Sloppy joe sandwiches on the old-fashioned hamburger bun are a classic main dish. You cannot forget about that delicious sloppy joe sauce!
You may remember them from your childhood family gatherings or school cafeterias, but the dish has continued to endure decades after its initial popularity. There are endless variations on this recipe, which can range wildly in quality, depending on how it is prepared.
However, some right sides just go together with sloppy joes! While you could enjoy these dishes on their own, they have been specifically chosen because they taste great when paired with this messy comfort food delight!
No matter what kind of preparation method you choose for your sloppy joes, whether baked or cooked on the stove, sandwich or little sliders, homemade or a can of Manwich, an easy side dish will complement this hearty sandwich perfectly.
Not to mention, these favorite sides are all great ideas and easy recipes!
Here’s the scoop on the 50 best side dishes to serve with sloppy joes.
1. Potato Chips
You could always buy some at your local grocery store if it is a busy weeknight for an easy dinner. The combination of homemade sloppy joes and crunchy potato skins is a match made in heaven.
Add on some veggies like scallions, tomato slices, avocado chunks, olives, etc., and you’ve got yourself a filling meal!
2. Parmesan Potatoes
These crisp, delicious potato wedges make an excellent accompaniment to your sloppy joes! They’re very easy to make and taste great because of their buttery, parmesan cheese flavor.
Another good thing about this dish is that it only takes 30 minutes to prepare!
3. Mashed Potatoes
Mashed potatoes are another classic comfort food for sloppy joes.
They make a nice creamy contrast to the rich meatiness of these sandwiches, especially if you go with garlic mashed potatoes. These will cut through the heaviness of the dish while adding some much-needed garlicky flavor!
This is a perfect recipe for a side dish.
4. Fresh Veggies & Ranch Dip
Fresh veggies make for a perfect pairing with sloppy joes, not only because of the contrast in colors but also because they’ll provide you with lots of health benefits like vitamins and minerals.
All you need are some veggies: green pepper, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.
Just make sure to skip adding dressings or anything else on top of this dish so you can avoid making this the wrong way by messing up the flavors; nevertheless, this is one side dish you won’t want to skip when making your sandwiches.
An easy coleslaw recipe is always a great way to accompany any kind of barbecue sandwich, kebab, or even pulled pork sandwiches!
Of course, it’s best served with sloppy joes as well. This crunchy, tangy and slightly sweet salad consists of finely shredded vegetables like cabbage and carrots that have been dressed in a mayo-vinegar dressing.
This creamy coleslaw is perfect for cooling down the heat from the spices in the sloppy joes.
6. Waffle Fries
For the family favorite, crispy waffle fries. They are usually seasoned with salt and black pepper, but there are different ways to spice your fries.
7. Corn On The Cob
Corn on the cob is a great alternative to french fries if you are craving something more unique. The sweetness of the corn balances out the saltiness of the sandwich while providing a nice crunchy texture that goes well with this dish.
8. Caesar Salad
Caesar salads make a great side dish to sloppy joes because of how delicious and nutritious they are. Not only is there Romaine lettuce in this salad, but it also has parmesan cheese and croutons which add extra flavors and textures.
You can use your caesar dressing or simply use olive oil with some lemon juice for an even simpler yet still utterly wonderful flavor combination when mixed with all the ingredients involved.
9. Baked Potato
Another carb-heavy side dish that’s perfect for sloppy joes is a baked potato.
This one features a soft and tender interior which goes well with the soft buns from this sandwich. Additionally, it also has skin that provides a nice crunch! You can top it up with sour cream, chives, or cheese as you see fit!
10. Cowboy Beans
If you need a good reason to make cowboy beans this is it!
This quick-fire recipe only requires six ingredients: ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, and bacon. This is the perfect dish for when you’re in a hurry or just don’t have enough ingredients in your kitchen!
It only takes 15 minutes to prepare this tasty dish. This means that everyone will be enjoying it before you know it! You could even try making it in an instant pot!
11. French Fries
If you like your sloppy joes with a bit more heat, then go for the spicy version of this sandwich which includes jalapeno peppers.
This will be even better if you serve something to cool down your palette afterward. French fries are very effective at neutralizing the spiciness from hot peppers!
French fries are also a perfect side dish to have. Just be sure not to take a huge bite out of these or else the flaming fury of the jalapeno may attack your taste buds and make you not enjoy your meal as much!
12. Roasted Vegetables
Roasted vegetables are a wonderful complement to your sloppy joes due to their contrasting textures between the crispy outside and soft inside.
You could always bake some potato wedges, zucchini, or even make some green beans.
Plus, they’re low in fat and a good source of fiber which is great for two reasons: you can feel more satisfied while eating them and it’ll mean less chance of feeling sluggish later on!
If you have any leftovers from this dish, be sure to keep them so you can add them to your sandwich later. Yum!
13. Cornbread Muffins
It’s also very easy to make, just grab some muffin mix! You’ll have a delicious batch of bread ready in no time.
Alternatively, you can always buy them at the grocery store!
14. Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Garlic mashed potatoes are another great alternative to French fries if you want something that’s less greasy but still packs plenty of flavors.
The creamy interior brings out the creaminess in your sloppy joes making this the perfect match!
15. Onion Rings
16. Grilled Cheese
Most people think that grilled cheese is a relatively modern invention, but they are actually quite popular in many countries around the world.
The sandwich features two slices of bread with gooey melted cheddar cheese between them. This classic does an excellent job at complementing the flavor of your sloppy joes.
17. Pasta Salad
Pasta salad gives you that creamy taste and crunch that you need when eating sloppy joes. It is a perfect choice!
18. Macaroni and Cheese
The best thing to have with a sloppy joe is macaroni and cheese.
This makes for a wonderful pairing with your sloppy joes because of its creaminess; the sauce is very mild which means it won’t take away from the flavor of your sandwich, but instead compliment it nicely!
Macaroni and cheese is a great option. You can make this dish in no time at all!
19. Garden Salad
A nice garden salad isn’t just healthy for you, it tastes wonderful as well!
This side dish features crisp lettuce leaves and fresh herbs that make an excellent pairing for your sloppy joes due to their soft texture and refreshing flavors.
You could also add bell peppers and cherry tomatoes for a little extra crunch with some feta cheese on top if you are looking for more than a simple green salad. It’s also great for people who prefer lighter dishes!
It makes a great match due to its intense sweetness. The two extremes really complement each other well.
21. Buttered Noodles
Buttered noodles are a classic side dish that packs plenty of flavors and makes an excellent accompaniment for your sloppy joes. It takes about the same amount of time to make as well, which means you can whip it up in no time!
It’s also very easy to pour into one bowl so everyone can enjoy it at the same time and also makes for a delicious meal!
22. Classic Potato Salad
Classic potato salad can instantly bring any meal to life by sprucing up its flavor profile. Plus it goes really well with most things even on its own!
For something extra, try adding some dill pickles to it. It has a creamy texture with that pickle crunch that complements sandwiches nicely while offering an extra something to munch on.
23. Cheesy Garlic Breadsticks
Cheesy garlic breadsticks are crispy, buttery, and flavorful. This makes it an ideal side dish to serve alongside any meal.
But what makes this particularly great as a pairing with your messy joes is that they both have a creamy component to them. Whether that be the cheese you put inside the breadsticks or the sauce in your sandwich!
24. Zucchini Fries
Zucchini is one of those veggies that’s surprisingly versatile. It tastes delicious on its own plus you can bread and fry it up if you want something else out of it, like these zucchini fries.
These fries are healthy as well as tasty!
One of the best side dishes to serve alongside sloppy joes because of how crispy they come out when fried, with a wonderful garlicky flavor that’ll make your taste buds sing!
25. Sweet Potato Fries
But what makes these particularly special is their unique flavor that adds a wonderful sweetness to your meal. You could also dice the potatoes instead of slicing them to make a nice sweet potato hash!
26. Scalloped Potatoes
This creamy potato casserole makes an excellent side dish because not only does it compliment your sloppy joes – it’s pretty versatile itself!
You can eat it on its own or with other meals, plus you won’t need to spend too much time preparing it either. It’s a wonderful addition to your meal and perfect for sharing with your family and friends!
27. BBQ Potato Chips
What more could you ask for?
28. Buttery Garlic Rice
Buttery garlic rice makes a great pairing with any messy dish because of its creamy, garlicky sauce that’ll perfectly complement your sandwich.
29. Creamy Parmesan Polenta
Parmesan polenta makes for a great side dish to serve with sloppy joes because not only does its flavor match well with that of your sandwich but its texture as well!
Its creamy interior compliments the sauce without overpowering it while also providing a wonderful contrast between soft and crispy as well as gooey and smooth!
30. Chips & Salsa
Who doesn’t love chips & salsa? It’s the perfect pairing to any messy dish, so no wonder it’s a great side dish to serve with your sloppy joes.
Plus, you can make it as spicy or sweet as you want. Just don’t forget some bread on the side so everyone can sop up all of that yummy homemade sauce!
You could also skip out on additional costs and buy a jar of salsa from your local store. Try melting some goat cheese and you’ll have a side of chips and queso!
31. Garlic Bread
Garlic bread makes an excellent side to go with sloppy joes; its buttery softness complements its intense flavor. Just be sure not to go overboard with garlic, or else you will overpower the delicateness of these sandwiches.
32. Creamy Mushrooms
This moreish side dish has a creamy sauce that’ll perfectly accompany your messy joes, thanks to its wonderful taste and texture.
The only thing you need to do is stir fry the mushrooms with some garlic and shallots then add in your cream of mushroom soup along with some spices for flavor. It’s totally worth making extra of this dish because it goes fast!
33. Baked Potato Wedges
Baked potato wedges are another delicious option for this list because they’re customizable. You can either have them with sour cream and cheese on top or simply salt, pepper and parsley!
Either way, these fries are scrumptious and oh-so-filling too. Just what you need when serving up something super messy like sloppy joes.
34. Corndog Bites
Does anyone else remember those wonderful corndog bites from their childhood? They’re the perfect finger food for any event involving children and adults! They’re fried to perfection and filled with all those tasty spices.
These would go wonderfully as a side dish for your messy joes because of how tangy and savory they are. What’s not to like?
35. Minestrone Soup
Minestrone soup makes for a wonderful side dish because it has some extra health benefits that’ll come in handy after eating something so messy.
Plus, the flavors of this soup will go wonderfully along with your sandwiches too!
36. Vegetable Chili
Vegetable chili makes for a great side dish to any sloppy joes because of how filling and delicious it is.
Not only does this recipe have a ton of nutrients, but the best part about it is that there are no beans involved which means everyone can enjoy it, even those with dietary restrictions!
37. Macaroni Salad
Classic sloppy joes are essentially lean ground beef mixed in with a tomato sauce or tomato paste (the favorite sloppy joe recipe). You can’t go wrong with pairing them up with macaroni salad!
This dish features elbow macaroni which has been cooked just al dente before being tossed in mayonnaise-based dressing that includes mustard powder, vinegar for zing, celery seed for crunchiness, and seasonings of salt, pepper, sugar, and paprika.
The entire mixture is chilled until solid before serving which allows the flavors to meld together perfectly.
38. Tater Tot Casserole
Tater tot casserole makes for another great choice as a side dish because it’s indulgent yet still relatively healthy. A win-win right?
Plus, who can resist those cheesy tater tots? All you need is some ground meat, cheese, and cream of mushroom soup.
39. Au Gratin Potatoes
Au gratin potatoes make for a great side dish because they’re creamy yet also cheesy too.
40. Hash Brown Casserole
41. Brussel sprouts with bacon
Brussel sprouts with bacon make for a tasty side dish because they’re not only flavorful but they’re also super easy to prepare! All you need are some greens, bacon, and butter.
No one can turn this combination down when it tastes like this!
42. Fried rice
Fried rice makes for another amazing side dish because of how flavorful and filling it is! This recipe has a ton of veggies which means you’ll definitely get your daily dose of vitamins when eating this dish.
Everyone will love fried rice, especially when served with your sloppy joes.
43. Baked beans
Baked beans are an ideal side to go with your spicy or tangy sloppy joes!
It is very easy to make and doesn’t take too much effort. Plus it can be kept in a jar which you can have on standby when hunger strikes.
You can make them on the stovetop or even make them in a slow cooker! It has a sweet flavor that goes wonderfully well with this sandwich!
Just be sure not to add too much sugar, as it may over-compliment the main course.
44. Roasted Broccoli
Add some Worcestershire sauce and you could turn it into a stir fry! Another thing that makes this recipe so wonderful is that there are no carbohydrates involved which means it’ll be perfect for pretty much everyone.
45. Fruit Salad
Too many carbs for the day? Pair your meal with a fruit salad. A fruit salad consists of simple ingredients.
You can pick and choose which fruits to pair together, then you dice them and throw them together in a bowl. You could spice things up by even putting a vinaigrette on top, or a yogurt dressing.
This option is not only healthy but gives you that satisfaction of sweetness!
After you enjoy your sloppy joe and sides, top it off with one of these desserts for a meal that is sure to please!
46. Lime Cheesecake Bars
Lime cheesecake bars make for the perfect end to any meal because they’re tangy, sweet, and very flavorful.
47. Apple Crisp
Apple crisp makes for not only a tasty treat but it’ll also help you use up some of your excess apples! You can also pair this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to melt into that crisp, making it even sweeter!
48. Caramel Apple Pie Cookies
Caramel apple pie cookies make for a wonderful treat because not only do they taste like apple pie but they’ll also remind you of caramel apples.
49. Apple Pie Cake
Apple pie cake makes for the perfect ending to any meal because it’s so delicious!
This dessert is sure to please all your guests and family members too. Everyone loves apple pies, which means that they’ll love this recipe just as much.
50. Strawberry Shortcake
Strawberry shortcake makes for the perfect summertime treat because it’s refreshing and packed with antioxidants which your body needs all year round.
Plus, kids love anything with strawberries so you know that they’ll go crazy for this dish. It’s sure to be your new go-to dessert.
Enjoy Your Sloppy Joes! We hope this list helped you to decide what to serve with sloppy joes!
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