Tex Mex Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes have a really bad reputation. They are showcased in every single movie or television show being the lunch that no one wants to eat. They are served by the hairnet wearing, gross lunch ladies. For some reason, I never thought badly about sloppy joes, they were the very first meal that I knew how to make. Back in college, I used to cook for my girlfriends and one of the meals in my repertoire was Sloppy Joes. I would brown ground turkey, add in some chopped onions and peppers, and smother them with chili sauce. It was quick, easy, and generally a crowd-pleaser.

In our household, we have tried buffalo sloppy joes, but I was interested in the idea of a “tex-mex” version. I must admit I was very easily persuaded by the idea of piling guacamole high onto the bun. These came together with ease and I loved that they came together with staple pantry ingredients. The only thing that I had to buy was a six-pack of beer which led us to have to drink the remaining beers with our dinner (what a tragedy). The sauce was the perfect balance of spice with some cooling effects from the guacamole and cheese. The sandwich itself is a bit messy, but I guess that is the reason why they are named sloppy. I promise that these will be a welcome addition to your dinnertime routine, think of it as an updated classic!

Tex Mex Sloppy Joes

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 26 minutes
Total Time 41 minutes
Course Sandwich
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4


  • 1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 tsp chipotle powder
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/4 lbs ground chicken turkey, or beef
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 12 oz beer such as a light ale or lager
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

For serving:

  • 6 warm hamburger buns
  • Guacamole
  • cheddar


  • Whisk together tomato sauce, chipotle chile powder, oregano, ground cumin, smoked paprika, allspice, cayenne, and Worcestershire sauce in a medium bowl until fully combined.
  • In a large skillet brown meat of your choice over medium heat, stirring occasionally until no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Drain off any fat. Add the canola oil to the pan with the browned meat, add the onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour the prepared tomato mixture into the skillet followed by the beer, ketchup, and cilantro. Stir until well combined.
  • Bring to a low simmer over medium heat then reduce the heat to medium-low heat and cook uncovered for 15 minutes (I ended up covering mine for the last 5 minutes since the sauce didn’t seem to be evaporating much). Stir in the lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste, as needed. Serve on warm buns with toppings.
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