Classic Sloppy Joes

2016-04-07 17.36.35RECIPE #219, DAY #286

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “Super Sloppy Joes” from Rachel Ray’s 30 Minute Meals 2*

TIMING: 20 minutes

DIFFICULTY: Really easy. Just cut up some veg and don’t burn your buns

TOOLS: A toaster oven is handy here (and everywhere)

COOK TYPE: Stovetop and toaster oven (or toaster or oven)

HEALTH: I would think people think of sloppy joes as a sort of junk food meal, but really, they’re not half-bad. When made with some veggies and fresh ingredients–and especially with whole wheat and/or homemade buns and real, cultured, pickles–this is an easy, kid-pleasing, weeknight meal.

EXPERIENCE: Packing up the rest of our stuff to move, and using some easy dinner cookbooks from the library, and this one seemed like a no-brainer, especially with permission to pair it with a root beer float (and potato salad). We made this as part f a Rachel Ray 30 minute meal, and I thought the whole thing was great together and also completely doable for a weeknight. (But when really pressed for time, you could find a quicker and easier veggie side dish.)

I have other Sloppy Joe recipes, and the main one we use has a much longer cook time since it is made with lentils instead of ground beef. But this Sloppy Joe is more than acceptable (although a tad sweet for me)… and it sure beans Manwich.

NOTES: We don’t need a ton of meat, so I made this with 3/4 pounds ground beef, which means we had to adjust by cutting back on about 1/3-1/2 cup of the tomato sauce. That’ all.


  1. In a wide, deep skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon safflower oil. Add 1 pound (up to 1 1/4 pounds) ground beef and cook, breaking up, for 1 minute. Add 1/4 cup brown sugar and 2 teaspoons steak seasoning and cook until meat is browned.
  2. Reduce heat to medium and add 1 diced onion and 1 diced bell pepper. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until veggies have softened.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 15 oz can tomato sauce, and 2 tablespoons tomato paste. Simmer for about 5 minutes, until Joe has thickened. Taste for salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, spread 4-6 hamburger buns with butter, and toast.
  5. Serve Joe on a bun with thick-sliced, salted tomato, onion slices, and bread and butter pickles slices.


Serve Joes with condiments listed, potato salad, and root beer floats. You’ll feel like you’re eating in a diner–a really good diner.

*Recipe has been changed from the original.


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