Neat Sloppy Joes Recipe

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Gabriel Published: June 1, 2020 Modified: September 15, 2020

No green pepper in this recipe, so it’s a hit with kids. We added this sloppy joes recipe to the menu at a children’s camp, and it has been a favorite for several years. The mixture is thick, so they are ‘neat’ rather than sloppy. This freezes and reheats well.

How To Make Neat Sloppy Joes

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It's slopy joe but less messy than what you're expecting.

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 50 mins
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  • 2 lb lean ground beef
  • ½ cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 10 ¾ oz condensed tomato soup
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 8 hamburger buns


  1. Place ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Cook until evenly browned, stirring to crumble (I like to use a potato masher to even out the lumps).
  3. Add onion and celery, cover the pan, and cook until tender and transparent, about 5 minutes.
  4. Drain off any grease.
  5. Stir the tomato soup (undiluted), ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce into the beef mixture.
  6. Season with salt and garlic powder.
  7. Heat to a simmer over low heat, and cook until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently to prevent it from burning on the bottom.
  8. Spoon the hot beef mixture onto buns, which may be toasted first, and serve.
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