This Chicken Gumbo Sloppy Joe recipe is rich and flavorful with savory ground beef in a zesty sauce. An easy weeknight dinner you can have ready in under 30 minutes.
Old fashioned sloppy joes with chicken gumbo is a family favorite recipe for many. It's one of those easy sloppy joe recipes that comes together with simple pantry ingredients.
Now, I’m not sure how a can of chicken gumbo soup ever ended up in sloppy joes, but it makes sense. After all, it contains tomato puree, celery, onions, green peppers, red peppers, and a slew of seasonings. The rice adds heartiness and stretches the ground beef even further.
The rest of the savory flavor in these sloppy joes comes from ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, a little chili powder, and a dash of cayenne.
These quick and easy sloppy joes are perfect for weeknight dinners and casual gatherings -- served up with a side of Tuna Macaroni Salad, Potato Salad, and potato chips.
You’re going to love this
Fast and easy dinner for busy weeknights
Rich, savory, saucy sloppy joes
Delicious leftovers that reheat and freeze well
Ground beef. I use 80/20 ground beef, but you can use lean ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken.
Onion. I use yellow onion, but you can use white onion, red onion, or whatever you have.
Chicken gumbo soup. One can of Campbell's Chicken Gumbo soup is the foundation for the sloppy joe sauce.
Ketchup. These homemade sloppy joes with ketchup have a sweet, tangy flavor.
Mustard. I use Dijon mustard because I like the flavor and I always have it on hand. Yellow mustard — or any type of mustard, really — also works.
Brown sugar. Brown sugar adds just a touch of rich sweetness we love in sloppy joes.
Worcestershire sauce. Worcestershire sauce brings that savory umami flavor that just makes beef taste beefier.
Chili powder. 1-2 teaspoons of chili powder is optional, but necessary in my book, to add more zesty flavor to the sauce.
Dash of cayenne pepper. This is optional. Just a dash does not make it spicy, but gives a little zing.
Place the ground beef, diced onions, and salt and black pepper, to taste, in a large skillet over medium heat.
Brown meat until it is no longer pink, 6-7 minutes. Drain away any excess fat.
Add the remaining ingredients. Simmer until the sloppy joe mixture reaches your desired thickness, about 6-7 minutes.
Serve with your favorite bun. And if you’re like me, topped with chips — with plenty more for scooping up any saucy meat that falls off the bun.
Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Freeze leftovers for 2-3 months.
Source: USDA FoodKeeper App
Jazz up your sloppy joe sandwiches any way you like! Add a dash of garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, cumin ... whatever spices and seasonings you and your family love!
Here are some more ideas to put your own twist on traditional sloppy joes.
BBQ Sloppy Joes: Omit the brown sugar and ketchup and add ¾ cup of your favorite BBQ sauce.
Cheesy Sloppy Joes: Spoon meat mixture onto the bottom bun, add a slice of cheese, and place it onto a sheet pan under the broiler for a minute or two to melt the cheese. Add the top bun and serve.
Turkey Sloppy Joes: Replace the ground beef with ground turkey.
Open Faced Sloppy Joes: Instead of hamburger buns, serve over toasted French bread, garlic bread, or Texas toast.
Spicy Sloppy Joes: Add jalapenos, red pepper flakes, even more cayenne pepper, sriracha, or hot sauce to the sloppy joe sauce.
If you're not using lean ground beef, drain fat after browning the meat before adding the sauce ingredients.
Simmer the sloppy joe mixture until it's thick and saucy. If it goes a bit over and dries out, just add a little water.
To give your chicken gumbo sloppy joe recipe even more cozy, homemade flavor, toast the hamburger buns. Butter the insides of the top and bottom buns and toast them in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes.
If you’re using anything other than very lean ground beef, yes, drain off any excess fat from the browned ground beef before adding the sloppy joe sauce ingredients.
The best way to thicken this recipe for sloppy joes with chicken gumbo soup is to let it simmer so the liquid evaporates, allowing the sauce to naturally thicken.
Sloppy joes are best eaten with simple side dishes like:
Corn on the cob
Tuna macaroni salad
Sweet potato fries
Yes! Freeze sloppy joes in a freezer safe container for 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or microwave.
This stainless steel skillet is super heavy duty, cooks food evenly, and polishes up nicely with steel wool.
Stock up on condensed chicken gumbo soup so you can make these easy sloppy joes at a moment's notice.
More Easy Meal Ideas
Let's Stay in Touch
Follow Midwestern HomeLife on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, and subscribe via email to receive all of the latest recipes!
Easy Chicken Gumbo Sloppy Joe Recipe
- 1 ½ pounds ground beef
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 10.5 ounce can Campbell's condensed chicken gumbo soup
- ¾ cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard or yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
- dash of cayenne pepper
- Place the ground beef, diced onions, and salt and black pepper, to taste, in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown meat until it is no longer pink, 6-7 minutes. Drain away any excess fat.
- Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer until the sloppy joe mixture reaches your desired thickness.
- Spoon mixture onto your favorite hamburger buns.
Storage & Freezing
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- Reheat sloppy joe meat in a saucepan on the stove over medium heat until warmed through or in a microwave-safe container in the microwave in 30-second bursts until warm.
- Freeze leftovers for 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator or microwave.
- Drain fat after browning the meat before adding the sauce ingredients.
- Simmer the sloppy joe mixture until it's thick and saucy. If it goes a bit over and dries out, just add a little water.
- To give your chicken gumbo sloppy joe even more cozy, homemade flavor, toast the hamburger buns. Butter the insides of the top and bottom buns and toast them in a 350 degree oven for about 5 minutes.
Mary O. says
To me the worcestershire sauce is pretty overpowering. I have made it in the past with vinegar instead of worcestershire sauce and it blends in easier. But my question is: with this batch what can I do to tone down the smell and taste of that ingredient? Would adding more brown sugar help?
Cara Lanz says
Hi, Mary, Brown sugar could certainly help tone down the richness, I might also try a bit more ketchup and a splash of lemon juice. And maybe even a splash of red wine if you have some. Let me know what you end up trying and how it works. Thanks, Cara