Noreen's Kitchen: Homemade Sloppy Joes, An All American Favorite!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Homemade Sloppy Joes, An All American Favorite!

Sloppy Joe's are an American favorite and in our house that is no exception.  Hands down this is probably one of Rick's all time favorite dinners.  He goes to great lengths to get this for dinner on a regular basis.  It is usually his go to birthday meal.  

Many of us grew up with a popular canned version of the sloppy Joe sauce and my mom made that a few times, but then she started making it from scratch and I have to tell you.  If you are going to eat a sloppy Joe (incidentally not one of my all time faves), this is the one you want to eat!  My mom makes hers a bit different, but mine is the one Rick and the girls love.  Full of ground beef goodness, onions, bell pepper, celery and mushrooms.  Yes, I put mushrooms in mine, but you can leave them out if they are not your jam.    Then I build a sauce from condiments you already have!  Ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, Worcestershire and then I toss in a small can of diced tomatoes and green chilies, otherwise known as Ro-Tel, for good measure.  Don't forget some spices to round everything out!  Garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper and paprika will give this the over the top flavor you will fall in love with.


This get simmered over low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes and then load into some warm hamburger buns and you are off to the races!  Leftovers are even better because these flavors just meld and marry into an amazing taste sensation.  I have even seen Rick eat this warmed up with just a spoon like a bowl of chili!  Yes, it's that good!



Leftovers are easily saved in the fridge in an airtight container.  These should be eaten inside of a week.  If you want to make a big batch you can portion this out in containers and freeze for easy meals later on.  This will keep frozen for up to three months, so bulk cooking this is an excellent idea. To reheat, you can thaw on the counter during the day or in the fridge overnight or you can do what I like to do and place the frozen sloppy Joe "brick" in the slow cooker on low and let it simmer during the day and you are good to go for dinner, just add buns and a salad an voila!  Dinner is served!


The history of the Sloppy joe is a bit murky but there are several theories of how it came to be.  In the 1920's the loose meat sandwich was created in a small Iowa restaurant by a man named Floyd Angell this was nothing more than cooked ground beef in a loose sauce with spices served on white, sliced bread.   In the 1930's and throughout, the addition of ketchup and other seasonings and vegetables is seen in many recipes.  During World War 2, rationing was in place.  Meat was a scarcity, so the Sloppy Joe was on many a table since it could be made with little meat and stretched with vegetables and even potatoes or rice to make sure everyone had enough.

The most likely source of the Sloppy Joe, however comes from a little place in the Florida Keys, incidentally called "Sloppy Joe's".  The name spread far and wide during the depression.  There were many restaurants with this name.  There is also a line of thinking that the name simply stems from the fact that a hobo like man named Joe, was seen eating this sandwich and the name of the dish stuck.  Like many an American tradition, we may never no the true origin of this delicious and flavorful family staple!

I hope that you will give these homemade Sloppy Joe's a try and I hope you love them!  

Happy Eating!

Get the recipe here:


See how I made these Sloppy Joe's in a somewhat vintage YouTube video on my channel

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