Mom’s Best Ever Sloppy Joes

 Sloppy Joe-1

 Do you like Sloppy Joe’s? Mmmmmm…..

This is such a kid food, isn’t it? It reminds me of my youth even though I was eating spaghetti and meatballs way more often than Sloppy Joes. My dad would make Sloppy Joes occasionally, but sadly, I don’t have his recipe.

I dunno – are these also considered “man food”? My neighbor Matt mentioned that his father would also make a huge batch on Sundays and allow the meat to simmer gently in an electric skillet all. day. long. Wow – that sounds so good, doesn’t it? He would then serve them up warm with a fresh snowflake roll. Unfortunately, his dad is no longer around to pass down the recipe either.

Fortunately, in the Internet age, we can easily find a good family recipe! After searching for just that, I landed on Jam Hand’s blog and her recipe sounded straightforward and delicious. I also love that it contains a decent amount of vegetables, for added flavor and texture (diced celery, red pepper, and onion). If your kids have an aversion to vegetables, you can throw the vegetables in the food processor (without the meat, of course) – they’ll never know! Instead of ketchup, I went ketchup-free and used tomato paste and tomato sauce in an attempt to cut down on the sugar juuust a pinch.

Of course, this also makes a great meal for a crowd so if you’re entertaining for Super Bowl this weekend, consider this for part of the spread.  It can easily be doubled or even cut by half if you happen to need less.

Recipe slightly adapted from Jam Hands

Mom's Best Ever Sloppy Joes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A delicious, tangy, sweet, and slightly spicy sloppy joe
Serves: 8
  • 2 pounds ground turkey or beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 6 large garlic cloves, smashed and minced
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 small can tomato paste (6 ounce)
  • 1 small can tomato sauce (15 ounce)
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 cup finely chopped green or red bell peppers
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • ½ teaspoon of Tabasco sauce
  • Black pepper to taste
  • *If you like spicy food, try adding a tablespoon of Sriracha sauce (optional)
  1. In a large non-stick pan, brown turkey over medium high heat and then remove to dish and set aside (drain fat if using beef)
  2. Add ¼ cup of oil to pan and saute onions and garlic over medium-high heat until translucent and fragrant, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the meat back to pan, along with all the remaining ingredients.
  4. Bring mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat and then reduce heat to low, and cook covered for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove cover and continue to cook uncovered for another 30 minutes.
  6. Check seasonings, and add black pepper to taste and more salt if desired
  7. Serve on freshly baked snowflake rolls or other bakery rolls of your choice.
You can slow cook these for longer than 1 hour if desired; just ensure that you keep the meat covered for the majority of the time so the mixture doesn't dry out.


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