Monday Meal! My No-Fail Sloppy Joes

Monday Meal! My No-Fail Sloppy Joes

This is my number ONE, go-to meal!  It’s simple, quick and very filling! A couple of years ago I would buy the packaged junk sloppy joe mixes because I just never knew how to make them from scratch. And this little story is why I will never buy a packaged mix again!

We were at my parents house and my sister and I were helping my mom prepare dinner.   My mom invited more people at the last minute  and we added two more pounds of ground beef to our sloppy Joe mixture to compensate for the extra people.   My sister and I were searching the pantry for more sloppy Joe mixes but we couldn’t find anymore, oh no!  My sister pulled out a good ole’ church cook book and found a recipe. As my sister tediously measured every ingredient, I jumped in and said, “just dump it in, it will be fine”  (we always joke about her measurement method vs. my throw-it-in/taste method).  Needless to say, our sloppy Joes turned out wonderful! We were all surprised how awesome our homemade sloppy Joes tasted, even better than our packaged sloppy Joes!  And that is how I learned to make my easy, go-to sloppy Joes.  I trimmed and tweaked the recipe we used from the cookbook – I really just like to make things much easier!  My recipe only has five simple ingredients (not 10 like the recipe)!sloppy joe ingred 2

I start off with a pound of ground beef.  Never substitute ground turkey or chicken for beef for this recipe! Why? First off, it does not taste as good!  Second, did you know that 93% lean ground beef has the same amount of fat as 93% lean ground chicken? Third, you NEED the iron from the beef.  Beef is a great source of iron and we absorb iron from animal products about two to three time better than from plant sources.  As I was nursing my daughter last night, I caught up on my recorded TV and watched Friday’s episode of Dr. Oz – Fight Fatigue: Reverse Your Iron Deficiency.  This site does a great job explaining why iron is important in the diet.  Check it out if you are always tired!

I did use 93% lean ground beef because it was on sale but you can actually reduce the amount of fat in beef by rinsing and draining the beef.  Check out this link for the steps, Iowa State Extension – Reducing Fat in Cooked Ground Beef.

Add ketchup!  I do like organic ketchup better, it simply tastes better and it contains simple/real ingredients. But it is totally up to you, I do both!

add ketchup

Add spicy brown mustard (a total must) and Worcestershire sauce.

add mustardadd worchest

One and half tablespoons of brown sugar – just makes this dish complete!

add brown sugar

I found some nice whole wheat buns. Look at the first ingredient, and it IS whole wheat flour!


Add a sliced pickle and here is the perfect Sloppy Joe sandwich!

sp joes 4


Never-Fail Sloppy Joes


1 lb lean ground beef
1 /3 to 1/2 cup organic ketchup

2 tbsp spicy brown mustard

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 to 2  tbsp brown sugar

Heat a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add ground meat and break up with a spatula.Cook meat until separated and no longer pink, about 4 minutes.  Remove skillet from heat. Place meat in a colander and drain out any excess fat from skillet. Rinse meat under very hot water. Return skillet to low heat; add ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar and incorporate. Bring mixture to a gentle simmer and cook uncovered  about 10 minutes.