Sloppy Joes–A Family Favorite

REVISED RECIPE INCLUDED. I can’t believe I left out a key ingredient.
Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes before adding condensed soup.

It is our anniversary day today, and I thought I would mark it with the recipe that my husband always asks for when I say, “What do you want for dinner?”

As a young (impecunious) bride I perfected dozens of recipes involving hamburger or canned tuna, which if you are a regular reader, you know was the very first meal I prepared after we were married.

There are probably as many versions of this recipe for Sloppy Joes as their are people in kitchens, but at any rate, here is mine, and I’m sticking to it. It is a pretty vague recipe. Sometimes I add chopped celery and sometimes I add canned green chiles, and of course back when I could eat onions, they were an essential ingredient, so sometimes I add garlic or garlic salt.  You see, you have a lot of freedom making this one!

And in case you’re wondering if Sloppy Joes come from Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West, or what their connection to Iowa is, or what is a loose meat sandwich, or what other ingredients people may add, or what the canned version is called—take a look at this web site, Blue Apron.

Sloppy Joes, A Family Favorite


  • Ground Beef
  • Catsup
  • Mustard
  • green pepper (chopped fine)
  • sweet pickle relish
  • Worchestershire sauce
  • Hamburger Buns
  • 1 can Campbell's Vegetarian Vegetable Soup


1. Brown ground beef, breaking it up with a fork as it browns. Drain off excess grease.
2. Add rest of ingredients and salt and pepper if you wish.
3. SImmer for ten minutes.
4. Spoon onto toasted hamburger buns.


No amounts given here for Sloppy Joes, because a) I don't know how many people you are serving--you'll need about 1/3 pound meat per person if they take seconds; and b) would I tell you how much catsup or mustard to put on your hamburger?

Personally, I leave out the salt and pepper because the condiments have enough seasoning.

If you are eating gluten-free, serve the Sloppy Joes mix on a baked potato or on a bed of rice.

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2 thoughts on “Sloppy Joes–A Family Favorite

  1. Deborah Harrison

    I love sloppy joe because it tastes so good and it’s so versatile – I had it for breakfast this morning with chunks of leftover potato mixed in. I also used it a couple of days ago in what I like to call “deconstructed shepherd’s pie”: Sloppy joe on a plate with boiled or mashed potatoes and a pile of mixed vegetables or peas and carrots. It’s a good topping for spaghetti and a good mix-in for Italian Macaroni (elbow macaroni with your favorite tomato-based sauce). I’m sure there are lots of other things to do with it – of course it’s wonderful on a roll or bread, too.
    Your recipe is similar to what I grew up with, but ours was more basic: ground beef, ketchup, and Heinz India relish. If they’d just take that high fructose corn syrup out of the relish, I could have the exact dish I’ve served to my husband for over 40 years!

    1. Avatar photoVera Marie Badertscher Post author

      I certainly agree about the versatility. Bedsides the high fructose corn syrup in the relish, the catsup is not so good for you either. But it can be made with plain tomato sauce instead of catsup. I should have mentioned that.


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