Italian Grilled Cheese Sloppy Joe's

Saturday, February 20, 2021
These are a favorite Italian American Style, Sloppy Joe, on garlic bread or grilled cheese style toasted.

The filling has Italian sausage and ground beef in a delicious Italian sauce then either served on garlic toast or grilled with cheese which is both delicious either way.

Usually mom used leftover Sunday Tomato Sauce with whatever meat was in the pot (most of the time meatballs and sweet sausage), but if you're not so lucky to have leftovers, we made the recipe from scratch.

This certainly will bring a smile to everyone's face to take a classic Sloppy Joe and transform it into a fabulous sandwich that is addicting in flavors.

If you are a fan of this old-fashioned delicious one-pan meal, then your family will love this adaption with the Italian flair, it's certainly a nice change.

All the melted cheese on top of a thick piece of garlic toast slathered with this wonderful meat sauce or choose the old-fashioned grilled cheese sloppy joe Italian Style!

If you love copycat-style recipes you may like to try our Copycat Roundup of Recipes we improvised over the year.

Just scroll down to the recipe card to print off this great rendition of this American Italian classic new recipe everyone will love!

this is an open faced Italian sloppy Joe sandwich

Sandwiches Gone, Gourmet

To us, this takes the regular sloppy joe recipe to a gourmet level using the addition of Italian flavored sauce and Italian sausage.

Of course, you can adapt and add whatever you like in your sauce for example add onions instead of peppers, I know how finicky the kids can be some time or even adults.

We have even added mushrooms and just garlic to this delicious sauce and still, the flavors all come from the meat so it's fine to adapt away!

A little history Heinz in Pittsburgh, says their research at the Carnegie Library suggests that the sloppy joe's origins lie with the "loose meat sandwiches" sold in Sioux City, Iowa, in the 1930s and were the creation of a cook named Joe. Sloppy joes as sandwiches were put on menus by the 1940s in many diners.

these are Italian style sloppy joe's one with grilled mozzarella the other open faced both on Italian bread

Recipe for Making Old Fashioned Sloppy Joe's (1950s Style)

  1. To make the old fashioned classic recipe here's what you do: 
  2. saute the meat first with 1 - 1/2 pounds ground beef until the pink is gone with 1 large white onion roughly chopped 
  3. add salt, black pepper to taste 1 cup ketchup, 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 packed Tablespoons brown sugar, 2 Tablespoons yellow mustard simmer for around 30 minutes on low till is thickens slightly. Take 6 hamburger sized buns, and pile onto the soft buns
  4. For the Grilled Cheese version photo shown below:(add regular white bread and sharp cheddar to make a grilled style sloppy joe see photo below or just pile onto hamburger buns like the 1950s version)

this is a old fashioned 1950s style sloppy joe made into grilled cheese using all ingredients from scratch on a black plate

Ingredients You Will Need to make Italian Sloppy Joe's(scroll to the printable recipe card for exact measurements)

  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • lean ground beef
  • loose Italian mild sausage
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • bell pepper chopped into small pieces
  • garlic, minced
  • tomato paste
  • crushed or diced tomatoes
  • sugar
  • dried oregano
  • dried basil
  • Pecorino Romano cheese
  • mozzarella slices or/and provolone
  • finely chopped fresh parsley
  • garlic bread: thick Italian bread, extra virgin olive oil,g, butter, grated Pecorino Romano cheese, fresh parsley, granulated garlic powder,, dried oregano or more to taste dried basil or more to taste salt and freshly ground black pepper

this is two pieces of Italian bread with sesame seeds on the edges the middle has provolone and melted mozzarella cheese with sloppy joe mixture in the middle

Try Some Of My Other Favorites

Upstate New York Feast Sausage and Peppers

Sausage Sliders with Mushrooms

Baked Sausage Potatoes and Peppers

this is a pan of loose Italian sausage and hamburger meat fried and then a photo of adding tomatoes and all the ingredients to show Italian style sloppy joe's recipe

Pin for later

this is an Italian sloppy joe recipe pin for later

Open-Faced Or Grilled

It's hard to pick which style we like better, the open-faced sandwich covered in meat sauce and melted cheese on top of the grilled sandwich which really is the kid's favorite overall.

I do love them both, you can use any cheese you like or a mixture of cheddar, provolone, and mozzarella, even a Mexican blend of shredded cheeses work great.

Also if you would like to substitute lean ground turkey and turkey sausage, go for it, this will be flavorful with all the herbs and spices cooked into this delicious Italian meat sauce.

Italian Sloppy Joe's Recipes, Sloppy Joe's Italian Style, ground beef and Italian sausage sloppy Joe's, grilled cheese Italian sloppy joe's
ground beef recipes, grilled cheese recipes, Italian meat recipes, sandwich recipes
American, Italian, French
Yield: 4
Author: Claudia Lamascolo
Italian Grilled Cheese Sloppy Joe's

Italian Grilled Cheese Sloppy Joe's

Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 25 MinTotal time: 40 Min
This is a delicious Italian-style sloppy Joe made two ways either grilled or baked-on garlic toast.


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound loose Italian mild sausage
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bell pepper chopped into small pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6-ounce can of tomato paste
  • 28-ounce can of crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • sliced mozzarella and/or provolone as much as you like
  • Optional: Open-Faced or Grilled Cheese Sloppy Joe's
  • 8 Slices of 1/2 inch thick garlic or for grilled style use two slices of thin style Italian bread
  • use the same spread below for either style
  • Garlic Toast:
  • 8 slices extra thick Italian bread
  • 8 tablespoons or more extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil or more to taste
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Mix all the above and spread on the outside of the bread.
  • Grilled or Open Top: use whole milk shredded mozzarella cheese, provolone, or other kinds of cheese that melts easily on top of the open-faced or inside the grilled style.


  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil loose sausage, and beef.
  2. Cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon until it is well browned, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, then remove the beef and drain off the fat using a paper towel, and set this aside.
  4. To the same skillet cook the peppers and onions until soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. 
  5. Season with salt and pepper, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. 
  6. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a minute or 2. 
  7. Now stir in the tomatoes, parsley, sugar, oregano, and basil and bring to a simmer.
  8.  Return the beef to the pan and simmer until the mixture is nice and thick about 10 minutes. 
  9. If it gets too thick, thin it with a little water. 
  10. Remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan and parsley. 
  11. Grilled Cheese:
  12. Use the garlic toast spread on each side of the thinly sliced bread.
  13. Add some of the sloppy joe mixtures on the bread cover with another piece, placing a slice of cheese of choice on it ( we use a slice of provolone and one slice thick mozzarella cheese.
  14. You can either bake these in at 400 degrees flipping once until browned and cheese melts or you can do this in a gridded cast iron skillet on the stovetop.
  15. Open-Faced  Italian Sloppy Joe Instructions:
  16. Spread the garlic spread mixture thinly on thick sliced Italian bread on both sides.
  17. Note: for an open-faced sandwich, you will need to toast in a hot oven at 400 degrees for around 15 to 20 minutes.
  18. Pour the sloppy Joe mixture on top of the garlic bread.
  19. Sprinkle with mozzarella or provolone shredded cheese then more grated cheese, broil on medium-high heat until browned and melted.
  20. Note: for Open-faced sandwiches, I broil the cheese on medium-high heat until the cheese is browned around 3 minutes.



Fat (grams)


Sat. Fat (grams)


Carbs (grams)


Fiber (grams)


Net carbs


Sugar (grams)


Protein (grams)


Sodium (milligrams)


Cholesterol (grams)


Pin for later

this is a pin for later how to make Italian style sloppy joe's

For More Fun Recipes Try Our Favorites

Mom's Baked Italian Burgers

Cabernet Venison Burgers

Lamb Burgers

Chili Cheese Dog Burgers

Provolone Alfredo Burgers

these are two sandwiches on a white plastic plate called Sloppy Joe's Italian Style

Disclosure: This recipe was originally shared in 2015. It was edited and re-published in 2021.


  1. The icing on the cake would be dipping this sandwich in your homemade marinara!!

  2. These sandwiches look amazing! Great Italian flavors added to these classics! Will make again!

  3. This is the best tasting sloppy Joe that I have ever had.

  4. These were a huge hit with my family, especially my husband. He’s already asking when we can make them again.

  5. Bintu | Budget DeliciousFebruary 20, 2021 at 11:01 AM

    This sounds like the perfect Italian grilled cheese sloppy Joes! Such a delicious combination of ingredients.

  6. You just combined my two favourite sandwiches together. I love this!! Bookmarked to make this week, thanks so much for the recipe :)

  7. Love these ideas but I need more hamburger recipes without peppers


Remember to use the search option for a recipe you're looking for and thanks for all your kind words and support. We love our readers all the best Claudia