Sloppy Joes are an iconic American food. Reminiscent of childhood days, they are a great meal your kids can have but also super fun to serve at family dinners or parties.
In case you don’t know, they are the sloppiest and messiest sandwich (burger?) you could eat. No one gets away without making a mess. Take a burger bun and fill it with saucy ground beef (or ground turkey or chicken if you are looking for a lighter option), top it with BBQ, chipotle sauce, or homemade sloppy joe sauce (check the bottom of the page for links to some of my sloppy joes if you need inspiration). The sky’s the limit!
Deciding what to serve on the side can be tricky, so here are some ideas for the 24 best sides to serve with Sloppy Joes.
Amp up regular mashed potatoes with this yummy combo from Drizzle Me Skinny. Any potato works, it’s down to personal preference, but white is the most common choice. Toss in herbs and garlic, top with cheese, and dig in!
Sloppy Joes can be pretty filling, so a simple salad on the side is a great idea if you’re not starving. This sweet corn salad from Drizzle Me Skinny is easy to make and doesn’t have too many ingredients. Think of a combo of items like corn, onion, feta, cherry tomatoes, and jalapenos with a dash of homemade ranch.
Another lighter option from Drizzle Me Skinny is this refreshing cucumber salad. It’s an interesting take on cucumbers as they aren’t usually the main focus of a dish (besides pickles!), and it tastes delicious. The mix of yogurt, mayo, and sour cream with lemon juice and dill is delightful.
Pasta salad is the ultimate side dish to anything. It’s so diverse that you’ll always be able to find a recipe that works alongside your main. The parmesan cheese, garlic, and seasoning in this Drizzle Me Skinny recipe are delicious and work so well with the flavors of a Sloppy Joe.
This recipe from I Am Homesteader is for when you have a craving for potatoes on the side but not just the usual fries, wedges, or baked potato. Hassleback potatoes are a bit different but give you the fix you’re after. Take a trusty russet, slice it almost to the bottom, coat it with butter, season it, and bake it in the oven. Simple!
6. Potato Salad
This potato salad recipe from A Spicy Perspective uses a lot of the flavors you’d taste in a deviled egg. Think celery seeds, dill, and paprika. It’s deliciously creamy, but if you want to make it a bit healthier sub out some or all of the mayo for fat-free Greek yogurt.
Why not pair two childhood classics together? Mac and cheese and Sloppy Joes! The Chunky Chef has written a tasty recipe for this cheesy delight, using a pretty classic method. Why change something that works?
Another classic side, but so versatile. There are a million different coleslaw recipes out there these days, how on earth can you choose? This recipe from Joy Food Sunshine is a pretty standard coleslaw, so it’s a surefire win taste-wise and the best part is, you can make it in five minutes!
When you want to go all out, I Am Homesteader’s dish won’t disappoint. I don’t know about you, but for a regular dinner when I’ve made something, in this case a Sloppy Joe, the last thing I want to do is make a whole another dish just to accompany it. However, on special occasions or for parties, it’s sometimes warranted. So grab your potatoes, garlic, and cajun spice and get smashing!
Air-fried and also Keto, you don’t need to feel guilty when piling these puppies on your plate. Wholesome Yum devised this recipe using only seven ingredients. Read the whole post because there is also a link to an air fryer Bloomin’ Onion…
I Heart Naptime bakes these fries instead of frying them to keep them on the healthy side. Longer sweet potatoes work best, ones that are smoother in shape. The recipe post gives plenty of seasoning options, including everything from spicy garlic to cinnamon sugar. Yum!
You haven’t lived until you’ve made your pickles. They are seriously addictive, and there isn’t a more delicious way to serve a cucumber pickle. Kitchen Fun With My Three Sons has written a brilliant recipe with no canning required, simply just refrigeration. The garlic gives it a brilliant kick.
Natasha’s Kitchen has transformed a potato gratin recipe into a garlicky zucchini bake. If you like creamy sauces and cheese, (let’s face it who doesn’t?), this is going to make your day.
About A Mom bakes these tasty asparagus spears in garlic and parmesan. I mean, if in doubt just throw garlic and cheese at something to make it taste great, right? It’s sure the case here, each spear is beautifully crispy and has a delicious flavor.
15. Mushroom Rice
Rice is a great go-to side for almost anything. For a bit of a change than just plain rice, this mushroom rice recipe from The Tortilla Channel adds plenty of flavor as well as vegetables to your meal. It lets you in on a little secret - if you cook your rice in broth versus water it’ll be much, much tastier.
Another rice dish, but this time with some spice. Eating On A Dime incorporates spices such as paprika, red pepper flakes, and garlic into the seasoning. The rice is fried in butter before being boiled in chicken broth, giving it a different flavor and texture from ordinary rice.
17. Melting Potatoes
Bet you didn’t know that potatoes could melt, did you? Family Fresh Meals shares their family recipe from the South, explaining that they are so tender they melt in your mouth. There are quite a few steps to achieve this tender texture. However, it is so worth it!
These are a hit with all ages, so if you have any picky eaters coming to dinner, these are a safe bet. They have a super crunchy exterior contrasting with the moist inside of the zucchini. Natasha’s Kitchen adds in a dip as well, a delightful aioli sauce.
An easy side to a Sloppy Joe is to gather whatever veg you have on hand and chuck it in a roasting pan. Ideally, it’ll be a colorful variety including root vegetables for some substance. This recipe from Two Peas And Their Pod guides you through it if you’re new to cooking, with some great tips.
A classic pesto pasta salad is easy to whip up, the ideal criterion for a side dish. This recipe from Real + Vibrant adds chopped mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, and red onion. It also gives the recipe for homemade basil pesto, should you have the time to whiz that up in your blender instead of opting to use pesto from a jar.
Cooking Classy takes a classic macaroni salad and fills it with nutrients and antioxidants by adding a rainbow of vegetables. The dressing is made from mayo, Greek yogurt, mustard, honey, vinegar, and salt and pepper. You can sub in whatever vegetables you have on hand, just be sure to finely chop them all so they don’t overwhelm the tiny macaroni pieces.
The sweet potatoes are roasted in avocado oil. After roasting, they are cooled before stirring in the salad dressing. This is the usual mayo and red onion but with chopped cilantro for a slightly different flavor. You can also add mouthwatering seasoning mixture of salt, garlic powder, onion powder, basil, dried thyme, and oregano. 40 Aprons recommends that it tastes best served immediately or at room temperature, not straight from the fridge.
Sweet potato has is a simple, yet delicious side dish. Two Kooks In The Kitchen divulge a sneaky shortcut for this one too. If you microwave the sweet potato a little before you roast it, the cooking time is greatly reduced. They also highlight that any leftover veggies you need to use up can be easily added to this tasty hash.
This recipe from Easting Well 101 makes a tasty side for a Sloppy Joe, complimenting the flavors well. It’d make a tasty side to a lot of things! The main ingredients you need are as you’d guess - honey, mustard, and potatoes! The potatoes are cooked in a skillet rather than baked or roasted, and they do throw in some extra ingredients like garlic and onion to amp up that flavor.
What to serve with Sloppy Joes (24 simple ideas)
- Herb & Garlic Cheesy Mashed Potatoes
- Sweet Corn Salad
- Creamy Cucumber Salad
- Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Salad
- Hassleback Potatoes
- Potato Salad
- Mac and Cheese
- Garlic Cajun Smashed Potatoes
- Air Fryer Onion Rings
- Sweet Potato Fries
- Refrigerated Dill Pickles
- Zucchini Potato Bake
- Garlic Parmesan Asparagus
- Mushroom Rice
- Texas Roadhouse Seasoned Rice (Copycat Recipe)
- Melting Potatoes
- Crispy Fried Zucchini Bites
- Roasted Vegetables
- Pesto Pasta Salad
- Rainbow Macaroni Salad
- Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
- Vegetarian Sweet Potato Hash
- Honey Mustard Potatoes
- Choose your favorite recipe.
- Click the link of your favorite recipe.
- Follow the instructions of the linked recipe.