French Onion Sloppy Joes

French Onion Sloppy Joes

When you want to frugally feed a crowd for game day, or a hungry family at dinner, it doesn’t get much tastier than French Onion Sloppy Joes!

Game Day French Onion Sloppy Joes -

Easy to make homemade ground beef sloppy joes are smothered with plenty of melted Swiss cheese and then are topped with a mound of deeply caramelized, thyme-infused, pan sauteed fried onions. It honestly doesn’t get much easier or more delicious than this!

And, when you factor in that these French Onion Sloppy Joes cost only pennies per serving, you’ll want to add these to the family dinner roster on a regular rotation! SCORE!

**Please Note – The printable recipe card with detailed instructions and complete ingredient measurements for making Game Day French Onion Sloppy Joes is available near the end of this post. 

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When you want to frugally feed a crowd for game day, or a hungry family at dinner, it doesn't get much tastier than French Onion Sloppy Joes! -

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This is a recipe idea that came to me in the middle of the night and made me grab my pen and paper.

When something like that happens it usually takes me a while to fall back asleep, but this time I drifted back easily, and you can bet that I was dreaming about these French Onion Sloppy Joes!

The ingredient list for making Game Day French Onion Sloppy Joes is as follows;

  • sweet onions, sliced
  • fresh thyme sprigs
  • ground beef
  • chopped celery
  • tomato paste
  • brown sugar
  • apple cider vinegar
  • Swiss cheese slices
  • grapeseed oil, or other light oil
  • butter
  • salt and pepper
  • buns

If you want to get fancier and add more ingredients to your ground beef mixture, have at it. I, however, wanted to keep things simple so that the flavor of the thyme-infused caramelized onions would shine in this sandwich.

For great recipes for Father’s Day, click here to check out my Father’s Day Foods recipe roundup!

Making the thyme-infused caramelized onions can be done in advance (if needed). The instructions are simple;

  • Melt butter and oil in a large, heavy skillet.
  • Slice 3 – 4 sweet onions and add them to the skillet, tossing to coat with the butter.
How to make thyme-infused caramelized onions for French Onion Sloppy Joes photo tutorial. -
  • Make a thyme bundle and add them to the skillet along with the onions.
  • Cook the onions over medium heat (stirring occasionally) until they’ve turned a deep golden brown and have cooked down considerably. *Note – this will take approximately 15 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Stir well.
  • Remove the thyme bundle from the skillet and use the onions immediately, or store covered in the fridge for up to 4 days.
How to make thyme-infused caramelized onions for French Onion Sloppy Joes photo tutorial. -

Here are the fast and simple instructions for making homemade sloppy Joes;

  • Brown ground beef and diced celery in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in tomato paste and brown sugar.
How to make homemade sloppy joes for French Onion Sloppy Joes photo tutorial. -
  • Add a splash of apple cider vinegar and cook, stirring frequently until the beef is no longer pink and the sloppy joes are heated through.
  • Serve on buns with a slice of Swiss cheese and mounds of thyme-infused caramelized onions.
How to make homemade sloppy joes for French Onion Sloppy Joes photo tutorial. -
Overhead photo of an open-faced French Onion Sloppy Joes sandwich on a textured place mat and a football napkin.

Looking for other fun and delicious game-day foods you can bring for tailgating or for serving a crowd or gathering?

By clicking on the titles below you’ll be taken directly to the following recipes for;

Open face French Onion Sloppy Joes on a blue plate with a football napkin and salt shaker.

Below is the printable recipe card for today’s French Onion Sloppy Joes

If you’ve enjoyed this recipe and look forward to making it (or have already made it), I’d appreciate if you’d take a moment to give it some feedback by way of stars near the comment section at the end of this post. Thank you so much!

5 from 12 votes
Game Day French Onion Sloppy Joes -
French Onion Sloppy Joes
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
35 mins
When you want to frugally feed a crowd for game day, or a hungry family at dinner, it doesn’t get much tastier than French Onion Sloppy Joes! 
Course: dinner, Easy Main Course, Sandwich
Cuisine: American Comfort Food, Party food
Keyword: French Onion Sloppy Joes, Thyme-Infused Caramelized Onions
Servings: 10 sandwiches
Calories: 479 kcal
Renee – Kudos Kitchen: Renée
For the thyme-infused caramelized onions;
  • 4 sweet onions, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • butchers twine
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
For the homemade sloppy joes;
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 10 slices Swiss Cheese
  • 10 hamburger buns
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
To make the thyme-infused caramelized onions;
  1. Melt the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion slices. Stir well.

  2. Make a thyme bundle by wrapping the thyme sprigs with butcher’s twine or wrap them in cheesecloth.

  3. Add the thyme bundle to the onions. Cook, over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the onions are deeply caramelized and reduced. Remove the thyme and discard. Season with salt and pepper. Stir.

  4. Keep the onions warm until serving or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days if making them in advance.

To make the homemade sloppy joes;
  1. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef and chopped celery.

  2. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  3. Stir in the brown sugar and apple cider vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Cook, stirring occasionally, for an additional 3-4 minutes until the flavors have married and the sloppy joes are heated through.

  5. Serve the sloppy joes on buns and top with slices of Swiss cheese and a helping of thyme-infused caramelized onions.

  6. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

Tools and equipment;

large skillet, wooden spoon, measuring cups, measuring spoons, butchers twine or cheesecloth, chef’s knife, cutting board.


The thyme-infused caramelized onions may be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 4 days (covered). Reheat before serving.


Nutrition Facts
French Onion Sloppy Joes
Amount Per Serving (1 sandwich)
Calories 479 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 93mg31%
Sodium 1084mg47%
Potassium 579mg17%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 30g60%
Vitamin A 690IU14%
Vitamin C 6.2mg8%
Calcium 327mg33%
Iron 4.3mg24%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed today’s recipe for French Onion Sloppy Joes as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing it to you!

Title text image of French Onion Sloppy Joes on a blue plate with melted cheese.

Should you have any questions or comments regarding this recipe, or anything else you’ve seen on my site, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly or leave me a comment in the comment section below. It is always my distinct pleasure to get back to you with a reply just as soon as I possibly can!

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Kudos Kitchen by Renée ~ Cooking up artistically delicious family-friendly dishes from my Kudos Kitchen to yours!

Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!

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  1. Lindsay Fekitoa

    5 stars
    Amazing! They’re perfect for fall and absolutely delicious.

  2. Jennifer Farley

    5 stars
    The onion is such a perfect way to add flavor!

  3. Denay DeGuzman

    5 stars
    What a delicious recipe! The beautiful caramelized onions added the perfect boost of flavor to these already yummy sloppy joes. Mmmmm…

  4. 5 stars
    Cant wait to make it for my husband and his friends on a game day. Instructions are easy to follow and so detailed!

  5. Perfect for a quick and easy meal for a busy night!

  6. Meagen Brosius

    5 stars
    My husband is a HUGE french onion soup fan so I knew we had to give these a shot! They are in instant favorite in our house. I’m sure we’ll be making these time and time again!

  7. 5 stars
    When I saw the onion in this recipe, I knew I had to make it for my husband. He loved every bite!

    • Good to know. Thanks, Sandi!

    • Hi,
      Top directions say add a splash of apply cider vinegar but the bottom directions say 3 tablespoons?? Isn’t that a big difference? Can you please clarify, I need to make these on Saturday.

      • Hi! I may have used the word “splash” a little too loosely. For me, I like my sloppy joes to be more on the vinegary/sweet side so I do, in fact, use 3T. of apple cider vinegar. However, since you may not enjoy it as I do, why not add half of the vinegar, taste it, and if you feel it needs more adjust by adding more.
        I hope this answer is helpful.
        Take care and enjoy the recipe!

  8. 5 stars
    You had me at those yummy onions!! My whole family is going to love this!

  9. Tanya Schroeder

    5 stars
    This is such a fun take on sloppy joes!

  10. 5 stars
    These look perfect for a game day treat! We must have been on the same wavelength because I just made French Onion Chicken with the same delicious onions. I think those onions can elevate any dinner! Great recipe that I’m keeping in mind for the upcoming football season.

  11. 5 stars
    This is amazing, so good! Love the little twist with adding thyme to the caramelized onions, makes such a great flavour!

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