All these years I’ve thought sloppy joes were the worst dinner ever, but after months of testing I’ve finally found a recipe I LOVE!
Every time I heard that we were having sloppy joes for lunch at school as a kid, I cringed. I was never too excited for sloppy joes at home either. Not knowing what was in the sloppy joes made it harder for me to eat — it should have been called “Mystery Joes” or something along those lines.
For years, we tried new recipes and each one was getting closer and closer to me finally accepting the sloppy mess of a meal. Everyone went crazy for them at school and families we knew loved them, clearly I was missing something.
We have finally found the best sloppy joe recipe EVER! Not just the best, but a totally crave-able recipe! It’s the perfect balance of sweet and salty and a little spicy.
Creating the Best Sloppy Joes Recipe
As a teenager, I watched Adam Sandler and Chris Farley perform “lunch lady land” on Saturday Night Live. Interestingly enough, this skit gave me a new outlook on sloppy joes, not sure why.
Well, a couple decades later this bad boy lands on my plate and a whole slew of feelings came rushing back: disgust, anxiety, unpleasant crunchy things, failure after failure of trying this recipe in the past, and almost complete despair of ever finding a Sloppy Joes recipe that actually tasted good.
Would this one be another flop? I sat down to the dinner table with that fake smile, that “thanks honey, this looks great” face on that I had nailed down over my childhood years. The smells began to hit my nostrils and to my surprise they were pleasant, smokey richness, grilled onions and peppers, almost like a bbq restaurant smell.
I began to feel a little excitement in this Mystery Joe. I went in for the first bite and it was all over from there, seconds and thirds landed on my plate and my taste buds were chest bumping each other.
What is a Sloppy Joe?
To be clear, a sloppy joe is not a sandwich with chili piled on top. A sloppy joe is a sandwich consisting of ground beef or pork, onions, tomato sauce or ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings, served on a hamburger bun.
The dish originated in the United States during the early 20th century. According to legend, a cook named Joe at Floyd Angell’s café in Sioux City, Iowa, added tomato sauce to his “loose meat” sandwiches and the “sloppy joe” sandwich was born. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Sloppy Joe Ingredients
For this easy sloppy joe recipe, you’ll need a handful of ingredients. I bet most of these ingredients are in your pantry already! For the sloppy joe meat mixture, you’ll need…
- Red Bell Pepper
- Ground Beef
Although you can’t have sloppy joes without the meat, the sloppy joe sauce is what really makes this recipe. For the sloppy joe sauce, you’ll need…
- Brown Sugar
- Dijon Mustard
- Worcestershire Sauce