Seeing as you’re here at this particular sloppy Joe recipe, I’m thinking you might be having a get-together this weekend (or sooner). If so, our 5-step recipe won’t mess with your busy schedule. We’re also giving you a story to tell as a bonus.
Joe, The Creator of the Sloppy Joe
Who is Joe? Is he sloppy? And who even named the dish after their sloppiness? Martha Stewart fans, we gather here today to hear about the legendary Joe.
Joe was a chef. Legend tells that Joe lived in the 1950s and cooked at Floyd Angell’s café in Sioux City, Iowa. At the time, the “loose meat” sandwich was a popular thing, and that’s what appeared on Joe’s orders the most. In case you don’t know what a “loose meat” sandwich is, it’s a burger with crumbly beef patties instead of formed ones.
One day, Joe decided to get creative. He tried adding a glob of tomato sauce to the filling mix and scooping a spoonful of it onto the bun. The customers loved it, so our lovely Joe proceeded to think of what to name his glorious creation. He was a neat man, but the meat filling with tomato sauce was not – it looked as if it was going to fall off the bun any moment. Thus, the name Sloppy Joe came into being, and the years that followed were full of fame and popularity.
As the original recipe was so simple, it was easy to modify and add to. Before getting into the how-tos, let’s look at how flexible these delectable buns are.
Different Protein Choices To Spice Up Sloppy Joe Recipes
The original recipe calls for beef. Although we do prefer to keep things simple and easy around here, you can change things up a bit with other choices.
Chicken should be the first option to turn to. It is lean when skinless is your go-to and basically goes with most dishes. It just needs a little prepping beforehand, in this case boiling, and pulling.
Turkey is also a fine alternative. Its nutritional value is closest to chicken, so when chicken’s not available but turkey is, bring home some. In this recipe, simply replace the ground beef with ground turkey and you’re good to go.
Pork can be served as an alternative to beef, although the two aren’t exactly the same. In my experience, pork is better when mixed with Worcestershire sauce, so you might want to add one tablespoon per pound to enhance the flavor.
Beans are a perfect source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. Since beans can easily replace meat in so many dishes, you don’t have to miss out on that gorgeous Sloppy Joe flavor. Replace meat with cooked lentils, beans, peas, etc. and there you have it, a vegan version of a meaty Joe.
Side-dishes To Serve With Sloppy Joe Recipes
A tangy, fresh veggie side can help make this tasty sandwich even more wholesome. It adds a good bunch of micronutrients and fiber to help your digestive system along.
Are you going to open a new tab and type in “sloppy joe salad recipe”? No need! I’ve listed some side salad ideas for you right here:
Arugula Vinaigrette Salad: with spun dried arugula, chopped roasted pecans, crumbles of feta cheese and the most basic version of vinaigrette, this simple but beautiful salad is ready to go. If you’re on low-fat, just leave the feta out and you’re fine.
Kale Caesar Salad: looking for an easy salad? How does a five-ingredient salad sound? Just a handful of kale, shards of shaved Parm, a spoonful of Dijon mustard, a squeeze of lemon, a drizzle of olive oil and voilà! You’ve got just what you’re looking for. Oh and a side note: a few crumbly croutons should add a nice texture to the dish.
Veggies‘n’Dip: since your hands might get covered with the sloppy sauce, why not put those fingers to good use? I’m talking crunchy veg sticks like baby carrots, celery stalks, even broccoli florets can join the stick party. But you haven’t got any ideas for the dip? Sour cream, mayonnaise, salt, pepper, garlic, minced dill, and parsley should do it.
Avocado Salad: creamy, rich avocado cubes mixed with cheese, tomatoes, and herbs. Need I say more?
How To Make Sloppy Joes with Sloppy Meat Filling
Sloppy Joes Recipe
- 12 oz 97% lean ground beef
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp garlic powder divided
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce divided
- 2 tbsp Heinz ketchup
- 2 tsp brown gravy mix
- 1/3 cup unsalted chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp mustard
- 1 cup homemade tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 oz carrot
- 3 oz onion
- 1 oz green bell pepper
- 1 oz yellow bell pepper
- 1 oz cheddar cheese
- 4 hamburger buns split
Make the sauce:
- On a cast-iron pan, turn on medium heat, add the following ingredients successively: onion, olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder, ground black pepper, brown gravy mix, salt, mustard, 1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, tomato sauce, and chicken broth.
- Remove the sauce from the pan, set aside.
Cook the vegetables & beef:
- On the same pan, turn on medium heat, add successively: green bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, carrot, butter. Stir them around for 3 minutes until tender.
- Continue to add ground beef, 1/2 tablespoon of garlic powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce.
- Pour the sauce back to the pan, let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top, stir for a minute one last time. Remove the pan from heat.
- Slice the hamburger buns in half, toast them in the oven at 350°F for 5 minutes.
- Spread the sloppy beef on the toasted buns and serve immediately.