Grown-Up Sloppy Joes

Although these delightfully messy sandwiches are traditionally made with beef, ground turkey can be substituted for a lighter version.

Serves: 6Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 45 minutesDifficulty: Easy

Serves: 6


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef
  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt, divided
  • 1¼ tsp. black pepper, divided
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • 3½ Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 hamburger buns, lightly toasted


  • In a large bowl, combine the ground beef with ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, and cornstarch. Let the ground beef stand for 15 minutes.
  • In a small bowl, combine the water with the beef broth. Set aside.
  • Heat a wok or skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the ground beef. Stir-fry the meat, stirring and moving it around the pan with a spatula for 3 minutes or until it is no longer pink and is nearly cooked through. Remove the meat and discard the liquids. Clean out the pan.
  • Heat remaining oil in the wok and add the crushed garlic. Stir-fry for 10 seconds, then add the onion. Stir-fry the onion for 2 minutes or until it begins to soften. Add the bell pepper. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the broth mixture, tomato sauce, and red pepper flakes. Stir in the cumin, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil.
  • Stir in the cooked beef. Stir-fry for 2-3 more minutes to combine all the ingredients and make sure the ground beef is cooked through. Season the mixture with remaining salt and pepper.
  • Divide the filling among the hamburger buns and serve hot.