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There's probably not too many school cafeterias that aren't serving the classic, sloppy joes. What kid doesn't like a sandwich that has the name "sloppy" in it? But these beefy rolls aren't just for youngsters. They're perfect when needing a quick meal.

It's been suggested that the name, 'sloppy joe', likely came from a chef named Joe who created the loose meat sandwich. Traditionally, sloppy joes are a mixture of ground beef, onions, and a tomato-based sauce and served on a hamburger bun. In the Midwest, a similar version is called a maid-rite and sold at Maid-Rite restaurants dating back to the 1920's, but this sandwich lacked the tomato-based sauce of a sloppy joe.

Commercially canned sauces have made sloppy joes a convenient dinner choice, but making it from scratch really only takes a couple minutes longer. Sloppy joes, homemade or not, can be heavy in sodium. Consider swapping out the ketchup for no-added salt tomato sauce and you'll save 480 milligrams of sodium! You can also use lean ground turkey to cut the fat, and serve them on whole wheat buns for extra nutrients and fiber. Try adding chopped green pepper or carrots for more vegetables.

To save time in a busy world, try doubling the recipe and freezing half for a quick meal eaten later on. Simply put the cooked mixture in a freezer-safe container or bag and freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave, and serve on buns. Sloppy joes can be a regular rotation to your family meals.

Simply Sloppy Joes Printable PDF

1 lb. lean ground beef or ground turkey

½ cup onion, chopped

1 cup catsup or no-added salt tomato sauce

¼ cup water

1 Tablespoon white or cider vinegar

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

¼ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ teaspoon pepper

5 whole wheat hamburger buns

Brown beef and onion in a skillet over medium heat until beef is no longer pink. Drain off grease.

Stir in catsup, water, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve on buns.

Yield: 5 servings


Nutritional analysis per serving using ground beef and ketchup: 340 calories, 7 grams fat, 810 milligrams sodium, 41 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 31 grams protein