Sloppy. Simple. Supper.


A week with the grandchildren means a week of meals that are kid friendly. Recipes that were once my kitchen staples but recipes that have now dropped way down in my rotation. This sloppy joe recipe made me famous at church for many years. It was my standard for church suppers for youth groups.

Even the kids who didn't like sloppy joes (aka Manwich) LOVED this recipe. That might be because it doesn't taste like Manwich. (Personally, I never thought Manwich was that bad.) The seasonings here are so simple that there is not much to dislike. The overall flavor has a hint of sweetness. Kids like that. I like that.

I made this earlier this week while Mommy had the girls at ballet lessons. I've made this so many times I don't need to look up the recipe. Even all these years later. Just remember, besides the meat, it's a cup of ketchup and one tablespoon of four other things—sweet/sour/savory/tangy. That's easy to remember.

SLOPPY JOES

1-1/2 lbs lean ground beef or turkey (I've made it with a 1 lb pk, too.)
1 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon yellow mustard

Brown meat and drain. Stir in remaining ingredients and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes. Spoon over toasted hamburger buns.


If I use ground turkey, which comes in one-pound packages,  I will add some chopped onion when I brown the meat to help bulk it up. It also helps flavor the milder turkey.

If you are making this for a crowd, it's easy to increase the proportions. And it freezes well, too, so you might make extra for the freezer for a super quick supper on one of "those" nights.

One friend of Mommy's, who got this recipe from us, told me this was her standard "take supper to the new Mommy" meal. She takes the sloppy joe mix, buns, chips, and maybe slaw or baked beans and a pack of paper plates. Easy for the one taking it to make. Easy for the one receiving supper to get on the table. If there are toddler or preschool siblings in the house, this is a meal they will like.

Honest disclosure here...I have had kids tell me they don't like this, won't eat this, have no intention of trying this. But if I can get them to taste one bite, I've never had one who didn't change their mind. Maybe it's the name they don't like. Call it something else if you wish.

Baby Girl gobbled her supper up the night I made the Sloppy Joes. She polished off the leftovers the next day at lunch. And begged to have it again that night for supper (there wasn't any more left) when we were having cabbage with smoked sausage and tomatoes. I can totally understand that. But to her credit, she did eat the cabbage and the "little porks."