Mississippi Sloppy Joes


🌶️ Mississippi Sloppy Joes: A Savory Southern Delight


Mississippi Sloppy Joes are a mouthwatering twist on the classic sloppy joe, inspired by the beloved Mississippi Pot Roast. This recipe brings together the hearty flavors of lean ground beef, tangy au jus, zesty ranch seasoning, and the vibrant kick of pepperoncini peppers. Perfect for a quick and easy weeknight dinner, these sloppy joes will transport your taste buds to the heart of the South. Let’s dive into this comforting and flavorful dish that’s sure to become a family favorite!

Ingredient Overview

Before we begin cooking, let’s take a closer look at the ingredients that make these Mississippi Sloppy Joes so irresistible:

  • 2 pounds lean ground beef: Opt for 85% lean beef for the best balance of flavor and texture.
  • 4 tablespoons butter: Adds richness and a smooth, creamy texture to the beef mixture.
  • 1 packet au jus gravy mix: Provides a savory, beefy flavor that deepens the taste of the sloppy joes.
  • 1 packet ranch seasoning mix: Infuses the beef with a tangy, herby zest that perfectly complements the au jus.
  • ½ cup pepperoncini pepper rings plus ¼ cup juice from jar: Brings a bright, tangy heat that elevates the overall flavor profile.
  • 8 hamburger buns: Soft and fluffy buns are essential for soaking up all the delicious juices.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

Let’s get started with the cooking process. Follow these detailed steps to create your own batch of Mississippi Sloppy Joes:

Step 1: Brown the Beef

  • Add the ground beef to a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Cook, breaking up the meat as it browns, until fully cooked.
  • Tip: Use a wooden spoon or spatula to ensure even browning.
  • Drain the fat from the beef.

Step 2: Melt the Butter

  • Reduce the heat to low and add the butter to the skillet with the beef.
  • Let it melt completely, stirring occasionally.

Step 3: Season the Beef

  • Once the butter has melted, sprinkle the au jus gravy mix and ranch seasoning mix over the top.
  • Stir well to coat the beef evenly with the seasonings.

Step 4: Add Pepperoncini

  • Stir in the pepperoncini pepper rings and juice plus ½ cup of water.
  • Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
  • Tip: The liquid will reduce down, leaving the beef flavorful but not too saucy.

Step 5: Assemble and Serve

  • Spoon the meat mixture generously over the hamburger buns.
  • Serve hot and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: Can I use a different type of meat? Yes, you can substitute ground turkey or chicken for a lighter version.

Q2: What can I use instead of au jus gravy mix? Beef bouillon powder or beef broth concentrate can work as alternatives.

Q3: Are there vegetarian options? You can use plant-based ground meat substitutes and vegetable broth mix for a vegetarian version.

Q4: How spicy are these sloppy joes? The pepperoncini peppers add a mild heat. Adjust the amount to suit your spice preference.

Q5: Can I make these in advance? Yes, the meat mixture can be made ahead and reheated when ready to serve.

Q6: What sides go well with Mississippi Sloppy Joes? Coleslaw, potato salad, or baked beans are great accompaniments.

Q7: How do I store leftovers? Store leftover meat in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Q8: Can I freeze the meat mixture? Yes, freeze in a sealed container for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat before serving.

Q9: What type of buns should I use? Soft hamburger buns are ideal, but brioche or potato buns also work well.

Q10: How do I reheat the meat mixture? Reheat in a skillet over medium heat, adding a splash of water if needed.

Q11: Can I add cheese to the sloppy joes? Yes, a slice of cheddar or provolone can be a delicious addition.

Q12: Are there gluten-free options? Use gluten-free buns and check seasoning mixes for gluten.

Q13: Can I add vegetables to the meat mixture? Yes, diced onions, bell peppers, or mushrooms can be added.

Q14: What can I do if the mixture is too dry? Add a little more water or beef broth to reach the desired consistency.

Q15: Is there a low-carb version? Serve the meat over lettuce leaves or low-carb buns.

Q16: Can I use fresh peppers instead of jarred pepperoncini? Yes, but the jarred ones add extra tanginess from the pickling juice.

Q17: How can I make these spicier? Add more pepperoncini or a dash of hot sauce.

Q18: Can I use homemade ranch seasoning? Absolutely, homemade seasoning can add a personal touch.

Q19: Are there dairy-free options? Use a dairy-free butter substitute and check seasoning mixes for dairy.

Q20: What can I do with the leftover pepperoncini juice? Use it as a marinade for meats or add it to salad dressings.

Helpful Tips

  1. Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh ground beef and high-quality butter make a big difference.
  2. Season Well: Proper seasoning ensures the best flavor.
  3. Cook Evenly: Break up the meat well to ensure even cooking.
  4. Melt the Butter Slowly: This helps the seasoning mix evenly.
  5. Adjust Spice Level: Modify the amount of pepperoncini to your taste.
  6. Use Soft Buns: They absorb the juices well.
  7. Don’t Skip the Juice: The pepperoncini juice adds essential tang.
  8. Add Cheese: Melting cheese on top can be a delicious addition.
  9. Make Ahead: Prep the meat mixture ahead for quick assembly.
  10. Reheat Gently: Avoid drying out the meat when reheating.
  11. Try Different Meats: Experiment with turkey or chicken.
  12. Add Veggies: Extra veggies can boost nutrition.
  13. Store Properly: Use airtight containers for leftovers.
  14. Freeze Extra: Make a double batch and freeze half.
  15. Serve with Sides: Complement with classic BBQ sides.
  16. Customize Seasoning: Adjust ranch and au jus to taste.
  17. Balance Flavors: Ensure a good mix of savory and tangy.
  18. Garnish: Add fresh herbs for a fresh touch.
  19. Keep It Simple: Sometimes less is more with such rich flavors.
  20. Enjoy Warm: These are best served hot.

Storage Tips

  1. Refrigerate Leftovers: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  2. Freeze for Later: Meat mixture can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  3. Label and Date: Always label your storage containers.
  4. Use Airtight Containers: Prevents freezer burn.
  5. Portion Before Freezing: Makes reheating easier.
  6. Thaw Overnight: Thaw frozen meat in the refrigerator overnight.
  7. Reheat Gently: Use medium heat to prevent drying out.
  8. Add Moisture: A splash of water or broth can refresh the meat.
  9. Use Microwave for Quick Reheat: Microwave in short intervals.
  10. Avoid Re-Freezing: Only freeze once for best quality.

Recipe Secrets

  1. Butter Adds Richness: Don’t skip it!
  2. Season Gradually: Adjust as you go for perfect flavor.
  3. Pepperoncini Balance: Adds a unique tangy kick.
  4. Juice is Key: Enhances overall flavor.
  5. Soft Buns: Essential for absorbing juices.
  6. Customize Heat: Tailor the spice level to your liking.
  7. Use Quality Beef: It’s the star of the dish.
  8. Sauté Vegetables: Add depth with onions or peppers.
  9. Mix Well: Ensure even seasoning distribution.
  10. Let Rest: Allows flavors to meld.
  11. Serve Hot: Best enjoyed warm.
  12. Add Cheese: A delicious, melty addition.
  13. Try Variations: Different meats or buns.
  14. Homemade Seasoning: Personalize with your mix.
  15. Balance Flavors: Aim for a harmonious blend.
  16. Store Properly: Maintains freshness.
  17. Reheat Gently: Preserve moisture.
  18. Garnish Freshly: Herbs add a fresh touch.
  19. Use Fresh Pepperoncini: For an extra crunch.
  20. Enjoy with Sides: Complements the main dish.


Mississippi Sloppy Joes bring a delightful blend of tangy and savory flavors to your dinner table. This easy-to-make recipe, rich with the essence of the South, is sure to become a household favorite. Enjoy the process of cooking and relish the delicious outcome with your loved ones!

Enjoy making and indulging in these flavorful Mississippi Sloppy Joes, and remember to share your culinary success with friends and family!

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