sloppy joes made from scratch

Sloppy Joe’s

This recipe was born out of desperation one evening.  I had planned and promised Sloppy Joe’s for dinner, but when I reached into the cabinet to pull out a can of that sauce that rhymes with sandwich, I realized that I didn’t have one.  That was a problem.

This group can be tough to cook for, so I knew that I had to produce an entrée that would meet with their approval.  Not wanting to deal with a dinner time mutiny, I began searching the recesses of my mind for the ingredients in a can of “sandwich sauce.”   I remember that there was an ad campaign that stated that there was a full serving of vegetables in each serving of the canned sauce, so I started with the vegetables–onion, peppers, garlic.

I chopped and diced and sautéed.  I mixed and stirred and seasoned.  I tasted, then I seasoned some more.  Finally after about 30 minutes, my home-made Sloppy Joe’s were ready.  I told the children that I made it from scratch as I scratched my left hip. I received the requisite moans and groans of disgust and washed my hands prior to serving their dinner.

The resulting sandwiches different from the canned version, but they were very good.  Food Critic complained that there was too much pepper in them, but Sue Chef and Baker’s Man told him he was crazy and gave dinner thumbs up.  In spite of his complaints, Food Critic had a second serving.   I would call that a successful experiment.  I may stop buying “Sandwich Sauce” and make it from scratch all the time.  Of course, there is something to be said for the simplicity of a can of sauce and a pound of ground meat after a long day at work.

You will notice that the recipe contains tomato sauce and ketchup.  It also contains fresh garlic and garlic powder.  This is because I kept tasting it and adjusting the seasoning until it tasted right to me. These go great with a side of coleslaw and some oven fries.

Here’s it is; give the recipe a try and let me know what you think.  Thanks for visiting Patty Cake’s Pantry.

Sloppy Joes
Recipe type: Entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
Born out of desperation, this recipe for homemade Sloppy Joe's is not the same as canned sloppy joe sauce, but it's delicious. The extra advantage is that you know everything that goes into it.
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped (I used a red one)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  1. Place onions, garlic, bell pepper, and ground beef in a deep skillet over medium heat and cook until beef is browned and vegetables are soft.
  2. Drain excess fat
  3. Add Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, ketchup, and garlic powder (if you are using it).
  4. Mix well and bring to a boil.
  5. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes
  6. Serve on buns.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Rate this recipe:  

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.