How to Cook Unsloppy Joes

by Amelia Allonsy
Unsloppy joes eliminate the mess but retain the same great flavor.

Unsloppy joes eliminate the mess but retain the same great flavor.

Sloppy Joes have long been a popular dinner choice for kids and busy moms alike because they're quick and easy to make and palatable to even the pickiest eaters. The traditional sandwich, as the name implies, often results in a mess as globs of tomato-based sauce and meat fall out from between a soft hamburger bun. An unsloppy Joe offers all the flavor of its messy counterpart, but is served in a convenient pocket made from biscuit dough to reduce mess. You can make your own biscuits from scratch, but canned biscuit dough greatly reduces preparation time for this quick meal.

Brown ground beef in a skillet and drain off the fat. Stir in a can of sloppy Joe sauce or make your own sauce, using ingredients such as ketchup, tomato paste, diced onions and bell peppers, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Simmer the meat sauce for about 10 minutes until thickened.

Press canned biscuits flat with your hands into a circle about 6 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. If using dough made from scratch, roll a bit of dough into a ball slightly bigger than a golf ball and roll it into a circle with a rolling pin.

Scoop the sloppy Joe meat sauce onto the center of each biscuit circle, leaving at least a 1/2-inch margin around the edges. Top with your choice of shredded cheese, if desired.

Fold the circle in half with the edges lined up. Crimp the edges with your fingers to seal the pockets. These sloppy Joe pockets look similar to empanadas and apple turnovers.

Place the unsloppy Joe pockets in a single layer on a baking sheet with about 2 inches between each piece. Bake in the oven at about 400 degrees Fahrenheit until the crust is golden brown, usually between 10 and 15 minutes depending on your oven.

Items you will need

  • Ground beef
  • Skillet
  • Sloppy Joe sauce
  • Canned biscuit dough or homemade
  • Rolling pin (optional)
  • Spoon
  • Shredded cheese (optional)
  • Baking sheet


  • As an alternative to biscuit dough, you can use canned crescent roll dough. Place the filling on one triangle-shaped piece of dough and top it with a second triangle of dough. Crimp the edges on all three sides to seal. Even a pie crust works well for making unsloppy Joes.

About the Author

A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.

Photo Credits

  • Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images