Quick and easy homemade sloppy joes with cornbread is a great family friendly meal. Hamburger in a juicy sauce topped with buttermilk cornbread.
Everyone likes a juicy sloppy joe, a slightly sweet hamburger mixture on a bun. It’s a great go-to weeknight dinner. This sloppy joe recipe topped with cornbread is even better because it’s covered with homemade cornbread.
Instead of putting your hamburger mixture inside a bun, or in a hamburger potato casserole, cornbread is added to the top and it all bakes together in an iron skillet. By cooking the cornbread on top of the hamburger mixture it seals in all the juicy barbecue flavor.
This isn’t a dry cornbread made from a mix, but a super easy homemade cornbread recipe that will melt in your mouth.
What you’ll need
For the meat:
- Ground beef – you can use ground chicken if you like.
- Onion , garlic and jalapeno pepper
- Seasonings – chili pepper and garlic powder
For the homemade sauce:
- Ketchup and sweet sweet chili sauce
- Worcestershire sauce and balsamic vinegar
- Hot sauce and red pepper flakes
For the cornbread:
- Cornmeal, flour, sugar and baking powder
- Buttermilk, eggs, creamed corn and vegetable oil
- Cheddar cheese
How do you make the filling for homemade sloppy joes
This part is really easy but you’ll need to simmer it for about 20 minutes to thicken and let the flavors blend. In a large oven proof skillet, cook onions.
Add hamburger and seasoning.
Add all the ingredients for the sauce to the hamburger mixture. If you want a sweeter sauce, cut down on the vinegar. I really like the sweetness that you get from a sweet chili sauce, I like Gramas Sweet Chili Sauce the best.
If you’re in a crunch for time, you don’t have to make your own sauce, you can easily substitute a cup of your favorite barbecue sauce. Mine is Rufus Teague Honey BBQ.
Let the sloppy joe mixture thicken, about 20 minutes. While it’s simmering, make the cornbread.
How to make cornbread to top the sloppy joes
Cornbread in general is so easy to make and only takes about 10 minutes.
Whisk together the dry ingredients. Combine the wet ingredients and add to the dry, just barely mixing it together.
Pour it on top of the sloppy joe mixture and bake.
It will be done when it has turned golden brown and a toothpick in the cornbread topping comes out clean.
This sloppy joe recipe is kind of like shepherd’s pie but with cornbread on top instead of mashed potatoes. Both are great but, there’s nothing like Southern cornbread.
If you haven’t made homemade cornbread before, try it with with browned butter or use cornbread as a base for chicken tamale pie. It’s the perfect Southern side for any meal and can be made without any pre-planning.
How to store a sloppy joe casserole
Sloppy Joes with Cornbread makes a large serving that can feed 8-10, which means I have leftovers for lunch. I put the leftovers in Souper Cubes and freeze them. Once thawed, they are best heated in the toaster oven, but the microwave will work.
FAQ’s and tips
Substitute a cup of bottled barbecue sauce if you want an even easier dinner.
Yes this will freeze, just reheat in the oven at 350º for about 10 minutes.
You can make these as spicy as you like by adding or leaving out the jalapeno pepper.
Here are even more recipes using cornbread
More Skillet meals with toppings
- Top hamburger with tater tots in this Tater Tot Casserole, or use chicken for Buffalo Chicken Casserole.
- Or try adding a creamy macaroni and cheese on top of slow cooker beef in Brisket topped with Mac & Cheese
- Guiness Beef Pie topped withBiscuits is amazing
- Or try Chili with Cheesy Grits
If you loved this recipe, give it a star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating! Also, snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #butterandbaggage and tagging me @butterandbaggage.
Sloppy Joes with Cornbread
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion diced
- 2 lbs ground beef
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper
- 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic closed minced
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 cup sweet chili sauce
- 2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 cup yellow corn meal
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 14 ounces creamed corn
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 cup cheddar cheese grated
- Preheat oven to 400º.
- Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat and add onion, cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add beef to the skillet and season with chili powder, garlic powder, and salt and pepper. Cook until meat is cooked through, drain fat and add jalapeño and garlic. Cook an additional 2 minutes.
- Add ketchup, chili sauce, Worcestershire, vinegar, hot sauce and red pepper flakes. Add ½ cup water and reduce heat to low. Cook stirring often until the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and add cilantro. Pour into a 9 X 13 baking dish or if using an oven proof skillet, leave it in the skillet.
- Topping: Whisk together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Add buttermilk, corn, eggs, oil, and cheese and stir until just combined.
- Spread over the meat mixture and bake until cornbread is golden brown and the filling is bubbling around the edges, about 35 minutes. Toothpick should come out clean.
- Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- You can substitute your favorite BBQ sauce for the filling, just add about 1 cup.
- You can make this spicier by adding some chopped jalapeno to the cornbread.
- Leftovers will freeze, to reheat, place in the oven at 350º for about 10 minutes.
If you make Sloppy Joes with Cornbread, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! I would love to see your creation.
This is exactly what I was looking for. I saw a recipe that was chili beans with cornbread on top, and I thought, why not sloppy joe? I looked on pinterest and yours looked the best, it is not, “a can of this and a box of that”. It is homemade. What size is your “large” skillet?
Barbara Curry says
I think you’ll love this recipe! I used a 10 inch skillet but you could also use a 9 x 13 baking dish.