Casserole on a green plate on a wooden table.

Serve these hot out of the oven with a side salad or side vegetable to round out the meal. Of course, if memory of my childhood Sloppy Joe meals serves me correctly, it might be a challenge to get that side dish to disappear, but I doubt you’ll need to look for a storage container for the main meal. ?

If you’re in the mood for regular sloppy Joe’s, I’ve got you covered. You’ll find a pressure cooker version of the recipe right here

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Sloppy Joe Casserole

  • Prep Time: 15 m
  • Cook Time: 45 m
  • Total Time: 1 h
  • Servings:


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 14 ounce canned petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese divided
  • 4 slider rolls
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter


  1. Pre-heat a 4-quart non-stick sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and break it up with a wooden spoon as it browns. Add the onions and continue to cook until there is no more pink left in the meat. Drain the grease from the pan and then return it to the stovetop.
  2. Add the green peppers, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, salt and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle 2 cups of Monterey Jack cheese evenly over the beef mixture.
  4. Split the slider rolls in half and arrange them in the pan on top of the meat and cheese with the cut side facing up. Brush the melted butter onto the cut surface of the rolls. Sprinkle the remaining Monterey Jack cheese on top and transfer the pan to the oven.
  5. Bake at 350ºF for 25 minutes, or until the rolls are toasted brown and the cheese has melted.
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Comments (18)Post a Reply

  1. 5 stars
    Very good. Tastes like a sloppy joe without all of the mess and losing half the filling when you try to pick up a sloppy joe sandwich. Buns on top – great idea!

  2. Family loves this casserole. Have made it several times and there is always an empty iron skillet.

  3. 5 stars
    Promotes empty plate syndrome. Easy, ingredients easily in most homes. Had slider buns leftover, from previous meal as well as 2 sliders. Added sliders to ground beef. So easy and tasty, will be a new go to. You are a treasure to Coke’s who want to succeed, have yet to try recipe without success. Thank you

  4. Meredith,
    As always, this was excellent. My husband said it shouldn’t even be calked sloppy joe, it’s too good to be compared to that. Thanks fir the weekly menus. They are a constant source of inspiration. Thanks fir taking care of us with these great ideas at this strange time.

  5. 5 stars
    I made this yesterday for the first time, but it won’t be the last time. I wasn’t sure about the flavor since I normally took the easy way out and used the “canned” product when making sloppy joes. Never again! I will only make it using this recipe as it was delicious and everyone in the family really enjoyed it. I used Havarti cheese and it was luscious, beautifully melted and really made the dish perfect. Thank you Meredith for another fantastic recipe.

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve made this multiple times in the past year and am making it again tonight. It’s soooo good!!! I didn’t have monteray jack today, so using sharp cheddar. Hopefully, it will taste just as good!

  7. 5 stars
    Amazing recipe, my picky eaters love this recipe I just omit green bell peppers and follow the recipe as is.

  8. 5 stars
    #1 Fav recipe in our household with picky eaters!! I omit the salt for low sodium option for hubs and it still tastes great!

    1. Hi Gale. You can see the nutrition info by clicking on “Nutrition Info” next to “Print Recipe”. This is right after the recipe title.

  9. 5 stars
    Absolutely fabulous! I, too, love Sloppy Joe’s but hate the mess. They take me back to my childhood. This recipe is awesome and one of our new favorites. My husband raved about them! Thank you Meredith. I have several of your cookbooks, and every recipe of yours that I have made is delicious!

  10. 5 stars
    I substituted the green pepper with jalapeños and switched up the cheese using Mexican blend cheese— delish! I like your rolls on top idea so much that I’ve converted all of my rolls-on-bottom recipes to the topside. Have to say that you are our favorite chef, and that at least one of you entrees is on our dinner table every week.

  11. Received this recipe in email a few days ago. I made it for dinner tonight. It was so good! Loved the toasted buns on top. Much better than the soaked buns. Thanks!

  12. 5 stars
    Perfect timing since I was making sloppy joes for dinner! It came out great and I really like the non-soggy buns on top.

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