These sloppy joes with an Italian twist are served on thick slices of garlic Texas Toast and topped with mozzarella cheese. These open-faced sandwiches are perfect for a busy weeknight meal, potluck or game day spread!
There's just something wholesome about sloppy joes. As the name implies, there's nothing fancy about them but they are one of my favorite go-to meals. They are perfect for busy weeknights as they come together in less than 30 minutes, are kid-friendly, and delicious!
Sloppy joes are also a great way to feed a crowd. Recipes can be easily doubled or tripled making them a great thing to make for a party.
While my long time favorite sloppy Joe recipe is this one made with chicken gumbo soup, these Italian sloppy joes are a fun twist and a new top contender! This recipe has become a new family favorite, and I hope it will become one for your family too!
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Quick & easy - Have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes with this recipe. Perfect for a busy weeknight meal!
- Kid-friendly - If your kids are anything like mine, they can't resist buttery pieces of garlic bread or the meaty tomato sauce that's similar to what is served with spaghetti.
- Hearty & delicious - With the rich sloppy joe mixture piled high on thick slices of garlic bread, this filling sandwich doesn't require much for side dishes.
Here are a few helpful tips on the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Ground beef & Italian sausage - Using seasoned pork sausage along with ground beef gives the mixture a great flavor. Use either mild or hot sausage, depending on your spice preference.
- Italian seasoning - This all-in-one seasoning typically consists of basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram. I love having this stuff on hand as it packs a lot of flavor without having a bunch of separate spices on hand.
- Texas toast - This thick sliced garlic bread is found the freezer section. You could definitely make your own, but this stuff is one of my favorite store-bought shortcuts.
Step 1: Prebake the Texas toast - Place Texas toast slices on a baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. This allows the bread to get a head start in toasting up before it's topped with the meat mixture.
Step 2: Make the filling - While the toast is baking, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and sausage and break apart into small pieces. Cook until meat is no longer pink. Drain any excess grease.
Add chopped onion, bell pepper and garlic. Continue sautéing 4-5 minutes until onions are translucent and peppers are soft.
Add tomato sauce, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
Step 3: Top the toast - Top each toast slice with a hearty scoop of the sloppy joe mixture and sprinkle with mozzarella. This recipe will make 8 hefty sandwiches so pile the meat high!
Step 4: Bake - Place the sheet pan back in the oven for another 5-6 minutes until the cheese is melted and the bread is crispy around the edges. That's it!
Serve these Italian Sloppy Joes right out of the oven alongside a garden or Caesar salad for a nice meal. These open-faced sandwiches are quite filling on their own so a simple side dish works best.
The sloppy joe filling can be made ahead of time in a skillet and placed in the crock pot on the lowest or warm setting until ready to serve.
You absolutely could use about 2 cups of jarred marinara or spaghetti sauce in place of the tomato sauce. One of the main reasons I use tomato sauce and add Italian seasoning to it is that the jars of marinara usually come in a 24 oz. size. This avoids having sauce leftover that may or may not get used at a later date.
If you don't have the all-in-one Italian seasoning and don't want to buy 5 separate spices, you could use just dried basil and oregano. These 2 spices will still season the mixture well and give the sloppy joes their Italian flair.
Storage & Reheating
While leftover sandwiches can be reheated, the bread will likely become soggy from the filling on top. If you are expecting to not use all 8 sandwiches at once, I would keep some of the bread and meat mixture separate.
To reheat, you can microwave the meat mixture or reheat in a saucepan on the stove before topping the bread. I would recommend still using the oven to toast the bread and melt the cheese to avoid any sogginess.
Any leftover sloppy joe filing could also be frozen to use at a later date. Place fully cooled meat into a freezer bag or container and it will keep for 3-4 months in the freezer.
Other Recipes You'll Love
Have you made one of my recipes? I’d love your feedback on the comment box and star rating below the recipe!
Italian Sloppy Joes on Texas Toast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ pound ground Italian sausage mild or hot
- ½ cup yellow onion chopped
- ½ cup bell pepper chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 8 slices garlic Texas Toast slices frozen
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese shredded
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place Texas toast slices on a baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges just start to brown.
- While toast is baking, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and sausage and break apart into small pieces. Cook until meat is no longer pink. Drain any excess grease.
- Add chopped onion, bell pepper and garlic. Continue sautéing 4-5 minutes until onions are translucent and peppers are soft.
- Add tomato sauce, salt, pepper and Italian seasoning.Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes.
- Top each toast slice with a scoop of meat mixture and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Place back in the oven for 5-6 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.