Sloppy Joes seem to be a family tradition in many households but we always forget about them when deciding what to have for dinner. They are quick and easy to make, yet fairly inexpensive because you tend to have many of the ingredients already in your pantry. And for those of you with kids, they tend to be a kid-friendly option even for the picky child, so it’s a win for everyone. Needless to say, now that we’ve made them once they will become a recurring meal in our house.
I don’t eat red meat so I like to use ground chicken instead. Ground chicken tends to have a little less fat and little more protein than ground beef so it’s also a slightly healthier option. The consistency between the ground chicken and ground beef is very similar, or so I’m told by Andrew because he’s the only one that would do a comparison with ground beef, and you can hardly tell a difference in taste once you add the sauce. So you might be able to fool someone in your family if you substitute ground chicken (or even ground turkey) for the ground beef traditionally found in this dish.
My mom and grandma created a recipe for Sloppy Joes years ago and have continued to tweak it until it fit their liking. Here is the recipe:
- 1 lb Ground Chicken (you can also use ground beef or ground turkey if you prefer)
- 1 Tsp Paprika
- ½ Tsp Chili Powder
- 1-2 Cups Ketchup
- 1 Tsp Yellow Mustard
- 3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
- 2 Tsp Vinegar
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- Hamburger Buns
- In a large skillet, cook ground chicken to completion over medium heat.
- Add paprika and chili powder; mix together.
- Add 1 cup of ketchup and mix. If it is not enough, add more ketchup, little by little. Do not add both cups to start or it will be too much.
- Add yellow mustard, brown sugar, and vinegar; mix together.
- Sprinkle on salt and pepper, to taste; mix together.
- Cover and let heat for about 10 minutes.
- Serve on hamburger buns.
The Sloppy Joes were delicious! The meat had a nice consistency, the sauce was salty but not too salty and had a nice flavor, the brown sugar added a hint of sweetness, and the sandwich was, well, very sloppy to eat!
If you are interested in other Sloppy Joes recipes make sure to check out the Recipes section of the Festival Foods website. You can find a traditional recipe like above, cheesy, sweet and tangy, and more.
We paired our Sloppy Joes with homemade French fries but you could easily use store-bought French fries or a completely different side. Our recipe is for oven baked French fries. They are crispy, crunchy, salty, and complement the Sloppy Joes nicely. Plus French fries are super kid friendly so you really can’t go wrong!
Here is our recipe for Oven Baked French Fries:
- 2 Tbsp Seasoned Salt
- 1 Tsp Chili Powder
- 1 Tsp Dried Basil
- 1/8 Tsp Cumin
- 1/8 Tsp Black Pepper
French Fry Ingredients
- 3 Medium Russet Potatoes
- 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp Grated Parmesan
- Combine seasoning ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
- Wash and peel the potatoes. Cut off the ends. Cut the potatoes into thin slices about 1/4 inch wide.
- Add the fries to a large bowl and cover with cold water. Allow them to soak for at least 30 minutes but they can soak for as long as overnight. (Place in the fridge if soaking more than an hour).
- After the fries have soaked, drain, rinse, and lay the fries on a paper towel lined cooling rack to dry while you preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Blot the tops with additional paper towels to absorb any excess moisture.
- Line a baking pan with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Make sure the previously used bowl is dry and add the potatoes to it, add 2 tablespoons of oil and 1 Tablespoon of the seasoning mixture. Toss around to mix.
- Evenly line the baking pan with the fries in a single layer. Don’t overlap or they fries won’t cook properly. Bake for about 30 minutes, flipping with a spatula once or twice after 15 minutes of cooking. Increase heat to 425 degrees and continue baking until the edges look a little burnt.
- Sprinkle the fries with the other half of the seasoning mix and Parmesan cheese.
This was the perfect meal! Like I mentioned earlier, quick and easy, and fairly inexpensive…but delicious!
Last but not least is dessert! I have a sweet tooth so I have a hard time skipping dessert, which might be the most important course of the meal, but it depends on who you ask 🙂 I made a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies earlier in the day so as full as we both were, we were still able to make room!