Sloppy Joe sliders on a plate with tater tots

Cafeteria Sloppy Joes

  • Author: Dan
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x

Cafeteria Sloppy Joes take you right back to the lunch line in school! This perfectly sweet and tangy, easy to make ground beef recipe is a family favorite!



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/21 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup ketchup¬†
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Add the oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes to soften, then add the ground beef and cook while breaking up into crumbles as it cooks. Drain any drippings from the skillet, then add the garlic and cook a minute longer.
  2. Season the beef and onions with cumin, salt, pepper, chili powder, brown sugar and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine and the pour in the ketchup, apple cider vinegar and water.
  3. Bring the sloppy joes to a simmer for 7-8 minutes to thicken the sauce and then serve on buns.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American