Sloppy Joe’s!

7 Oct

I was never a huge fan of sloppy joe’s growing up.  They were too…sloppy, and I didn’t like the chunks of ground meat.  I’m pretty sure I haven’t even thought about them in years though and never expected to make any (let alone some that actually taste good), but then the sloppy joe episode of Throwdown with Bobby Flay came on and the idea was planted in my head.  I also learned the boyfriend likes the dish, and after browsing several recipes and realizing I already had everything I needed (partially due to a soup I plan to make tomorrow), I figured, why not?

The other reason to make these (besides the throwback to your childhood) is that they take about 30 minutes and one pan to put together.

Speaking of throwback to childhood, guess what was on TV while I was making these? Disney’s Hercules!  My very favorite animated Disney movie…random, I know.  I watched that almost every day one summer and had the whole thing memorized.  I haven’t seen it in a while, and I can confirm that movie is still awesome.


Alright, back to dinner.  First the prep.  Dice up some onion and bell pepper (green is traditional, but any other color would surely be good).

That’s green pepper, I promise…okay fine, it’s celery.  Which is a decent substitution.

Also measure out your chili powder, garlic powder, and salt, and set aside.

Then cook your meat!  I used 99% fat free ground turkey.  Any ground meat is fine (if you use one with less fat though, put a bit of oil in your pan before you add the meat).  Drain the juices from your pan…I grab a big wad of paper towels between tongs, push the meat to one side of the pan then tilt it so the juices go to the other, and then sop it up and throw it away.

Then a splash of beef broth, and your seasonings.  Toss to coat and cook until the broth evaporates (about a minute).  Remove your meat from the pan and set aside.

In that same pan, add a splash of oil, then cook your veggies!  3-4 minutes with a sprinkle of salt until they are translucent.

Next, pour the sauce ingredients in…beef broth, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar.  It will be quite liquidy, so you’ll want to turn up the heat and bring the sauce to a rolling boil to reduce to your desired thickness (it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes, depending on how hot your stovetop is).

Once your sauce has thickened, cut the heat, add beans and return your meat to the pan.

Stir, and that’s all!  Serve on hamburger buns, and don’t forget the fork!  These are sloppy, after all!

The boyfriend was not a fan of the beans (I liked that they added a nice chewy component), and we both agreed that bell peppers would have been better than celery (though I did like the crunch).

Those were the negatives.  This sauce is awesome though.  It’s like a tomatoey, sweet but not too sweet barbeque sauce.  I also like the ground turkey in these…it doesn’t weigh the dish down as much as beef, and there’s plenty of flavor in the sauce, veggies, and meat seasonings.  Totally reminds me of the sloppy joe’s of my childhood, but this version I liked.


Sloppy Joe’s

Serves 4

½ lb. ground beef, chicken, or turkey (I used 99% fat free turkey)
~1/2 cup beef broth, divided
¾ tsp ancho chili powder
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
½ a small onion, diced ( ¼ – ½ cup)
½ a bell pepper, diced ( ¼ – ½ cup)
8 oz tomato sauce
1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup brown sugar
½ a 15 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
Hamburger buns

  • Cook your ground meat over medium-high heat until just cooked through.  Drain extra juices, then add a splash (about 1/8 cup) beef broth, and sprinkle in the chili powder, garlic powder and salt.
  • Stir to evenly distribute the spices, and allow to cook until broth has evaporated (about a minute), then remove meat from pan and set aside
  • Add a splash of oil to the pan, and vegetables.  Sprinkle with salt and cook 3-4 minutes until translucent
  • To the veggies add ¼ cup beef broth, the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar.  Turn up the heat and bring the mixture to a rolling boil to reduce until thick (about 5 minutes)
  • Once the mixture has thickened, stir in beans and meat
  • Serve on hamburger buns

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