Sloppy Joes



  • Ingredients:
    • 1 lb. Ground turkey or beef
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 1 green pepper, diced
    • 1 15oz. Can tomato sauce
    • 1 packet Sloppy Joe Seasoning
  • Instructions:
    1. Add all ingredients to a gallon-sized freezer bag and seal.
    2. Mix the bag to incorporate the ingredients.
    3. Cook in the slow cooker on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
    4. Serve on buns or rolls.

Sausage and Lentil Soup:

  • Ingredients:
    • 2 packages of sausage or kielbasa, sliced
    • 2 cups brown lentils
    • 1 bag baby carrots
    • 3-4 stalks of celery, diced
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 15oz. Can diced tomatoes
    • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • Instructions:
    1. Add all ingredients to a gallon-sized freezer bag.
    2. Cook in the crockpot on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
    3. Serve with bread or rolls.

Hawaiian Meatballs:

  • Ingredients:
    • 2 lbs. Frozen meatballs
    • 1/4 cup Brown sugar
    • 1/4 cup Soy sauce
    • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder
    • 1 jar sweet and sour sauce
    • 1 red pepper, diced
    • 1 green pepper, diced
    • 1 onion, diced
    • 1 can pineapple chunks with juice
  • Instructions:
    1. Add all ingredients to a gallon-sized freezer bag.
    2. Cook in the crockpot on LOW for 6-8 hours.
    3. Serve over rice.

Continue to repeat the process for each recipe, ensuring to label and freeze the bags flat in the chest freezer for easy storage and thawing. Thank you for sharing your time-saving and budget-friendly meal prep method!

Here are some helpful tips to make your Sloppy Joes even more delightful:

  1. Use a Mix of Ground Meats: Instead of using just ground turkey or beef, consider using a mix of ground meats such as turkey and pork, or beef and sausage. This adds complexity to the flavor and richness to the sauce.
  2. Add Extra Vegetables: Enhance the nutritional value and flavor of your Sloppy Joes by adding extra vegetables like finely diced carrots, mushrooms, or zucchini. Sauté them along with the onions and green peppers for added depth of flavor.
  3. Homemade Sloppy Joe Seasoning: Make your own Sloppy Joe seasoning blend using pantry staples like chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, and cumin. Adjust the seasoning to suit your taste preferences for a custom blend.
  4. Incorporate Spices: Experiment with adding spices like smoked paprika, chipotle powder, or cayenne pepper to the Sloppy Joe sauce for a smoky or spicy kick. Start with a small amount and adjust to taste.
  5. Sweeten Naturally: Instead of using store-bought Sloppy Joe seasoning packets, sweeten your Sloppy Joes naturally with ingredients like honey, maple syrup, or molasses. These natural sweeteners add depth of flavor and complexity to the sauce.
  6. Add a Tangy Twist: Incorporate ingredients like apple cider vinegar or Worcestershire sauce to add a tangy twist to your Sloppy Joes. These acidic ingredients help balance the sweetness and add brightness to the dish.
  7. Simmer for Flavor: For maximum flavor development, allow the Sloppy Joe mixture to simmer on low heat for an extended period, stirring occasionally. This allows the flavors to meld together and intensify.
  8. Toast the Buns: Toast the hamburger buns before serving to add a delicious crunch and prevent them from becoming soggy from the sauce. Simply place the split buns under the broiler for a minute or two until lightly golden brown.
  9. Garnish Creatively: Get creative with toppings and garnishes for your Sloppy Joes. Try adding sliced pickles, shredded cheese, diced onions, or sliced jalapeños for extra flavor and texture.
  10. Serve with a Side: Pair your Sloppy Joes with a side of coleslaw, potato salad, sweet potato fries, or corn on the cob for a complete and satisfying meal.

By incorporating these tips, you’ll elevate your Sloppy Joes to a whole new level of deliciousness that your family will love!

Here are some tips to help you achieve Sloppy Joe perfection:

  1. Brown the Meat Properly: When browning the ground meat, make sure to cook it until it’s well-browned and caramelized. This adds depth of flavor to the Sloppy Joes and prevents them from tasting bland.
  2. Drain Excess Fat: After browning the meat, drain off any excess fat to prevent the Sloppy Joes from becoming greasy. You can do this by using a spoon to scoop out the fat or by pouring the meat into a colander and draining it.
  3. Use Fresh Ingredients: Whenever possible, use fresh ingredients like onions, garlic, and bell peppers to enhance the flavor of the Sloppy Joes. Fresh ingredients add brightness and complexity to the dish.
  4. Customize the Seasonings: Experiment with different seasonings and spices to customize the flavor of your Sloppy Joes. Common seasonings include chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder. Adjust the seasonings to suit your taste preferences.
  5. Add Depth with Worcestershire Sauce: Worcestershire sauce adds a savory depth of flavor to Sloppy Joes. Add a few dashes to the meat mixture while it’s simmering to enhance the overall taste of the dish.
  6. Balance Sweet and Tangy: Achieve the perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess by adding a combination of ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, and vinegar to the Sloppy Joe sauce. Taste and adjust the proportions until you achieve the desired flavor profile.
  7. Simmer for Flavor: Allow the Sloppy Joe mixture to simmer on low heat for at least 15-20 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together. This extra simmering time helps develop a rich and flavorful sauce.
  8. Thicken the Sauce: If the Sloppy Joe sauce is too thin, you can thicken it by simmering it uncovered for a few additional minutes or by adding a cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with water) to the mixture.
  9. Toast the Buns: Toasting the hamburger buns before serving adds a delicious crunch and prevents them from becoming soggy from the sauce. Simply place the split buns under the broiler for a minute or two until lightly golden
  10. Garnish Creatively: Garnish your Sloppy Joes with your favorite toppings such as shredded cheese, sliced pickles, diced onions, or crispy bacon for added flavor and texture. 

    By following these secrets, you’ll be well on your way to achieving the perfect Sloppy Joes that are flavorful, satisfying, and sure to be a hit with your family and friends!

    Here are some popular questions and answers related to Sloppy Joes:

    1. What are Sloppy Joes?
      • Sloppy Joes are a classic American sandwich made with seasoned ground meat (usually beef or turkey) cooked in a tangy and slightly sweet tomato-based sauce, served on a hamburger bun.
    2. Where did Sloppy Joes originate?
      • The exact origins of Sloppy Joes are debated, but they are believed to have originated in the United States, with various claims suggesting they were first served in Iowa, Florida, or elsewhere in the early to mid-20th century.
    3. What ingredients are typically used in Sloppy Joes?
      • The main ingredients in Sloppy Joes include ground meat (such as beef or turkey), onions, garlic, tomato sauce or ketchup, mustard, brown sugar or another sweetener, vinegar, and various spices and seasonings.
    4. Can I make Sloppy Joes with ground turkey instead of ground beef?
      • Yes, you can easily substitute ground turkey for ground beef in Sloppy Joes. Ground turkey is a leaner option and works well with the sauce and seasonings, resulting in a lighter version of the classic dish.
    5. What can I serve with Sloppy Joes?
      • Sloppy Joes are often served with classic side dishes such as potato chips, French fries, coleslaw, potato salad, or a simple green salad. You can also serve them with pickles, sliced onions, or cheese on the side.
    6. Can I make Sloppy Joes ahead of time?
      • Yes, Sloppy Joes can be made ahead of time and reheated before serving. The meat mixture can be cooked and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, or frozen for longer storage. Simply reheat the mixture on the stove or in the microwave until heated through.
    7. Are Sloppy Joes gluten-free?
      • Sloppy Joes can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free hamburger buns or serving the meat mixture over gluten-free bread or rice. Additionally, be sure to check the labels on any prepared sauces or seasonings used to ensure they are gluten-free.
    8. Can I make Sloppy Joes in a slow cooker?
      • Yes, Sloppy Joes can be made in a slow cooker for added convenience. Simply brown the ground meat and onions on the stove, then transfer them to the slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours until heated through.
    9. How do I thicken Sloppy Joe sauce?
      • If the Sloppy Joe sauce is too thin, you can thicken it by simmering it uncovered on the stove over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches your desired consistency. Alternatively, you can mix a small amount of cornstarch with water to make a slurry and stir it into the sauce to thicken it.
    10. Are Sloppy Joes kid-friendly?
      • Yes, Sloppy Joes are a popular and kid-friendly meal that is enjoyed by children and adults alike. They are often messy to eat, but that’s part of the fun! Just be sure to have plenty of napkins on hand.