Sloppy Joe Sliders bring tangy sweet sloppy joes to your tailgate in a simple to make sheet pan recipe! These mini sloppy joe sandwiches have great flavor and are easy to handle.
Still, no matter how hard I try, I will never forget the trauma of the time that I accidentally dropped a huge heaping spoonful of sloppy joe sauce all over our friends white carpet. (Sure, it was over 20 years ago, but I'll bet that tomato sauce stain is still there...)
Luckily, this sloppy joe sliders recipe eases all your fears of guests recklessly fumbling a haphazardly propped crock pot ladle by instead offering up a tray of fully assembled sloppy joe sliders ready to grab and eat (no assembly required).
Why We Love Sloppy Joe Sliders
Classic sloppy joes are the perfect meal to serve when you need to feed a crowd without much fuss. Aside from the sloppy joe mixture, everything else that goes with it is store bought. You've got hamburger buns, cheese, and maybe pickles and mustard.
That makes sloppy joes really simple to travel with when you are bringing food to the party.
But when you are hosting, you should consider making these sloppy joe sliders. Nothing will make your guests feel as loved and appreciated as when you bring out a baking pan full of these ready-to-eat little sandwiches packed with just the right ratio of sloppy joe meat, melted cheese and perfectly toasted slider buns topped with melted butter.
Serving fully pre-assembled cheesy sloppy joe sliders on a baking dish is a great idea because it will save your guests from getting stuck behind the chatty Kathys in the food line, and it just might save your carpet too.
Key Ingredients for Sloppy Joe Sliders
- Ground Beef - Our favorite value protein. We'd recommend using 85% lean ground beef (or 85/15) for this recipe. It helps the sloppy joe beef mixture to not be too greasy, though you should always drain off excess fat to your preference.
- Veggies - Diced onions and (*optional) green pepper adds just the right burst of fresh garden flavors, and as they soften in the cooking sloppy joe sauce they add that sweetness that only caramelized onions can.
- Spices - Brown sugar, salt, and pepper for sweet, salty, and spicy flavors. Lots of sloppy joe sauce recipes use chili powder, but for added heat we find that a splash of hot sauce as a condiment on the finished sliders does the trick better. Plus it keeps the sloppy joe mixture from tasting too much like a no bean chili.
- Sauces - You may be used to seeing BBQ sauce as a key ingredient, but instead we're using ketchup, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and apple cider vinegar to customize our sloppy joe sauce mixture to taste. Our homemade sauce is a tangy sauce, but still manages to stay on the sweeter side (though not AS sweet as most canned sloppy joe or mild barbecue sauce).
- Cheese - We prefer freshly shredding a block of colby jack or cheddar cheese for this slider recipe, but feel free to use a layer of american cheese slices if that's more your preference.
- Slider buns - We prefer either brioche slider rolls or King's Hawaiian rolls, but you can use your favorite buns topped with sesame seeds, bagel seasoning, onion rolls, or even your favorite dinner rolls for this recipe.
How to Make Sloppy Joe Sliders
- Saute onions and peppers for a few minutes over medium heat in a large skillet.
- Add the ground beef breaking it apart and spreading evenly in the skillet. Check out this helpful post & video for more tips on how to cook ground beef.
- Brown the beef and season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain excess fat.
- Add the brown sugar, mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire, and apple cider vinegar to the skillet. Mix well and cook for 2-4 minutes until sugar is dissolved and the beef is coated with the sloppy joe sauce.
- Line a baking sheet pan with aluminum foil and cooking spray. Arrange slider buns on the sheet pan. Spread the sloppy joe mixture over the bottom buns of the sliders. Top with shredded cheese and the slider bun tops.
- Whisk together a garlic and butter mixture, then brush it over the top buns. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover loosely with foil.
- Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes. Remove foil and bake an additional 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately.
- Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
Variations on Sloppy Joe Sliders
If sauteed onions, peppers, and mushrooms are your jam, then try our Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes for a twist on the east coast classic.
And when it comes to game day sliders, White Castle ain't the only game in town. When you're on the hunt for less sloppy sauce and more pure slider recipes, check out our Ground Beef Sliders, these Italian Pulled Roast Beef Sliders, or our leftover Easter Ham and Swiss Sliders. Any of these cheesy delicious sliders have what it takes to be the most popular recipe at the party.
What Goes with Sloppy Joe Sliders
Make sure to serve your sloppy joes with plenty of toppings. A jar of sliced pickles, a bag of potato chips, french fried onions, and your favorite hot sauce are all great options.
Sloppy Joe Sliders
- Olive oil (to coat)
- 1 lb. ground beef
- ½ green pepper (diced (optional))
- 1 small yellow onion (diced)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon mustard
- ¾ cup ketchup
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 ½ cup shredded Colby Jack cheese
- 12 slider buns (Hawaiian rolls or Brioche)
- 2 Tablespoons salted butter
- 1 large clove garlic (minced)
- 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers and saute until just starting to soften, about 2 minutes. Push the veggies over to the side and add the ground beef, breaking it into chunks spread evenly across the pan. Cook, undisturbed, for a few minutes until the beef starts to brown. Break the beef into smaller pieces and continue to cook the beef and veggies together, stirring occasionally, until no pink remains. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Drain off any excess fat.
- Add the brown sugar, mustard, ketchup, Worcestershire, and apple cider vinegar to the pan. Stir well to coat the beef. Cook for another 2-4 minutes, or until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is well combined.
- Line a medium size sheet pan with foil and spray it with cooking spray. Top with the slider buns. Spread the sloppy joe evenly over the bottom half of the sliders. Top with shredded cheese and the top bun.
- Whisk together butter and garlic, then brush it over the buns. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Cover loosely with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Uncover the sliders, then bake an additional 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve immediately.