Sloppy Joes – Ground beef is slathered in a mixture of onions, green pepper, ketchup, and mustard and served on a soft potato bun.
Easy homemade dinners are something that I’ve adopted during my work-from-home life. With my commute from work to home eliminated, I’ve got a little more time to devote to weeknight meals, which means less frozen meals and more creativity in the kitchen. I don’t like to buy tons of ingredients so the meals I’ve been gravitating towards use kitchen staples that I already have. My favorites have been these chicken sandwiches, this meatloaf, and this shrimp.
Today I’ve got yet another easy dinner to add to your repertoire. This one comes from another blog, The Chunky Chef. She has some of the best recipes I’ve seen (and gorgeous photos that will make you drool!) so when I saw her recipe for Sloppy Joes, I just had to try it for myself. You’re guaranteed to have many of the ingredients on hand so there’s no excuse to give this recipe a try this week. And if you switch out the buns for gluten-free ones, you’ve got yourself a gluten-free meal, too!
I love the flavor these Sloppy Joes bring and how quickly them come together – they’re ready in under 30 minutes! My husband and kids equally love them so it’s a no-brainer for weeknight meals. I’m always looking for new ways to get my kids to eat meat other than chicken nuggets so I am so happy they love these.
Without further ado, here are some gorgeous shots of my Sloppy Joes!
What is a sloppy joe?
A sloppy joe is defined as a sandwich made with ground beef that’s been seasoned with tomatoes and spices and served on a hamburger bun. I have no idea where the name came from. Maybe “Joe” is Sloppy because he served the beef messy and not in a patty like a hamburger? Who knows.
How to make these sloppy joes
Sloppy joes are incredibly easy to make. They are so easy to make that it almost makes you wonder why on Earth they sell sloppy joes in a can. I would understand if it were a labor of love that took hours to make. But these babies are ready to eat in less than 30 minutes!
The process starts with browning the beef first. This is done separately from the veggies to (1) not crowd the pan, which ensures the beef will brown instead of steam and (2) it will let us drain out the excess fat before adding in other ingredients.
Once the beef is cooked, the excess fat is drained out and the beef is placed in a separate bowl and set aside for later. Next, the veggies are cooked to softened them up a bit. The beef is added back with the tomato paste and mixed together until combined. Do this before adding the other ingredients because tomato paste is easier to mix without tons of liquid in the mix.
Finally, the rest of the ingredients are added and mixed to give the joes their sloppy texture. The mix is cooked to thicken it up a bit and then removed from heat before serving on hamburger buns.
Tips & Tricks
- I used a food processor to mince my onion and pepper into teeny pieces. This made sure no one got big chunks of onion or pepper in their bites of sloppy joe.
- To make the joe as sloppy as can be, make sure the ground beef is broken down well during the cooking process. You don’t want big pieces of beef in a sloppy joe.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ½ yellow onion minced
- ⅓ green pepper minced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoons tomato paste
- ⅔ cup ketchup
- ½ cup water
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- ¾ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 6 potato buns
- Add oil to a large skillet and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add ground beef and cook until browned. Drain out the excess fat, place in a bowl and set aside.
- Add butter to the skillet and place on medium heat. Once butter is melted, add onions and peppers and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add beef back to skillet, along with tomato paste. Mix together. Add in ketchup, water, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Mix together to combine.
- Cook mixture for 10 minutes, or until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat. Scoop about 2/3 cup into split potato buns and close to make a sandwich. Serve immediately.