Sloppy Joe’s

Ready to eat!

When I lived in Minneapolis many years ago, I worked with a girl named Mary Shoemaker. She gave me the VERY BEST recipe for Sloppy Joe’s and it’s the only recipe I’ve used ever since. Manwich? Pfft. There is no comparison and this is so easy to make!

There are many stories that will say where this sandwich first originated. I’m going to go with the one from Sioux City, Iowa. The story goes that sometime in the ’20s or ’30s a Sioux City, Iowa, diner cook named Joe introduced tomato sauce to the loose meat mix, creating the “sloppy joe” sandwich.

There’s also a story that Hemingway brought it from Cuba to Key West but I haven’t been able to confirm that!

Regardless…here is my version (thanks to Mary) and I hope you enjoy it.


  • 1 pound hamburger
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic granules
I doubled the recipe here – because I like leftovers!


Brown hamburger and then drain off the fat.

Mix all the other ingredients and pour over the browned burger. Cover and simmer on low for about 45 minutes until thickened. Stir frequently so it doesn’t stick!

Simmer away!

Grab your bun of choice and pile it on! And enjoy!

NOTE: I usually use less sugar than this original recipe. And I also use reduced sugar ketchup – Heinz makes a great one. I don’t think you lose anything in flavor by reducing the sugar.

ANOTHER NOTE: Some people like chopped onion in their Sloppy Joe’s. I am not one of those people. But if you are, just saute them in a little oil before you add the hamburger.

One comment

  1. Yum! When I was growing up we
    had sloppy joes frequently. This is my favorite recipe, thanks for sharing I may have to make this staple as soon as the weather cools!

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