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Dr Pepper Sloppy Joes

This fun and flavorful Dr Pepper Sloppy Joes dinner recipe comes together in only 40 minutes and is a family favorite that is great for busy nights!

A SUPER FLAVORFUL SLOPPY JOE DINNER RECIPE

Not only are these Dr Pepper Sloppy Joes easy to make, they’re also incredibly flavorful. The Dr Pepper adds a subtle sweetness to the traditional Sloppy Joe flavors that you expect. You don’t taste it as a separate ingredient. It’s that flavor in the background that you can’t quite put your finger on. Change up your usual sloppy joes and give this one a try!

A plate with an overflowing Dr Pepper Sloppy Joe.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

Do I have to use the peppers and onions?

Nope! Don’t like them, leave them out.

Do I have to use the Dr Pepper?

Well, if you don’t use Dr Pepper, it won’t be a Dr Pepper Sloppy Joe recipe, but you can swap it out for a regular cola if desired.

How can I save some time?

This is a pretty quick recipe as it is, but, if you want to save a little more time, use the frozen pepper and onions and cook them up instead of prepping and dicing the fresh ones.

Can I make this in the crock pot?

Sure. Cook the peppers, onion, and ground beef.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Drain off the grease and pour the mixture into a 4-quart slow cooker.
Add the rest of the remaining ingredients and stir.
Cover and cook on low for about 4-6 hours.
If you want more tips for making Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes, check out the recipe linked here.

How to store leftovers?

Transfer your cooled leftovers to an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze them for up to 3 months.

How to reheat leftover Dr Pepper Sloppy Joes?

Add leftovers to a saucepan and reheat it on the stove until warmed through. If you find that your leftovers are a little thick, add some water or stock to help loosen it up a bit.

An overflowing Dr Pepper Sloppy Joe on a plate.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)

  • salted butter – if you only have unsalted butter that is fine, I would just taste the sloppy Joe mix when it is all done to make sure there is enough salt to your liking. Margarine can also be used here.
  • onion, green bell pepper – if you don’t like onions or peppers or both, just leave them out.
  • garlic – you can use the jarred garlic for this recipe if you prefer.
  • ground beef – this can be swapped out for ground turkey, ground pork, or ground chicken.
  • tomato sauce – if you are trying to cut back on the salt, you can purchase now or low sodium options for tomato sauce.
  • Dr Pepper – as I said above, you can switch this out for regular cola. I have not tried this with a diet Dr Pepper. We don’t drink diet drinks so I never test a recipe with them. If you try it though, please let me know how it goes!
  • ketchup – I always use Heinz ketchup since it’s our family’s favorite. You want to use a ketchup that you enjoy. Again, a low or now salt ketchup can be used.
  • apple cider vinegar – regular vinegar can be used
  • Worcestershire sauce – this is kind of like the Dr Pepper in that you don’t taste it as a separate ingredient but it adds a wonderful layer of flavor.
Lean ground beef, tomato sauce, ketchup, green pepper, onion, Dr Pepper soda in a can, butter, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, garlic cloves, and apple cider vinegar.

HOW TO MAKE DR PEPPER SLOPPY JOES

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and bell pepper, cook until fully softened (about 10 minutes). Stir in the minced garlic and cook until fragrant (only about 30 seconds.) Then add in the ground beef. Break it up into crumbles and cook until there is no pink left (about 8-10 minutes.) Drain off any excess fat then put back into the skillet.

collage three photos; diced green peppers, onions and garlic in a skillet; ground beef (uncooked) added to skillet; cooked and crumbled ground beef in skillet.

Pour in the tomato sauce, Dr. Pepper, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer (uncovered) then turn down the heat to medium-low. Gently simmer for 10 minutes until thickened but still saucy. At this point, it’s important to taste and adjust the seasoning to your preferences. 

collage of two photos: sloppy Joe liquid ingredients added to the skillet; fully stirred sloppy Joe mix in skillet.

Serve on buns and enjoy!

A white serving plate with Dr Pepper Sloppy Joes and a side dish behind it.

CRAVING MORE RECIPES?

Looking closely at a homemade Dr Pepper Sloppy Joe.

Dr Pepper Sloppy Joes

Super flavorful sloppy Joes that will make you wonder what that incredible secret ingredient is!
5 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and bell pepper, cook until fully softened (about 10 minutes).
  • Stir in the minced garlic and cook until fragrant (only about 30 seconds.)
    A skillet with melted butter, diced onion, diced bell pepper, and garlic.
  • Then add in the ground beef. Break it up into crumbles and cook until there is no pink left (about 8-10 minutes.)
    Ground beef in a skillet with garlic, onions, and bell pepper.
  • Drain off any excess fat then put back into the skillet.
    A skillet with cooked ground beef, onions, green bell pepper, garlic and melted butter.
  • Pour in the tomato sauce, Dr. Pepper, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
    A skillet with garlic, bell pepper, onion, tomato sauce, Dr. Pepper, ketchup, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.
  • Bring to a simmer (uncovered) then turn down the heat to medium-low. Gently simmer for 10 minutes until thickened but still saucy.
    Simmered sloppy joe meat in a skillet.
  • At this point, it’s important to taste and adjust the seasoning to your preferences.
  • Serve on buns and enjoy!
    A plate with an overflowing Dr Pepper Sloppy Joe.

Notes

  • Please refer to my FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

Nutrition

Calories: 270kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 12g | Sodium: 813mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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