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Savory Tweaks: 5 BEST Sloppy Joes Alternatives

Sloppy Joes are an American classic composed of ground beef, tomato sauce, and a variety of seasonings, served on hamburger buns.

This delicious dish has been popular since its invention in the 1930s, and continues to provide tasty meals for friends and family.

While the traditional Sloppy Joe sandwich remains a family favorite, there are several delicious alternatives that can be enjoyed by everyone in the household.

Here we will discuss five alternatives to the classic Sloppy Joe that offer a variety of flavors, textures, and appeal–so everyone can have something different from their typical dinner routine.

What is Sloppy Joes?

Sloppy Joes are a popular American dish comprised of ground beef or pork, tomato sauce, and seasonings that are served on a bun.

Originating in the mid 20th century, Sloppy Joes have become a beloved staple in both home and restaurant kitchens across America.

Sloppy Joes can be served with almost any vegetable side dish or as part of a larger meal with various condiments and accompaniments.

Many restaurants specialize in serving various variations on the classic Sloppy Joe recipe using different meats and seasonings to achieve unique flavors.

Tips on Making Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are an American classic that dates back to the 1930s.

It is a flavorful sandwich made with ground beef, onions, seasonings, and often a tomato-based sauce.

Sloppy Joes can be easily spiced up with sweet or spicy peppers, or by adding different types of cheese such as Cheddar or Monterey Jack.

Making sloppy Joes is pretty straightforward but there are a few tips that you should keep in mind for a successful result.

  • Make sure the ground beef is cooked thoroughly before adding it to the sauce. This will ensure it’s tender and moist when served.
  • Add an extra layer of flavor by using diced tomatoes instead of tomato paste to prepare the sauce.
  • Include different types of peppers (bell pepper, jalapeño pepper, etc.) to spice up the flavors of your Sloppy Joe according to your own preference.
  • If you want your Sloppy Joe extra juicy and moist, add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste when simmering the meat mixture.
  • For extra cheesiness include ¼ cup grated cheese (optional) before serving on buns/bread/tortillas.

By following these tips you can make flavorful and delicious Sloppy Joes for friends and family.

5 BEST Sloppy Joes Alternatives You Should Try

Are you looking for a delicious twist on your classic Sloppy Joes? Here is a list of the five best alternatives to classic Sloppy Joes, so you can start experimenting with different flavors and try something new.

1 – Barbecue Sandwiches

Barbecue sandwiches make a delicious alternative to sloppy joes.

They use the same concept with beef, onion, and seasoning, but are enhanced by BBQ sauce instead of tomato sauce.

This gives them a smokier flavor and slightly sweeter taste that is popular with families.

You can also add sliced pickles or jalapenos for some added crunch and heat.

The flavors from these sandwiches will transport you to a backyard barbecue in no time.

2 – Chili Burger

Chili burger is a great Sloppy Joe alternative that satisfies all the American classic cravings with a Mexican twist.

This burger contains mostly the same ingredients as Sloppy Joes, but it adds chili powder and some diced tomatoes to give it some much-needed heat.

This is an especially hearty burger due to the beans, garlic, and diced onions in the dish.

A chili burger can be eaten as an open-faced sandwich, which makes for more of an appetizer than a full meal.

Make sure to top your chili burgers with some cheese and avocado for a delicious bite.

3 – Picadillo

Picadillo is a savory ground beef dish from Spain, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

In each country, the flavors vary somewhat but all include garlic, onion, tomatoes and some sort of ground beef like and green olives for acidic tang.

While it is usually served with rice or potatoes and a salad, it’s also great as a filling for tacos or empanadas.

One of the benefits to making picadillo instead of traditional Sloppy Joes is that it is healthier because it contains much less fat than its traditional counterpart.

To turn your picadillo into a Sloppy Joe type sandwich you can serve with buns on the side or spoon onto the buns along with your favorite condiments like ketchup, mustard or pickles.

4 – Bagel Toast

Bagel toast is a unique and delicious alternative to traditional Sloppy Joes.

Instead of two buns, you’ll be able to fit the sandwich in one bagel, making it easier to eat.

Toast the bagel and spread some mayonnaise on it for added flavor and moisture.

Then, pile on your toppings of choice – think lettuce, tomato, bacon, onion or pickles – along with your favorite Sloppy Joe mixture.

The Bagel Toast will be sure keep you satisfied with its crunchy outside and deliciously flavorful inside.

5 – Beef On Weck

Beef on Weck is a popular sandwich variation that many fans swear by.

The traditional dish is made with slow-roasted and thinly-sliced roast beef, spicy horseradish and other condiments packed onto a special roll.

Often called “kummelweck” or “kümmelweck” roll, it is usually studded with caraway seeds and salt bits.

Served warm, the beef on weck sandwich is definitely a great alternative to the sloppy joe.


Sloppy Joes provide a fun and unique flavors to any meal, but they’re not the only option.

Whether you are looking for something with less calories, more protein or a more classic burger-style sandwich, there are plenty of alternatives that can provide just as much flavor without weighing down your meal.

From healthier and lighter options like a veggie wrap or quinoa burger, to more traditional dishes like a pressed Cuban sandwich or beef stroganoff, there is an alternative out there that can satisfy everyone’s tastes.

With such variety of flavors available, it is easy to make the switch from Sloppy Joe’s to something equally delicious.

So go ahead and explore different options in order to find the perfect fit for your taste buds.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Sloppy Joes?

Sloppy Joes are an American classic dish made with ground beef, onions, peppers, and a sweet and tangy tomato-based sauce.

The dish is usually served on hamburger buns.

What are the five best alternatives for Sloppy Joes?

The five best alternatives for Sloppy Joes are: BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Chili Cheese Dogs, Turkey Burgers, Reuben Sandwiches, and Greek Gyros.

5 BEST Sloppy Joes Alternatives You Should Try

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes


  • 1 – Barbecue Sandwiches
  • 2 – Chili Burger
  • 3 – Picadillo
  • 4 – Bagel Toast
  • 5 – Beef On Weck


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Use the proper substitute to cook your recipes.
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