Looking for a tasty appetizer to serve at your next party? Try our cheesy sloppy Joe sliders. Our sloppy Joe sauce is tangy, sweet, and full of flavor. It's perfect for entertaining.
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The ingredients for our sloppy Joe sliders are easy to find at your local grocery store. Let's talk about some of the key ingredients.
- Meat: We used beef hamburger but ground chicken, turkey, or pork would be good substitutes.
- Aromatics: We used yellow onion and freshly minced garlic.
- Liquids: We used plain tomato sauce, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and pepperoncini brine.
- Buns: We used purchased Hawaiian rolls for this photo shoot, but you can also make your own with our recipe Hawaiian Sweet Rolls.
- Glaze: We used melted butter mixed with Italian seasoning and onion powder.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients for the sloppy Joe sliders, then start making the sauce. Chop up the onion and pepperoncini, then mince the garlic.
- Heat up the oil in a large skillet until hot. Break up the meat and stir it occasionally as it browns. Drain the fat from the ground beef, but keep 1 tablespoon. Set the meat aside.
- Sauté the onion in the rendered fat until soft, then add the garlic and cook for a minute.
3. Add the pepperoncinis, liquids, beef, and spices. Stir until well combined.
4. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer the sloppy Joe sauce for 15 minutes.
5. Slice the Hawaiian rolls in half horizontally, then place the bottom half of the rolls in a baking tray with sides. Sprinkle the freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top. Bake for 5 minutes at 350°F or until melted. This step keeps the bottom buns from getting soggy.
6. Spread the sloppy Joe meat mixture on the slider buns.
7. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top.
8. Place the top half of the buns back on, then glaze with a mixture of melted butter and spices.
9. Sprinkle on sesame seeds, then cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 350°F. Uncover and bake for another 5 minutes to brown the tops.
10. Cut into individual sliders. Open up the sliders and sprinkle on some red onion to provide some crunch and additional flavor.
Garnish each sloppy Joe slider with a pickle slice and spear the slider with a decorative plastic pick or a large toothpick. This will help hold the slider together. Serve hot with pickles, chips and sweet tea.
Sloppy Joes sliders taste amazing with corn on the cob, coleslaw, sweet potato fries, baked beans, and no bake cookies.
You can buy a can of this marketed sloppy Joe sauce at grocery stores in the U.S. It's a shortcut for making sloppy Joes, but it isn't as tasty or as healthy. Learning how to make your own sloppy Joe sauce is easy to do.
They became popular in the U.S. in the the 1930's. Housewives could stretch a pound of hamburger to feed their families with fillers like tomato sauce and onions, and served it on hamburger buns to make it more filling. It appeals to kids of all ages and was an instant hit.
Start by browning the ground beef, onion, and garlic in a skillet. Transfer the meat mixture to a crock pot, then stir in the liquids, spices and sugar. Cover and cook on high for 2 hours or on low for 4 to 8 hours.
- Need a different sweetener? Try brown sugar, molasses, honey.
- Want it spicier? Use cayenne pepper, chili powder, or crushed red pepper flakes.
- Want more veggies? Add grated carrot, chopped celery, green pepper, grated zucchini, or sliced mushrooms when you saute the onion and garlic and cook until soft.
- Want less cheese? Stir some grated cheese into the meat mixture while it's still hot and omit the rest.
- Assemble the sloppy Joe sliders and bake right before serving for maximum freshness.
- Brown the hamburger in oil. It will crisp it instead of steaming it and will build flavor.
- The longer the sloppy Joe sauce simmers, the darker, thicker, and sweeter it will get.
- Want more glaze? Pour over top before and after baking.
- Don't have sesame seeds? Swap it out for poppy seeds or chia seeds.
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Sloppy Joe Sliders
For the Sloppy Joe Mixture
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ¼ pound ground beef
- ½ cup yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 3 tablespoons pepperonicis, chopped
- 2 tablespoons pepperoncini brine
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 3
- 1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Glaze
- ¼ cup salted butter, melted
- ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ⅛ teaspoon onion powder
For the Sliders
- 12 savory butter dinner rolls, like King's Hawaiian
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 3 cups extra sharp cheddar, grated
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
- ½ cup red onion, chopped
- 12 slices dill pickles
Making the Sloppy Joe Mixture
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until hot. Cook the ground beef until browned, roughly 8 minutes. Drain and keep 1 tablespoon of the fat, but set the meat aside.
- Heat the 1 tablespoon of hamburger fat in the same skillet, then saute the onion until soft, roughly 4 minutes, and then add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
- Add the pepperoncinis, liquids, cooked ground beef, and spices. Stir until well mixed. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Making the Glaze
- Melt the ¼ cup of butter in a small saucepan, then remove from the heat and pour into a small bowl. Whisk in the Italian seasoning and onion powder.
Assembling the Sliders
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- On a cutting board, slice the rolls in half horizontally with a bread knife. Get down at eye level with the buns. Cut a couple of inches in all the way around then slice through.
- Place the bottom half of the rolls on a baking tray with sides. Sprinkle the freshly grated parmesan over the buns. This will make a seal so the bottom buns won't get soggy. Bake for 5 minutes at 350°F. to melt the cheese.
- Spread the sloppy joe mixture over the buns and sprinkle the grated cheddar cheese on top. Place the top half of the rolls on the cheese to complete the slider. Brush with the glaze, then sprinkle with sesame seeds.
- Cover and bake for 15 minutes at 350°F, then uncover and bake 5 minutes more to brown the top.
- Serve warm with chopped red onion as an optional topping to provide additional flavor and crunch. Garnish each sloppy Joe slider with one sliced dill pickle on top of the bun. Hold in place with a long toothpick.
- Assemble the sliders and bake right before serving for maximum freshness.
- Want less cheese? Stir in some cheese at the end of simmering the meat mixture and omit the rest.
- If you brown the hamburger in oil, it will crisp it and will build flavor.
- Take your time, the longer the sauce simmers, the better it will get.
- Want extra glaze? Pour over top before and after baking.
Our sloppy Joe sliders recipe was originally published on January 30, 2019 and was updated with resized photos and new content on June 24, 2022.