Coca-Cola Sloppy Joes

Southern Kitchen
Coca-Cola Sloppy Joes

Serves: 6

Total Time: 30 minutes


1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup Coca-Cola

1 cup thick, tomato-based barbecue sauce

6 hamburger buns


In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, brown the beef and the onion until the onion is soft and the meat is no longer pink, 5 to 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the Coca-Cola and barbecue sauce. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened to your desired consistency, another 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Toast the buns, if desired. Heap the ground beef mixture onto the buns and serve.


Per serving: 385 calories, (percent of calories from fat, 35), 27 grams protein, 34 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 15 grams fat, 75 milligrams cholesterol, 645 milligrams sodium.

About the recipe

Atlantans — and most Southerners — think nothing of pouring Coke into cake batter or cherry gelatin; you’ll find those recipes in just about any local cookbook. Our most famous Southern beverage also comes in handy when you’re trying to figure out what to do with a package of ground beef on a weeknight, without dragging out your whole spice rack. With the flick of a pop top, it adds a caramel sweetness and peppery spice to a sloppy Joe mixture that also contains ground beef or turkey (we went with the bird), onion and barbecue sauce.

Not spicy enough for your taste? Shake in some hot sauce. Round out the meal with coleslaw — either from the deli or homemade (using bagged slaw mix and dressed with mayo, a little sugar and a splash of vinegar). Serve it on the side or, like we did, inside the bun with the meat mixture. We don’t call them sloppy for nothin’.

Any extra sauce can easily be frozen for another meal.