Not sure what to serve with sloppy joes? We’ve got your back with these 10 delicious sides to make this family favorite shine.
These sandwiches have a rich tradition in the United States, dating back to a café in Sioux City, Iowa in the 1930s. Today this quick and budget-friendly meal is a staple in almost every American home.
Ground beef is the hero of this dish, bringing the blissful combination of sweet and savory flavors together.
Ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard usually make up the core of the juicy sauce component. While sugar, garlic, and chili powder give extra oomph to the taste. And then there’s the soft bun to soak up that sauce and deliver the mixture to your mouth.
What to Serve with Sloppy Joes
This protein-rich and carb-laden delight makes for a hearty meal.
A lighter side dish is often ideal, but you can serve almost anything with these sandwiches. Serving something creamy alongside your sloppy joes will complement their spicy flavor.
Finding that perfect pairing for this golden classic is easy. And, with our list of 10 tasty sides, you’re sure to delight your family and friends.
1. Potato Chips
If you’re pressed for time, we’ve got a few quick solutions for you. One is potato chips, often found in a supporting role to a starring sandwich or sub.
A bag of plain salted crisps will do the trick, bringing balance to the sandwich’s sweet and savory sauce. But, if you have the time, you can make your own potato chips.
If you have a few minutes to spare, you can take your store-bought crisps up a notch. Bake them on a tray on medium heat for 5 minutes. When warm and extra crispy, sprinkle them with your favorite seasonings, like garlic and mustard powder.
2. Dill Pickles
Dill pickles are a zero-hassle accompaniment to your sloppy joes. They add that crunchy component that’s missing in the sandwiches. The refreshing pickle juice will also cut straight through the oily sloppy joe mixture.
If you’re not too rushed, you can add some flavor to them with almost any spice or flavorant you prefer. For example, add either mustard seeds, black peppercorns, or cinnamon sticks to the jar. Then refrigerate them for at least 8 hours before serving.
Of course, you can make your own dill pickles, but it will be at least 4 weeks before they’re ready.
3. Crispy Fries
Whether its French or waffle fries, sloppy joes and fries are a match made in heaven. For maximum crispness, soak your cut potatoes in cold water overnight before frying.
The salty crispness of the fries makes for an excellent contrast to the rich, juicy sloppy joe mixture. For a healthier option, try sweet potato fries or cook your fries in an air fryer.
Sloppy joes remind me of summer and barbecues. And no barbeque is complete without coleslaw.
The crisp cabbage and carrots will pair harmoniously with the saucy sloppy joe mix and soft bun. And the creamy mayonnaise is sure to counteract the spiciness of the mixture superbly.
Squeeze in some lemon or lime juice to take your coleslaw experience to elevate your coleslaw. Add some lime zest to your slaw to take it to the next level.
5. Potato Salad
Another great summer side is potato salad, which also pairs perfectly with sloppy joes. A sweet and creamy potato salad will couple well with the chili powder in the mixture.
Drizzle some vinegar over your cooked potatoes while they cool to add some zing to your salad. Or, if you’d like to serve a crispy side, you can roast your potatoes instead of boiling them.
6. Onion Rings
These are the classic partners to many sandwiches and burgers of the world. With their crisp battered exterior and divine sweet onion inside, there’ll be smiles all around the dinner table.
Soak the onion in ice water for an hour before applying the batter. This will ensure you get that gorgeous, sweet-tasting onion flavor.
For additional crispness, dip your onions in the milk or buttermilk and flour twice. Double-dipping this way will also help to keep the batter intact.
7. Baked Beans
Another absolute classic pairing is sloppy joes and baked beans. Their tomato-based sauciness compliments the sloppy joe mix to perfection.
But, if you want to jazz your baked beans up a bit, add some onions, bacon bits, and pineapple chunks to them. You can fry these and add them to the beans.
Or you can mix the raw ingredients in with the beans and bake them. Add a tablespoon of sugar to the mixture for a sweeter taste.
8. Green Salad
A simple green salad is a fantastic accompaniment to your sloppy joes. It’s so cost-effective and easy to make. And it will bring a fresh, light, and crisp element to your meal.
Crisp lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and avocados make for a great salad. Finish it off with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and balsamic vinegar, and you’re good to go.
Not keen on a run-of-the-mill salad? Spruce it up with chopped bell peppers, hard-boiled egg wedges, or some crisp grilled corn. Top it with bite-sized blocks of cheddar, feta cheese chunks, or grate some parmesan cheese over it.
9. Pasta Salad
While we’re on the topic of salad, an Italian-inspired pasta salad is a great partner for your sloppy joes. It will bring a cooling balance to the warm and spicy sandwich. The pasta will also absorb the sauce nicely.
It’s best served using fusilli, penne, or macaroni. The dish usually includes cherry tomatoes, cucumber, fresh basil, and mozzarella cheese.
Make it stand out by adding pitted black olives, fresh baby spinach, pine nuts, and herb dressing.
10. Green Beans
Super healthy and deliciously crunchy, green beans are a perfect match with any meal.
Their crispy texture will add a different dimension to the soft and succulent sandwiches. They’re also light and easy to prepare. You can grill, roast, or fry them.
For next-level green beans, top them with almond flakes and shallots fried in butter and lemon juice. You won’t be disappointed.