This Sloppy Joe Pasta is a delicious mash-up of your favorite messy ground beef sandwich and tender cooked pasta for a one-pot, 30 minute meal the entire family will love!
Sloppy Joe One Pot Pasta
What if we took the filling of a sloppy Joe and used it as a sauce for tender cooked pasta? YES! That’s what we did…and not sure why we didn’t do it sooner – this Sloppy Joe Pasta is so good! Bonus, it’s a 30 minute meal all cooked in one pot, making clean up super easy. If you’re looking for an easy weeknight dinner for your family, this is it.
This pasta dish is rich, a little tangy, and cheesy; the perfect balance of flavors and creamy consistency. Nothing fancy, just simple pantry ingredients and just plain tasty.
This one-pot pasta recipe calls for common pantry ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Penne pasta – A small pasta like penne with ridges is perfect so the sauce clings to it better.
- Ground beef – We prefer lean ground beef to cut back on fat and grease.
- Vegetables – Onion, green bell pepper, and garlic provide a trio of flavor and aromatics.
- Olive oil – To sauté the meat and veggies.
- Seasonings – Salt, pepper, and cracked red pepper flakes.
- Brown sugar – For a hint of sweetness with a touch of molasses flavor.
- Tomato – Ketchup and tomato paste provide the rich tomato flavor we love in sloppy joes.
- Mustard – Lends a nice tangy taste.
- Worcestershire sauce – Adds depth of flavor, and balances out the sweet, savory, and tangy taste.
- Chicken broth – This is added to the other ingredients over a gentle boil for the dry pasta to cook in, absorbing great flavor.
- Cheddar cheese – Shredded cheddar is added in to make the sauce cheesy and creamy!
- Parsley – Used for subtle flavor at the end and a pop of color as garnish.
- Use ground turkey. The ground beef can easily be replaced with ground turkey, if prefered.
- Make it spicy. Stir in some chopped jalapeños along with the onion and bell pepper, or use pepper jack cheese instead of the cheddar.
- Want it richer? Beef broth can be used instead of the chicken broth for a deeper flavor.
How to Make Sloppy Joe Pasta
Sloppy Joe Pasta is so easy to make in just a few simple steps. Here’s a brief summary:
(To make this recipe, just scroll down to the printable recipe card for details and measurements and don’t miss the video below.)
- Brown the beef and veggies. You simply brown the ground beef and vegetables in a nonstick skillet.
- Add the spices and sauce ingredients. Combine and bring to a boil.
- Pour in the pasta. Add in the dry pasta, simmer until al dente, stirring a few times.
- Stir in the cheese. Mix in the cheese until melted. Remove from the heat and serve!
Don’t use the full box of pasta
What to Serve with Sloppy Joe Pasta
- Store. Cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. It is best eaten up within 2-3 days.
- Freeze. You can also freeze it in a freezer-safe container for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight.
- Reheat. Gently reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a bit of chicken broth to loosen, if necessary.
More One Pot Pasta Recipes:
Sloppy Joe Pasta
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 small sweet onion , diced small
- 1/2 small green bell pepper , diced small
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 12 ounces (3 cups) uncooked penne pasta (this is about 3/4 of a box)
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- fresh chopped parsley , for garnish
- Warm oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef, onion, and bell pepper; breaking up the meat into very tiny crumbles with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 5 minutes until beef is cooked through and vegetables are tender. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Drain off grease.
- Stir in tomato paste until thoroughly combined.
- Add in ketchup, water, brown sugar, Worcestershire, mustard, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir well to combine. Cook for a few minutes to thicken slightly.
- Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil; add in the pasta and stir to combine. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer (it should still be bubbling) and cook the pasta until al dente, stirring a few times to ensure it doesn't scorch on the bottom of the pan, 10-13 minutes. (Take a bite and test before continuing.)
- Reduce heat to low and stir in the cheese until melted.
- Remove from heat and serve with a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley and enjoy!