Italian Sloppy Joes

These Italian Sloppy Joes are a fun twist on a classic sloppy joe recipe! We added peppers and onions and topped it with melted mozzarella cheese!

Sloppy Joes are an all time favorite at our house, a make ahead dinner recipe that everyone loves. These Cafeteria Sloppy Joes remind me of standing in the lunch line at school, add a side of coleslaw and fries and dinner is done!

italian sloppy joe sandwich on a plate with peppers

Italian Sloppy Joe Recipe

Taking a classic recipe like a sloppy joe and giving it a twist is one of the things that we love doing when creating recipes. These Italian Sloppy Joes are so delicious and easy to make, they might actually rank above the classic recipe, in our opinion.

Adding bell peppers, onions and a little ground pork makes these sloppy joes so flavorful, while still keeping them kid friendly. So if you’re out of dinner ideas, make sure you give these sloppy joes a try!

How Do You Make This Sloppy Joe Recipe?

Start by browning the ground beef and ground pork in a skillet. Instead of a traditional sloppy joe recipe where you’d add tomato sauce or ketchup to the beef mixture, we’re going to be adding marinara sauce. Just another nod to the Italian flavors!

ground beef, pork, peppers and onions to make sloppy joe recipe

Once the peppers and onions have cooked down with the meat, add a few seasonings like Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, Italian seasoning and tomato paste. The filling only needs to simmer for about 5 minutes, just to let the flavors combine and warm through.

Meat and pepper filling to make sloppy joe recipe

Now it’s time to pile these Italian Sloppy Joes onto buttery brioche buns. We’re using brioche hamburger rolls, but you can grab any kind that you like. Regular hamburger buns are totally fine, or a kaiser roll, sesame seed bun and even a ciabatta roll to add another nod to this Italian-inspired recipe.

Pile about a heaping cup onto the bottom bun and add a slice of mozzarella cheese. If the filling is warm enough, just add the top bun and you’re good to go. The warm filling will melt the cheese so you don’t have to take the extra step of melting it.

But if you’re looking for really melty cheese, or if your filling has cooled down a bit, then just place the bottom bun with the filling and cheese in the microwave for about 15 seconds.

Italian Sloppy Joes with melted mozzarella cheese on a bun

Can You Make Sloppy Joes Ahead Of Time?

Yep! Which not only makes them one of our favorite dinner recipes to make on busy nights, but it’s also a great recipe for entertaining! Make a double or triple batch ahead of time and keep it warm in your slow cooker for parties.

Freezing these sloppy joes is also a great way to meal prep for easy dinner nights or parties, too! Just defrost, reheat and serve!

Italian flavored sloppy joe recipe on a plate with a bite

Can I Make Sloppy Joes In My Slow Cooker?

Also a yes! Just brown the beef and pork along with the onions and peppers first, then add that along with the rest of the ingredients to you slow cooker and cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2-3.

Some of you might be wondering why you would want to take such an easy recipe like this one and make it in a crock pot, and I get it. But if you plan on transferring the sloppy joes to a crock pot when you’re done anyway, it kind of saves you a step.

Cooking these Italian Sloppy Joes in a slow cooker doesn’t really do anything to enhance the flavor, it’s just a matter of convenience.

Sloppy Joe recipe with an Italian twist

What Can I Serve With Sloppy Joes?

Now we’re talking about our favorite part of the meal…the sides! There are SO many different side dishes that can be served with a sloppy joe recipe, so we’ll give you some of our favorites here!

Italian Sloppy Joes with melted mozzarella cheese on a bun

Italian Sloppy Joes

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

Make these Italian Sloppy Joes for an easy dinner night or for your next party! Perfect for holidays or game days, and everything can be made ahead of time!



  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups diced bell peppers (we used red and green, but other colors can be swapped in)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • Fresh black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 6 slices of mozzarella cheese
  • 6 brioche buns, or any type of hamburger bun you like


  1. Add the oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Brown the ground beef and the ground pork together, breaking up with a spoon into small crumbles. Cook until no pink remains and then drain any drippings from the skillet.
  2. Add the onion and peppers to the skillet with the meat. Cook for 5 minutes, until the onion and peppers have softened, then add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Season the mixture with the salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.
  3. Pour in the beef broth, stir and simmer until the broth almost evaporates. Stir in the tomato paste and then add the marinara sauce, Worcestershire sauce and water. Bring to a simmer and then cook for 5 minutes, just to warm the filling through.
  4. Add a portion (about 1 heaping cup) of the sloppy joe mixture to the bottom of a bun while it’s still warm and then top with a slice of mozzarella cheese. The heat from the sloppy joes will melt the cheese, but if you want the cheese melted more, just microwave the bottom half of the sandwich for about 15 seconds before serving. Place the top bun on the sandwich and serve.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove Top
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: mantitlement, sloppy joes, ground beef recipes, ground pork recipes, easy recipes, dinner ideas, make ahead recipes, game day food, party food, recipes for parties


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