Delicious Sloppy Joes Recipe–made with fennel, lean ground beef, and spices–is perfect for any season or casual entertaining!

sloppy joe sandwich on a plate with fresh peaches

For dinner tonight, enjoy these easy Sloppy Joes, made with fresh vegetables, fennel, lean ground beef, and delicious spices – is perfect for any season, for casual entertaining!

Why fennel? We love the flavor of fennel bulb, but you can always leave this ingredient out, as it’s optional.

Ingredients for Sloppy Joes

What you need for this recipe:

  • Butter
  • Sweet onion
  • Green bell pepper
  • Fennel bulb (optional) – I buy at Trader Joe’s
  • Lean ground beef
  • Tomato paste + water
  • Brown sugar
  • Chili powder, salt, pepper, cumin
  • Kaiser Rolls or small whole wheat buns

Slowing down in life

Having jumped into this new season of life, where we now live in a smaller community, my husband and I are living life a little slower, not running to so many commitments, and we’ve even noticed, we’re savoring our bites and eating slower!

We decided to take control of our lives, which brings us to our new home, a new place … just a lot of newness!

a bowl of Sloppy Joe's meat

I think too many people are not willing to make changes in life. They get caught up in why moving or making a change (or downsizing) wouldn’t work, where realistically it would be better for their health, finances, and even family life. Bottom line, too many of us have a set of wonky fears that rule us, and make us do what we do.

meat and buns for sloppy joe's

For many, living out their dreams means getting a new job, making more money, or planning that dream vacation. It means building their empire, keeping all their stuff neat and tidy, getting bigger and better—at the same time, life moves forward very quickly and for some, chaotically. The more I get to know people who are really happy, I see one thing in common. They’re living out the “less is more” mindset, and instead of getting more “stuff,” they are finding contentment and purpose in experiences and intentional living.

Less of the rat race, more peace and mind, and purpose.

Experiences are where it’s at for me. That is where true joy lies.

Sloppy Joes Recipe

Last night we enjoyed a delicious meal on the back patio, this Sloppy Joes Recipe. A simple peach salad (super easy, and I can’t wait to make this for guests visiting us in a few weeks), and Sloppy Joes.

deconstructed sloppy joes on a tray

I love my friend Ree’s recipe for Sloppy Joes. This time I added a fennel bulb (can you say, YUM?), and just kept the ingredients simple. It turned out DELISH!

And then Ree, with her sense of humor, adds that you can add a slice of cheese … “top with a slice of cheese if it makes your skirt fly up.” HA HA.

Love that lady.


More great recipes:

Peach Mint Salad [RE], Peach Quinoa Salad [RE], Blueberry Watermelon Feta Mint Salad [Wears Many Hats], Blueberry and Apple Salad with Parmesan [Foodness Gracious].

a sloppy joe served with a pickle

sloppy joe sandwich on a plate with fresh peaches
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Sloppy Joes Recipe


  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 fennel bulb, diced (optional)
  • 2-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 6 oz. cans tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 3 tsp. chili powder, season to taste
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • Kaiser Rolls or small whole wheat buns


  • Add butter to a large skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat; add the onion, green pepper, and fennel. Cook for 5-7 minutes until tender. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Drain most of the fat and discard.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes, adding more salt and pepper to taste.
  • Toast buns. Spoon meat mixture over the rolls; optional to top with a slice of cheese.
Did you make this recipe?Tag @reluctantentertainer on Instagram and hashtag it #reluctantentertainer!

a sloppy joe sandwich on whole wheat bun

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