Sloppy Joes can be amazing, didn’t you know? It doesn’t have to be a quick, thrown together meal from a can that kids can tolerate. It can be flavorful and packed full of delicious vegetables. It can have texture!
I was in charge of a meal for a family reunion this summer. When I told my mom I wanted to make sloppy joes she seemed a bit surprised by my casual meal choice, before she realized I’d be making MY sloppy joes. I’ve made these many times, including several large events. They are always a hit. People who thought they didn’t like sloppy joes suddenly scarf down two or three sandwiches. I’m not even joking. I have an old lady friend in her late 80s (I have lots of old friends) who told me she would only be able to eat half of a sandwich. After she’d eaten two whole sandwiches she told me she had never had a better sloppy joe in her life. So basically you know this is for reals now. This is the sloppy joe that can actually impress people. The vegetables are cooked to a crisp-tender yielding a sloppy joe with actual texture. If you want a little less crispness to the veggies you can always simmer it an extra 15 minutes, but I’m telling you, the crispness is pure awesome.
BEST HOMEMADE SLOPPY JOES
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
- 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 hamburger buns
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook ground beef and yellow onion together, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned and cooked through.
- Drain any excess fat from the skillet and return skillet to heat.
- Add in bell pepper, celery, carrots, tomato sauce, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, brown sugar, salt, ground mustard, and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine.
- Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium low. Simmer for 15 to 30 minutes. Simmering time depends on how crisp you want the vegetables.
- Serve meat hot on toasted buns.