Chili Cheese Sloppy Joes are a delicious and fun twist on traditional sloppy joes! They're extra saucy, full of flavor and loaded with melty cheese. Perfect for an easy weeknight dinner or party!
Think chili cheese dip meets sloppy joes! What’s not to love? Made with ground beef, chili beans, pantry staple spices and lots of melty cheddar cheese! So tasty served between hamburgers buns or over baked potatoes with a dollop of sour cream and even more cheddar cheese!
Ready in just 20 minutes on the stovetop, or cook over low in the slow cooker so they're ready when you are!
- Ground beef
- Chili beans
- Tomato sauce
- Apple cider vinegar
- Brown sugar
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Cheddar cheese
- Hamburger buns
How to make Chili Cheese Sloppy Joes
Making Chili Cheese Sloppy Joes is just as easy to make as traditional sloppy joes, but with more flavor, beans and lots of cheddar cheese!
- Brown the ground beef. Brown the beef in a skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink.
- Make the sauce. Add in lots of chili seasonings, tomato sauce, chili beans, etc. Let simmer so the flavors mingle together and the sauce thickens.
- Mix in cheese. Mix in lots of cheddar cheese until melty.
- Serve. Serve between hamburger buns with more cheddar cheese and your favorite toppings! I like to add white onion and jalapeños for a little kick! These sloppy joes are also really great served over baked potatoes with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheddar cheese!
Scroll down to the recipe card for the full instructions.
What can I do with chili cheese sloppy joe meat?
- Make a sandwich. The most popular way to serve sloppy joes: between two hamburger buns!
- Top the potato. Instead of using a bun, I also love to serve chili cheese sloppy joes over baked potatoes! Finish with more cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream!
- Over French fries. Chili cheese sloppy joes are like a combination between sloppy joes and chili cheese dip, so as you can imagine, chili cheese sloppy joes are great served over a bed of crispy French fries! Top with more cheddar cheese and warm in the oven until the cheese is melted. After your favorite toppings like diced onion, pickled jalapeños, diced tomato, and sour cream!
Variations & substitutions
- Cheese. You can really use any good melting cheese! Colby jack, Colby, Monterey Jack, pepper jack, Mexican blend, etc.
- Beans. If you don't like beans, you can most definitely leave them out! The sloppy joes will still taste great!
- Meat. Try swapping one pound of ground beef for one pound of ground pork.
- Freshly shredded cheese. I always recommend buying a block of cheese and shredding it yourself. The small amount of extra effort is worth it. Freshly shredded cheese tastes and melts better.
- Let the sloppy joes simmer. Once you sauce ingredients, let the sloppy joes simmer for 5-10 minutes so they flavors can meld together and the sauce can thicken slightly.
- If the sauce is too thick. If you sauce ends up too thick or you just like a thinner sauce, simply add a little water, chicken broth or beef broth to the sauce. Mix it together.
- Keep warm in the crockpot. If needed, transfer the sloppy joes to a crockpot and set to warm until you're ready to serve.
Frequently asked questions
Can I make chili cheese sloppy joes in the crockpot?
Yes! Start by browning the meat on the stove then transfer to the crockpot. Add all the remaining ingredients expect the cheese. Mix together and cook on low for 4-6 hours or high for 2-3 hours. Once you're ready to serve, mix in the cheese.
Can you make a sloppy joe with chili?
The consistency of chili is thinner than sloppy joes, so I don't recommend turning chili into sloppy joes if serving between a bun.
Is chili the same as sloppy joes?
Chili and sloppy joes are similar but also very different. Both chili and sloppy joes are traditionally made with ground beef and a tomato sauce, but chili is considered a soup, whereas sloppy joes are served as a sandwich.
What is the difference between sloppy joes and Manwich?
Manwich is a sloppy joe sauce that comes in a can; you can buy at the store. I prefer to make my own sloppy joe sauce at home because it's super simple and has better flavor, in my opinion.
Make ahead & storage
Sloppy joes can easily be made ahead of time and reheat super well! Make as directed in the recipe below, then store in the fridge until you're ready to serve.
Store the sloppy joes in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
Cool the sloppy joes then store in freezer containers for up to 3-4 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
Reheat on the stove over medium-low heat or in the crockpot. If the sauce is too thick, thin it out with a little water, chicken broth or beef broth.
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Chili Cheese Sloppy Joes
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 16 ounces chili beans
- 15 ounces tomato sauce
- 1 ½ tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
- hamburger buns
- optional toppings: sliced cheese, tomatoes, pickles, onions, jalapenos
- Cook the ground beef and onion in large skillet over medium-high heat until no longer pink, about 7-8 minutes.
- Mix in all of the remaining ingredients except the cheese. Let simmer over low for 5-10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and mix in the cheese until melted.
- Serve with your favorite toppings!