Sloppy Joes

Before I started telecommuting (and before I developed an absolute addiction to trying new recipes), I had a few favorite dishes that I tended to make over and over. Sloppy Joe’s Pocket Sandwiches from Pampered Chef’s Casual Cooking was one of my all-time favorites. It might lack sophistication, but it’s actually pretty tasty. Plus, I can have it on the table in 15 minutes flat.

This recipe isn’t posted online, so here’s what you’ll need:


1 pound lean (90%) ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 small garlic clove, pressed
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch ground black pepper
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons prepared mustard
4 sandwich buns
4 slices American cheese


In a 12-inch skillet, I cooked the ground beef over medium heat, breaking it into crumbles, until it was no longer pink (10 minutes). I drained it, returned it to the skillet (still over medium heat), and added the onion and garlic. I sprinkled the mixture with the salt and pepper and cooked it until the onion was tender (3 minutes).

Next, I stirred in the tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, and mustard. I served the meat on whole-wheat buns with the American cheese slices.

There’s just something about this recipe… It’s warm and comforting, and I just love the ketchup-mustard-brown sugar combination in the sauce. I can’t say I’d serve it for company – hehe – but it’s perfect for those nights when you just don’t have much time to put dinner together. Kids love it, too!

TIPS: The original recipe calls for the meat to be served in pita pockets with (optional) green bell pepper rings. I found that when the pita pockets got wet from the meat juices, they tended to fall apart. Buns work for me!

Also, sometimes I skip the onion because (a) I don’t want to deal with it, or (b) I want the dish to cook even faster than usual. It’s delicious either way.