I remember eating them for school lunches

It’s funny: I’ve never made Sloppy Joe’s before. I vaguely remember eating them for school lunches, I remember those insipid Manwich commercials, but I’d never actually made Sloppy Joe’s before.

And then last night my sister the photographer texted me a photo of her dinner – Sloppy Joe’s! It’s a trend, I tell ya.

Curious, I talked with my best friend Google about variations of Sloppy Joe’s. I compared a lot of recipes, but in the end, I went back to my most favorite cookbook: America’s Test Kitchen. I had *most* of the ingredients on hand and it gave directions for making it ahead of time. I like that.

I served these with Oven-fried Sweet Potatoes.

For a first-time experience – THIS was a winning meal! Seriously – E not only FINISHED her Sloppy Joe, she asked for a SECOND one. No Joke! J ate all of his meat and about 4 fries. R probably ate 10 fries – and nothing else. She kept saying “YUMMY mommy! YUMMY!”

You can’t argue with an almost-2-year old.

Oh – and C asked me how I made the potatoes. Turns out he wanted to make sure I took notes so I could make them this way again. *grin*

7yr Old Approved!

7yr Old Approved!

Sloppy Joe’s adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Printable Recipe HERE

Dairy-FREE, 7 Year Old Approved


1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil **I used Olive Oil

1 medium Onion, minced **I can never seem to mince my onions. Mine were chopped.

1 Garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder

3/4 lb. (85% lean) Ground Beef **I used 1 whole pound.

1 teaspoon Brown Sugar

Salt & Pepper

1 cup Tomato Puree **Didn’t have on hand. Used 8oz. of Tomato Sauce and 1 Tablspoon of Tomatoe Paste. Totally worked!

1/2 cup Ketchup

1/4 cup Water


4 Hamburger Buns



How To:

1- Heat the oil in a skillet (I used a cast-iron one) over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

2- Add the Garlic and Chili Powder and cook for 1 minute.

3- Add the Beef, Brown Sugar, 1/4 teaspoon Salt and 1/8 teaspoon Pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, breaking the meat into small pieces until the meat is no longer pink, about 4 minutes.

4- Stir in the Tomato Puree (or Sauce and Paste, in my case), Ketchup, and Water. Cook until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with Tabasco, Salt and Pepper to taste.

5- Spoon 1/2 cup of the meat mixture into each hamburger bun.

To Make Ahead

The meat can be fully prepared and refrigerated for up to 3 days – or frozen for up to 1 month. Reheat over low heat, adding a little extra water if it seems too thick. **Since I made this about 3 and planned on serving it at 6, I let it cool on the stovetop, then reheated over low heat until it bubbled again. I dunno if I was supposed to degrease the meat, but I wish I had at the very beginning. It was a little greasy. Delicious, but greasy.


...crappy photo. I need to figure out the real camera already.

…crappy photo. I need to figure out the real camera already.

Oven-Fried Sweet Potatoes By Me

Printable Recipe HERE

Dairy-FREE, Gluten-FREE, 7 year old AND Toddler Approved!


Sweet Potatoes, cleaned and cut into wedges – leave the peels on **Tonight I used 2 large and 4 small

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

IMG_9331How To:

1- Oven to 350ºF. Toss your sweet potatoes with the olive oil then lay them out on at least 1 baking sheet, maybe two – just make sure you don’t crowd the pan(s). Whack your pans into the oven for 45 minutes.

2- Turn the oven up to 450ºF and let them bake another 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on them so that they don’t burn. Season with salt as they come outta the oven.

3- Serve with ketchup or BBQ sauce. Enjoy!


BTW – during dinner E and I listed off all of the meals that I make that are on her Favorites List:

Rainbow Pasta

(Frozen Leek) Dumplings and Dipping Sauce with Edamame on the side

Bean Burgers


“And don’t forget Sloppy Joe’s,” she said.

Love that kid.




One thought on “I remember eating them for school lunches

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s