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A Midwest Favorite – Sloppy Joes

Growing up in the Midwest, sloppy joes are a common family favorite. I thought they were common place everywhere, until I realized it is central to Midwest culture. I made many tweaks to this recipe to get to where I wanted it. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Where did it sloppy joe get its name? There are many theories that the sandwich originated in Key West, FL, Iowa and even Havana, Cuba. Regardless of its origins it remains an economical and filling meal, and has remained popular for generations.

If you are looking for a quick weeknight dinner, be sure to check this out. Recipe serves 4.


1 lb. lean ground beef or turkey

1 can (6oz) tomato paste

1 ¼ cup of water

Red and green peppers

Hamburger Buns (4)

1 tbsp minced onion

½ tsp ground cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

½ tsp paprika

3 tbsp brown sugar

¼ tsp chili powder

Dash Worcestershire Sauce or vinegar

Optional: chopped fresh green or red peppers

1. Mix dry ingredients and set aside

2. Optional: add green or red peppers. Sauté on medium heat until softened.

3. Brown ground beef or turkey in a large skillet on medium heat. Stir constantly and mix until meat is browned and forms small crumbles.

4. Drain excess oil from pan. Tip: place a paper plate lined with a paper towel under a colander. Pour ground beef/turkey into colander and catch excess oil. Throw away paper plate.

5. Return ground beef/turkey to skillet. Add dry ingredients and stir lightly.

6. Add can of tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and water to the skillet.

7. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally until the mixture thickens.

8. Serve on hamburger buns

©My KinConnections

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