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Homemade Sloppy Joe Sauce |

A few weeks ago my lunch share buddy coworker and I were discussing this favorite lunchroom treat.  She had not had a sloppy joe sandwich in years and she didn’t recall liking them.  On the other hand, I had nothing but fond memories of Sloppy Joe.   Including the Adam Sandler Lunchlady Song (you’re welcome).

Before I left the lunch share for my new job, I felt like I had to convert my coworker back to the other side.  Sloppy Joe is just plain good.  And easy.

Homemade Sloppy Joe Sauce |

Along the way I may or not have broken out into song a few times.

Suloppy Joe … slop sloppy joe.   Hoagies and grinders Hoagies and grinders …  NAvy beans NAvy beans, meatloaf sandwiches.

That being said, this is not your lunch lady’s sloppy joe recipe.  My husband and I back in our kid-free days would even make Turkey Sloppy Joe for ourselves (long before we were the sophisticated foodies we are now, of course).  It was just good, and leftovers kept and reheated well.  However, we were hard pressed to find Sloppy Joe sauce that did not include HFCS.   We decided that it was not rocket science to essentially make a sweet BBQ sauce to put in some ground beef.  Thus, we invented our own.

This recipe is  every bit as good as any Sloppy Joe you’ve ever had, and you probably have everything you need right in your pantry.

Sloppy Joe
Cuisine: Cafeteria Chic
Author: Laura & Adam
A DIY sloppy joe sauce that can be made ahead and frozen for an easy weeknight dinner.
  • 1 14 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 TB maple syrup
  • 1 TB onion powder
  • 1 TB red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp celery seed
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  1. Brown 1 lb ground beef or poultry (alternatively, 1 lb cooked lentils) (Optional: Add 1/2 cup of diced onion, celery, or pepper and cook until soft)
  2. Mix above ingredients and stir into meat (and/or veggie) mixture
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally
Sauce (excluding meat) may be pre made by mixing all ingredients together and frozen for a later use. At the time you would like to use it, simply brown the meat and proceed with step 2-3.

See my Sloppy Joe glamour shot below.

Homemade Sloppy Joe Sauce |

That’s it!

The best news?  My coworker liked it. She was converted.  And it didn’t go over half bad with the kids either.  Adam and I were definitely glad we dusted off our old recipe for the occasion.

Laura Sig





This “Mason Jar” recipe shared at:

Moonlight & Mason Jars Link Party

7 Comments on Recipe: Sloppy Joe

  1. Good Morning!

    Wow I am glad I found this recipe ! My husband loves sloppy joes ! His mom made them all the time ! However I have never made them and having been looking for a recipe to try. Tonight I think I finally found the right recipe!!!! Thank goodness for your blog!!!

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