Easy Italian Sloppy Joes is the best sloppy joe recipe. Loaded with Italian sausage, bell peppers and provolone cheese. They are messy, savory, adult friendly, kid friendly and just plain good.
Is it just me or are there certain meals that just scream childhood? When I think of Sloppy Joes, I’m reminded of quick dinners in between school and orchestra practice. I always looked forward to them. They were so messy and fun to eat. I mean when you’re a kid, what is better than getting messy when you eat?
Now I look forward to making them for my kiddos and hope they have the same memories too!
I know, I know it’s easy to just buy a can of sloppy joe mix. But hear me out, it’s just as easy to make your own sloppy joe sauce and it’s even better!
Traditionally a sloppy joe mix is a mixture of seasonings, ground beef, turkey or sausage and things like ketchup and Worcestershire to make a sauce. I find those mixtures a little too sweet so when I make sloppy joes I make them without ketchup.
I also like to make twist on classics. These Easy Italian Sloppy Joes are made with sausage, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, red bell pepper, oregano and fennel. And of course there is cheese too, provolone to be precise.
The key to making the sloppy joe sauce thicker, is to allow the sauce to cook down. First, bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for 20 – 30 minutes.
This will thicken the sauce, while concentrating the savory flavor.
Just about anything goes with these messy sandwiches! I like to serve then with jojo potatoes and a salad. They would also be good served with potato chips, roasted veggies, corn on the cob or onion rings.
Whatever you decide to serve these with you can be sure that the whole family will love them. It’s a real crowd pleaser and on the table in about 30 minutes so it is perfect for weeknights!
Looking for more quick and easy weeknight meals? Try some of our favorites!
Did you like this sloppy joe recipe? I’ve got more Easy Sandwich Recipes for you to try!
NOTE: This post was originally posted in 2015. It was updated with new photos, tips and nutrition facts in 2019.
Cook Italian sausage in a skillet over medium heat. Cook until browned. Drain any grease.
In the same pan add olive oil. Add in onion, garlic and red pepper. Cook just until garlic is fragrant 30 seconds -1 minute. Return sausage to the pan. Pour in diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Add in oregano, fennel and sugar. Mix well. Bring to a bowl and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 20 minutes or until sauce is reduced and thickened. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
To make a sandwich, spoon mixture on top of bottom bun. Place provolone on top. Place under the broiler and broil just until cheese melts. Repeat with remaining ingredients until four sandwiches are made. Serve.
Nutrition facts are estimations only.
Amount per serving: 1 sandwich
Calories: 987 , Total Fat: 65.9g , Saturated Fat: 23.5g , Cholesterol: 180mg , Sodium: 2654mg , Carbohydrates: 37.9g , Fiber: 4.2g , Sugar: 14.4g , Protein: 53.6
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