Side Dishes

What to Serve with Sloppy Joes: 21 Delicious Side Dishes

Make this sandwich into a meal with help from these side dishes!

Elen Rustick By Updated May 8, 2023

If you’re trying to figure out what to serve with Sloppy Joes, we have you covered!

what to serve with Sloppy Joes

Homemade Sloppy Joes —the highlight of baseball games, birthday parties, picnics, and barbecues. This childhood favorite is the perfect afternoon snack and makes a quick, delicious meal.

This classic sandwich is made with ground beef simmered in a sweet and tangy tomato sauce. It’s delicious open-faced or as a closed sandwich, but beware it can get messy!

Sloppy Joes is a simple meal, so I like to keep the side dishes simple too. Since this is a kid’s sandwich, it’s important to have kid-friendly side dishes as well!

I’ve come up with this list of some of my favorite simple, yet tasty Sloppy Joe side dishes. It’s complete with everything from healthy dishes like salad to fun sides like onion rings.

Next time you make a Sloppy Joe dinner, try adding one of these side dishes to complete the meal!

01. Baked Beans

It’s simple enough to heat a can of baked beans and call it a day. But if you’ve ever had homemade baked beans, you know there’s no comparison!

The perfect baked bean sauce is a balance of tangy tomato and fatty pork. This recipe uses bacon for additional smokiness!

The best part about these baked beans is that they’re made in a single pot. No fussing with mixing bowls—just add your ingredients and bake!

02. Potato Salad

Refreshing potato salad makes a great pairing for a warm classic Sloppy Joe sandwich!

Sloppy Joes benefit from a creamy element to take away from the intense vinegary flavors. This yogurt-based potato salad will help balance the dish!

Crispy bacon, chives, and cheddar add extra savory elements to this classic potato salad recipe. The greek yogurt sauce tastes fresher than traditional mayonnaise, and is healthier too!

03. French Fries

When you need a side that everyone will love, french fries never fail!

These fries are the ultimate companion for a saucy sandwich like Sloppy Joes. Spices like garlic powder and paprika will make your homemade fries a million times better than any frozen version.

To get the crispest fries, soak your potatoes in water before baking them! This helps remove the starch so the fries can crisp up better in the oven.

04. Macaroni Salad

Pasta lovers can add this macaroni salad recipe to their summer side dish roster!

This creamy macaroni pasta salad is made with a deliciously tangy mayonnaise and mustard dressing. Chopped celery and green onions help add some crunch to keep things interesting.

But the secret ingredient for this dressing is the onion powder. It adds a savory element that makes this rustic pasta salad delicious with Sloppy Joes!

05. Sweet Potato Hash

Sweet potatoes are so much more than a Thanksgiving side dish!

This delicious sweet and smoky hash is a one-dish side that takes only 45 minutes to cook. Caramelized onions and garlic give this dish depth, while roasted corn provides added sweetness.

Since this side is baked in a casserole dish, it’s perfect for potlucks. Simply cover the sweet potato chunks with tinfoil and take it to go!

06. Green Beans

Some foods just belong together. Roasted green beans and garlic are the perfect example!

Green beans are a crowd-pleasing (and healthy!) dish that is suitable for adults and kids. And they’re so easy too, just trim your beans and roast them until semi-soft!

All the flavor comes from the savory butter and garlic sauce. Freshly cooked beans soak up that sauce like a sponge and absorb every bit of deliciousness!

07. Sweet Potato Fries

If you’re bored of regular fries, give these sweet potato fries a go!

Avocado oil will give your fries a richer, nuttier flavor than olive oil. All you need to add is a sprinkle of salt and pepper—it’s as simple as that!

Sweet potatoes lend themselves to spicy and smoky flavors, so you can even add chipotle seasoning for some kick. Even better, serve these fries with a creamy sour cream chipotle sauce for dipping.

08. Fruit Salad

Although tasty, barbecue and picnic foods tend to be heavy on the carbs. Lighten up your Sloppy Joe meal with a side of this fresh fruit salad!

A fruit salad can be made from whatever fruit you prefer. My must-haves are strawberries, grapes, and kiwi!

This recipe includes a sweet lime and honey dressing to help tie all the ingredients together. Lime juice will also prevent the fruit from browning!

09. Onion Rings

They’re crispy like a potato french fry, but filled with the savory goodness of onions!

Make sure your onion ring batter has cornstarch because this is what helps it stick to the onions! Sweet Vidalia is the best onion to use for this dish.

Onion rings are delicious on their own, but they also make a great topping! Try adding these onion rings to your Sloppy Joe sandwich for some crispiness.

10. Roasted Cauliflower

Something magical happens when you roast vegetables. Cauliflower develops an irresistible nutty flavor that can’t be replicated!

This recipe offers maximum flavor with minimal effort, so it’s made for busy households. All you need to do is wash and cut the cauliflower before baking.

The florets become wonderfully crispy in the oven while they soak up the garlic and onion seasoning. Even picky eaters won’t be able to get enough of this healthy side!

11. Tater Tots

This loveable finger food is the ultimate kid-friend side!

The hash brown texture and round shape of these tater tots make them much more interesting than french fries. And they’re small enough that those little kid fingers can easily dip them!

With some grated potatoes and flour, you can make tater tots at home easily. Add some cheddar to the mixture and you’ll have cheesy tater tots!

12. Dill Pickles

Dill pickles and sandwiches are the perfect pairing. This is because the vinegar in pickles acts as a palette cleanser!

These dill pickles are so simple to make at home, all you need is garlic, dill, and vinegar.

And it’s so easy to just pop a jar of dill pickles into your picnic cooler as a side. They’re a great crunchy addition to soft Sloppy Joes.

13. Potato Chips

Nothing spells out summer better than sandwiches and potato chips at a picnic!

This classic pairing can only be improved by making your own potato chips from scratch! It’s simpler than you think, especially if you have a mandolin to get your potato slices nice and thin.

Season your chips with whatever flavors you like while they’re still hot from the air fryer. My favorite seasoning is sea salt and a bit of chili powder!

14. Mashed Cauliflower

Keep things light and low carb with this delicious mashed cauliflower! Cauliflower has a mild flavor that allows it to substitute for rice or mashed potatoes.

Roasted garlic and fresh herbs will help boost the cauliflower’s flavor and give this dish more depth. For a creamier dish, try adding cream cheese!

Cauliflower is chock full of nutrients, like vitamin C and vitamin K. Just one more reason to choose cauliflower over potatoes!

15. Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Everything is better wrapped in bacon! You’ll be everyone’s favorite when you serve up this fun and flavorful side.

Wrapping the asparagus in bacon helps infuse it with all that smoky, salty flavor. The bacon fat bakes right into the asparagus making this side dish irresistibly juicy.

This is the kind of dish that tastes best freshly baked or barbecued. This ensures that the bacon is nice and crispy, and the asparagus stays firm!

16. Arugula Salad

When you have a saucy meal, sometimes you just need a simple side. Balance out dinner with this crisp, peppery salad!

This salad keeps things simple with lemon dressing and parmesan shavings. It has enough acidity to pair nicely with the Sloppy Joes without overpowering the dish.

Of course, you can add more ingredients like cherry tomatoes if you like. To avoid wilting, keep the dressing separate from the salad until the Sloppy Joes are ready to serve!

17. Coleslaw

No picnic table would be complete with an appearance from this classic crunchy salad!

This coleslaw goes light on the mayo, instead opting for vinegary and fruity flavors. The addition of canned crushed pineapple gives the whole salad a summery, tropical feel!

Crunchy cabbage is just what Sloppy Joes need for a bit of texture. In fact, one of my favorite ways to serve Sloppy Joes is with a heap of coleslaw on top!

18. Corn on the Cob

For an easy finger food, boiled corn on the cob is my go-to! In the summer when fresh corn is abundant, it’s hard to resist!

The simplest method to prepare corn is to simply boil it. Dip it in butter or make things interesting with spicy toppings like hot sauce.

Corn is an inexpensive side dish that is agreeable to pretty much everyone! Even better, you can turn leftover corn into corn chowder or salad!

19. Glazed Carrots

These deliciously sweet carrots are too good to only eat at holiday meals! Give this classic dish new life as an everyday side.

There’s something about brown sugar and butter that transforms carrots into a delicacy. They accentuate the sweetness of the carrots while also making them juicy and tender.

This recipe can be prepared in the microwave if you’re short on time. It only takes 4-5 minutes for the carrots to become soft!

20. Apple Dump

With just three ingredients, you can create this nostalgic childhood dessert.

We all love apple pie, but not everyone has the time to bake one! This recipe captures all the spiced apple flavors you love, without all that effort.

All you have to do is bake apple pie filling and cake mix with butter! The result is warm gooey apples, with a crispy and rich cake topping!

21. Roasted Brussels Sprouts

This humble vegetable has made a comeback as everyone’s favorite roasted side dish! The key to unlocking their flavor is caramelization.

This recipe is so simple you only need salt and pepper for seasoning. Make sure you bake your brussel sprouts at 400°F so the edges get nice and crispy.

To help caramelize these brussel sprouts even more, toss them in a little honey before baking. I guarantee your kids will be back for seconds!

21 Delicious Sloppy Joes Side Dishes


  1. Choose one of these simple and delicious Sloppy Joe side dishes.

  2. Cook your side dish and Sloppy Joes.

  3. Set your picnic table with Sloppy Joe meat, buns, and all your sides!

  4. Serve up the perfect picnic meal!