Sloppy Joes

Ever since I was a child I remember my mom making Sloppy Joe sandwiches, and I have vivid memories of having them in high school. They always came with kernel corn on the side, so now when I make them I have to have kernel corn on the side. I would always make the Sloppy Joe’s from the McCormick spice mix in the envelope, add ground beef, tomato paste, water and call it a day. As much as I do like them that way in a pinch, I always wanted to make them from scratch. After a few failed attempts to get the ultimate Sloppy Joe, I think I have finally come to the perfect balance.

In the past the flavors would not end up right, and to me, they were just too nauseating to eat a whole sandwich. I like peppers and onions, and little chunks of tomato in Sloppy Joes. Not just sauce and ground beef.

Well that all changed today. I was all set to try another recipe, and was noticing that the recipe used all tomato paste.  After looking through many recipes, I decided to incorporate what I found in some of the recipes into my own concoction.

At first, I wasn’t too overjoyed on the finished product. Then I let the mixture set in the refrigerator while I went out to do an errand. When I returned, I heated a little up, and tasted it, and it was delicious. The only thing I would adjust, is cut down the brown sugar. I had forgotten when you add sugar to a tomato based sauce its gets sweeter as it cooks, and I didn’t care for it as sweet. So, I would adjust the brown sugar from 2 Tbsp to 1 Tbsp, and the mixture should be just right.

I served them on a roll that sized a little bigger than a slider, but smaller than a regular hamburger roll.

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Sloppy Joes

  • Author: A Foodie Affair
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


Ground beef in a delicious balanced tomato sauce with peppers, onions and tiny chunks of tomatoes.


  • 2 Tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 11/4 lb. ground beef
  • 116 oz. can tomato sauce
  • 4 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 of a 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 c. ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp chili powder (or more depending how spicy you like it)


  1. In a large skillet, cook onion and peppers over medium heat until soft and onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook for approx 1 minute. Add ground beef and cook thoroughly.
  2. Add tomato sauce, paste, tomatoes, ketchup, brown sugar and chili powder to ground beef mixture. Stir thoroughly. Cook on low heat for approx. 15 minutes. Let cool slightly, and put mixture into rolls, and serve.


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