Elevate your weeknights with these Italian Sloppy Joes. The Beef Bolognese mixture will surely be a hit. It’s packed with flavor and perfect for easy dinners!

An Italian Sloppy Joe on a cutting board with a pile of ciabatta rolls in the background

It costs around $22.25 to make these sloppy joes. The recipe makes eight servings, which costs approximately $2.78 per serving.

What You’ll Love About Italian Sloppy Joes:

  • Quick and Easy Recipe: When making the Beef Bolognese mixture, I compensated for the time it takes to make a proper bolognese by building flavors. 
  • Kid-approved: Kids love the combination of ground beef, cheese, and soft buns. My kids devour this family-favorite meal every time I make it!
  • Comfort Food With An Italian Twist: This recipe combines classic Sloppy Joes with the rich and flavorful profile of Bolognese sauce.
The beef bolognese mixture in a pan.

Ingredients and Estimated Cost:

Per Serving Cost: $

Recipe Cost: $

  • 2 Tablespoons salted butter – $0.42
  • 2 large carrots – $0.34
  • 1 medium onion – $0.78
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste – $0.60
  • 2 large garlic cloves – $0.42
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar – $0.02
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce – $0.41
  • 2 pounds ground beef – $9.66
  • 1 cup whole milk – $0.14
  • ¾ cup white cooking wine or chicken broth – $0.99
  • 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes – $3.49
  • 8 ciabatta rolls – $4.98

NOTE: The recipe prices are calculated by using grocery store websites. The recipe cost is calculated by the amounts needed for the recipe. The actual cost of the recipe will vary depending on what ingredients you already have. I updated the pricing for this recipe in March 2024.

A picture of all the ingredients to make this recipe, and they're labeled with text overlay.

How To Make Italian Sloppy Joes:

***For complete recipe instructions, please take a look at the recipe card below.

  1. Gather and prep all the ingredients.
  2. In a large skillet, sauté onions and carrots in butter.
  3. Add tomato paste, garlic, sugar, and ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce and cook until fragrant.
  4. Add the lean ground beef to brown over medium-high heat, using a wooden spoon to break the meat apart. 
  5. Simmer beef with milk, cooking wine or broth, and tomatoes until thickened.
  6. Serve on warmed ciabatta rolls with Parmesan cheese.

A picture collage showing how to make this recipe, from prepping the ingredients to placing the meat mixture on ciabatta rolls.

Recipe Variation:

  • To turn the beef mixture into Beef bolognese over spaghetti, just add an additional 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes and simmer the mixture for an additional 15 minutes. This will make enough sauce for 2 pounds of pasta.

Storage Tips

STORE: Leftover sloppy joe sauce can be kept in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

FREEZE: Place Beef bolognese mixture in an airtight container. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. 

REHEAT: Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating on the stovetop. You may need to add a little water to loosen the mixture.

Recipe FAQs:

What kind of ground meat is used in Bolognese sauce?

Most bolognese recipes use ground beef. Ground beef is the best option for this sauce because it makes for a flavorful, rich sauce.

What does bolognese style mean?

Bolognese is a meat sauce made with ground beef and tomato sauce. It typically includes vegetables, spices, and herbs. I make a classic bolognese sauce for this sloppy joe recipe and serve it sloppy joe style over ciabatta rolls.

Is bolognese just spaghetti sauce?

Both are tomato-based sauces, but bolognese adds vegetables and milk, which spaghetti sauce doesn’t have.

Four sloppy joes on a serving board.

More from Food Folks and Fun:

A close-up picture of a finished beef bolognese sloppy joe on a wooden platter.
5 from 9 votes

Italian Sloppy Joes

Recipe Cost $ $22.25
Serving Cost $ $2.78
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
8 people
Elevate your weeknights with these Italian Sloppy Joes. This Beef Bolognese mixture will surely be a hit. It's packed with flavor and perfect for easy dinners!

Ingredients
 
 

Instructions

  • Melt butter in a large, deep 12-inch skillet over medium heat.
  • Add carrots and onion and cook until softened and the edges of the onion begin to brown about 6 minutes.
  • Stir in tomato paste, garlic, sugar, and ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Increase heat to medium-high and add ground beef. Use a wooden spoon to break up the meat and cook until browned about 5-6 minutes.
  • Stir in milk and cooking wine, scraping up brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Cook the mixture until the liquid is nearly evaporated, about 14 minutes.
  • Stir in crushed tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the remaining ½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, season with salt and pepper, and serve over sliced rolls.
  • Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 537kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 91mg | Sodium: 602mg | Potassium: 809mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 3450IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 3.9mg

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5 from 9 votes (1 rating without comment)

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31 Comments

  1. I love sloppy joes. These looks gourmet and absolutely delicious!

  2. Catherine says:

    I’m loving all the sloppy joes I’ve been seeing. They’re the best form of comfort food. These look great!

    1. I agree, comfort food but made quickly!

  3. Tina Dawson | Love is in my tummy says:

    I’ve always wondered how sloppy joes were made. Thanks so much for those detailed step-by-step instructions. Very helpful!

    1. You’re welcome, enjoy!

  4. I’ve never tried this twist before. It sounds good!

  5. Emily Burmeiste says:

    Yum! We love sloppy joes in our house, it is always a hit.

  6. I have never liked sloppy joes, but I loooove bolognese! I could totally go for some of these vastly improved sloppy joes right now.

    1. They are SO good; a little bit gourmet but SO easy!

  7. Elizabeth @ SugarHero.com says:

    I’m totally with you–weeknight meals need to be FAST! And with 3 other people in my family, they need to be things everyone would enjoy. These sloppy joes totally check all the boxes!

  8. Brian Jones says:

    Love the sound of this, I reckon some nice melty cheese like a Gouda or an Ementhal would work wonderfully 🙂

    1. Those would work as well!

  9. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy says:

    Now this looks like comfort food! Sloppy joes aren’t really a think here in the UK, but I think I need to try some.

    1. You should try the, they’re easy and so satisfying!

  10. I love that you photographed all of the steps! What a delicious-looking family friendly meal! I can’t wait to try it!

    1. You’re so sweet, thanks Kim!

  11. Elizabeth says:

    Yum! I made sloppy joes for my family for the first time ever a few weeks ago and they loved them. I will have to try this recipe out soon!

    1. I hope you and your family loves it!

  12. Oh that looks luscious, I’ll take 3 rolls worth please 😉

  13. Lori Vachon says:

    What a hearty meal, looks perfect for a big family gathering!

  14. Michelle De La Cerda says:

    This would be a crowd pleasing meal for sure! No leftovers here.

  15. I love the suggestion of pairing these with broccoli. That sounds so perfect for a dinner this coming week.

    1. I hope you enjoy these slippy joes!

  16. How genius, turning bolognese into an Italian sloppy Joe mixture! Very tasty, will make again.