Best Side Dishes for Sloppy Joes: Elevate Your Meal with These Delicious Pairings

Indulge in the ultimate comfort food experience with our expertly curated selection of the best side dishes for sloppy joes. Elevate your sloppy joe meal with a variety of delectable accompaniments that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. From classic favorites to modern twists, our comprehensive reviews and buying guide will help you discover the perfect sides to complement your sloppy joes and take your dining experience to the next level. Explore a range of options that cater to every palate and enhance the savory goodness of your favorite sloppy joe recipes.

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Enhancing Your Sloppy Joe Experience: Side Dishes to Complement Your Meal

Side dishes can complement the rich and hearty flavors of sloppy joes, creating a well-rounded meal. One popular option is coleslaw, which adds a crisp and refreshing element to balance out the saucy and savory nature of the sloppy joes. The crunchiness of the cabbage and the tangy dressing can offer a nice contrast in texture and taste.

Another classic side dish for sloppy joes is macaroni and cheese. The creaminess of the macaroni and cheese pairs well with the bold flavors of the sloppy joes, creating a comforting and indulgent combination. The cheesy goodness of the macaroni can help mellow out the intensity of the sloppy joe sauce.

For a healthier option, roasted vegetables can be a great choice to serve alongside sloppy joes. Roasting vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, and sweet potatoes can enhance their natural sweetness and bring a lovely caramelized flavor to the plate. The added nutrients and colors from the vegetables can provide a balanced and nutritious element to the meal.

Lastly, a simple side salad can be a light and fresh addition to a sloppy joe meal. A mix of greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a tangy vinaigrette can offer a palate-cleansing and wholesome component to counter the richness of the sloppy joes. The crispness of the salad can provide a refreshing contrast to the warm and saucy main dish.

5 Best Side Dishes For Sloppy Joes

01. Coleslaw

Coleslaw is a versatile and refreshing side dish that pairs perfectly with a variety of meals. This classic salad consists of shredded cabbage, carrots, and a creamy dressing, creating a crisp and satisfying crunch with every bite. Its combination of tangy and creamy flavors adds a delicious contrast to savory main dishes.

With its simple ingredients and light composition, coleslaw is a popular choice for picnics, barbecues, and potlucks. Its versatility allows for easy customization with the addition of ingredients such as apples, raisins, or nuts, providing a creative twist to the traditional recipe. Whether as a side dish or a topping for sandwiches, coleslaw remains a timeless favorite for its unbeatable freshness and taste.


  • Refreshing and light side dish
  • Versatile ingredient in sandwiches and wraps
  • Offers a crunchy texture
  • Packed with various nutrients and vitamins
  • Easy to prepare at home or readily available at stores
  • Can be customized with different dressings and add-ins


  • High in calories and fat due to mayonnaise dressing.
  • Can be high in added sugar if sweetened dressing is used.

02. Sweet Potato Fries

Crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, these sweet potato fries are a delightful twist on a classic favorite. With a hint of natural sweetness and a perfect seasoning blend, they offer a satisfying crunch that will keep you coming back for more. Whether enjoyed as a snack or a side dish, these fries are a healthier alternative to traditional potato fries.

Baked to perfection and made from high-quality sweet potatoes, these fries are a guilt-free indulgence that is sure to please even the pickiest eaters. They make a delicious addition to any meal and are a great way to sneak in some extra nutrients. Perfect for sharing with friends or enjoying on your own, these sweet potato fries are a versatile and flavorful option for any occasion.


  • Nutrient-rich and high in vitamins
  • Lower in calories than traditional fries
  • Can be baked or air-fried for a healthier option
  • Naturally sweet flavor appeals to various taste preferences
  • Versatile for use in a variety of recipes


  • Can be high in calories and unhealthy if fried in excessive oil.
  • Some people may not enjoy the different taste and texture compared to regular fries.

03. Baked Beans

Looking for a hearty and satisfying meal option? Look no further than Baked Beans! This classic pantry staple is a versatile and delicious addition to any dish. The rich tomato sauce combined with tender beans creates a flavorful and comforting experience for your taste buds.

Whether enjoyed on its own as a quick and easy snack or paired with toast for a traditional breakfast, Baked Beans never disappoint. Packed with protein and fiber, they are not only delicious but also nutritious. With their convenience and great taste, Baked Beans are a must-have item for any kitchen pantry.


  • High in fiber and protein.
  • Quick and convenient meal option.
  • Rich in essential nutrients like iron and folate.
  • Versatile ingredient for various recipes.
  • Long shelf life for easy storage.


  • High in sodium
  • May cause flatulence
  • Added sugars and preservatives

04. Macaroni and Cheese

Indulge in the creamy goodness of macaroni and cheese, a classic comfort food loved by many. The velvety cheese sauce coats each tender macaroni noodle, creating a harmonious blend of flavors with every bite. Perfect for a quick meal or a side dish at any gathering, this dish never fails to satisfy cravings for something comforting and delicious.

Whether enjoyed as a simple stovetop version or baked to golden perfection with a crispy topping, macaroni and cheese always delivers on its promise of comforting, cheesy perfection. A versatile and timeless classic, this dish is sure to become a favorite in any household for its irresistible taste and simplicity.


  • Quick and easy to prepare
  • Comforting and satisfying meal
  • Versatile and can be customized with different toppings
  • Loved by both kids and adults
  • Affordable and budget-friendly
  • Rich and creamy texture


  • High in calories and carbohydrates.
  • Limited in nutritional value.

05. Corn on the Cob

Savor the taste of summer with sweet and juicy corn on the cob. This versatile vegetable is a crowd-pleaser at barbecues, picnics, or simply enjoyed as a side dish. Its golden kernels burst with natural sweetness, offering a satisfying crunch in every bite.

Easily cooked by boiling, grilling, or roasting, corn on the cob pairs well with a variety of seasonings like butter, salt, and herbs. Whether you enjoy it plain or dressed up with your favorite toppings, this classic dish is sure to add a burst of flavor to your meals.


  • Naturally sweet and flavorful
  • Good source of fiber
  • Easy to prepare and cook
  • Versatile ingredient for various dishes
  • Nutrient-rich, including vitamins and minerals


  • Can be messy to eat.
  • Requires picking out the corn silk.

Why Side Dishes Are the Perfect Pairing for Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes, with their hearty and flavorful meat filling sandwiched between soft buns, are a beloved comfort food for many. Yet, pairing them with the right side dishes enhances the overall dining experience. The best side dishes for sloppy joes can elevate the meal by adding complementary textures and flavors.

One reason people choose to buy side dishes for their sloppy joes is to create a balanced and well-rounded meal. Side dishes like coleslaw or potato salad provide a refreshing contrast to the rich and savory flavors of the sloppy joes. These sides help to break up the monotony of the main dish and offer a variety of tastes in one meal.

Additionally, side dishes can also add nutritional value to the meal. Including a side of steamed vegetables or a fresh garden salad can introduce vitamins, minerals, and fiber to the plate, making the overall meal more wholesome and satisfying. These healthier options can balance out the indulgence of the sloppy joes.

Lastly, offering a selection of side dishes allows for customization and personal preference. Some may prefer the classic pairing of fries with their sloppy joes, while others may opt for something more adventurous like roasted sweet potatoes or cornbread. Having a choice of sides ensures that everyone can enjoy their sloppy joe meal in their preferred way.

Sloppy Joe Side Dishes: A Buying Guide

When pairing side dishes with sloppy joes, it’s essential to consider a few key factors to enhance your dining experience. From flavors that complement the savory meat mixture to textures that add variety to each bite, selecting the right accompaniments can take your meal to the next level.

Complementary Flavors

Considering complementary flavors when choosing side dishes for sloppy joes can greatly enhance the overall dining experience. Opting for side dishes that balance out the bold, savory flavors of the sloppy joes can create a well-rounded meal that delights the taste buds. By selecting sides that offer contrasting textures or complementary tastes, such as a crisp coleslaw to offset the richness of the sloppy joes, you can elevate the flavors of the dishes and make the meal more satisfying. Paying attention to complementary flavors ensures that each component of the meal harmonizes seamlessly, resulting in a more enjoyable dining experience.

Texture Contrast

Considering texture contrast when choosing side dishes for sloppy joes is essential to create a satisfying dining experience. The soft and saucy consistency of the sloppy joes can benefit from a contrasting texture to add depth to the meal. Opting for a crispy side like coleslaw or crunchy pickles can provide a pleasant mouthfeel and prevent the meal from feeling one-dimensional. The interplay of textures enhances the overall enjoyment of the dish, creating a more balanced and interesting meal. Including side dishes with different textures ensures a dynamic dining experience that complements the rich flavors of the sloppy joes.

Ease Of Preparation

Selecting side dishes for sloppy joes that are easy to prepare can make mealtime stress-free and enjoyable. Choosing side dishes that require minimal effort frees up time to focus on the main course, ensuring a well-rounded and satisfying meal. Simple and quick-to-make sides such as coleslaw, potato salad, or canned baked beans perfectly complement the flavors of sloppy joes without adding extra work in the kitchen. Opting for sides that are easy to prepare can also make meal planning more convenient, especially on busy days when time is limited but delicious, fulfilling meals are still a priority.

Balance Of Nutrition

To ensure a balanced meal when enjoying sloppy joes, considering the nutritional value of side dishes is crucial. Opting for nutrient-dense options like a fresh side salad or roasted vegetables can help offset the richness of the main dish. These sides can provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber, contributing to a well-rounded and satisfying meal. By incorporating nutritious sides, one can enhance the overall nutritional profile of the meal, making it more wholesome and balanced. This not only promotes better health but also adds variety to the eating experience, making the dining occasion more enjoyable and fulfilling.

Serving Temperature

One important factor to consider when choosing side dishes for sloppy joes is serving temperature. The ideal side dish should complement the warm and savory flavors of the sloppy joes. Serving a side dish at the right temperature can enhance the overall dining experience by providing a contrast in temperatures and textures. For example, a cool and crisp coleslaw can provide a refreshing contrast to the hot and messy sloppy joes. Ensuring that the side dish is served at the correct temperature can help balance the meal and create a more satisfying and enjoyable eating experience.

Easy Homemade Coleslaw Recipe

Crunchy and refreshing coleslaw is a classic pairing for sloppy joes, adding a perfect balance to the rich and saucy flavors of the main dish. In this section, we provide you with an easy homemade coleslaw recipe that will complement your sloppy joes perfectly.

To make this coleslaw, you’ll need a mix of shredded cabbage, carrots, and a simple dressing made from mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, and seasonings. The combination of these ingredients creates a tangy and slightly sweet flavor profile that enhances the overall dining experience.

This homemade coleslaw recipe is not only quick and easy to prepare but also allows you to customize the ingredients to suit your taste preferences. You can adjust the sweetness or acidity levels to your liking, ensuring that the coleslaw complements your sloppy joes just the way you want it.

By following our step-by-step instructions, you’ll be able to whip up a delicious batch of homemade coleslaw in no time, elevating your sloppy joes meal to a whole new level. This versatile side dish is a crowd-pleaser and will undoubtedly become a staple in your menu rotation whenever you serve sloppy joes.

Tasty Baked Beans Side Dish Ideas

In this section, we explore delicious baked beans side dish ideas that perfectly complement sloppy joes. Baked beans offer a sweet and savory flavor profile that pairs exceptionally well with the bold and tangy taste of sloppy joes. These versatile legumes can be prepared in various ways to cater to different preferences and dietary needs.

One popular option is classic homemade baked beans, where a rich and flavorful sauce is slow-cooked with tender beans for a comforting and hearty side dish. For a modern twist, consider adding ingredients like bacon, onions, or even a hint of spice to elevate the dish and add extra depth of flavor.

For those looking for a quicker option, canned baked beans can be easily jazzed up with additional ingredients such as molasses, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce to create a more complex taste profile. These ready-made options provide convenience without compromising on taste, making them perfect for busy weeknights or gatherings.

Overall, baked beans are a classic and versatile side dish that adds a comforting and flavorful touch to any sloppy joe meal. Whether you prefer traditional recipes or enjoy experimenting with new flavors, there are plenty of delicious baked bean side dish ideas to choose from to enhance your dining experience.

Quick And Delicious Cornbread Variations

In this section, we explore quick and delicious cornbread variations that make the perfect side dish for sloppy joes. Cornbread is a versatile option that can complement the flavors of sloppy joes with its slightly sweet and crumbly texture.

One popular variation is adding jalapenos to the cornbread batter for a spicy kick that contrasts nicely with the savory sloppiness of the joes. The heat from the jalapenos adds an extra layer of flavor that elevates the overall dining experience.

Another delicious twist is incorporating cheddar cheese into the cornbread mix. The melted cheese creates a gooey and flavorful addition to the cornbread, enhancing its richness and making it a delightful pairing with the saucy, meaty sloppiness of the joes.

For those looking for a sweeter option, consider mixing in some honey or maple syrup to the cornbread batter. The natural sweetness of these ingredients adds a pleasant contrast to the tangy flavors of the sloppy joes, creating a harmonious blend of tastes that will satisfy your taste buds.

These quick and easy cornbread variations offer a range of flavor profiles to suit different preferences and are sure to be a crowd-pleaser when served alongside your favorite sloppy joes.


What Are Some Easy Side Dishes To Pair With Sloppy Joes?

Some easy side dishes to pair with sloppy joes include coleslaw, potato salad, or baked beans. These sides complement the savory and slightly sweet flavors of the sloppy joes while adding a variety of textures to the meal. Additionally, a simple green salad with a vinaigrette dressing or corn on the cob can also be great options to balance out the richness of the sloppy joes. These sides are quick to prepare and are perfect for a casual and satisfying meal.

Are There Any Healthier Options For Side Dishes To Serve With Sloppy Joes?

Yes, there are several healthier side dish options to serve with sloppy joes. Instead of traditional fries, consider roasted sweet potato wedges or a side salad with mixed greens and vinaigrette dressing. You can also opt for grilled vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, or asparagus for a nutritious and flavorful accompaniment. These alternatives provide more vitamins and minerals compared to standard side dishes and can complement the flavors of the sloppy joes nicely.

What Vegetarian Or Vegan Side Dishes Complement Sloppy Joes Well?

Vegetarian or vegan side dishes that complement sloppy joes well include a fresh garden salad with a tangy vinaigrette dressing or a colorful coleslaw made with shredded cabbage, carrots, and a creamy vegan dressing. Another great option is roasted or grilled vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, and sweet potatoes, seasoned with herbs and olive oil. These sides provide a balance of flavors and textures that enhance the hearty and savory nature of sloppy joes while offering a refreshing and nutritious contrast.

Can You Recommend Some Unique Or Unexpected Side Dishes To Try With Sloppy Joes?

Sure! Instead of the traditional fries or coleslaw, you can try serving crispy sweet potato fries or tangy pickled vegetables as side dishes with sloppy joes. Another unique idea is to serve grilled pineapple slices or a refreshing cucumber salad to complement the savory flavors of the sloppy joes. These unexpected side dishes add a twist to the classic meal and provide a delicious contrast in flavors and textures.

How Can I Elevate Classic Side Dishes To Create A More Gourmet Experience When Serving Sloppy Joes?

To elevate classic side dishes when serving sloppy joes and create a more gourmet experience, consider upgrading traditional offerings with unique twists. For example, instead of regular French fries, opt for truffle parmesan fries or sweet potato wedges with a maple glaze. You can also serve a side of charred corn and avocado salad with lime dressing or garlic and herb roasted vegetables for a sophisticated touch. Experimenting with flavors and presentations can enhance the overall dining experience and take your sloppy joe meal to a more gourmet level.


As you explore the diverse world of side dishes for sloppy joes, the importance of complementing flavors and textures becomes evident. The best side dishes for sloppy joes not only enhance the taste but also add depth to your dining experience. Experiment with a variety of options to find the perfect accompaniments that suit your preferences and elevate the enjoyment of this classic meal. Whether you opt for traditional favorites or innovative twists, let your creativity shine through in crafting a memorable culinary ensemble for your next sloppy joe feast.

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