Saturday, January 22, 2022


Years ago, when our hungry teenage boys came home for dinner (with hungry friends tagging along) it was a challenge to feed them all with one pan of Sloppy Joe's. Unexpected guests at the dinner table were fun, but required some quick thinking, so I "stretched" this simple but tried and true recipe, by adding kidney beans, shredded carrots, and cheese. It was always a big hit. Necessity is the mother of invention I guess, thank goodness for versatile recipes like this one!!

These days, the kids are all off on their own, but Covid threats keep me out of the grocery store more, so I still make full size batches of this recipe and freeze the extra.

I put the "extra" filling into a freezer bag, then pat the filling to  1" thick before freezing it. This "thin disk" of cooked Sloppy Joe filling thaws out FAST!!! We love "instant" meals like this.

1 pound lean ground beef (I use 90% lean)
3/4 cup chopped onion
2/3 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 level tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/8 (to)1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (*see note)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5 hamburger buns, split and toasted

Saute the onions, then add the burger and cook until the
 meat is no longer pink (chopping up the meat as it cooks) (drain meat if necessary).

Stir in remaining ingredients (except buns). Simmer on med-low for about 15 minutes (this will thicken the filling, but don't let it get too dry). Butter and toast the hamburger buns, then fill with the Sloppy Joe mixture and serve.

NOTE: I ALWAYS serve our Sloppy Joes with a slice of cheese under the meat mixture and a squirt of yellow mustard on top of the meat (our favorite way to eat this sandwich).

 *1/8 teaspoon of cayenne adds a "little something" extra to the flavor of this sandwich, but it is NOT spicey, that's for sure (hubby hates spice). If you like a little spark in your sandwich, use about 1/4 teaspoon.