Sloppy Joes

I’m going to admit it: I love sloppy joe’s. In all their splendidly messy glory. In all their spicy sassiness. Sloppy joe’s are quite possibly the main reason I am not a vegetarian. I can’t go more than a few weeks without making them for a week night dinner.

A good sloppy joe (and this is just my opinion of course) will be a little bit spicy and a little bit sweet with an itty bitty tang. I used to simply pour a jar of Heinz chili sauce over the cooked meat and call it a day, but soon realized there had to be a more homemade approach. I looked up numerous recipes and experimented until I found my ultimate sloppy joe’s. And by ultimate I mean the best.

Sloppy Joes


  • olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 pound ground beef, chicken or turkey
  • 1 small green or red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon seasoning salt, such as Lawry’s
  • 2 cups or 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • pinch dry mustard
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1/4 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • few dashes ground cayenne pepper (optional)
  • salt to taste

How To:

Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large stock pot or high rimmed pan over medium-high heat. Add onions, ground meat, and red bell pepper; season with seasoning salt. Break up meat and combine with onions and pepper using a wooden spoon until cooked through.

Pour tomatoes, ketchup and rest of ingredients including spices in ground chicken mixture (in same pot/pan!). Stir to thoroughly combine. Bring up to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover and let cook for about 30 minutes. Serve on hamburger buns with pickles.


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