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Kid-Friendly, Elegant and Easy Sloppy Joe Recipe

Updated on December 31, 2010

Easy Sloppy Joes

So elegant ... you may be tempted to call them Sloppy Janes!
So elegant ... you may be tempted to call them Sloppy Janes!

This is a kid-friendly recipe that adults will love too! What takes this sandwich from a plain old sloppy Joe recipe to an elegant sloppy Jane is the touch of red-wine vinegar and serving it on French bread. Really...if you grew up enduring this staple on hamburger buns, but possibly did not thoroughly enjoy your experience, then try this recipe.

Did you know? Nobody knows for sure if there is a "sloppy Joe." Some people say the sandwich was first prepared by Sloppy Joe's Bar in Key West. Others say it is a variation of a loose meat sandwich. In any event, it has been around for some time which is sure to make for some good table talk!


Gather and prepare the following ingredients:

  • 4 cups of lean ground beef, cooked and crumbled (approximately 2 pounds raw meat)
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup onion, diced ((Uncooked vegetables soften as meat mixture cooks. If desired, soften onions and pepper on stove-top with a Tablespoon of olive oil.)
  • 1 cup peppers, diced (see note above)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves minced or 2 teaspoons jarred
  • 6 French bread rolls, sliced and warmed prior to serving

Assembly Instructions

Place an empty ziplock bag in a cylinder or bowl to stabilize the bag while you add ingredients to it. Add the following ingredients to the empty ziplock bag:

2-3 Servings 
4-6 Servings 
Ground beef
2 cups 
4 cups 
Tomato paste
1/4 cup 
1/2 cup 
Tomato sauce 
1 cup 
2 cups 
Brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons
1 Tablespoon
Red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon
2 teaspoons
Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon
2 teaspoons
1/2 cup
1 cup
Green Pepper
1/2 cup
1 cup
1 teaspoon
2 teaspoons

2. Stir contents of ziplock bag with spoon.

3. Follow cooking directions below to enjoy this entree now.

4. For portions you would like to freeze, place ziplock bag with meat mixture inside another ziplock bag. Remove any excess air from both bags.

5. Label with cooking directions below.

6. Freeze bag so that it is flat for easy storage and faster defrosting.

Print and Cut Cooking Directions

Easy Sloppy Joes

Instructions: Thaw meat mixture in refrigerator for approx. 24 hours. Warm mixture in skillet over medium-low heat for approx. 10 minutes or until heated through. Warm French bread, if frozen, according to the directions on the package.

Serving Suggestions: Serve over French bread and with your favorite salad.

Servings: ____________________

Preparation date:______________________________

Tips and Suggestions for Easy Sloppy Joe Recipe

  • This mixture also makes a hearty spaghetti sauce.
  • Let your kids help assemble this one.
  • Boost the nutritional value by adding pureed carrot to the sauce.
  • Substitute turkey for ground beef, if desired.
  • Serve on whole wheat roles and use low sugar tomato sauce to make this almost South Beach Phase II compliant (it does have little sugar)
  • This item freeze really well. But, as usual, we recommend that it be consumed within 2-3 months of freezing for the best quality.
  • You can leave out the Worcestershire sauce and the dish is egg-free, soy-free and milk-free. Most French bread is also free of these items. Our family doesn't miss this ingredient at all.
  • If you cut the onions and peppers in slivers, then it is easier to remove them for picky eaters...or leave them out altogether.


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    • esatchel profile image

      PDGreenwell 6 years ago from Kentucky

      I'm not sure how elegant a sloppy joe can be, but this does seem like a delicious recipe and no doubt taste much better than the usual canned sloppy joe sauces. Will give this a try tonight. I have all the ingredients in the fridge.

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