Sloppy Joes are such a classic sandwich that one bite will instantly take you back to your childhood. It will make you reminisce about how much fun you had eating such a messy and delicious meal. But who says you can’t have them as an adult?
Sloppy Joes are a breeze to make, not to mention super affordable. So go ahead, invite your childhood friends over and have a blast looking back on the good old days while enjoying this sweet and savory sandwich.
But before you plan the meal, you may want to think about what to serve with Sloppy Joes. I mean, sure, it’s already a delicious meal by itself, but why not kick things up a notch for your guests?
Whether it’s a weeknight family meal, game night, or a get together with friends, here are 16 side dishes that pair perfectly with Sloppy Joes. Grab your plate and let’s dig in!
1. Baked Beans
Sloppy Joe’s and baked beans is perhaps the most classic combo ever. I don’t know who came up with the idea, but these two really complement each other. Making this side dish is very simple, just add brown sugar and bacon bits to the beans and bake. Easy peasy!
2. Potato Chips
How perfect is a bag of potato chips to go with your sloppy joe’s? It is light and crispy, which gives a nice contrast to the softness of the sandwich. Use the chips to scoop up the meat bits falling off your sandwich and gobble. Or, you can also eat them like nachos and top the chips with some of that lovely meat sauce. Yum! Most importantly, it is effortless to prepare: open the bag, place the chips on a bowl, and you’re done.
If you want a healthier option and eat guilt-free, though, you can make your own potato chips instead. Season thinly sliced potatoes with salt, pepper, and paprika, and into the oven, they go.
3. Tater Tots
To me, nothing better goes with potatoes than cheese. Those two are truly a match made in heaven. So why not make yourself and your friends some cheesy tater tots to go with your Sloppy Joes? Both dishes are so decadent and flavorful, you surely must make more.
4. Mac and Cheese
These two are a match made in heaven. The cheesy mac pairs perfectly with the sweet and savory Sloppy Joe. Classic comfort food that even the kids will agree on.
Quick Tip: For extra creamy mac and cheese, use rich cream in your recipe instead of milk. You can also use a combo of half milk and half cream.
5. Potato Salad
If you haven’t noticed yet, I love me some potatoes. And with sides, the classic potato salad never disappoints. It’s hearty, creamy, tender, and easy to make.
Here’s a tip when prepping your salad: boil the potatoes whole, do not slice them just yet! Doing so helps keep the spuds’ sweetness.
Once they’re cooked (and cooled to room temperature), mix it with dijon mustard, pickles, your choice of veggies, and some sour cream and mayo dressing.
6. Sweet Potato Hash
From potatoes to sweet potatoes! Sweet potato hash is sweet and starchy, which blends well with the flavors of the sandwich. Plus, the crunchiness of the sweet potato chunks is a terrific contrast to the softness of Sloppy Joes.
7. Dill Pickles
The spiciness and crunchiness of dill pickles offer a wonderful contrast to your sloppy joes. They’re easy to make at home, as well!
You’ll need cucumbers, of course. Slice the cucumbers in half, lengthwise, and use your spiralizer to create beautifully shaped veggies. Then, take some red onions and spiralize them as well.
Place the cucumber and onion spirals into a jar and add some chopped dill fronds. Pour some water and vinegar onto the jar and flavor it with salt and pepper.
Cover the jar tightly and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 4 hours.
8. Macaroni Salad
Now, this side dish is excellent if you’re feeding a starving crowd. It’s hearty and delicious, just like Sloppy Joes, making them a perfect combination.
9. Pasta Salad
Give your Sloppy Joe dinner an Italian flair by pairing it with a rustic pasta salad. Picture this: a bowl of penne pasta accompanied by cucumbers, basil, black olives, cherry tomatoes, and drizzled with red wine vinegar. Now, that’s some superb dish to complement your decadent sandwich.
10. Corn on the Cob
You and your guests are most likely going to make a mess while devouring your Sloppy Joes, so while you’re at it, why not have some corn on the cob? They are just as enjoyable to eat as Sloppy Joes and the flavors taste great together!
If you have the time, you can prepare your corn Mexican style and make an elote. Don’t worry, it’s not that hard to make.
To make, slather the ears of corn with cold butter. Then, grill the corn for 15 to 20 minutes. While they’re grilling, combine mayo and chili powder. After grilling, slather the corn with your mayo and chili concoction. Then, load your corn with crumbled cojita cheese, paprika, and cilantro.
See, that wasn’t so hard, right? Make sure to take a photo of the whole group in the middle of dinner to commemorate the fun… and the mess!
Coleslaw and Sloppy Joes make a great pair. Plus, the cool temperature of the coleslaw makes a perfect contrast. Sweet, creamy, and always delicious. This combo always reminds me of a summer picnic.
12. Stuffed Peppers
I know that Sloppy Joes are the star of the meal, but these Stuffed Poblano Peppers are so irresistibly good they might just steal the show.
Now, what to stuff your peppers with? For the base, you need to add some grains, such as brown or white rice and quinoa. Add your favorite beans and veggies, and top with cilantro and cheese. Pop in the oven and they’re done!
13. Garlic Bread
AKA a fantastic way to clean up your messy and meaty plate. Sandwich and bread? Heck yeah! This is especially ideal when you’re feeding a starving crowd. Whether you buy them from your favorite bakery or make them yourself, they’ll surely be a big hit.
14. Onion Rings
Here’s another classic side dish that will make your dinner even more exciting. Onion rings bring a nice crunch to the meal, which balances out the softness of the sandwich. And, just like Sloppy Joes, they’ll also bring out the kid in you! Here’s a tip when making onion rings: if you want them to be extra crispy, be sure to add cornstarch in the batter. Also, give it an interesting twist and add beer to the batter.
15. Mashed Cauliflower
If you are obsessed with mashed potatoes but are trying to lead a healthier life, this side dish is definitely for you. Sure, mashed cauliflower may not taste the same, but it is equally delicious! Try it and I guarantee you won’t regret it.
For the cheese, I suggest you use cream cheese and goat cheese. That way you’ll a lightly textured mashed cauliflower. Serve it with your tender and savory sloppy joe and you’ll experience pure bliss.
16. Waffle Fries
I can’t end this list without this classic side dish. You really can never go wrong with Sloppy Joes and fries. Fries are salty and crispy, a wonderful way to balance out the tenderness of the sandwich. And, what better way to sop up the Sloppy Joe mess than with a few pieces of fries?