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[not your momma’s] sloppy joes

I have to start this post with a disclaimer. My mom’s sloppy joes are really, really good. In fact, the  foundation of this recipe (brown sugar + ketchup) is what she always used. It was just such a catchy title… (sorry, Mom).

That being said, I have had some seriously gross sloppy joes. To this day, I have no idea what they passed off as “sloppy joe meat” in my elementary school cafeteria. And that manwich slop that comes in a can? Forget it.

You don’t have to worry about being disappointed with this recipe, though. The credit goes to my good friend (“good friend” meaning I love blog-stalking her while she has no idea who I am), the Pioneer Woman. Finally, a sloppy joe recipe worthy of this epic tribute. (Yes, this is the best video I could find. Apparently all the best SNL videos are mysteriously absent from the Internet. The magic really starts happening at 2:o8.)


sloppy joes | anna's bananas


sloppy joes | anna's bananas


5 from 1 reviews
[not your momma's] sloppy joes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 6
  • 2½ lbs ground beef
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ c ketchup
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp chili powder (more to taste)
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes (more to taste)
  • Worcestershire sauce, to taste
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Hamburger buns (we used ciabatta rolls and they were perfect)
  1. Cook ground beef in a large pot until browned; drain fat. Add meat back to the pot along with peppers, onions, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, until vegetables begin to get soft.
  2. Stir in ketchup, brown sugar, chili pepper, dry mustard, and water. Bring to a simmer for 15 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce to taste.
  3. Toast buns/rolls if desired. Load the meat on those buns (enough to get sloppy), top with cheese, and enjoy!





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