I don’t always put cheese on sloppy joes, but when I do, I do it right.
The best cheese for sloppy joes is one with a low melting point. This will allow the cheese to melt into the beautiful mess that is a sloppy joe.
If I had to pick one to be my favorite, it would be Monterey jack, but there are a few strong contenders.
6 Best Cheeses for Sloppy Joes
I should preface this by saying that I make all of my sloppy joes with venison, and I’ve never actually eaten one made from other meat.
However, the cheeses below should work well with any sloppy joe and excellently with venison.
Gouda is one of my favorite cheeses and works particularly well with sloppy joes.
Being a semi-hard cheese means it has a low melting point, but not so low that it turns into a mess.
Gouda comes from the Netherlands, but its popularity made it a world-famous cheese.
Its creamy texture and sweet flavor make it a perfect match for a creamy sweet sloppy joe.
This is a love-it-or-hate cheese when it comes to sloppy joes. Cheddar melts well, but not quite as much as gouda.
Cheddar has a sharp flavor which some may enjoy, but some people may not find the pairing works with sloppy joes.
If you are one of the latter, I recommend trying a young cheddar. As cheddar matures, it becomes dryer and develops a strong, sharp flavor, and this is not the cheddar I recommend for sloppy joes.
Yong cheddar, on the other hand, has a mild flavor and creamy texture; this is what I recommend for sloppy joes.
It melts well and has a sweet flavor with a slight hint of sharpness.
If you need a cheese that melts well, it’s hard to beat mozzarella.
This cheese works just as well on sloppy joes as it does on summer sausage or pizza, and it’s all due to its meltability.
Another great benefit of mozzarella is the creamy taste balances out flavors well.
Sloppy joes can often be too sweet due to sugar or too sour due to tomatoes.
Generally, you would play with these two to find the perfect balance, but if you use mozzarella, you don’t have to, as it will balance the flavor.
The creamy texture also makes for a better sandwich by holding the ingredients together.
Monterey Jack may not have the global fame as gouda, but in North America, it’s one of the most popular cheeses and a great one for sloppy joes.
What better cheese for an American sandwich than American cheese?
This is another mild cheese with a low melting point. What I love most about monterey jack cheese is how it pairs well with venison.
The slightly sweet flavor of monterey jack works exceptionally well with the sweetness of sloppy joes, especially venison sloppy joes.
If you use sugar in your sloppy joes, you can cut back slightly when using monterey jack.
While the cheese is not sweet enough to replace sugar, it adds a different flavor profile to make sugar not necessary.
I wasn’t sure about putting provolone on this list, but after some thought, I decided why not.
Provolone is almost an artesian cheese that pairs well with gourmet dishes, hence my reservation.
However, it ticks most of the boxes for sloppy joes. It has a low melting point, creamy texture, and mild flavor.
The main difference is that provolone has a delicate nutty flavor that may be lost on sloppy joes.
If you are ok not tasting the full flavor of the cheese in lieu of elevating your sandwich, then I don’t see any reason not to use provolone cheese.
American cheese is an obvious choice for sloppy joes. No cheese on this list melts quite as well as American cheese; mozzarella comes close but doesn’t melt in the same way.
The only drawback with American cheese is it comes in slices, which are great for venison burgers, but I prefer grated cheese for sloppy joes as it mixes better with the loose meat.
That being said, American cheese melts so well that these slices are rarely an issue. Also, if you are really pressed, you can find blocks of American cheese for grating if you look hard enough.