Sloppy joes have been a popular recipe for busy families and individuals for many generations – and for good reason. They are easy to throw together and a fan favorite for all ages. However, knowing what to serve with sloppy joes can be tricky! We’ve gathered together our favorite side dishes for sloppy joes so you can make your meal even more of a home run!
Do you love sloppy joes? We do too!Whether you are looking for more of an indulgent side or something a little healthier, we’ve got you covered with this list of the best sides to go with your favorite sloppy joe recipe!
Good Sloppy Joe Sides
My kids LOVE whenever it’s sloppy joe night around here – and to be honest, so do I! Homemade sloppy joes are quite easy to make – all you need is some ground beef, a delicious sloppy joe sauce, and some buns and you are good to go. Right?
Not quite. Sloppy joe sandwiches are not really complete without your side dishes. We don’t want your simple dinner to get more complicated than it has to be, so we are here to share our favorite sides for sloppy joes to make your dinner into an even more delicious meal.
Macaroni and Cheese
It should come as no surprise that macaroni and cheese is one of my go-to side dishes around here. It’s so versatile, family favorite, and it rounds out most main dishes quite well. I think it’s a great addition to classic sloppy joes. If you’re adventurous, you might even enjoy piling it on top of your sloppy joe to make it part of the sandwich.
Here are a few macaroni and cheese recipes you might be interested in:
- Copycat Longhorn Steakhouse Mac and Cheese Recipe
- Easy No-Boil Crock Pot Mac and Cheese Recipe
- Easy Baked White Macaroni and Cheese
- Copycat Costco Mac and Cheese Recipe
- Easy Instant Pot Mac and Cheese – 20 Minutes!
- Classic Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
Maybe looking for something a little bit more “mature” seeming than macaroni and cheese? Macaroni salad is a great option. It’s even easier to make than macaroni and cheese, and the coolness of the macaroni salad pairs nicely with the warmth of the sloppy joes.
I don’t think anyone will argue that french fries are a great side dish. You can make them homemade, use an air fryer (with frozen or fresh), or just thrown some frozen ones in the oven. You can dress them up a little bit with some seasoning salt, garlic butter, or even a little bit of parmesan cheese.
If you want something a little more dressed up, you will LOVE our Air Fryer Pommes Frites (they can easily be made by deep frying as well)!
Mmmmm – gotta love potato salad! There are so many variations on potato salad. Potato salad is a great side for any kind of sandwich – sloppy joes included!
- Easy Red Skin Potato Salad with Bacon (Stove and Instant Pot Instructions)
- The Best Instant Pot Potato Salad
- Jalapeno Popper Potato Salad
Onion rings are so delicious – we don’t have them often, but my kids are always so excited when have them. I’m personally a fan of just buying frozen ones, but if you want a great recipe for making your own homemade onion rings, make sure you check out this recipe – Crispy homemade onion rings.
Side dishes don’t have to be fancy – in fact, I think sloppy joes are better with easier side dishes. Just pop open a bag of your favorite brand of potato chips! I actually love to eat sloppy joe filling on top of potato chips more so than on a bun – it’s kind of like sloppy joe nachos!
Another fried potato option that few people will turn their nose down to. You could also make some cheesy tater tots with cheddar cheese shredded on top, or add some green chile for a little bit of spice – that’s what I always love to get at a local hamburger place we go to!
For something a little different, you could make these Twice Baked Loaded Tater Tots Recipe
Maybe want something that’s a little better-for-you than traditional potato side dishes? I don’t blame you! Sweet potatoes can be a great option in that regard. We personally love sweet potato fries, but a sweet potato hash would also be really tasty!
My son loves making these Air Fryer sweet potato fries, which would go with this dish really well!
Coleslaw is a great addition to sloppy joes – especially if you put it on the sandwich itself! There are a lot of coleslaw recipes out there, but we LOVE just getting a box of coleslaw mix at the store and some premade coleslaw dressing. It’s such an easy coleslaw recipe an so delicious!
I think salads are must for just about every meal – a classic garden salad is all you need to be the perfect complement to your meal. I like to buy romaine and combine it with shredded carrots, roma tomatoes, cucumber, and croutons – served with a variety of salad dressings to choose from, of course. We LOVE this Copycat Chili’s Ranch Dressing Recipe.
Vegetable side dishes for sloppy joes
There are plenty of vegetables that you can quickly throw together to serve with sloppy joes as well. Since it’s a pretty meat-heavy meal, this can be a great option to balance it out a little more.
- Green beans – such as Instant Pot Green Beans Almondine
- Corn on the cob – we love microwave corn on the cob and Instant Pot corn on the cob
- Glazed carrots
These aren’t necessarily side dishes, but you can make a hearty sandwich with some delicious toppings. Here are some things that you or others may enjoy on their sloppy joe!
- Green Peppers
- Dill Pickles
- Red Peppers
- Red onions
- Cheddar cheese
- Sour cream
What is the best way to cook sloppy joes?
There are so many ways to make a sloppy joe – in the Instant Pot, in a slow cooker, or on the stove top. As I said earlier, there really isn’t a wrong way to do it. I personally love crock pot sloppy joes because I can just set it up in the morning and then have it all ready in the evening. But I’ve made them with the other ways I mentioned with great success!
What is the perfect recipe for sloppy joes?
I think the perfect recipe for sloppy joes just uses simple ingredients. There are a lot of different recipes! One of my friends from church made us sloppy joes once, and they were SO delicious – and I found out later, she just used a mix of sloppy joe mix from the store. So easy!
Most often, the tangy ground beef concoction that we know as sloppy joes has tomato sauce, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. You might find tomato paste, red wine vinegar, bbq sauce, onion, or soy sauce.
I also put chopped up red and green peppers, along with
What are the best buns for sloppy joes?
We usually buy our buns and get whatever is on sale, but I really like the King’s Hawaiian buns. So good! We also have made our own hamburger buns from time to to time. For the kids, we like to get little sliders because they are a little more manageable.
You could also throw your buns on a bakin sheet, maybe add a little butter, and toast them up. I think toasted buns are always great
For an alternative to hamburger buns – garlic bread is a really fun way to kick up your sloppy joes a little bit. Homemade or store-bought, it doesn’t matter. It makes me salivate just thinking about this!
What is the best meat to use with sloppy joes?
Sloppy joe meat aris made with ground meat, so you have a variety of choices. Our personal favorite is lean ground beef, but you could use lean ground turkey, ground chicken, or even a meat substitute if that’s your cup of tea!
Where were sloppy joes invented?
According to research at the Carnegie library, it’s that thought that the origins are from sandwiches that were called “Loose meat sandwiches” being sold in Sioux City, Iowa. Apparently, they were a creation of a cook named Joe, and the earliest references to the sandwich being called a sloppy joe were in the 1940s.
Sloppy joes make for an easy dinner that is great for family gatherings or weeknight meals that the whole family will enjoy. Having a great recipe is the perfect start but having the right sides can make this an even better meal.
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- About the Author
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Katie Clark is a mom of three with a passion for creating home-cooked meals every night for her family. She has learned the skill of cooking from the time she was young and comes from a long-line of women who love to cook. Over the years, she has developed this skill to not only help her family but thousands around the world with her popular copycat recipes, jello salads, and twists on traditional favorites. She has a degree in journalism and loves to help others succeed in getting dinner on the table!
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