Monday, February 14, 2011

Clean Eating: Homemade Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes used to be one of my go-to meals for when I was working full-time. You can’t get much easier than sautéing some beef, opening a can of sauce, mixing it together, and slapping it on a bun! haha

Over the last year or so I stopped buying it pre-made (and thus, stopped making it at all) because of all the high-fructose corn syrup in it. (As a side note, I have to say that I haven’t checked the ingredients in a while, so they may have replaced HFCS with something else.) Regardless, this is a FABULOUS and easy Rachel Ray recipe that uses real ingredients and is sure to please your whole family! I tweaked it just a little, but it got great reviews from everyone I served it to. Don’t be scared by the seemingly long list of ingredients! These are all basic pantry staples (except for maybe the red pepper).

Sloppy Maple-BBQ Turkey Joes
Adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray – March 2011

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Sauce ingredients:
1 C tomato sauce
1/4 C real maple syrup
3 T soy sauce
2 T cider vinegar
2 T brown sugar
1 rounded T dijon mustard

1 1/2 lb ground turkey or beef
1 T Paula Deen’s House Seasoning
{obviously a lot of you might not have this;
it’s simply garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper}
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Burger rolls, shredded cheddar cheese, other toppings if desired

Combine all sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside. In a large skillet, heat the EVOO over med-high heat. Add the meat and season with spice(s). Cook until browned, and drain. Return to pan and then stir in the bell pepper, onion, and garlic, and cook until the veggies are tender (5-6 minutes). Pour tomato sauce mixture over meat. Simmer over med-low heat for a few minutes to combine the flavors. Serve the meat on rolls and top with cheese and other toppings.

Enjoy! This is REALLY tasty. I served mine with oven fries (also Rachael Ray’s recipe) and olives – just because I felt like something super-salty would be a good contrast to the sweetness of the sloppy joes. It was sooooo good. :)

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And keeping it real: this is what the kitchen counter looks like when I’m trying a new recipe and trying to feed my toddler dinner and trying to make a sauce and trying to chop the veggies before the meat burns. So professional, right?! haha (This is why I’m telling you to mix the sauce first!)

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As a side note, I reallllly like Rachael Ray and her recipes, but I have NEVER – not ONCE - actually cooked a 30-minute meal in 30 minutes from start to finish. Anyone else relate?!

Oh, and as another aside, and just because I’m curious: when we lived in PA everyone there either called Sloppy Joes “barbeque” or “wimpies” (that word really creeps me out, btw). Nobody seemed to call them “Sloppy Joes” but me. What do YOU call them?

Linked to these food parties:

Tasty Tuesday @ Beauty and Bedlam
Tuesdays at the Table @ All the Small Stuff
Tempt my Tummy Tuesday @ Blessed With Grace
Tasty Tuesdays @ 33 Shades of Green


  1. I love sloppy joes! Paula Deen has a great recipe with beef broth and onions. Yum! And that Rachel Ray, I've never completed a 30 minute meal in 30 minutes!

  2. Nice blog! I call them Sloppy Joe's- I haven't had one of those in years! And, I agree with you about Rach- maybe if you have someone assemble and measure out all of your ingredients in advance and no one interupts you, you can make one of her meals in 30 minutes! Yours looks really yummy!

  3. Sloppy's the only correct name for them. Those people from PA...weird names for stuff. :)

  4. I call them Sloppy Joes. Your right though us PA folk have crazy names for food.
    :) Linds

  5. I call them sloppy joes. And thank you THANK YOU for keeping it real and showing that photo at the end of the kitchen mess. I LOVE rachel ray, but I too have never made one of her meals in under 30 minutes and my kitchen ALWAYS looks like a wreck afterwards. Her food is SO yummy though right!? Definitely will be trying this recipe, thanks!

  6. hehe LOVE you showed that because that is what my kitchen usually looks like too! LOVE this recipe, I have some ground turkey calling to be used! :)

    I'm your newest follower.

  7. I love sloppy jo's and haven't had them in ages. Thanks for the reminder!

    Your recipe sounds delicious. May have to make them tonight.

    30 minute meals -- never! or at least, not yet.

  8. Jessica, I grew up in PA, where your husband actually grew up, and my family always called it wimpies. Of course when I helped my mom at the Methodist Campground in the summer we called them Sloppy Jos cuz a lot of people came from out of state to spend the summer there. But yea, its a PA thing... what can I say, we are a bit crazy!!!

  9. Definitely SLOPPY JOES. I feel a bit indignant when I cannot prepare the meal in the time they have suggested. Maybe they have a sous chef working along with them as they cook? WHERE is MY sous chef???

  10. We call them sloppy joes at our house too! Unfortunately, I haven't called them at all in a long time as I stopped making them. I thought of them as "unhealthy". You have given me new hope with this recipe as we love them. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe! By the way, my counters look similar to yours and we don't have a toddler in the house. :)

  11. "Sloppy Joes" all the way!!!! I too quit buying the stuff in a can and only make the sauce homemade (trying to avoid the preservatives/processed stuff as much as possible). I posted a few times about my recipe and how I do them. This one sounds yummy too! My youngest often asks for sloppy joes for her birthday.

  12. In OK we called them Sloppy Joe's. I've never heard them called them anything else before.

  13. Hi, I just wanted to say how much my husband and I enjoyed these! Excellent flavor! He's not on the clean eating kick as much as I am but he said these were worlds above the can of Manwich.

    1. Somehow I am just now seeing this comment...but thanks, Jen! So glad you guys like them! :)

  14. Oh thank you for posting that picture!!!! I cannot cook with a 20 month kitchen ends up being a total disaster!!! You just made me feel so much better!


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