When I think of fast dinners that I can whip up in a matter of minutes, Sloppy Joes are always one that comes to mind. We have a couple of sloppy joe recipes that I make all the time (our Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes are my husband’s favorite!), but I was ready to try something new!
These Hawaiian Sloppy Joes are a fun twist on an old classic. The homemade sauce is made using simple ingredients and is sweet and flavorful. The cooked bacon adds so much flavor as well . . . these Hawaiian Sloppy Joes might become your new favorite!
How to make Hawaiian sloppy joes
- Cook your bacon in the oven (instructions below).
- Add the bacon droppings to a large skillet and cook ground beef, green pepper, and onions in the pan until beef is no longer beef.
- In a bowl, mix together Hawaiian sauce ingredients, then add to skillet.
- Let the ground beef simmer in the sauce for 25-30 minutes to really let the flavors meld together. Add cooked and chopped bacon in with the meat.
- Serve each sloppy joe on a toasted bun with a pineapple ring and sliced jalapenos (the jalapenos are optional, but they add an amazing flavor if you like the heat!).
How to cook bacon in the oven
If you haven’t tried cooking bacon in the oven before, you are missing out! I love making my bacon this way because I don’t have to deal with grease splattering all over my stove top and I can cook a lot of bacon all at once.
To cook bacon in the oven, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. I would recommend using a heavy duty foil or two sheets of thin foil – this will make clean up so much easier!
Lay strips of bacon in a single layer on the foil, making sure they don’t overlap. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes (start checking the bacon at 15 minutes because all ovens vary).
Remove pan from oven and place bacon slices on a plate lined with paper towels.
Pour the bacon grease from the baking pan into a large skillet – that’s what you are going to use to cook your ground beef, peppers, and onions. The flavor that comes from this is SO GOOD!
My favorite kitchen tool
When people ask what my favorite kitchen tool is, I always tell them the Chop Stir (it’s the white thing that’s pictured above).
Whenever I am browning ground beef, ground turkey, or ground sausage, this tool is my favorite! You get evenly cooked and evenly crumbled meat every single time – no more random chunks of meat.
This isn’t sponsored – I just really want everyone to know about this because it’s my favorite!
The secret sauce
The thing that takes these sloppy Joes over the top is the homemade Hawaiian sauce. These are the ingredients in the sauce:
- brown sugar
- liquid smoke
- apple cider vinegar (or white vinegar will work as well)
- pineapple juice
- soy sauce (I always use reduced-sodium soy sauce)
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Side dishes to serve with Hawaiian Sloppy Joes:
- Mom’s Easy Potato Salad
- Loaded Broccoli Salad
- Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
- Mom’s Homemade Pasta Salad
Hawaiian Sloppy Joes Recipe
- 5 strips bacon
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 red onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¾ cup ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon hot sauce optional
- 1 (20 ounce) can pineapple slices (reserve juice)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 hamburger buns
- 12 jalalpeno slices optional topping
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Lay strips of bacon in a single layer on the foil, making sure they don't overlap. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes (start checking the bacon at 15 minutes because all ovens vary).
- Remove pan from oven and place bacon slices on a plate lined with paper towels. Crumble bacon and set aside.
- Pour 2-3 Tablespoons of bacon drippings into a large skillet pan. Heat the pan on a stove top over medium-high heat. Add in ground beef, diced onions, and diced green pepper.
- Cook for about 4-5 minutes, then add in garlic and ginger. Continue to cook until beef is no longer pink and is fully cooked through. Drain grease.
- In a medium bowl, mix together ketchup, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, liquid smoke, soy sauce, hot sauce, and 1/3 cup pineapple juice reserved from the can of pineapple slices.
- Bring ground beef mixture and sauce to a simmer, then cover pan with a lid and reduce heat to low. Let ground beef mixture and sauce simmer on low heat for 25-30 minutes to let the flavors meld together.
- Add in crumbled bacon, salt, and pepper when ground beef is done simmering.
- Scoop onto a toasted hamburger bun and then top with a pineapple ring and jalapeno slices.
Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites
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Our favorite way to make ground beef is in our Instant Pot! Watch how you can do that here: