YIELDS: 6 Servings PREP TIME: 20 mins COOK TIME: 15  mins TOTAL TIME: 35  mins

Made from scratch meatballs simmered in an authentic sloppy joe sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese. These Sloppy Joe Style Meatballs are great on a sub roll or over a bed of rice!

1 ½ lbs ground venison or lean meat of your choice (beef or bison both work well)
1 large egg 
¾ cup panko bread crumbs
⅓ cup milk 
1 medium onion, finely chopped, divided 
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, divided 
1 ¼ tsp Kosher salt 
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper 
3 tbsp olive oil, divided 
1 medium red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped 
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce 
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup water 
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar 
1 tbsp packed light brown sugar 
1 tsp yellow mustard 
1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella 

Cutting board 
Large bowl
Large pot


  1. In a large bowl, combine the ground venison, egg, panko, milk, ¼ cup finely chopped onion, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce, kosher salt and pepper. Using a scoop or spoon, scoop the mixture, about 2 tbsp at a time, and roll into balls. (Makes around 33.) Arrange on a plate. 
  2. Preheat smoker to 650°F or oven to broil. 
  3. Arrange the meatballs in a large pot in a single layer. Cook, turning occasionally, until seared on all sides, about 7-9 minutes. Transfer the meatballs to a plate and discard the grease. 
  4. Return the pot to medium heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil, bell pepper, garlic, and remaining onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 8-10 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, ketchup, water, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, and remaining 1 tbsp Worcestershire. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Return to the meatballs to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened and the meatballs are cooked through, about 4-6 minutes. 
  5. Remove the pot from heat and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. Return the pot to the smoker or broiler for about 2 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and golden.
  6. Serve however you like: As is, as a slider, a sub, over rice, etc.