Here are 24 delicious options to serve alongside your Sloppy Joe’s Sandwich. Some are the obvious and others, a complete surprise!
Sloppy Joes are a deliciously messy sandwich made from ground beef, tomato sauce, and several spices. It’s a classic comfort food recipe for lunch or dinner with sweet, tangy, and zesty flavors – while needing tons of napkins!
They’re an easy dinner or lunch that’s retro, messy, overly saucy, but super delicious. Chances are that you’ve had this time-tested family favorite.
First – if you need a good recipe for your sloppy Joe sandwich, look no further than these Healthy Sloppy Joe’s. They don’t rely heavily on sugar or oil as others do. It uses butter, onion, garlic, ground beef, chili powder, dry mustard, tomato paste, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato sauce.
All that delicious flavor with a smooth texture on top of a soft hamburger bun or potato roll.
Now the only difficulty with Sloppy Joe Sandwiches (or any sandwiches for that matter), is what are the best side dishes to go along with it?
So, I’ve rounded up 24 favorite side dishes to go with this classic & delicious meal that’s for sure here to stay.
Sloppy Joe Side Dishes
- Dill pickles
I think it’s only appropriate to kick this list off with some sweet and tangy dill pickles. In contrast to a warm and saucy sloppy Joe sandwich, pickles offer a major texture comparison. The crunchy texture plus the zip that comes from a pickle are what makes them a great side!
- Potato chips
Potato chips are the next no-brainer. You can even put them right next to your dill pickles. Whether they have ridges or they’re kettle-cooked, this is another crunchy side dish that is going to go hand in hand. Dare I say you can even try to make some homemade potato chips to go along!
- Garden salad
Okay, changing things up a bit here for a healthier option. A nice side salad to go along with any sandwich really is always a great move. Admittedly, not always the easiest move – like saying yes to French Fries for instance. However, a salad with some red onions, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, etc with some light lemon vinaigrette would be so delicious and a good change-up next to a messy & heavy sloppy joe.
- Easy Coleslaw Recipe
Keeping the theme of light and healthier, Cole Slaw is tangy like the flavor you get from pickles, but still has that crunchy texture, and refreshing flavor like a garden salad. It’s a classic side dish. Personally, if I’m eating BBQ or things related to it, coleslaw has to be included! Making your own is also extremely easy – just grab a bag of plain shredded cabbage & a bottle of premade dressing! Voila!
- Cucumber Salad
Cucumber salad is a light and refreshing salad of thinly sliced cucumber, red onion, and a light vinaigrette. It’s extremely simple, yet has so much flavor. I love to eat this salad in the summer or warm weather because it’s so minimal to pull together. It would make a great side dish for a sloppy Joe sandwich.
- Baked Beans
Okay, things are getting saucy again. Baked beans are another great staple for BBQ-related foods and tomato-based foods, such as sloppy joes. Make your own by warming a can of beans in a saucepot and adding your own seasonings like ketchup, paprika, chili powder, molasses, and brown sugar! Add another side dish, like coleslaw to this mix and you have a pretty classic trio.
- French Fries or Sweet Potato Fries
The obvious companion to any sandwich is French Fries! They’re crisp on the outside, tender on the inside. What works so well here though, is that if the French Fries accidentally get some sloppy Joe filling on them…they’d be pretty amazing. You can use this recipe Homemade fries for making them right in your own kitchen! Feel free to experiment with regular fries or sweet potato fries!
- Sauteed Spinach
Another easy side dish that’s keeping things light and healthy would be some sauteed spinach. There’s really no simpler green to prepare in my opinion. There’s no slicing or chopping at all. Just heat a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil, some fresh spinach, and season with salt and pepper. Stir around until the spinach wilts (2-3 minutes).
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Roasted Brussels Sprouts can also make a perfectly healthy side dish with charred leaves and deep roasted flavor. They can be crunchy and also tangy, giving quite a contrast. This version also uses parmesan, red pepper flakes, and a bit of lemon juice, so they end up being delicious all on their own.
- Roasted Zucchini
Keeping in the same theme, roasted zucchini would be really nice next to a tomato sauce-based sandwich. Greens and tomato sauce just compliment each other nicely. So you can roast zucchini in the oven or you can sauté some in a pan. Add a drizzle of olive oil and salt & pepper.
- Onion Rings
A heavier side dish, no doubt. Onion rings are a comfort food staple, just like French fries, and would be undoubtedly delicious & greasy next to some sloppy Joe’s. To make these at home you can deep fry, air fry, or oven fry. Or – get a frozen bag of premade onion rings and just toss them onto a baking sheet!
- Classic Macaroni Salad
A macaroni salad (with mayonnaise) is a retro classic that goes hand in hand with your retro sloppy joe! It’s probably something you would have served in the 70s! To make a simple classic macaroni salad you need elbows, mayonnaise, small-diced onion, celery, and carrot, plus a few seasonings to make it stand out!
- Stuffed Garlic Bread
Hear me out on this one. Stuffed Garlic Bread is the type of side dish you’d have for an Italian meal, so what exactly is it doing next to a sloppy joe? Well, for starters, since it’s tomato-based, there’s a perfect opportunity to soak up that sauce with your bread. And if that bread happens to be seasoned with garlic and mozzarella – would you really be mad?
- Cheesy Tater Tots
Cheddar cheese undoubtedly goes well on a sloppy Joe’s sandwich (it’s like chili after all), so what if the cheddar cheese was instead on the side and all over some tots? Addicting, I know. Make them in the air fryer for extra crispiness and, wait for it, top them with some sour cream to really go above and beyond!
- Fruit Salad
You probably didn’t predict this one! But for a summer night – this would be so perfect. Tomatoes have a sweet side that the fruit would compliment and bring out really well. Some cut-up fresh fruit on the side of your dish is the perfect salty-sweet combo. You can use honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries, and really anything else you think sounds good. This is also an easy side dish to pack in case you’re traveling.
- Classic Potato Salad
Much like the classic macaroni salad version, a classic potato salad also made with mayonnaise goes hand in hand. It’s made with creamy potatoes, crunchy celery and onion, and fresh herbs like dill. Add it to your plate for a cold and creamy contrast from the sloppy joes.
- Roasted Baby Potatoes
If you want a warm potato side dish rather than a cold one, roasted baby potatoes would be the perfect option! These get simply roasted with olive oil & herbs until they’re golden brown and crunchy on the outside. Don’t mind me if I mop up that sauce with some potatoes!
- Mac and Cheese
Oh, you guys, I think Mac and Cheese goes with everything. It’s one of my ultimate comfort food dishes. This Healthier Mac and Cheese cuts back unnecessary calories, but is still saucy and so flavorful. The sauce is made from American cheese, cheddar cheese, butter, salt, and milk and doesn’t disappoint. Paired with the ground beef & tomato sauce, this could be a dynamic duo!
- Tortellini Pasta Salad
Rolling right along here with a Tortellini Pasta Salad for another cold side dish option. This one would be perfect if you’re planning an outdoor or summer party! It’s a new take on the classic Italian pasta salad. This one’s got tortellini, prosciutto, spinach, sundried tomatoes, & parmesan!
- Corn on the Cob
Corn on the cob as a side dish here is a no-brainer. In warm summer months, fire up the grill and get the corn charred. You can season it with some salt, pepper, butter, and minced parsley! In colder months, boil your corn as usual, but then give it a nice char on a stovetop grill and season in the same way! Delicious!
- Waffle Fries
I’ve got one more fry option for you – and yes, they are completely different from regular fries! Those crisscross patterns make for more eating surface, more seasoning, and can even act as a base for picking stuff up.
- Green Beans
Here’s another classic veggie that pairs well with tomato-based things. Roasting them or sautéing will give you to most flavor for sure.
- Raw Veggies
Fresh raw vegetables go great here as well, especially raw bell peppers which sometimes wind up in the sloppy joe sauce too. So if you have some leftover, raw peppers, carrots, broccoli, and snap peas on the side with ranch dressing would be a hit.
- Sweet Potato and Peach Hash
I love this side dish because it’s reminiscent of the summer. It’s a sweet potato hash made from sweet potato, peach, and shallots. It’s delicious and the sweetness would bring out the sweetness in the tomatoes!
There you have it! 24 side dishes to go next to your sloppy joe sandwich. I hope you have found your perfect one and never have to wonder what should accompany your plate again!