Garlic Bread Sloppy Joes are a delicious twist on the classic sandwich, made with Italian bread topped with the best sloppy joe mixture and cheese. Then, they are baked in the oven until golden brown. Cut the bread into smaller pieces to serve as an appetizer. Or, keep the pieces in larger sections for a main course. Either way you cut it, literally, these are SO GOOD! Plus, these can also be made in an air fryer. You really can’t go wrong when serving a Sloppy Joe!

Close up of Garlic Bread Sloppy Joe on Parchment Paper.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Bread: While Italian bread is a popular choice for garlic bread sloppy joes, there are other options you could use as well. Try this recipe with a French baguette, ciabatta, sourdough, or any of your favorites. The garlic butter and toppings will add flavor to any bread you choose!

Garlic Butter: Unsalted butter is mixed with garlic salt and then spread over the halves of the bread. If you don’t have garlic salt on hand or simply want a milder flavor, just use plain butter.

Ground Beef: I prefer ground beef for the sloppy joe mixture. However, you could certainly try this recipe with ground turkey.

Sloppy Joe Mixture: The sloppy joe mixture is made with simple ingredients you probably already have on hand. It’s the same flavorful mixture I use in my Sloppy Joe Baked Potatoes and Sloppy Joe Nachos, which should both be on your list of recipes to try if you love Sloppy Joes!

Topping: I used mozzarella cheese and sharp cheddar cheese for the topping. Of course, you could use all of one or the other. Or, try these with your favorite kind of cheese. Now that would be a tasty experiment!

Steps for Making Garlic Bread then Adding Sloppy Joe Mix and Cheese.

Can I Make Garlic Bread Sloppy Joes Ahead Of Time?

Sure! Making the sloppy joe mixture ahead of time will save lots of time. And, in addition, making it in advance allows the flavors to meld together for a more developed taste! (I have always loved leftover sloppy joes.) Once you have the ground beef cooked with the other ingredients, let it cool down. Then, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. When ready to assemble the garlic bread, heat up the mixture a little bit before topping the bread with it. Sprinkle on the cheese and bake.

Close up of Garlic Bread Sloppy Joe on Parchment Paper.

How To Store Garlic Bread Sloppy Joes

Although best served fresh, you can always save the leftovers to enjoy the next day or two. Store the garlic bread sloppy joes in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. When ready to enjoy, reheat them in the oven or air fryer.

More Sloppy Joe Recipes

Garlic Bread Sloppy Joes on a Cutting Board Cut Into Slices.
5 from 28 votes

Garlic Bread Sloppy Joes

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 24 minutes
Total Time 29 minutes
Garlic Bread Sloppy Joes are a delicious twist on the classic sandwich, made with Italian bread topped with the best sloppy joe mixture and cheese. Then, they are baked in the oven until golden brown.



  • 1 loaf Italian bread
  • ½ cup (1 stick / 113 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt

Sloppy Joe

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ¼ cup yellow onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • ¾ cup (180 g) ketchup
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup water


  • 1 cup (113 g) mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup (113 g) sharp cheddar, shredded
  • parsley, chopped for garnish


  • Preheat oven to 350°F*. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Slice the loaf of bread lengthwise into two halves. Place both halves of the bread onto the lined baking sheet, cut side up.
  • In a small bowl, combine the butter and garlic salt. Spread the butter mixture over the cut sides of the bread. Set aside while you make the sloppy joe filling.

Sloppy Joe

  • In a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook the ground beef and onions until the beef is no longer pink (8-10 minutes). Drain grease. Stir in the garlic powder, mustard, ketchup, salt, pepper, and water, mixing until combined.


  • Divide the sloppy joe mixture between both sides of the loaves and top with the mozzarella and cheddar cheese. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Cut into pieces and serve with parsley for garnish.



*Air Fryer Instructions
Follow the instructions to the point of baking the bread in the oven. Instead, place the bread into the basket of your air fryer. Air fry for about 5 minutes at 400°F, or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. They will get a little darker when cooked in the air fryer, but still delicious!

Did you make this recipe?

You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.

What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:


I absolutely loved this! I am a big fan of sloppy joes and garlic bread, so I really can't say I was surprised at how much I enjoyed each bite. YUM! It's a delicious variation of the classic sandwich.


I don't even care for sloppy joes but this was so good. The garlic bread base for it is an absolute game changer, I would absolutely eat this and I am someone who normally avoids sloppy joes!


These are such a good idea for sloppy joes! They're less messy and way more tasty, would 100% recommend trying them!


This is such a fun and delicious variation of sloppy joes! I like that everything is added onto the bread at once and then just sliced into individual portions. This would be a great option for serving sloppy joes at a party!


Ummmm, step away from this if you don't want to eat the whole thing. This is just simply delicious. I loved the garlic butter flavor that came through and the melty cheese on top was perfection!

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Reader Comments

  1. 5 stars
    You make everything look so delicious and everything so beautiful and perfect looking. I just love all your recipes so very much. Sincerely, JoLaine Gross

  2. Making this for dinner! Adding green pepper with the onion and I don’t have bread, but I do have garlic bread which I’m going to use.. it’s thawing now! This will definitely be one of our faves. If I don’t have enough ketchup is there something else.. tomato sauce?

    1. salsa might be a better substitute for ketchup (or for a part of the ketchup) than BBQ sauce – for those who either don’t want the sugar or the artificial smoke in the dish – salsa has tomatoes, onion, peppers (same as the rest of the filling) and is available in mild, medium (my favorite) or HOT, depending on how spicy you like this to be.

  3. Not showing recipe or ingredients or how to make sloppy joe have underlined that I can see

      1. 5 stars
        Yummy! My family devoured it… The buttered garlic bread had the perfect crunch with sloppy joe on top. It’s definitely on rotation.

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