Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sloppy Joes: A Comprehensive Guide


Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sloppy Joes are a delicious twist on a classic comfort food. This unique recipe combines the sweet and tangy flavors of Dr. Pepper with the savory goodness of traditional Sloppy Joes. Popular among families and perfect for quick weeknight dinners, these Sloppy Joes are sure to be a hit. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about making Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sloppy Joes, including variations, tips, and more.

History and Popularity of Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sloppy Joes

The Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sloppy Joes recipe brings together two beloved American classics: Sloppy Joes and Dr. Pepper. Sloppy Joes have been a staple in American cuisine since the early 20th century, known for their simplicity and satisfying taste. The addition of Dr. Pepper, with its unique blend of 23 flavors, adds a sweet and tangy twist that makes this dish stand out.

For more on creating delicious barbecue sauces, check out this homemade BBQ sauce recipe.

Ingredients and Nutritional Information

Basic Ingredients

  • Ground beef
  • Onion
  • Green bell pepper
  • Garlic
  • Tomato paste
  • Dr. Pepper
  • Brown sugar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Mustard
  • Salt and pepper

Nutritional Breakdown

  • Calories: 400-500 per serving
  • Protein: 20-25g
  • Fat: 15-20g
  • Carbohydrates: 30-40g

For tips on selecting the best buns, refer to this guide on best buns for Sloppy Joes.

Preparing the Ingredients

Choosing the Right Ground Beef

  • Lean vs. Regular Ground Beef: Lean ground beef reduces fat content.
  • Reducing Fat: Drain excess fat after browning the beef.

Vegetable Preparation

  • Chopping Onions, Bell Peppers, and Garlic: Ensure even, small pieces for consistent cooking.
  • Alternative Vegetables: Carrots, celery, or zucchini can add extra nutrition and flavor.

Dr. Pepper Selection

  • Regular vs. Diet Dr. Pepper: Both can be used, but regular provides a richer flavor.
  • Flavor Differences: Diet Dr. Pepper can make the dish slightly less sweet.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

Cooking the Beef and Vegetables

  1. Brown the Ground Beef:
    • Heat a skillet over medium heat.
    • Add ground beef and cook until browned. Drain excess fat.
  2. Sauté the Vegetables:
    • In the same skillet, add chopped onion, bell pepper, and garlic.
    • Sauté until vegetables are tender.

Creating the Sauce

  1. Mixing the Sauce:
    • In a bowl, combine tomato paste, Dr. Pepper, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard.
    • Stir until well blended.
  2. Simmering the Sauce:
    • Pour the sauce mixture into the skillet with the beef and vegetables.
    • Simmer over low heat until the sauce thickens and flavors meld together.

Combining and Cooking

  1. Combine the Sauce and Beef Mixture:
    • Stir the sauce into the browned beef and vegetables.
    • Simmer for an additional 10-15 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

Tips for Perfect Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sloppy Joes

  • Achieving the Right Consistency:
    • Ensure the sauce is thick enough to hold the mixture together but not too dry.
  • Enhancing the Flavor:
    • Add a dash of hot sauce for extra heat.
    • Experiment with different types of sugar or sweeteners like honey or molasses.
  • Serving Suggestions:
    • Toast the buns for added texture.
    • Top with cheese, pickles, or coleslaw for extra flavor and crunch.

Variations of Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sloppy Joes

  • Healthier Versions:
    • Use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef.
    • Opt for low-sugar and low-sodium ingredients.
  • Vegetarian and Vegan Options:
    • Substitute with plant-based meat alternatives.
    • Adjust sauce ingredients to ensure they are vegan-friendly.
  • Spicy Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sloppy Joes:
    • Add jalapeños or hot sauce for a spicy kick.
    • Use spicy mustard or pepper jack cheese.

Serving Suggestions

  • Side Dishes:
    • Potato salad, coleslaw, or baked beans are great complements.
  • Beverages:
    • Pair with sodas, beers, or iced tea.
  • Presentation Ideas:
    • Serve on brioche buns or pretzel rolls for a gourmet touch.
    • Garnish with fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley.

Storing and Reheating Tips

  • Proper Storage:
    • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheating Instructions:
    • Reheat in the oven at 300°F (150°C) for 15-20 minutes or in the microwave until heated through.


Can I use Diet Dr. Pepper instead of regular Dr. Pepper?
Yes, Diet Dr. Pepper can be used, though it may slightly alter the sweetness.

How do I prevent the Sloppy Joes from becoming too sweet?
Reduce the amount of brown sugar or use a sugar substitute.

Can I make this dish ahead of time?
Yes, prepare the mixture and refrigerate for up to 24 hours before serving.

What can I use as a substitute for ground beef?
Ground turkey, chicken, or plant-based alternatives work well.

How do I make this dish gluten-free?
Use gluten-free Worcestershire sauce and serve on gluten-free buns.


Dr. Pepper Barbecue Sloppy Joes are a unique and flavorful twist on a classic dish. Whether you follow the traditional recipe or try one of the many variations, this meal is sure to be a hit. Enjoy experimenting with different ingredients and flavors to make it your own!

Internal Linking Opportunities

  • In the section discussing assembling the casserole, you can link to “Ultimate Guide to Making Candied Fruits” with the anchor text: “explore candied fruits to use as mix-ins.”
  • In the section on cooking tips, you can link to “How to Steam Tamales” with the anchor text: “learn the best steaming techniques for other recipes.”
  • In the serving suggestions section, you can link to “Delicious Chipotle Steak Recipe” with the anchor text: “pair your Sloppy Joes with a savory chipotle steak for a balanced meal.”

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