Sloppy Joes 038

I feel bad going into full carnivore mode when my blog is getting a ton of vegan traffic from a popular quinoa posting over the weekend (quinoa and vegetable paella). My original intention was to stuff bell peppers with sloppy joes tonight, but I wanted to get a good picture of a sandwich first, and it is difficult to capture them up close. My photo shoot really slowed me down, and I never got around to stuffing the peppers.

Sloppy Joes are a very casual American comfort food and a perennial kids’ favorite. I’m not even sure if I’ve had them in a restaurant before. Everyone loves their mom’s recipe so they vary from family to family. In my recipe I use 90% lean ground beef, and some jalapeño peppers and hot sauce to add some heat. As you can see from the title, I also like my sloppy joes thick and chunky, with plenty of vegetables. I make a special point not to overcook the celery and green bell peppers in them. I prefer ketchup to tomato sauce, and finally, I believe the key to my recipe is Worcestershire sauce and plenty of tomato paste, which makes them thick and flavorful.

Thick and Chunky Sloppy Joes (recipe by “Oishii!”)


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 lb. 6 ounces (22 ounces) of ground beef – I prefer 90% lean
  • 1 cup celery, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups green bell pepper, chopped into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (e.g. Trader Joe’s jalapeño pepper sauce)
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1  6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup water
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • hamburger buns


Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium high heat. Sauté onion, garlic, and jalapeño pepper in vegetable oil until the onion starts to brown and soften. Add the ground beef and fry until no longer pink. Add celery and green bell pepper and cook until it starts to soften a bit. Stir in Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, and ketchup. Add tomato paste and 3/4 cup water. Stir until tomato paste is incorporated into the sauce. Turn down heat to low and simmer until the vegetables are cooked, but not over soft, and the mixture is thick. Add more liquid if necessary. Add kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Serve on hamburger buns open or closed face with dill pickles and potato chips on the side.

What’s oishii? “Oishii” (pronounced “oy she”) is the Japanese word for delicious. I love sharing great recipes I develop in my test kitchen. My inspiration comes from cooking magazines (Bon Appétit, Fine Cooking, Food & Wine), cookbooks, blogs, online food communities such as, popular restaurants, tv shows, friends, and family.

Now it’s your turn! How do you like your sloppy joes? What is considered children’s food where you come from? If you enjoyed this post, we would love to hear from you! Please leave some feedback in the comments section below. -Michael

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