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Sloppy Joe Sliders

A campsite hallmark of childhood (or 'now' hood)
03 Aug 2023

This one brings us back! Experience the taste of summer camp with these tangy, saucy Sloppy Joes! They’re the perfect make-ahead lunch to serve on your next camping trip. 

Sloppy joe sliders
Makes 6 servings

Prep at home, heat while camping. Veg / Vegan options

Sloppy joes were a hallmark of our childhood growing up. Sweet, tangy, and sort of a mess to eat, they were one of our favorite summer camp meals. And while we loved them as kids, we’re pleased to report they taste just as good (if not more so) as we remember as adults.

One of the reasons we love this recipe is that most of the cooking can be done ahead of time at home. Prepare the meat mixture in the sauce and store it in your cooler.  At the campsite, you just need to heat it up in a pot and serve it on slider buns. That’s it! 

While the traditional beef sloppy joe is a perennial favorite, you can also mix up your choice of protein. Experiment with ground turkey, lentils, or even a vegan meat substitute. Additionally, you can get super creative with toppings (we love adding pickled jalapenos!).

Sloppy Joe Sliders


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • slider buns


In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the ground beef. Flatten into an even layer and cook undisturbed until it develops a brown crust. Then break it apart with your spatula to continue cooking.

Add the chopped onions and bell pepper. Saute until they are soft and the onions just begin to turn golden, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic for a minute and then add the tomato paste and saute for another minute or two.

Add ketchup, mustard, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire, chili powder, and salt. Stir to combine. Simmer until the sauce thickens a bit, 3-5 minutes more.

To Store for Later: Transfer the filling to a storage container with a sealable lid. Store in the refrigerator or your cooler for up to four days.

To Prep at Camp: Reheat the mixture in a pot on your camp stove or over the campfire. You may need to add a little water to bring back the sauciness. Serve on toasted buns with whatever toppings and sides you love!


Eddie Bauer Field Experts

Michael van Vliet and Megan McDuffie are the husband-wife team behind the camp cooking blog Fresh Off The Grid (@freshoffthegrid). They launched their website to share their recipes, skill guides, and other outdoor resources.

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