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How to Make Sloppy Joes Better

Why this recipe works: With just a few simple cooking techniques and a little extra attention to the buns, sloppy Joes can go from good to phenomenal. Plus, optional toppings such as roasted Hatch green chile, amplify the sweet smokey taste of sloppy joes; making them over-the-top delicious.

The Hatch Chile Store has kindly supported this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own (and highly persuasive). This post also contains Amazon affiliate links in which I earn a small commission for any sales. Thanks for your support!

Raise your hand if you’ve ever spilled sloppy Joe on yourself (I’m raising my hand…) No one can argue that the classic and versatile ‘sloppy Joe’ sandwich is an all-American icon, gracing our picnic tables and paper plates for generations.

However, from my experience, not all sloppy Joes are created equal; some are bland, one-note sandwiches that are nothing more than a mouthful of dry bread and ‘barely there’ filling that is frankly, very boring. So, how do you make Sloppy Joes better?

Make Sloppy Joes Better with these easy expert tips

Tip #1 Don’t undercook your beef.

Notice in the photo above that there are quite a bit of really dark brown bits in the ground beef (the green is some diced bell pepper I added in for a little extra crunchy texture). These ‘very well done’ bits provide A TON of delicious flavor to your sloppy joes. Don’t make the mistake of thinking your ground beef is done cooking when all the pink is gone. Keep going, and build more flavor by deeply browning the bits on the bottom!

Tip #2 Always season your ground beef while it’s cooking.

After placing your ground beef into a hot skillet with a little oil on the bottom, season it with a generous pinch of salt (pepper is optional) and work it into the meat. The salt will be absorbed into the meat while the beef cooks, and do what salt does best, enhance the flavor! If you wait and salt it at the end, it just isn’t as good.

Tip #3 Butter and lightly toast your buns.

Stop neglecting the buns! Even just following this one tip will take your sloppy joes from good to really great! Lightly butter the insides, then place all buns, insides facing up, in a toaster oven or on a baking sheet under a broiler on low for just a couple of minutes to give them a little color and exterior crunch while maintaining a soft, warm interior.

See the photo below? This bun has been lightly buttered and toasted, making it extra delicious!

Tip #4 Try some optional toppings.

Hamburgers have toppings, so why not sloppy Joes? Try serving your sloppy joes with their own toppings such as slaw, melty cheese, grilled pineapple, or Hatch green chile. Even just adding a pickle gives extra flavor and crunch, transforming it from a bland sandwich into something great, like the recipe below!

Feed a Crowd on a Budget: Cheapest Meals Ranked by Price

Green Chile Sloppy Joes- quick, versatile, and easy

I wrote this recipe to be very quick and easy with lots of options.

Feel free to make your sauce from scratch (I like this recipe) or use a can of sloppy joe sauce. They will both taste great!

I also chose to add in a diced green bell pepper to sauté with the ground beef- this gives a little more texture, color, and fresh taste to accentuate the roasted green chile.

Also, you can decide if you would like to mix the chopped roasted green chile into your sloppy joe sandwiches, or just pile it on top. I prefer the ‘pile it on top’ method when serving guests- this gives your guests the option to choose how much green chile they would like. (Because everyone has different heat tolerances for hot peppers, ya know?)

Plus I think it’s more fun to see all the green chile on my burger- if you mix it into the sauce it practically disappears.

Over the years that I’ve had the opportunity to live in New Mexico and cook with green chile on a regular basis, I’ve learned that it pairs better with some recipes than others. Green Chile Sloppy Joes is definitely one of them!

Of course, roasted green chile is delicious with (or in) just about any meal, but there are some flavor profiles that seem to really make green chile shine. Sloppy Joe sandwiches seemed like the perfect recipe to insert a little (or a lot) of green chile because the sweet sauce and sloppy-chunky texture of the beef filling mirror the smokey sweet and spicy flavor of green chile. Sweet and spicy are always an excellent combo!

What are Hatch Chile Peppers?

Hatch Chile peppers are world famous for their delicious flavors, produced by the unique climate and soil composition that exists only in the Hatch Valley of Southern New Mexico. These factors combine to grow exceptional-tasting chile peppers with smoky, sweet, and hot flavor notes. More people discover Hatch Chiles each year, and their popularity continues to grow.

Growing up in New Mexico where chile peppers are an integral part of the culture, I know that Hatch chiles have earned a reputation for being the best of the best. I personally only use authentic Hatch in all my cooking because it simply tastes amazing. You should be able to find canned Hatch chile in any supermarket these days, or you can order it directly like I do. Frozen chile is much, much better tasting than canned!

The Hatch Chile Store is the premiere website for ordering your Hatch chile– they are incredibly good at shipping fresh authentic chile right to your door, whatever variety and hotness lever you prefer. It’s where I get all my Hatch Chile, and I must say the flavor really does stand out above any other chile pepper variety.

Wooden baskets at a farmer's market are filled with fresh New Mexico chiles; most of them are green, but a few are turning red.

Head on over now to The Hatch Chile Store to stock up on the most delicious Hatch chile you can buy anywhere- they’ve always got great deals on your favorite products!

Did you know I have a full-color cookbook with lots more easy and delicious New Mexican recipes? You can learn more about it here!

I hope you find joy in making this recipe and please give me a shoutout if you post a pic of the recipe on social! Follow me on Instagram @TheGoldilocksKitchen, Facebook page The Goldilocks Kitchen, or Pinterest @GoldilocksKitch. Don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment- I want to hear your feedback! (This is a blog after all and that’s the whole point right?!)

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Delicious Green Chile Sloppy Joes

  • Author: Emily
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: 6 sandwiches 1x


Quick and easy weeknight sloppy joes amplified with chopped, roasted Hatch green chile! 

Equipment needed:

12-inch skillet

cutting board  and sharp knife

oven (or toaster oven)


Units Scale
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 small green bell pepper, core and stem removed, chopped fine
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 (15 oz) can of sloppy joe sauce
  • 46 hamburger buns, insides spread lightly with butter
  • 1 cup of chopped roasted Hatch green chile
  • optional garnishes: shredded cabbage, sweet pickles, lime wedges


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and break it apart. Stir in the bell pepper. Season the mixture with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Let the mixture cook, stirring every minute or so until no pink remains and some of the beef has developed very deep brown spots. 
  2. Place the skillet on low heat and stir in the sloppy joe sauce. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.
  3. While the sloppy joe sauce thickens on the stove, place the buns, butter side up, onto a baking sheet or other flat, oven-safe dish and broil on low for 2 minutes, or until they are lightly toasted. Remove and set aside. 
  4. To assemble the sandwiches, fill toasted buns with sloppy joe mix and top generously with Hatch green chile and any other optional garnishes. Serve.


Step 4 alternative, the green chile can be mixed into the sloppy joe mixture, then placed onto buns. I leave the chile separate because your family/guests have the option to place as much green chile on each sandwich as they would like.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: cook
  • Method: saute
  • Cuisine: New Mexican


  • Serving Size: 1 sandwich
  • Calories: 398
  • Sugar: 14
  • Sodium: 942
  • Fat: 12.4
  • Saturated Fat: 4.7
  • Carbohydrates: 40.9
  • Fiber: 2.7
  • Protein: 28.2
  • Cholesterol: 78

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