Cheesesteak style sloppy joes are packed with flavors reminiscent of a cheesesteak sandwich. Made with ground beef, these quick and easy sloppy joes sandwiches are filled with bell pepper and onion, then topped with melty cheese.
If you love everything cheesesteak related (like my cheesesteak pasta recipe), you're going to love my recipe for cheesesteak style sloppy joes.
While these sloppy joes are not like a traditional cheesesteak sandwich - they make a fantastic, low-cost alternative and a great weeknight meal for the family.
Plus they're made with simple, easy to find ingredients. The best part is that you can easily customize your sloppy joes to suit the tastes of your family.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Ground beef - I used 85/15 beef, but ground beef can be substituted with ground turkey or ground chicken for a leaner sandwich.
- Buns - Your favorite soft sandwich buns work great in this recipe. Some readers have used hoagie rolls instead of buns.
- Onion, garlic/garlic powder, & bell pepper - Adds flavor to your sloppy joes. I don't recommend omitting these ingredients. Optionally, mushrooms could be added for more savory flavor.
- Cheese - White American cheese can be substituted with smoked provolone cheese if desired, but white American is my favorite choice. It is rich, creamy, and melts perfectly.
- Salt & pepper - Add flavor to the ground beef. Feel free to more to suit your tastes.
- Butter - Salted or unsalted butter works in this recipe. Butter could also be substituted with olive oil or excess grease from the cooked ground beef.
- Worcestershire sauce - Adds savory flavor to the sloppy joes. I don't recommend omitting it. Worcestershire sauce could be substituted with soy sauce or steak sauce if needed for allergy reasons.
- Beef broth - Broth also adds savory flavor to your sloppy joes and helps create that classic sloppy joe sauce. I don't recommend omitting it.
- Cornstarch - Necessary to thicken the sauce as your sloppy joes cook. Cornstarch could be substituted with flour if needed.
Tips and tricks
If using high fat beef - If you're using a high fat content ground beef, like 80/20 or 75/25, you may want to drain some grease from the pan after the beef is done cooking. Some of the excess beef grease can also be used instead of the added butter listed in the recipe.
Cornstarch - If you're worried about your cornstarch clumping when adding it to the hot pan (I've never personally had this issue), feel free to whisk your broth and cornstarch in a separate bowl before adding them to the pan.
Optional mix-ins - Many readers have added chopped mushrooms along with the pepper and onion for added savory flavor. A dash of hot sauce also adds flavor and a little heat.
Frequently asked questions
If you have any leftovers, the filling will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator and reheats well.
Try adding your leftovers to a skillet and heating over medium-low heat until warmed through. Or, reheat in the microwave, lightly covered with a paper towel.
My favorite side dish for sloppy joes is oven roasted potatoes or ranch roasted potatoes. For a veggie side, I'd recommend cheesy broccoli, roasted potatoes and asparagus, or oven roasted corn on the cob.
This is not a recipe for cheesesteaks. This recipe is for cheesesteak style sloppy joes - the look (and low cost!) of a sloppy joe, but with flavors similar to a cheesesteak. Otherwise, the two sandwiches are very different!
If you've never had one before, a sloppy joe (via Wikipedia) is a "sandwich consisting of ground beef or pork, onions, tomato sauce or ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings, served on a hamburger bun."
A traditional cheesesteak consists of thin sliced steak, sometimes onions, with melted cheese, on a hoagie roll. In parts of the world other than Philadelphia, bell peppers and mushrooms are also common ingredients.
I hadn't heard of chopped cheese before a reader reached out, so I did some research. Chopped cheese is a sandwich popular in New York that's made with chopped ground beef and onions, topped with melted cheese, and served on a hoagie roll with cheeseburger toppings like lettuce, tomato, and condiments. While they may look similar at a glance (without reading the recipe), the two seem to be quite different to me.
Cheesesteak Style Sloppy Joes
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder, or 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup beef broth
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 4 slices white american or provolone cheese
- 4 rolls
- Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Crumble ground beef and season with salt and pepper, then cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. If there's excess grease in the pan, drain it out at this time.
- Add butter to pan. Once melted, add onion and bell pepper and saute until vegetables begin to brown and onions turn translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
- Reduce heat to low, then return ground beef to pan. Add garlic powder, worcestershire sauce, and beef broth, scraping the bottom of the pan as you incorporate your ingredients. Cook for about a minute.
- Add cornstarch and stir until dissolved, about a minute. This thickens the beef broth to create a sauce. If beef looks dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of water.
- Remove from heat. Top meat mixture with cheese slices and allow to set for 1-2 minutes, or until melted. Remove from heat, spoon onto rolls and serve immediately.
- Want to spice things up? Try adding a dash of hot sauce or cayenne pepper to your sloppy joes. Or, dice a jalapeno and add with your onions and bell pepper.
- If you're worried about your cornstarch clumping when adding it to the hot pan (I haven't experienced this issue but some readers have), feel free to whisk your broth and cornstarch in a separate bowl before adding them to the pan.
- If adding mushrooms, add with the onions and bell pepper.
- Leftovers will keep for 2-3 days in the refrigerator in a well sealed container.