Best Toppings For Sloppy Joes (Ultimate List)

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Sloppy Joes are perfect as they are, hearty, delicious, messy, and super easy to make too. However, as perfect as Sloppy Joes are, there are definitely ways to add to their flavor!

If you are planning on making Sloppy Joes soon, and are looking for some ideas on how to elevate them, adding some toppings is a great idea.

What are the best toppings for Sloppy Joes?

The best toppings for Sloppy Joes will definitely depend on your personal preferences, but some of the better options include pickle slices, avocado, fried egg, coleslaw, and more. The sweet and savory flavor of Sloppy Joes means that it pairs well with many toppings.

Read on to find the ultimate list of the best toppings for Sloppy Joes, so your next batch is as delicious as can be! 

Pickle Slices

Pickles are the perfect blend between salty and tangy, and they are the perfect acidic topping to use on Sloppy Joes!

The sweet and savory flavors of Sloppy Joes really pair well with the acidic and fresh flavor of pickles. The pickles also add a crunch of texture to the usually soft Sloppy Joe.

If you do not enjoy pickles that are too sour and acidic, you could opt for a sweeter option, which still tastes just as good with Sloppy Joes.


There isn’t much that doesn’t taste better when an avocado is added, and Sloppy Joes are no exception.

The mild, buttery flavor of avocado works so well with the rich flavors of the Sloppy Joe and brings all the ingredients together beautifully.

The softness of avocado is also great when you just want a Sloppy Joe to be easy to bite and enjoy, and the freshness it brings really rounds it out perfectly.

Fried Egg

Sloppy Joes and fried eggs are a match made in heaven. When making a fried egg to top onto a Sloppy Joe, we recommend over easy eggs, so the yolk is still runny and delicious, but it is not necessarily dripping down and making a mess all over the place.

The egg white is a fairly neutral flavor, which means it pairs well with the Sloppy Joe, but the egg yolk, when mixed with the Sloppy Joe mince, makes a delicious creamy flavor, and it really is just the perfect combination.


The rich and savory flavors of Sloppy Joes can work amazingly with the creamy, fresh, and crunchy taste and texture of coleslaw.

Coleslaw is typically served as a side for Sloppy Joe, but next time, you should try adding a tablespoon on top of your Sloppy Joe.

This creates a creamy, delicious mix, of fresh and savory, and the coleslaw adds a delicious crunch to the generally soft Sloppy Joe.

Red Onion Slices

A simple topping sometimes works best, and if you are not looking for anything elaborate, then a few slices of red onion can be a great option.

Thinly slice up some red onion, and top it over the Sloppy Joe. The red onion gives a slight crunch, and a bit of a tang, to the Sloppy Joe, without being too overpowering in flavor.

If you are looking for something with a little more kick to it, you could soak the red onion slices in some white wine vinegar before placing it onto the Sloppy Joe.

Thick Tomato Slice

A thick slice of tomato could be the perfect addition of acidity and freshness to a Sloppy Joe, and it adds a good crunch to the dish too.

When placing a tomato slice onto a Sloppy Joe, sprinkle some salt and pepper onto it to bring the flavors out more, and to give it more of a kick.

Beefsteak tomatoes are a good choice, as they are large and meaty, but you can really use any tomato you have available at home.

Cooked Bacon Strips

If you love Sloppy Joes, there is a good chance you love bacon too, and there is no reason you cannot pair your two favorite things together!

Some crispy fried bacon is absolutely delicious on a Sloppy Joe and just adds to the overall savory, salty flavor of the dish.

Streaky bacon is the best option for this, but you could also use back bacon if you wanted to cut down on the amount of fat.

For a sweeter flavor, you can use maple bacon too, which goes well with the sweet and savory notes of the Sloppy Joe.


A slice of cheese allowed to melt on the top of a Sloppy Joe is one of the best toppings around.

Place a slice of your favorite cheese, whether cheddar, gouda, Swiss, or Colby, onto the Sloppy Joe while it is still hot, and allow it to soften and melt before serving.

Alternatively, you can use grated cheese on the Sloppy Joe, which will work just as well. The cheese will taste just as good even if it doesn’t melt down.

Barbecue Sauce

Sloppy Joes are saucy enough as is, but to add more flavor and moisture to a Sloppy Joe, barbecue sauce is a great option.

The barbecue sauce can be sweet, smoky, savory, or whatever you prefer, to bring out your favorite flavors in the Sloppy Joe.

You could even opt for flavored BBQ sauces to add even more depth to the Sloppy Joe.

Sour Cream

Sour cream is a popular topping to use on Sloppy Joes, and for good reason. The sour cream helps to add a cool, fresh taste to the meal, which balances out beautifully with the richer flavors of the mince.

When adding sour cream to a Sloppy Joe, you can always add some chopped chives to the top to add a little bit of a green, fresh flavor to finish it all off.

If you were looking for a healthier option, you could use fat-free cottage cheese in place of sour cream, but it will not have as much of a tangy flavor to it.

Jalapeno Slices

If you are a fan of heat and love some spice in your food, then some jalapeno slices are a great addition to a Sloppy Joe.

Jalapeno slices are ideal because they are hot but not overwhelmingly spicy, and they have a good flavor to them too.

The bright, green, and fresh flavor of jalapenos, along with the slight heat, pair well with the rich sauce of the Sloppy Joe.

You could also choose a hotter pepper if jalapenos don’t have enough of a kick for you, such as serrano peppers, which taste very similar to jalapenos, but with more heat.

Caramelized Onions

Caramelized onions are great on hamburgers and hot dogs, and they are great on Sloppy Joes too!

It is really easy to whip up a quick batch of caramelized onions at home, and the sweetness they offer pairs so well with the sweet and savory flavor of the Sloppy Joe.

The caramelized onions also add a good texture to the Sloppy Joe, especially when they caramelize to a crisp on the outside.


Rocket has a spicy, pepper flavor, and some mustard-like notes to it too. As it is a leafy green, it is also fresh and bright, which makes it ideal to add as a topping to Sloppy Joes.

The rocket brings through a slightly spicy and peppery flavor, but it is not an overwhelming one. It adds a great freshness to the rich ground beef mixture.


If you were looking for an interesting topping for Sloppy Joes that will surprise your guests, then you should definitely try some pineapple rings!

A pineapple ring will be a great flavor addition to rich Sloppy Joes, with the sweet and tart flavors that it brings.

For a more tart flavor, use fresh pineapple, but for something milder and sweeter, canned pineapple rings are better.

Toppings For Sloppy Joes

There are so many different toppings you can use for Sloppy Joes, it really just depends on the flavors you prefer!

We have included the ultimate list of toppings for Sloppy Joes above, so you are sure to find more than a few that you would want to try out.

There are no rules when it comes to finding the best topping for Sloppy Joes, so experiment with a few different options until you find your favorite!

Related Questions

What are good sides for Sloppy Joes?

Some of the best sides for Sloppy Joes include French fries, coleslaw, sweet potato fries, green salad, and corn.

How can you bulk up Sloppy Joes?

If you do not want to bulk up Sloppy Joes with more ground beef, you could use red beans, pinto beans, or kidney beans, to bulk up the mixture. These will not change the texture too much, and the neutral flavor of the beans will do well in the Sloppy Joe sauce.

Are Sloppy Joes better the next day?

Sloppy Joes are delicious the next day, as the flavors have been left to develop more and are more intense.

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