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Homemade Sloppy Joes - Fast Family Favorite!

Updated on January 31, 2012
Source

Additional Variations

This is a very forgiving meal. If you do not have ketchup you can use tomato sauce with a bit of tomato paste for a thickener. Many people love green pepper in their Sloppy Joes but they are not usually a good kid flavor so I use red, sweet peppers. If I have good home grown tomatoes I toss them in. Canned tomatoes also make a good additional flavor and texture.

Onion powder or dehydrated onion works just fine with this mix too - I might just cook it a little longer to let the flavors work better together.

Source
Famous Key West, Florida, Sloppy Joe's
Famous Key West, Florida, Sloppy Joe's | Source
Source
Endorsed by the Army!
Endorsed by the Army! | Source

Fast Food at Home!

Sloppy Joes are a family favorite of ours. I have been making my own recipe for many years. The first time my husband asked if I would make them for him, I was pleased and said, "sure, I have my own recipe." He used the Manwich can which I am not fond of so he put me to the test. He said, "If you can make something that tastes as good as, or better than what is in this can, I will never ask for Manwich again!" I have been making them for almost 19 years and he has never asked for the can mix again.

I was curious about the history of Sloppy Joes and so I did a bit of research. I found out that there are many variations of this food and it is called different things across the world. You may know it as a Toasted Devil Hamburger or Minced Beef. It might be called a Chopped Beef Sandwich or Goulash. If you are in China - ask for a Rou Jia Mo and you will get a Sloppy Joe. In Australia they refer to it as a Savory Minced Roll. Regardless of what it is called - the staple is hamburger meat - ground round - loose meat. Again there are several variations of what cultures refer to as ground beef.

One of the great things about this recipe is that you can just throw whatever you like in or add your own special flavor. My personal recipe is pretty basic and flexible so you can add or subtract ingredients and still get a terrific, quick meal. Fast food at home can be a necessity so I always have some ground beef in the freezer for nights when things don't work out or I don't feel like working that hard for a big dinner.

The ingredients can be easily changed according to your taste - here is what I use to make everyone happy in a hurry and I have a family of 4 and cook for a family of 8 as I often have extra children for dinner as soon as the neighborhood kids find out what I am cooking!

  • 2 pounds of ground beef
  • About 1 Cup of Ketchup
  • A few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon of White Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of Sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Pepper
  • One Red Bell Pepper (sweet)
  • One small White Onion

Brown the ground beef and drain. Throw the ground beef back into the pan and add remaining ingredients in the pan. Let the ingredients cook together for about 30 minutes. Viola! You can serve the meat on a hot dog bun, hamburger bun or any type of bread. I always have a bag of french fries in the freezer to go with this type of meal. I love it because I can bake the fries in the oven while I cook the meat on the stove and everything comes out about the same time. The children love it and the husband loves it so it is also a complaint free meal!

Hot Tips from a Real Housewife!

The last time I made this dish, I was not wearing reading glasses and I inadvertently used Hot Red Pepper Flakes instead of Sweet Red Pepper Flakes. This did not bode well and was totally inedible. Word to the wise - wear your reading glasses when you cook!

If you have children that object to ugly onions - process them in a food processor and they do not even know they are there!

Adam Sandler's Lunch Lady Song - Hilarious!

Comments

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  • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

    Kelly Umphenour 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Hi Kjrzeek1 - I do too and these are pretty good! Kid approved and that is the hardest audience I have ever had to cook for:) lol Good luck - I hope you like them!

  • kjrzeek1 profile image

    kjrzeek1 

    6 years ago from New Jersey, USA

    I love sloppy joes and have not had them in such a long time. Thanks for the recipe, I am going to try it this week.

  • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

    Kelly Umphenour 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Hi Eddy - thank you! I know this will be a crowd pleaser:)

    I hope you have a perfect day as well - your comment sure made my day start out wonderful!!

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 

    6 years ago from Wales

    Mmmm another great recipe for me to bookmark. Up up and away.

    Take care and I wish you a wonderful day.

    Eddy.

  • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

    Kelly Umphenour 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Hey Myth (a/k/a Miss 4.0!!!!). Thank you! It is RHW approved! Lol. I bet Darrel would too - you just can't mess up when your main ingredients start out with ketchup and ground beef! Part of my problem has always been - kid food. It's hard to please a borne man and the kids with dinner sometimes...this one gets the smiley face from all of them:)

    Mine is a little different each time - depending on what I have on hand. I throw whatever sounds good in or supplement for what I don't have. I was thinking these might be really good if you added a few of the French fried onions to top it too!

  • mythicalstorm273 profile image

    mythicalstorm273 

    6 years ago

    I love making sloppy joes for Darrel... As you said it is a great quick meal and he loves it. Also it is not horribly unhealthy! Actually considering a lot of the stuff we eat, it is pretty healthy! I have made a few varieties of sloppy joes, but I can't remember any of them... which is why it is different every time! lol. I might have to write down your recipe since it has been RHW approved :-)

  • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

    Kelly Umphenour 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Hey Drbj - I would highly reccommend no pepper flakes! I was throwing it all out and I remember thinking this isn't even fit for my dogs! Haha! The poor things would have suffered!

    I didn't like the Manwich kind because it has such a strong green peppery taste. Mine are more like ketchup meat burgers:) lol How could you lose?

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 

    6 years ago from south Florida

    I had to laugh, Kelly, when you mentioned Manwich in your hub. Wow, that took me back to my early married days when Manwich Sloppy Joes were on our at-home menu almost every week. Easy and quick to make and cheap.

    This recipe looks interesting so I may give it a whirl - without those red hot pepper flakes, that is.

  • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

    Kelly Umphenour 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Hi Frog! I am surprised you like ground beef! lol Thanks so much - it is so easy I think even a Frog could make it:) lol

    I wish you could come over for lunch - now that would make quite a tea party! LOL LOL

  • The Frog Prince profile image

    The Frog Prince 

    6 years ago from Arlington, TX

    RHW - So what time did you say lunch is? I'm just asking and this made me drool a bit.

    The Frog

  • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

    Kelly Umphenour 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Hi Will - thanks so much. Everyone loves these and they are so easy to make. You can guess why the kids around here can always been found hanging out at dinner time:) haha! It is difficult for me to find recipes that satisfy the adults and the kids - this one wins with both every time:) Thanks so much!

  • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

    Kelly Umphenour 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Hey Cat R - It isn't that greasy at all if you use the ground beef with less fat! There is almost zero grease in the pan when I have to drain. You can use the 80/20 mix or even ground turkey might be great!

    Thank you so much for the comment!

  • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

    Kelly Umphenour 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Hey Bob - he did gain a lot of weight since we got married! He even tried to say it was my fault for cooking so much but I said, "well I don't hold a gun to your head and make you eat it!" lol For the last several years, I have been trying to cook healthier so the man doesn't have a heart attack!

    Thanks so much! I was just laughing at one of your comments - oh on MistyHorizon's armpit hair hub! LOL at you!

  • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

    Kelly Umphenour 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Hey SW - Dave said he was going to eat it anyway too - until he took that first bite! HAHA! Surprise! I tried it and whew - I thought I was going to spit fire!

    Thank you so much:)

  • WillStarr profile image

    WillStarr 

    6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

    I love a good Sloppy Joe, and this one sounds great!

  • Cat R profile image

    Cat R 

    6 years ago from North Carolina, U.S.

    If it wasn't that greasy, it would be great!

  • diogenes profile image

    diogenes 

    6 years ago from UK and Mexico

    What a lucky man walked up the aisle with you (I suspect he may waddle now!)

    Bob

  • Spirit Whisperer profile image

    Xavier Nathan 

    6 years ago from Isle of Man

    Some great cooking tips and sounds delicious. I would have eaten it with the hot pepper flakes as I love hot spicy food.

  • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

    Kelly Umphenour 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Man not me - Dave likes the hot stuff too - but he said it was way too hot! lol I might have even added a whole tablespoon (I never actually measure but man....it was HOT! So hilarious to make that mistake though - I have a jar of Six Pepper Sweet Flakes too...oops!

    Save me some!

  • Austinstar profile image

    Lela 

    6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

    Now see, those red pepper flakes would suit me just fine. I put 3 Tablespoons of red pepper flakes in my spicy crackers! Think I'll make some now.

  • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

    Kelly Umphenour 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Lela - Hi and thank you! I don't even care about the calories! Especially when I am traveling...that is one of the fantastic things about leaving town...finding the best food and as much of it as I can in unfamiliar cities - that I didn't have to cook.

    The vinegar gives it that special tang! I thought I was going to breathe fire when I put the pepper flakes in - it might have been a good bit of heat if I had not added like a teaspoon!

    I am spitting excited!

  • Austinstar profile image

    Lela 

    6 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

    Aha! I thought you said you were a "foodie". Well, maybe you are. I would have never thought to put vinegar in sloppy joes. No wonder my joes taste so flat!

    They have some really good places to eat on 6th st. So save some calories!

  • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

    Kelly Umphenour 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Hi alocain - thank you! It is super simple and yet it pleases! Lol. This has always been a winner for me:)

  • alocsin profile image

    alocsin 

    6 years ago from Orange County, CA

    Yummy and easy enough for me to make. Voting this Up and Useful.

  • RealHousewife profile imageAUTHOR

    Kelly Umphenour 

    6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Hi Susan! This is a huge hit at home. The neighbor kids even get excited:) lol I think I might be the only mom who really cooks here though!

    Thank you so much and let me know if you guys like it!

  • Just Ask Susan profile image

    Susan Zutautas 

    6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

    I like how you added the history of Sloppy Joes. Your recipe sounds really good and I'll try it next week as I'm out of hamburger right now.

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