Barbecue Sloppy Joes with Horseradish Coleslaw

Growing up, I recall my mom making slopping joes by basically dumping in mustard, ketchup, and other seasonings until she liked the way it tasted. If we were lucky, there was a can of Manwich that made it extra special. Thankfully, I have my own kitchen to experiment in and now I have hit the nail on the head with these lil’ joes.

One of my favorite memories from when I was little was going to Ryan’s buffet and making a “Messy Jessi” this was my genius creation: tortilla, taco meat, nacho cheese, tortilla, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, and olives. So messy that I needed to use a fork. I thought of a brilliant plan to open a restaurant called “Messy Jessi’s” and serve the messiest foods possible. I was a brilliant 8 year old.

Making these sloppy joes today took me on a trip down memory lane because I would have definitely included these bad boys on the menu. My dear husband mows them down without a fork but I don’t dare attempt it without one.

Barbecue Sloppy Joes with Horseradish Coleslaw

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Barbecue Sloppy Joes:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced with membranes and seeds removed
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
  • Hamburger buns, for serving
  • Horseradish Coleslaw, for serving

Horseradish Coleslaw:

  • 1 package coleslaw mix
  • 2/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup horseradish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic

Directions: Prepare the vegetables by dicing the pepper and onion, mincing the garlic, and mincing the jalapeno after removing the seeds and membranes. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the vegetables, season generously with salt and pepper, and cook until the onion is translucent. Toss the ground beef into the skillet and cook the meat until it is completely browned, breaking it up as it cooks. After the meat is completely cooked through stir in the tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, and ground mustard. Allow the mixture to cook down 5-10 minutes or until thickened. Serve on hamburger buns with the horseradish coleslaw.

For the coleslaw: In a medium size mixing bowl stir together the mayo, horseradish sauce, vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, celery salt, pepper, and garlic. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Stir in the coleslaw mix until the dressing has evenly coated all of the vegetables. Set aside until you are ready to serve the sloppy joes. Serve the coleslaw on top of the meat or on the side.

Step-by-Step Photos


Here are our cast of characters for the joes: ground beef (duh), barbecue sauce, tomato sauce, halfa onion, red pepper, jalapeno, garlic, ground mustard, apple cider vinegar, worcestershire sauce, and good ol’ salt and pepper. Nothing too scary!


Prep those veggies and make sure to wash your hands very well after cutting up the jalapeno. My fingers burned all evening after handling that little bugger.


Heat some oil in a large skillet and toss your veggies on in, isn’t this purty?

Yes, yes it is!

Go ahead and season the veggies with plenty of salt and pepper.


Cook these beautiful vegetables until the onion is translucent. Bask in the delightful smells you are surrounded in.


Now add in the ground beef and cook it down until it is completely browned.


Break up the meat as it cooks. Keep going until the beef is no longer pink.


Now it’s time to turn the flavor on high! Add the tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, and ground mustard.


Mix everything together until well combined.


Cook the mixture down for 5-10 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Give the meat a taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary.


Pile the meat on a hamburger bun, don’t skimp!

You know what? This stuff would be amazing on a fresh biscuit or one of those jalapeno Hawaiian rolls. Oh lawdy!


Now, this is very important, plop a dollop of horseradish coleslaw on top. The coleslaw brings this whole meal full circle.

A circle of deliciousness.

I’m clever.

Okay, so if the idea of putting the coleslaw on your sandwich doesn’t sound appetizing you can definitely eat it as a side dish, but don’t say I didn’t tell you how amazing these elements are together.

Also, sorry for not having photos of the coleslaw creation. I didn’t think I would put so much emphasis on the coleslaw until after the fact. Maybe next time.

Either way, enjoy this sandwich with a fork and a pile of napkins. Really dig in!


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