Southwest Sloppy Joes

sloppy joes on a plate with chips and pickles
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Southwest Sloppy Joes with Crunchy Coleslaw

Southwest Sloppy Joes with Crunchy Coleslaw are a winning combination of smoky and savory topped with crunchy and sweet.  I often double this recipe, preparing it in my cast iron skillet, served as a dip with tortilla chips.  Addictive! 

Two sloppy joes on a plate.

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Howdy! Chef Alli here. Let’s Get You Cookin’….

I’ve been making this sloppy joe recipe for some time now. I assumed it would be like most other sloppy joe recipes….boy, was I wrong.

This is a super easy sloppy joe recipe, but because it’s smoky, savory and flat heavenly, you will find that you make it again and again. It’s also very versatile since you can serve it as a slider, a bowl, or even as a dip.

How to Make Homemade Southwest Sloppy Joes

  1. In your favorite large skillet (I really like cast iron) brown off the ground beef with the onions and cumin, then drain any fats that accumulate.
  2. Now add the ketchup, corn, black beans, tomato sauce, and chipotle peppers; simmer for 5-10 minutes, then stir in the cilantro and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, make the crunchy coleslaw.
  4. To serve, place the warm sloppy joe mixture onto slider buns and top with the slaw, or for a low carb option, place the sloppy joe mixture into bowls and top with coleslaw.
  5. Southwest Sloppy Joes can also be served as a dip with tortilla chips.

What Tools are Helpful for Making This Sloppy Joe Recipe?

  • I love to use my Lodge 12-inch cast iron skillet for so many recipes, especially any meats that need browned and cooked. Cast iron provides superior browning and cooks very evenly.
A tortilla chip topped with beef sloppy joe mixture.

Helpful and Easy Recipe Tips for Making Sloppy Joes from Scratch

  • For cooked ground beef that really tastes great, be sure your skillet is nicely preheated before adding the ground beef. You want anything that you add to a cast iron skillet to really SIZZLE so that you know it’s going to get some good browning since this makes nice flavor.
  • This makes a great tailgating dish when prepared in a cast iron skillet since cast iron can be warmed on a grill, just as easily as you can use it on a cook top or in an oven.
  • These sloppy joes give you so many serving options! Serve as sliders, or in bowls as a low-carb option, or with tortilla chips as a dip.
  • If you’re serving a really large group of people, this recipe can be easily doubled.

Can I make Southwest Sloppy Joes ahead of time?

Great question. The ground beef sloppy joe mixture can be made a day or two ahead of when you want to serve it, but since you want to make sure the coleslaw is nice and crispy, I’d only make that 3-4 hours ahead of time.

Do these sloppy joes freeze well?

The ground bee sloppy joe mixture freezes great. However, the coleslaw, not so much! You’ll have to make the coleslaw a few hours ahead of when you want to serve the sloppy joes.

Does this recipe double easily?

Surely does and I’ve done it many times when preparing for a tail gate party or a larger gathering. I’ve even tripled this recipe and then placed it into a slow cooker to keep it warm. Works great.

Can other ground meats be substituted for the ground beef?

Definitely. I’ve substitute ground venison before, since we always have quite a bit of that in the freezer since my sons are hunters. If you want to make a lower-calorie version of this recipe, you can certainly make the sloppy joes with ground turkey, too.

What are chipotles?

Chipotles are smoked jalapenos. Since most of us don’t have time to smoke our own jalapenos, we can purchase chipotle peppers in a can, packed in adobo sauce. Or, chipotle sauce is always availabe as a condiment, too. I usually purchase the whole chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, then process them until nearly smooth in my food processor. I store them in a glass canning jar with my other condiments.

Is there anything I need to know when cooking with chipotle peppers?

Chipotle peppers are extremely HOT. Add them to any dish just a little at a time, always doing a taste test in between, is highly recommended. You can always add more, but if you add too much, there’s no going back!

A bowl of sloppy joe mixture with tortilla chips on top.

Printable Recipe for Making
Southwest Sloppy Joes

Southwest Sloppy Joes

These sloppy joes are a winning combination of smoky and savory topped with crunchy and sweet.  I often double this recipe, preparing it in my cast iron skillet, served as a dip with tortilla chips.  Addictive!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword cast iron skillet, ground beef, skillet meal
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients

Southwest Sloppy Joes

  • 1 lb. ground beef, 95% lean
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • ½ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained well
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1-2 tsp. minced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 slider buns

Crunchy Coleslaw

  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 2-3 Tbs. mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbs. cider vinegar
  • juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 – 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12-16 oz. package coleslaw mix
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeds and membranes removed, diced

Instructions

Prepare the Southwest Sloppy Joes

  1. Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat until hot.

    When the skillet is nicely hot, add the ground beef, onion and cumin. Cook and crumble the ground beef until cooked throughout and no pink remains; drain any fats that accumulate.

  2. Stir in the ketchup, corn, beans, tomato sauce, and chipotle peppers;, bringing the sloppy joe mixture to a high simmer. Reduce heat to low, cooking 5-10 minutes longer, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cilantro; season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Prepare the Crunchy Coleslaw

  1. To prepare crunchy coleslaw, combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, and red pepper flakes in a medium mixing bowl; add the coleslaw blend, carrots and bell pepper, tossing to coat. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper, as desired. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to serve.

Serve the Southwest Sloppy Joes with Crunchy Coleslaw

  1. To serve, place the prepared sloppy joe mixture onto bottom half of each slider bun; top with the prepared coleslaw; add the top bun, or serve open-faced.

    If a low carb option is preferred, the sloppy joe mixture can be ladled into individual serving bowls and topped with the crunchy coleslaw.

    To serve as a dip, nix the slider buns and serve the sloppy joe mixture with tortilla chips!

Recipe Notes

 

Helpful and Easy Recipe Tips for Making Sloppy Joes 

  • For cooked ground beef that really tastes great, be sure your skillet is nicely preheated before adding the ground beef. You want anything that you add to a cast iron skillet to really SIZZLE so that you know it’s going to get some good browning since this makes nice flavor.
  • This makes a great tailgating dish when prepared in a cast iron skillet since cast iron can be warmed on a grill, just as easily as you can use it on a cook top or in an oven.
  • These sloppy joes give you so many serving options! Serve as sliders, or in bowls as a low-carb option, or with tortilla chips as a dip.
  • If you’re serving a really large group of people, this recipe can be easily doubled.

We love hearing from our readers and followers, so leave us a comment if you’d like.  If you don’t hear back from us shortly, know that we may not have seen your comment.  Feel free to reach out to us by email:  ChefAlli@ChefAlli.com.

Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli


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Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

Blog Comments

[…] all in one bowl and it’s a delicious accompaniment to spicy beef or pork dishes, such as Chipotle Sloppy Joes, Beef Carnitas, or as above, on Bacon-Wrapped HotDogs. […]

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