Sloppy Joe Casserole

4.50 from 4 votes

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My famous Sloppy Joe Casserole is packed with bold southern flavor. This rich and hearty twist on classic sloppy joes takes just 20 minutes to prepare and is sure to please any crowd!

Enjoy the buttery fluffiness of homemade cornbread and the smoky sweetness of sloppy joes in one dish with my sloppy joe casserole. Made with simple ingredients, this easy, 40-minute casserole is the perfect weeknight dinner or potluck entrée! The simple spices and tomatoes add life to the beef, while the oven crisps and perfects the cornbread topping. Plus, the Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and onion add the perfect amount of savory richness to round out the sweetness of the brown sugar.

Sloppy joe casserole served on a plate.
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Sloppy Joe Casserole

The simple spices and tomatoes add life to the beef, while the oven crisps and perfects the cornbread topping. Plus, the Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and onion add the perfect amount of savory richness to round out the sweetness of the brown sugar.

We Love This Recipe Because It’s…

  • Easy and quick to prepare. 
  • Perfect when paired with your favorite veggie or side dish.
  • Sweet, savory, hearty, and rich.
  • Packed with protein to keep you full for hours.
  • Easily stored in the fridge and reheated later.

Ingredient Notes

  • Ground Beef—85/15 works really well for this recipe, but any type of ground beef will do.
  • Cornbread Batter—Creates a sweet, buttery topping for this casserole. Whip up a packaged mix with milk and an egg or your favorite cornbread recipe.
  • White Onion—Diced.
  • Tomato Sauce—Canned. 
  • Ketchup—Adds a sweet and tangy kick.
  • Worcestershire Sauce—Packs a punch of savory and salty flavor.
  • Brown Sugar—Light or dark will add the perfect amount of sweetness to this dish.
  • Garlic Powder—Or a couple of cloves of fresh garlic.

How to Make Sloppy Joe Casserole

  1. Cook the ground beef over medium-high heat until no longer pink.
  2. Add the diced onion and garlic powder. Continue cooking.
  3. Mix in the tomato sauce, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce until boiling.
  4. Whisk in the brown sugar until fully dissolved.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and top with the cornbread batter.
  6. Bake until the meat mixture is bubbling and the cornbread is lightly browned and crispy.
  7. Allow the casserole to cool slightly before serving and enjoying.
Sloppy joe casserole in a baking dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are sloppy joes the same as Manwich?

Manwich is a marketed version of sloppy joe mix that you can find in the grocery store. You can use Manwich sauce as a replacement for the meat mixture, but this recipe is so quick and delicious as-is, that I don’t recommend it.

What are some good sides for sloppy joes?

This rich and meaty sloppy joe casserole pairs well with all of your traditional potluck side dishes. Try pairing it with some baked beans, potato chips, tater tots, fries, potato salad, fresh fruit, or cooked vegetables.

Why are my sloppy joes watery?

Every time I make this casserole, it turns out perfectly thick and scoopable. However, if you find that your meat mixture is a bit runny, you can thicken it using some cornstarch, flour, or potato starch. You also want to make sure that you give your meat mixture ample time to simmer and reduce.

How to Store Leftover Sloppy Joe Casserole

Any leftover sloppy joe casserole can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. It is best reheated in the microwave for about 1- 1½ minutes in a microwave-safe bowl. I recommend adding a damp paper towel as a covering to moisten the cornbread and protect your microwave from tomato splashes. 

Ingredients for sloppy joe casserole.

How to Upgrade Sloppy Joes

Put your own twist on this easy casserole by adding unique ingredients and garnishes!

  • Like your sloppy joes on the richer side? Try adding some shredded cheese to the meat mixture. 
  • Give this casserole a bit of heat by adding some chopped jalapeños to the meat mixture or the cornbread batter.
  • Not a big fan of cornbread? Top this sloppy joe casserole with a can of your favorite flaky biscuit dough instead.
  • Sneak some extra veggies into this meal by adding peas, carrots, or green beans to the meat sauce.
  • Top your finished casserole with some sour cream, shredded cheese, hot sauce, sliced avocado, coleslaw, or pickles for an extra pop of color and flavor.

Expert Tips and Tricks:

  • While the aroma of this casserole is going to make you want to dive in the second it gets out of the oven, letting it cool a little bit allows the cornbread to finish cooking and helps the flavors in the dish settle before you serve it.  Good things come to those who wait!
  • Make this dish a little healthier by swapping out the refined brown sugar for a natural coconut or maple sugar.
  • Add some texture to your cornbread topping by tossing in a few corn kernels or crushed corn chips. 
sloppy joe meat and sauce layered into a baking dish

More Recipes

If you’ve tried this Sloppy Joe Casserole recipe or any other recipe on Bless This Mess, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some pictures of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories.

sloppy joe casserole in a baking dish
4.50 from 4 votes

Sloppy Joe Casserole

Sloppy Joe Casserole is packed with bold southern flavor. This rich and hearty twist on classic sloppy joes takes just 20 minutes to prepare and is sure to please any crowd!
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Cooling Time: 15 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium white onion,, diced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 8.5 ounce package Jiffy cornbread mix
  • cup whole milk
  • 1 large egg

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • In a large skillet or pan, cook the ground beef over medium-high heat until it is cooked all the way through.
  • Once the ground beef is cooked, add the onion and garlic powder. Keeping the pan on medium-high heat, cook the mixture for an additional 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • Lower the heat to medium and add the tomato sauce, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce. Once the mixture begins to bubble, whisk in the brown sugar until it is fully dissolved.
  • Transfer the mixture to an 8×8 inch baking dish and set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the cornbread mix, milk, and egg until fully combined and no longer clumpy.
  • Spread the cornbread batter over the top of the sloppy joe mix and bake for 20 minutes.
  • Allow the casserole to cool for 15 minutes before serving and enjoy!

Notes

  • Letting the casserole cool a little bit allows the cornbread to finish cooking and helps the flavors in the dish settle before you serve it.
  • You can use either light or dark brown sugar in this recipe.
  • Any leftover casserole can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. It is best reheated in the microwave for about 1- 1½ minutes.
  • I used 85/15 ground beef for this recipe, but any other fat percentage will work great as well.
  • You can switch out the garlic powder for 2 cloves of freshly minced garlic.

Nutrition

Calories: 683kcal, Carbohydrates: 72g, Protein: 28g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 11g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 15g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 125mg, Sodium: 1618mg, Potassium: 992mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 35g, Vitamin A: 860IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 129mg, Iron: 6mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Sloppy joe casserole is a recipe that will be in your regular rotation from now on. It is quick, easy and tastes like a good home cooked meal.

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