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Skillet Sloppy Joes Pasta (Easy Recipe)

This skillet sloppy joes pasta is the perfect one-pan meal to cook when you want a lot of flavor but have very little time. It’s also budget-friendly and absolutely delicious! You can make it with either ground beef or turkey.

One-Pan Meals

bowl of skillet sloppy joes pasta

I love to cook one-pan dinners when I’m in a hurry because everything goes so quickly. Plus, cleanup is a breeze. 

Some of my favorite one-pan dinners are casseroles, like this cheesy zucchini ham bake. Or this more traditional chicken rice casserole.

Skillet Sloppy Joes Pasta Ingredients

This recipe only has a few ingredients, and you’re likely to have all or most of them in your pantry and fridge.

I placed a printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for your convenience. If you’re in a hurry, all you need to do is scroll down to see it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 3 cups of sliced peppers and onions
  • 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce
  • One 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 cup of spiral pasta (or whatever pasta you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup of water

As I mentioned, instead of ground beef, you can use ground turkey. I typically choose whichever I have in my freezer.

I keep bags of sliced peppers and onions in my freezer because they’re great additions to so many recipes. Plus it saves time since I don’t have to do so much prep work.

If you don’t have diced tomatoes, you can use tomato sauce or stewed tomatoes. The texture will be slightly different, but it will still taste good.

barbecue sauce and petite diced tomatoes

Any kind of small pasta is good.

I just happened to have an abundance of gluten-free spiral pasta in my pantry because I got some on sale recently.

spiral pasta

Also, instead of water, you can use beef stock. I chose to use water because there’s already enough flavor in the other ingredients.

How to Make Skillet Sloppy Joes Pasta

I have a large stainless steel skillet that I used for this recipe.

It’s also good in an iron skillet, although some people don’t like to cook tomatoes and other acidic foods in cast iron. I’ve never had any trouble with that.

Brown the ground beef in the skillet over medium-high heat. Then add the peppers and onions.

Sauté everything until the onions are tender and translucent.

browned ground beef, peppers, and onions in a skillet

Next, pour the barbecue sauce over it and add the diced tomatoes.

This provides some of the liquid to help cook the pasta, but you’ll still need more.

tomatoes and barbecue sauce added to the skillet

Stir until everything is well mixed.

Finally, add the water and pasta.

Stir everything again, turn the heat down to low heat, and pop a lid on top of the skillet.

pasta added to the pan

After about 15 minutes, start checking to see if the pasta is done.

This usually happens after about 20 minutes, but I still like to start checking early since I don’t care for mushy pasta.

stirring the ingredients

Serve this dish hot. You can add a side salad and some bread to make it a complete meal.

More Recipes

We like to eat a lot of salads around here. Sometimes I make this Greek olive and feta salad when we’re in the mood for something zesty. Other times I pop open a bag of chopped salad mix.

One of our favorite types of bread to eat with a dish like this is cornbread. This southern style cornbread is delicious.

Or if you like a moist cornbread, you may prefer this fine-ground cornmeal cornbread.

My friend Julie has figured out a way to make sweet Jiffy cornbread more moist. She share’s this tip on her Back to My Southern Roots blog.

For dessert, you might like this no-bake cherry lime pie. It’s refreshing and the perfect finish to this delicious meal.

Another sweet treat we enjoy is a flourless peanut butter cookie or two. Those things are melt-in-your-mouth yummy.

Ingredients in a pan above a bowl of skillet sloppy joes pasta

Cooking Tips

You can use any type of skillet to make this delicious one-pan meal. If you use an iron skillet or nonstick skillet, cleanup will be easy because they both release food very easily.

However, you can still do well with a stainless steel skillet as long as you are careful.

The most important thing is to heat the pan before adding the meat. If you put the meat into the skillet when the pan is cold, it will stick and be much more difficult to clean.

Have all of your ingredients measured and ready to go before you begin cooking. Doing this enables you to assemble the ingredients without having to stop and look for them.

Keep a kitchen measurements cheat sheet nearby so you always have the right amount of what you need in the recipe.

See this recipe shared at Weekend Potluck, Meal Plan Monday, and Full Plate Thursday.

bowl of sloppy joes spiral pasta

Skillet Sloppy Joes Pasta

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

This quick and easy one-pan dinner will satisfy a hungry family at the end of a long day!


  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 3 cups of sliced peppers and onions
  • 1/2 cup of barbecue sauce
  • One 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1-1/2 cup of spiral pasta (or whatever pasta you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup of water


  1. In a large skillet, crumble and brown the ground beef over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the peppers and onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes.
  3. Pour the barbecue sauce and diced tomatoes over the top. Stir.
  4. Add the water and pasta. Stir again and cover. Turn the heat down to low.
  5. Cook until the pasta is al dente, approximately 20 minutes.
  6. Serve hot.
Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 369Total Fat 16gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 1gUnsaturated Fat 9gCholesterol 67mgSodium 728mgCarbohydrates 30gFiber 4gSugar 12gProtein 24g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

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