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I’ve got a twist for you – Dr. Pepper Sloppy Joes! This isn’t just your everyday Sloppy Joes recipe; it’s something a bit special.

sloppy joes recipe piled high on sesame seed bun

Hey there! I’m excited to share a recipe that’s going to change the way you think about your Sloppy Joes recipe. You know, those deliciously messy sandwiches we all loved as kids?

The secret ingredient makes all the difference. You might think it’s a little odd at first glance. Trust me, though, you’re going to love it!

In my house, Sloppy Joes are a big deal. They’re the go-to meal for busy weeknights and a family favorite that never fails to bring smiles to the dinner table.

Want to know if your kid loves a food? Measure their satisfaction by how much is smeared all over their face. I wish I could show you a pic of Lily after our last sloppy joe night, haha!

When I decided to add a bit of Dr. Pepper to the mix in this recipe, it took the flavor to a whole new level. I was fairly shocked, actually. The taste just works!

It’s a quick meal, a 30-minute meal, that’s packed with a perfect balance of flavors and a bit of sweetness that makes you go, “Hmm, what IS that?”

Let’s dive into what makes this Sloppy Joes recipe the best ever! You’ll be amazed at just how good the Dr. Pepper tastes in the mix!

Some of our other favorite dinner recipes we have on our site include: Taco Joes Sandwich Recipe (Taco Sloppy Joe’s), Best Slow Cooker Chicken Tinga Recipe, and The BEST Mississippi Pot Roast Recipe (Slow Cooker).

sloppy joes recipe on parchment paper with waffle fries

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:

  1. Uniquely Delicious: The Dr. Pepper adds a secret zing that’s not overpowering but wonderfully subtle. It’s a sweet tang that fits right in.
  2. Easy to Make: It’s an easy dinner recipe, perfect for those busy weeknights. And we all know how often those come around!
  3. Family-Friendly: Even picky eaters will love this twist on a classic recipe. Serve some Dr. Pepper with ice for a great complement to the meal!

INGREDIENTS NEEDED (SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST FOR THE FULL RECIPE CARD):

  • Butter
  • Onion
  • Green bell pepper
  • Garlic
  • Lean ground beef
  • Tomato sauce
  • Dr. Pepper
  • Ketchup
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
ingredients needed to make sloppy joes recipe

HOW TO MAKE SLOPPY JOES RECIPE:

  1. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and bell pepper, cook until softened, and they start to brown slightly, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  3. Add the ground beef, breaking it up into crumbles until there is no pink left, 8-10 minutes.
  4. Drain off any excess fat.
  5. Add the tomato sauce, Dr. Pepper, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.
  6. Bring to a simmer and turn down the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes until thickened but still saucy. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
collage of images showing how to make sloppy joes recipe
  1. Serve immediately on your favorite burger buns.
spooning sloppy joes recipe onto buns

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS RECIPE:

Not really! It’s more like a mystery ingredient that adds a unique depth of flavor.

Try having your dinner guests guess at what that ingredient is without telling them.

They’ll probably vaguely recognize it without quite putting their finger on it.

Yes, cola works well as a substitute for Dr. Pepper.

Those darker sodas have a good flavor to complement the meat mixture in sloppy joes.

I think Dr. Pepper is probably the best one due to its flavor profile.

sloppy joes recipe on parchment paper surrounded by fries

Reheat in a pan with a little stock, more Dr. Pepper, or water to loosen it up. It keeps the Sloppy Joes moist and flavorful.

You can also just put it in a bowl in the microwave if you’re looking for speed. This stuff is absolutely tasty as leftovers. The flavor only gets better, in my opinion!

There are all kinds of things you could add. Here’s a quick list to get you started!

  • Diced red pepper for a colorful twist
  • Chili powder for a bit of heat
  • Yellow mustard for tanginess
  • Barbecue sauce for a smoky flavor
  • Sliced pickles for a crunchy texture
  • Chopped olives for a salty kick
  • Baked beans for extra heartiness – or serve on the side, they go great with sloppy Joes
  • Red pepper flakes for added spice
  • A slice of cheese for creamy goodness
  • Crispy bacon bits for a smoky crunch

Sure thing! If you’ve got any other great ideas, let me know in the comments!

  • Ground turkey instead of beef for a lighter option
  • BBQ sauce instead of ketchup for a smokier flavor
  • Garlic powder in place of fresh garlic
  • Olive oil instead of butter for cooking
  • Tomato paste mixed with a little water for a thicker sauce
straight on image of sloppy joes recipe with dr pepper in the background

HOW TO STORE:

Refrigerator: Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Let’s be honest, though. You’ll probably gobble it up long before then!

Freezer: Freeze in a suitable container for up to 3 months. Make sure it’s air-tight to keep away the freezer burn!

DANA’S TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • Cook Vegetables Well: Ensure the onions and peppers are softened for the best texture.
  • Drain Fat: After browning the meat, draining excess fat makes for a healthier dish.
  • Simmer to Perfection: Let the Sloppy Joe mixture simmer to thicken and meld the flavors.
  • Taste and Adjust: Don’t forget to taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Serve on Toasted Buns: For an extra touch, serve on toasted hamburger buns.
  • Have Plenty of Napkins Ready: Sloppy Joes are meant to be messy and fun!
a hand holding up sloppy joes recipe in air

There you have it, folks – Dr. Pepper Sloppy Joes, a delicious sloppy joe recipe with a twist! This recipe is all about bringing a little fun and a lot of flavor to your family’s dinner table.

Whether it’s a regular weeknight or you’re trying new recipes, this dish is sure to get rave reviews from the whole family.

So, the next time you’re thinking of making a Sloppy Joes recipe, remember this secret ingredient for the best Sloppy Joe sandwiches ever. Enjoy your cooking adventure!

If you’ve tried this SLOPPY JOES RECIPE, let me know how it turned out in the comments! You can follow me over on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK to find some more of our mouthwatering recipes! 

This Silly Girls Kitchen Logo
5 from 6 votes

Homemade Dr. Pepper Sloppy Joes Recipe

Author Dana at ThisSillyGirlsKitchen.com
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
I’ve got a twist for you – Dr. Pepper Sloppy Joes! This isn’t just your everyday Sloppy Joes recipe; it’s something a bit special.
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and bell pepper, cook until softened, and they start to brown slightly, about 10 minutes.
    2 tablespoons butter, 1 small onion, 1 small green bell pepper
  • Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
    2 cloves garlic
  • Add the ground beef, breaking it up into crumbles until there is no pink left, 8-10 minutes.
    1 pound lean ground beef
  • Drain off any excess fat.
  • Add the tomato sauce, Dr. Pepper, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.
    8 ounces tomato sauce, 3/4 cup Dr. Pepper, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Bring to a simmer and turn down the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 10 minutes until thickened but still saucy. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Serve immediately on your favorite burger buns.

Notes

  • Cook Vegetables Well: Ensure the onions and peppers are softened for the best texture.
  • Drain Fat: After browning the meat, draining excess fat makes for a healthier dish.
  • Simmer to Perfection: Let the Sloppy Joe mixture simmer to thicken and meld the flavors.
  • Taste and Adjust: Don’t forget to taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Serve on Toasted Buns: For an extra touch, serve on toasted hamburger buns.
  • Have Plenty of Napkins Ready: Sloppy Joes are meant to be messy and fun!

Nutrition

Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 813mg | Potassium: 720mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 574IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 4mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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5 from 6 votes (6 ratings without comment)

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