Sloppy joes are a loose meat sandwich that is made with ground beef, onions and peppers and spices that are simmered in a savory tomato based gravy and served mile high on a toasted bun. But more importantly, they are the ultimate in messy hand to mouth comfort food!
How many of you remember eating Manwich growing up? Boy I sure do.
“A sandwich is a sandwich, but a Manwich is a meal”. Remember that?
In case you are unfamiliar with this quintessential childhood favorite, let me fill you in.
What’s a Classic Sloppy Joe?
Depending on where you live, a “Sloppy Joe” can mean many different things. Supposedly a guy named Joe invented it in Iowa. It is a sweet and tangy ground beef concoction that you pile a mile high onto a hamburger bun.
It’s a mess. Intentionally so. Even though it’s in a bun, it WILL fall out of the bun resulting in the rest being scoffed up with a fork. Every single meaty bite getting messier and messier.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE SLOPPY JOES
- Combine all the sloppy joe sauce ingredients in a small saucepan.
- Begin by sautéing the onions and peppers in a little oil in a large skillet. Add the ground beef and turn the high on heat. Brown until a deep brown crust appears before breaking the beef apart. This gives the meat a deeper flavor.
- Stir the ground beef and continuing browning it until a deep crust appears. Drain the fat and continue breaking the meat up into very fine pieces.
- Add the sauce and warm through.
- Pile HIGH and serve on toasted hamburger buns.
Whether you call them Yip Yips, Slushburgers, Hot Tamales, Taverns or Wimpies, these ground beef sandwiches are loved by all ages!
Can this be made with ground turkey?
- Absolutely! I go a step further and add finely diced carrots and celery too. Dijon adds a little more zing than yellow mustard.
What Side Dishes can I Serve?
- Ask any kid what goes with Sloppy Joes and the answer will always be potato chips.
- For those who want a little more “grown up” (and I say that carefully) version, steak fries or French fries are a go to.
- Personally, my new favorite is over a baked potato! Man is that good.
- I’ve even seen some people here in the Midwest treat their Sloppy Joe just like a hamburger… pickles cheese and all! I’ve never tried it that way so I can’t say how it tastes. But it sure looks good.
Make Ahead and Storage:
- Fridge – Store any unused sloppy joe meat and sauce in an airtight container. The remaining sloppy joe mix will store for up to 3 -4 days when refrigerated.
- Freezer – Store the sloppy joe mixture in an airtight container or Ziploc freezer storage bag for 3 – 4 months in the freezer. Thaw the frozen sloppy joe mix in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat in a large skillet over medium-low heat until warmed through.
Sloppy joes are a loose meat sandwich that is made with ground beef, onions and peppers and spices that are simmered in a savory tomato based gravy and served mile high on a toasted bun.
- 1 ½ lbs. Lean Ground Beef
- ½ Cup Green Bell Peppers (red works too)
- ¼ Cup Onion, diced finely
- 1 Tbsp Oil
- 1 Tbsp Minced Onion Flakes
- ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Pepper
FOR THE SAUCE:
- 6 oz. Tomato Paste
- ½ Cup Water
- 2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- ¼ Cup White Wine Vinegar
- 1 Tbsp Chili Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon Mustard
- 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
- ¼ teaspoon Black Pepper
- Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a large skillet, over low/medium heat, sauté the diced onions and peppers in 1-2 Tbsp olive oil for approximately 4-5 minutes or until they being to soften.
- Turn the heat to high and add the ground beef. Sprinkle with the minced onion, garlic and season with salt and pepper. Brown the beef until a deep brown crust appears before breaking the beef apart. Once you see the beef begin to brown on the bottom, give it a good stir and being breaking the beef up with a wooden spoon or fork. Cook the beef until it’s almost cooked through. Drain the excess oil if there is any.
- Once drained, continue breaking the beef up as finely as possible.
- Add the sauce and stir thoroughly to combine.
- Turn the heat down to a simmer and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes, partially covered.
- Remove from the heat and pile the meat mixture on to toasted buns.
Note: You can sub tomato sauce or ketchup for the tomato paste and water. I choose to do it this way to lower the sugar content.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH THESE:
PERFECTLY ROASTED STEAK FRIES