I’ll be honest, when I think about sloppy joes, there are a few thoughts that come to mind.
1. Chris Farley as a lunch lady. Ever seen that sketch? Look it up.
2. Real life lunch ladies serving sub-par tasteless joes on dried out, smooshed buns in my elementary school cafeteria.
Well, if those are joes, meet joseph, my friends.
With a homemade sauce, lean meat, and more flavor, these are decidedly better than a can of sloppy joe mix and are certainly kid-friendly.
The recipe calls for several ingredients, but none are hard to find and I had most of them on hand.
*I prefer fresh pineapple, but you can use canned pineapple.
- 1½lb extra lean ground beef or ground turkey
- 2 slices bacon, diced*
- salt & pepper
- 1 medium sweet onion, diced
- 1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (8oz) can tomato sauce
- ¼c barbecue sauce*
- 4 Tbsp tomato paste
- ½c brown sugar
- ¼c soy sauce or GF tamari, like San-J
- 3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp worcestershire sauce*
- 1c diced pineapple
- Buns, to serve*
- In a large saute pan, brown ground beef and bacon together over medium heat. Remove meat from pan and drain any fat.
- In same pan, cook onion and bell pepper until tender. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more. Return meat to pan and add tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, and tomato paste. Stir well. Add brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar, and worcestershire sauce. Stir to combine and taste.
- Simmer about 10 minutes or until thickened. Add in pineapple and heat through.
- Serve on your favorite buns. (I like to toast mine to make them more sturdy.)