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If you’re a fan of the classic sloppy Joe sandwich, you’re going to love this Sloppy Joe Casserole recipe. This simple dinner takes all of the flavors you love from the classic sandwich and transforms them into a hearty casserole that’s perfect for family dinner.

A casserole dish with a serving spatula with a serving on it.

Sloppy Joe Casserole Recipe

Looking for a tasty and satisfying dinner recipe that’s easy to make and perfect for feeding the entire family? Look no further than this sloppy joe casserole recipe!

This twist on the Classic Sloppy Joe sandwich combines all the delicious flavors of the original, but in a convenient and easy-to-prepare casserole. With just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of prep time, you can have a hearty meal that’s sure to please even the pickiest of eaters.

So, let’s dive into this delicious recipe and learn how to make it along with lots of tips for success!

Overhead shot of the casserole with cheese on top

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Ground Beef – I like to use lean 93/7 ground beef to prevent the casserole from becoming greasy/oily. 
  • Onion – A yellow onion is the most used but white onion can be used as well, or even a sweet vidalia onion. 
  • Green Bell Pepper – Remove the seeds and white membrane pieces and then chop it into small pieces. 
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Ketchup
  • Yellow Mustard – Classic yellow mustard is what I use but you can also use spicy brown mustard or dijon mustard. 
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Chili Powder
  • Kosher Salt – I prefer using kosher salt because it elevates all the flavors without making it taste overly ‘salty’. 
  • Garlic Powder
  • Black Pepper
  • Elbow Macaroni Pasta – This is measured out uncooked and then boiled before adding it into the casserole dish. 
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese – I use medium cheddar cheese but mild or sharp are also great too. 

Labeled ingredients for this dinner recipe

How To Make Sloppy Joe Casserole

Follow these simple step-by-step directions to fix this easy casserole. 

  • Step 1 : Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spray a 9×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray, set aside. 
  • Step 2 : In a large skillet pan, cook and crumble the ground beef over medium-high heat until no longer pink. 
  • Step 3 : Add in the diced onions and green bell pepper. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. 
  • Step 4 : Stir in the tomato sauce, ketchup, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer (a very gentle boil).
  • Step 5 : Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan with a lid, and let it simmer for about 10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and the flavors have blended together. 
  • Step 6 : Add the cooked elbow pasta into the skillet pan and stir to combine. 
  • Step 7 : Transfer the mixture to a 9×9 baking dish and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the the shredded cheese evenly over the top. 
  • Step 8 : Bake the casserole for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and it’s heated through. 

Step by step photos showing how to make this recipe.

Step by step photos showing how to make this recipe.

Step by step photos showing how to make this recipe.

Step by step photos showing how to make this recipe.

Step by step photos showing how to make this recipe.

How To Store Leftovers

  • Fridge : To store sloppy Joe casserole in the refrigerator, allow the casserole to cool to room temperature, then store it covered (with a lid or plastic wrap) in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also store individual servings inside a Tupperware type container and heat up as needed. 
  • Freezer : I don’t recommend freezing this casserole due to the pasta in it. Once frozen/thawed/re-heated, pasta changes texture and it’s not super appetizing. 
  • Re-Heat Leftovers : You can reheat leftovers in the microwave, or oven. To microwave, place on a microwave-safe plate and heat for 1-2 minutes. To use the oven, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, place the leftovers (inside a baking dish) covered in tin foil and bake for about 15-20 minutes. The tins foil prevents the casserole from drying out or burning during the cook/re-heat time in the oven. 

A serving of this dish on a spatula above the baking dish.

FAQ’s For Sloppy Joe Casserole

  • What Do I Serve With Sloppy Joe Casserole?

  • Can I Use a Different Type of Pasta?

    • Absolutely! You can substitute the elbow macaroni with other short pasta shapes such as rotini, penne, ziti, or medium shells. 
  • Can I Add Vegetables To The Casserole?

    • Yes, you can add any vegetable of your choice if wanted. Diced carrots, celery, corn, or mushrooms are all great options and can be sautéed along with the onion and bell pepper. 
  • What Are Some Changes I Can Make?

    • There are several ways to change up this casserole and make it different or adapt it to your preference. Here are some ideas. 
      • Ground Meat : Use ground chicken or ground turkey. 
      • Cheese : Any variety of cheese can be used. Great options are Colby Jack, Monterey Jack, Pepper Jack, Mozzarella cheese, etc or use a mix of your favorite cheeses. 
      • Spices : The spices are the easiest thing to change and adapt if wanted. Add more depth of flavor and try adding some smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, or make it spicy and use red cayenne pepper instead of the black pepper. 
      • No Onion Chunks : If you don’t want the onion chunks then substitute with onion powder instead. You will need about 1 teaspoon of onion powder. 
  • Can I Prepare The Casserole Ahead of Time?

    • Yes, you can assemble the casserole and refrigerate it, covered, for up to 24 hours before baking. Be sure to let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before baking it to ensure even cooking. 

Overhead shot of this dinner inside a baking pan.

Expert Tips

Here are a few of my helpful tips so that you can have success recreating this recipe in your own kitchen ♥

  • Cook Pasta to Al Dente : Cook the pasta to al dente, according to the directions on the box, because it will continue cooking slightly when the casserole is baked. If you prefer softer pasta in casseroles, or your kids do, then go ahead and cook 1-2 minutes past al dente. 
  • Salt Pasta Water : This is often an overlooked step when boiling pasta. Once the water is boiling, add in 1-2 teaspoon of kosher salt and then add the pasta. The pasta is so bland on it’s own and needs something to make it taste like something. 
  • Use Freshly Grated Cheese : For a better melt and texture, shred the cheese from a block (with a cheese grater) instead of using pre-shredded cheese from the bag. Shredded cheese in the bag contains an anti-caking agent, which affects the melting quality of it. 
  • Drain Ground Beef : Be sure you drain the excess grease and oil from the skillet pan after cooking the ground beef. You don’t want to add all that liquid and grease into the casserole dish. 
  • Layer Evenly : When assembling the casserole, spread the elbow macaroni mixture evenly into the baking dish to ensure uniform cooking. Distribute the cheese evenly over the entire surface. Use more cheese if necessary or if you just want the casserole cheesier. You can never go wrong with more cheese! 

A serving on a white plate

More Delicious Recipes You’ll Love

Overhead shot of the casserole with cheese on top
Together As Family Logo

Sloppy Joe Casserole

Author Jessica - Together as Family
Course Casserole, Dinner
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6
If you're a fan of the classic Sloppy Joe sandwich, you're going to love this Sloppy Joe Casserolerecipe. This dish takes all of the flavors you love from the classic sandwich and transforms them into a hearty casserole that's perfect for family dinner.


  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 small yellow onion finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced small
  • 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 375℉. Spray a 9x9 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
    * I like to get my pasta water boiling first thing, that way it's ready for the pasta once the ground beef mixture is simmering.
  • In a large skillet pan, cook and crumble the ground beef until no longer pink.
    1 lb lean ground beef
  • Add in the onion and bell pepper and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until softened.
    Drain the excess grease/oil from the skillet pan.
    1 small yellow onion, 1 green bell pepper
  • Stir in the tomato sauce, ketchup, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, salt, garlic powder, and black pepper until combined.
    Bring the mixture to a simmer (a gentle boil).
    1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons ketchup, 1 tablespoon yellow mustard, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 10-15 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken and the flavors to combine together.
  • Cook Elbow Macaroni During Simmer Time : Boil the elbow macaroni according to package directions until al dente.
    When done, drain the pasta but do not rinse it.
    2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • Add the cooked elbow macaroni into the sloppy joe ground beef mixture and stir to combine until it's coated well in the sauce.
  • Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan and spread it out evenly. Sprinkle the shredded cheese evenly over top.
    1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is bubbly.
    * You can cover the baking pan with tin foil if wanted to prevent any edge pieces from getting toasted.


Baking Pan Size : You need a 9x9 baking pan or a 2.5 QT baking dish. You could use a 9x13 baking dish but the casserole will be thin and end up a tad drier because there is more space in the larger dish. 
Pasta : Any short small can work well in this recipe like penne, ziti, medium shells, or rotini. Make sure to add some salt into the boiling water before adding the dry pasta. Pasta is very bland on its own and needs some salt to make it taste like something. I add about 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt when I boil pasta. Cook the pasta to al dente as it will continue cooking slightly in the oven. If you prefer a softer pasta then cook 1-2 minutes past al dente. 
Should I Cover The Casserole? : You can cover the casserole with tin foil for baking or leave it uncovered, either way works. If you want a soft, melty pasta with no crispy toasted pasta edges then you will probably want to cover it. 


Calories: 390kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 1016mg | Potassium: 695mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 699IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 172mg | Iron: 4mg

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