Recipe: Creole Sloppy Joes

Recipe: Creole Sloppy Joes
Add petite diced tomatoes for texture and flavor and a dose of Creole seasoning for a little kick. (Stacey Little/Southern Bite)

Many of us grew up having sloppy joes as a quick and affordable meal on busy weeknights. Mom would open up that can of sauce and stir it into some cooked ground beef and supper was ready. It was easy and pretty dang delicious.

Now, while the canned stuff appeared on the market in the 1960s, folks had been making sloppy joes for nearly 30 years prior, according to some historians. As the story goes, sloppy joes were born when a cook named Joe at a Sioux City, Iowa, cafe added tomato sauce to his loose meat sandwich recipe.

Now, I’ve probably eaten umpteen helpings of the canned stuff, but I like my sauce to be a little tangier. So I’ve been making them from scratch for quite some time. I even like to use the filling to make Sloppy Joe Stuffed Peppers. So it’s fair to say that I love me a good sloppy joe.

That’s why it made perfect sense to me to give my traditional recipe a twist and create these Creole Sloppy Joes.

This recipe builds on my standard recipe but adds in some petite diced tomatoes – which add some great texture and flavor – and a healthy dose of Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning – to give them tons of flavor and a little kick.

And since the little ones love the joes but don’t normally love the heat, I didn’t make these super spicy. That said, you can certainly add more creole seasoning if you wish.

My recipe calls for ground beef, but I typically like to use ground chuck. Even though it creates a little more grease to have to drain away, I feel like the fat content helps to keep these moist. That said, leaner ground beef, ground chicken and ground turkey will also work. The great thing about this recipe is that you can tailor it to suit your taste. If you like a bit more bite, add some more Creole seasoning. Want it tangier? Add some more apple cider vinegar. More brown sugar will make them sweeter. Every family is a little different, and making these from scratch means you can change them up to make the mouths you feed even happier.

For a tangier taste, add apple cider vinegar or for a sweeter taste, add brown sugar. (Stacey Little/Southern Bite)

Creole Sloppy Joes

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Serves: 6


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1 small green pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1(14-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning (or more to taste)
  • Buns for serving


  1. Brown onions and green peppers with ground beef over medium heat until meat is cooked through and vegetables are soft. Drain the grease away and return the meat to the pan.
  2. Over medium-low heat, add garlic powder, mustard, Worcestershire, vinegar, brown sugar, diced tomatoes (undrained) and ketchup. Add the Creole seasoning. Mix well and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Serve on soft hamburger buns.

This recipe originally appeared on For more great recipes, visit the website or check out ”The Southern Bite Cookbook.”

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