Allow me to introduce my newest obsession, featuring two star-crossed components. Texas Toast. Sloppy Joes. A match made in messy-yet-delicious heaven. These sandwiches are for the mightiest of appetites. Imagine the perfect sweet, spicy, salty, acidic bite of food. Comfort food has never tasted this good.
Sloppy joes have always been a kid staple - something easy that can satisfy little growing people's appetites. However, they were never my favorite as a kid.
As an adult, however, I have grown to appreciate sloppy joes because they have this incredible dichotomy of simplicity and complexity. They come together with simple ingredients. However, when these simple ingredients are combined, they create this complex symphony of flavor.
If you pile sloppy joe filling between two thick slices of garlic-buttered Texas Toast, you are in for the most amazing burst of flavor. Soon, you will be licking your fingers and maybe even your plate!
I'm always trying to create recipes that will be a hit with everyone in the family. Some other family-popular recipes I love are Caprese Pasta Salad, Tomato Bisque with Grilled Cheese Croutons, and Oven Baked Salmon. If you are looking for Texas Toast Sloppy Joe side dishes, these sandwiches pair well with Air Fryer Carrots, Asparagus Amandine, or Roasted Vegetable Salad. I have also compiled a list of additional sloppy joe sides created by some of my favorite fellow food bloggers (see below).
Texas Toast Sloppy Joes have a complex flavor, but are made with simple ingredients many of you already have in your kitchen!
- ground beef
- green bell pepper
- chili powder
- dry mustard
- tomato paste
- diced canned tomatoes
- Worcestershire sauce
- balsamic vinegar
- brown sugar
- hot sauce (optional)
- Texas toast
- garlic powder
- pantry staples: extra virgin olive oil, butter, salt, pepper, water
See recipe card for quantities.
Making Texas Toast Sloppy Joes couldn't be easier! Dinner is served in under an hour.
Brown ground beef and add chopped onion, green bell pepper, and garlic.
Add spices, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar and water. Simmer.
Fill garlic-buttered Texas Toast with sloppy joe filling.
Broil sandwiches on high.
Hint: Before making your sloppy joe filling, preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Place your sheet pan in the oven to preheat. Build your sandwiches on the preheated sheet pan. That way, when you are ready to broil the sandwiches, the bottoms will get nice and toasty as well - and you won't have to flip them! They are called "sloppy" for a reason!
Sloppy Joe Sides
Since they are more on the decadent side, I love pairing these sloppy joes with sides that are on the healthy side. That way, you aren't going overboard with calories! Here are some ideas of what to serve with sloppy joes.
Here are some easy swaps that will help this recipe fit into any diet.
- Make it Vegetarian - the ground beef can be replaced with a plant-based burger crumble to make this vegetarian.
- Make it Sugar Free - The brown sugar can be switched for any artificial brown sugar. However, be sure to check the ratio of artificial brown sugar vs. real brown sugar. It isn't always a 1:1 ratio.
- Make it Low Fat - You can substitute the ground beef for ground turkey or ground chicken in this recipe. Cook times may vary.
- Make it Low Carb - Believe it or not, the sloppy joe filling is awesome as chili. You can totally ditch the bread and make this a low carb chili dish. Or, you could just make my Dutch Oven Chili recipe.
- Make it Dairy Free - Instead of brushing the Texas Toast with garlic butter, you can replace the butter with olive oil.
These Texas Toast Sloppy Joes don't require a ton of equipment. I always use a cast iron skillet to prepare the filling and a large sheet pan to broil the sandwiches. You can find a full list of essential equipment for this recipe in the recipe card below.
You can make the sloppy joe filling in advance but I would recommend toasting the bread and assembling the sandwiches at the time of serving. If you make the filling ahead of time, you may store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. When you are ready to serve, reheat the refrigerated filling for about 5 minutes on a stovetop burner set to medium. Prepare the Texas Toast and then fill and broil the sandwiches, per the recipe. Don't forget to preheat the sheet pan!
You may also freeze the sloppy joe filling for up to 4 months. Be sure to place the filling in a freezer-proof container. When you are ready to use the frozen filling, thaw it in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Once thawed, you may reheat the filling for about 5 minutes on a stovetop burner set to medium. Prepare the Texas Toast and then fill and broil the sandwiches, per the recipe. Once again, don't forget to preheat the sheet pan!
When you are preparing the filling for the sloppy joes, don't simmer it for so long that all of the juices evaporate! It may add to the "sloppiness" of the sandwich, but the sauce is so delicious, especially when it soaks into the crispy Texas toast!
Texas Toast Sloppy Joes
For the Sloppy Joe Filling
- 2 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 2.25 lbs ground beef
- 1 large yellow onion peeled and diced
- 1 large green bell pepper seeded and diced
- 4 cloves garlic peeled and finely minced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes drained
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoon light brown sugar packed
- 1 cup water
- hot sauce to taste (optional)
For the Texas Toast
- 16 slices Texas Toast white bread is an okay substitute for this recipe!
- ½ cup salted butter (1 stick), melted
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Prepare the Filling
- Place oven rack to top level of oven, about 3-4 inches from the broiler. Place a large sheet tray on top rack and preheat oven to 375°F/190°C.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat.
- Add ground beef and brown, breaking the beef up into crumbles using a spoon, about 5-7 minutes.
- Once beef is browned, drain most of the fat using a ladle, large spoon, or paper towels. Discard fat. Reduce heat to medium.
- Add chopped onion, bell pepper, and garlic to skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes, until vegetables become tender.
- Add chili powder, paprika, dry mustard, salt and pepper to meat and vegetables and continue cooking for 1 minute.
- Add tomato paste, drained diced tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar and water to skillet. Stir well to fully incorporate.
- Set burner to high and bring the filling to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium low. Simmer mixture for 15 minutes. The sauce should thicken slightly.
Prepare Texas Toast
- While filling is simmering, prepare the Texas Toast.
- Whisk together melted salted butter and garlic powder.
- Using a pastry brush (or a spoon), spread melted garlic butter on one side of each of 16 slices of Texas Toast. Set aside until filling is done simmering.
Fill Sandwiches and Broil
- Carefully remove the sheet pan from the oven and place on heat-resistant surface. Change oven setting to broil on high.
- Line up 8 slices of Texas Toast, butter side down, on hot sheet tray surface.
- Carefully taste the sloppy joe filling and add a pinch or salt/pepper, if needed. Scoop sloppy joe filling onto each of the 8 slices of Texas Toast.
- Place the remaining 8 slices of Texas Toast, butter side up, to top each sandwich.
- Place the sheet pan on the top rack of the oven and broil sandwiches for 4-5 minutes, or until the bread on top has browned.
- Remove sandwiches from oven and enjoy!
As always, it is imperative that we practice good food safety habits in the kitchen.
- Cook ground beef to a minimum temperature of 160 °F (71 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove