Pork Barbecue Sloppy Joe Sandwiches

Pork barbecue sloppy joe sandwich

Brian Macdonald / Getty Images 

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Yield: 6 to 8 sandwiches
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
301 Calories
8g Fat
31g Carbs
28g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 301
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8g 11%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 67mg 22%
Sodium 556mg 24%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 28g
Vitamin C 15mg 77%
Calcium 95mg 7%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 572mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A tasty tomato-based barbecue sauce flavors these ground pork sloppy Joe sandwiches. They're similar to a pulled pork sandwich but much faster to make. Cooked entirely on the stovetop, you can have dinner on the table in about 30 minutes, and kids love sloppy Joes, so this quick and simple recipe is sure to be a hit with your family. And, in classic sloppy Joe style, all you really need to complete the meal is coleslaw and fries.

Sloppy Joes have been an American favorite since the 1930s and are favored as a way to stretch a family's food budget while providing a good home-cooked dinner. There are a couple of conflicting stories about who created the now-famous sloppy Joe (it's possible they're both correct). One points to José Garcia, who owned a bar in Havana, Cuba. He was not known for keeping the place tidy, and, supposedly, the sandwich was introduced to Key West by Ernest Hemingway. The other story comes from a Sioux City, Iowa, diner cook named Joe who added tomato sauce to the region's popular loose meat sandwiches.

Modern sloppy Joe recipes tend to replace the original tomato sauce with ketchup, and this recipe follows that trend. The homemade barbecue sauce flavors the ketchup with bell pepper, garlic, onion, and Worcestershire sauce. Brown sugar gives it a gentle sweetness, while black pepper, cayenne, and just a hint of allspice round out the flavor. The sauce can stand on its own, but it's really good when mixed with the browned pork for the sandwich.

Be sure to use lean ground pork for this recipe because excess fat will soak into the toasted bun, making it even sloppier. If you grind your own meat, use pork loin with a little fat or lean pork shoulder.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds lean ground pork

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 cup ketchup

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar, packed

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 dash ground allspice

  • Salt, to taste, optional

  • 6 to 8 split buns, toasted, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the vegetable oil. Add the ground pork and cook, stirring and breaking up, until no longer pink. Remove to a plate and set aside.

  3. Add the onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring, until the onion is lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for 2 minutes.

  4. Add the pork back to the skillet; add the ketchup, water, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, black pepper, cayenne, and allspice. Bring to a simmer.

  5. Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and add salt, if needed.

  6. Serve over split toasted buns.