Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sloppy Joes

Discover the delightful fusion of flavors in Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sloppy Joes, a unique take on the beloved classic. This recipe combines the savory goodness of ground beef, the sweetness of Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce, and the satisfying crunch of onions, all served on soft buns for a quick and delicious meal.


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 2 cups Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sauce
  • 6-8 buns


Cook the Beef:

  1. Start Cooking: In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the ground beef. Season with granulated garlic, kosher salt, and black pepper. Cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon, until it begins to brown.
  2. Add Onions: Stir in the diced onions and continue cooking until the onions are softened and the beef is browned and slightly crispy.

Add Sauce:

  1. Incorporate Barbecue Sauce: Pour in the Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sauce, stirring well to coat the beef mixture evenly. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together. Keep warm until ready to serve or transfer to a slow cooker on the warm setting.


  1. Assemble and Enjoy: Spoon the flavorful mixture onto the bottom halves of the buns. Top with the remaining bun halves and serve immediately.

Serving and Storage Tips :

Make the most out of your Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sloppy Joes with these serving and storage tips to ensure they stay flavorful and enjoyable:

Serving Tips:

  1. Bun Choices: Use soft hamburger buns or brioche buns to complement the savory-sweet flavors of the sloppy joe filling. Lightly toasting the buns can add extra texture and prevent them from becoming soggy.
  2. Toppings and Sides: Enhance your sloppy joes with toppings like sliced pickles, shredded cheese, or a dollop of coleslaw for added crunch and freshness. Serve alongside potato chips, fries, or a side salad to complete the meal.
  3. Portion Control: Spoon the sloppy joe mixture generously onto the buns but avoid overfilling to ensure easy handling and enjoyment without the contents spilling out.
  4. Kid-Friendly: Kids often love sloppy joes! Customize by adjusting the spice level to suit their taste buds, or let them assemble their own sandwiches with their favorite toppings.

Storage Tips:

  1. Refrigeration: Store any leftover sloppy joe mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Ensure it cools completely before refrigerating to maintain freshness.
  2. Freezing: You can freeze the cooked and cooled sloppy joe mixture in freezer-safe containers or resealable bags for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  3. Reheating: Reheat the refrigerated or thawed sloppy joe mixture gently on the stove over medium heat or in the microwave, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of water or extra barbecue sauce if needed to maintain moisture.
  4. Batch Cooking: Consider doubling the recipe and freezing half for a quick meal option on busy days or for future gatherings. It reheats well and retains its flavors after freezing.
  5. Preparation Ahead: You can prepare the sloppy joe mixture ahead of time and keep it warm in a slow cooker on the “warm” setting for serving at parties or gatherings.

Additional Tips:

  • Versatility: Experiment with different types of ground meat such as turkey or chicken for a leaner option, or try a combination of meats for varied flavors.
  • Customization: Adjust the sweetness or tanginess of the sloppy joe sauce by adding a touch more Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce or a hint of brown sugar, according to your taste preferences.
  • Make It Spicy: For a kick of heat, stir in a pinch of cayenne pepper, a dash of hot sauce, or diced jalapenos into the mixture before serving.

By following these serving and storage tips, you can ensure that your Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sloppy Joes are a hit every time. Whether you’re enjoying them fresh off the stove or reheating leftovers, these tips will help maintain the delicious flavors and texture of this satisfying meal.

Variations :

1. Smoky Chipotle Kick:

  • Chipotle Peppers: Add chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to the sloppy joe mixture for a smoky and spicy flavor. Adjust the amount based on your heat preference.

2. Hawaiian-Inspired:

  • Pineapple Twist: Mix in diced pineapple or use pineapple barbecue sauce for a sweet and tangy Hawaiian flair. Top with a slice of grilled pineapple for added tropical flavor.

3. Mediterranean Fusion:

  • Feta and Olives: Stir in crumbled feta cheese and chopped Kalamata olives into the sloppy joe mixture. Garnish with fresh basil or oregano before serving.

4. Tex-Mex Fiesta:

  • Tex-Mex Blend: Add a Tex-Mex twist by incorporating corn kernels, black beans, diced green chilies, and a sprinkle of taco seasoning. Serve with guacamole and sour cream.

5. Sweet and Spicy Mango:

  • Mango Salsa: Mix in mango salsa or diced fresh mango for a sweet and spicy contrast. Garnish with cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice before serving.

6. Italian-Inspired:

  • Caprese Style: Add sliced fresh tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, and mozzarella cheese slices to create a Caprese-inspired sloppy joe. Drizzle with balsamic glaze for extra flavor.

7. Philly Cheesesteak Twist:

  • Bell Peppers and Provolone: Saute diced bell peppers and onions with the ground beef. Mix in provolone cheese slices or shredded cheese for a cheesy Philly cheesesteak variation.

8. Vegan Option:

  • Plant-Based Protein: Use plant-based ground meat or crumbled tofu instead of ground beef. Substitute vegan barbecue sauce and dairy-free cheese for a vegan-friendly version.

9. Korean BBQ Fusion:

  • Kimchi Addition: Incorporate chopped kimchi and a drizzle of gochujang (Korean chili paste) into the sloppy joe mixture for a Korean barbecue-inspired twist. Serve with pickled vegetables.

10. Buffalo Style:

  • Buffalo Sauce Kick: Substitute Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce with buffalo sauce for a spicy buffalo sloppy joe. Top with crumbled blue cheese and chopped celery for a buffalo chicken wing-inspired taste.

Experiment with these variations to create unique and flavorful versions of Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sloppy Joes. Whether you prefer a spicy kick, tropical sweetness, or international fusion, these ideas will help you customize this classic dish to suit your taste preferences and culinary creativity.

FAQs :

Here are answers to frequently asked questions about making and enjoying Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sloppy Joes:

1. Can I use a different type of ground meat?

  • Yes, you can substitute lean ground beef with ground turkey, chicken, pork, or even a meat alternative like plant-based crumbles for a different flavor and texture.

2. What is Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce?

  • Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce is a sweet and tangy sauce infused with the flavors of Dr. Pepper soda. It adds a unique twist to traditional barbecue sauces with its distinct flavor profile.

3. How can I make this dish less sweet?

  • To reduce the sweetness, you can use a barbecue sauce that is less sweet or adjust the amount of Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce used. Balancing it with a bit of acidity like vinegar can also help.

4. Can I make Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce at home?

  • Yes, you can make homemade Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce by combining Dr. Pepper soda, ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and spices. Simmer until thickened.

5. How do I prevent the buns from getting soggy?

  • Toasting the buns lightly before assembling the sloppy joes helps to create a barrier that prevents them from absorbing too much sauce and becoming soggy.

6. Can I prepare the sloppy joe mixture ahead of time?

  • Yes, you can prepare the sloppy joe mixture ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat gently before serving.

7. How can I make this dish spicier?

  • Add diced jalapenos, chipotle peppers, or a dash of hot sauce to the mixture for added heat. Adjust the spice level to suit your preference.

8. What can I serve with Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sloppy Joes?

  • Serve with classic sides like coleslaw, potato chips, or fries. For a healthier option, pair with a side salad or steamed vegetables.

9. Can I freeze Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sloppy Joes?

  • Yes, you can freeze the cooked sloppy joe mixture in an airtight container or freezer bags for up to 2-3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

10. How can I make this dish gluten-free?

  • Use gluten-free buns or serve the sloppy joe mixture over rice or quinoa instead. Ensure all ingredients, including the barbecue sauce, are certified gluten-free.

These FAQs provide helpful tips and answers to common queries about preparing, serving, and customizing Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sloppy Joes. Whether you’re adjusting ingredients or planning ahead, these tips will ensure your dish turns out flavorful and satisfying every time.

Enjoy the simplicity and robust flavors of Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sloppy Joes for your next meal. Whether it’s a busy weeknight or a relaxed gathering, this recipe offers a quick and tasty solution that will satisfy everyone’s cravings. With just a few ingredients and minimal prep time, you can whip up a dish that’s sure to become a family favorite. Serve it alongside coleslaw, potato chips, or a crisp salad for a complete meal that’s as convenient as it is delicious.