This is my all-time favorite sloppy joe recipe -and I’ve tried a lot! Instead of browning the meat on the stovetop, it is cooked low and slow in the oven, resulting in a highly flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Oven-baked Sloppy Joes. The only way I make them!

Everyone needs a good sloppy joe recipe. If you’re looking for yours, I’ve got you covered.

I grew up eating sloppy joes all the time. My mom’s recipe was great, but never exact. She would (and still does) dump a little bit of this and a little bit of that into the kettle, adjusting amounts as needed.

It wasn’t until last year that this new sloppy joe recipe came into our lives. The recipe made its rounds in my hometown, appearing at concession stands and potlucks. When my family tasted it, we went nuts. There was something deliciously different about it.

Turns out, the ground beef mixture was slowly baked in the oven – not cooked on the stove top.

The result is a flavorful sandwich with a melt-in-your-mouth texture. There is something about slow-cooking the meat that makes it very tender.

Sloppy Joes, made in the oven. These are SO good!!

Sloppy Joe Serving Suggestions

  • Serve them classic style, on a bun and topped with a pickle.
  • For a paleo-friendly version, do a Sloppy Joe in a bowl. Top the meat with chopped onions, tomatoes, pickles, and vegan cheese.
  • Serve on lettuce leaves and toppings for an easy lettuce wrap.
  • Make a walking taco. Open a small bag of Doritos, add some sloppy joe meat, top with salsa, chopped onions and tomatoes, cheese, and sour cream.

I also must mention: In my hometown in southwest Minnesota, we don’t actually call these Sloppy Joes. We call them “barbecues”. If you go into a restaurant and order a barbecue, this is what you will get. What do you call them where you’re from?

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Sloppy Joes, made in the oven. These are SO good!!

Oven-Baked Sloppy Joes

Yield: Meat for 25 sandwiches
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes

I like to make a large batch and freeze so I have meals ready-to-go.

Feel free to half this recipe if you want a smaller amount.


  • 5 lbs ground beef
  • 1 envelope onion soup mix
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 16 ounces ketchup (half of a 32-ounce bottle)
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (eliminate for Paleo and Whole30 diets)


  1. Place all ingredients in a large roasting pan. Using clean hands, mix everything together until incorporated.
  2. Place in a 250F oven and bake for 3 hours, stirring every 20 minutes. Remove excess grease that rises to the top of the pan, if desired.

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