Today we are all about easy and affordable. Specifically, I’m talking this tangy, delicious, easy sloppy joe recipe. I used a lot of organic products to make these sloppy joes, and I was still able to stay within a $20 budget, so I call that a win.
Plus, the sweet and sour sauce I used is made almost exactly like my favorite tomatoey, sweet and sour appetizer sauce, cream cheese and red sauce. If you like these hot ground beef sandwiches, I think you’ll also really enjoy the red sauce!
For other supper ideas, here are all of my meat recipes in one place.
I originally wrote this recipe as a sponsored post for
local supermarket chain Harris Teeter® to highlight their HT Organics products.
All opinions and the recipe are my own. You may also be pleasantly surprised at the number of HT Organics products I was able to use and still stay within a $20 budget! Thank you, Harris Teeter!
Sweet, Tangy, Easy
I grew up eating Sloppy Joes, so they’re a nostalgic treat for me. I’m cool with homemade or even pouring a can of Manwich into my own ground beef.
Either way is good for me. I just want the Sloppy Joe!
For this easy sloppy joe recipe, I decided to go in a sweet and sour direction. So, some of the ingredients you might not expect to see in a traditional sloppy joe. For example:
- lemon juice
- steak sauce
But man, if you’re a fan of sweet and sour, you won’t be able to resist these.
And as a bonus, you probably have everything you need to make these guys either in your pantry or in your refrigerator. What are you waiting for?!
Is This Recipe Organic?
As written, it’s not 100% organic, although I used many organic ingredients.
It’s mainly because I didn’t use organic ground beef.
You can absolutely make them organic by making sure all ingredients are organic, including the ground chuck.
The ingredient you might not be able to find an organic version for is the A1 steak sauce, but you can certainly substitute your favorite organic steak sauce.
Isn’t It Expensive to Eat Organic?
It can be, certainly. In part, organic means that producers have to take some extra steps to make sure they’re meeting federal regulations. That can translate to more expensive price tags at the counter.
The HT Organics line actually features quite a few products that are priced below some of their conventionally-produced counterparts.
And guess what?
If you are not totally happy with your HT Organics Items, you can take them back to the store.
Not only will they give you a refund, you can pick your own replacement (with some restrictions). This policy allows you to buy organic and not have any buyer’s remorse at all. Plus, you get the satisfaction of knowing you are feeding your family healthy foods and staying within your budget.
These days, most grocery stores offer a wide variety of organic options, many of them store brands, so take a look next time you’re in your local grocery and see if you can’t make some organic swaps for conventional ingredients and still stay within your food budget.
Organic Sloppy Joe Recipe Q & A
You may have some questions about making these easy sloppy joes, so here are some answers for you.
If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via email.
A sloppy joe is generally a ground beef-based hot sandwich, although it can also be made with other ground meat such as turkey or pork (or a mixture of ground meats). The ground beef is usually browned and then simmers together with a tomato-based sauce.
If you happen to have leftover sloppy joe mix, you can serve it over baked potatoes or pour it over tortilla chips and top with melted cheese for a nacho snack.
My favorite thing to do with leftovers is heat it up in a pan, crack eggs onto the top of it, and then bake it like you would a shakshuka. It makes a great brunch!
This is a personal choice, of course, but there is such a thing as a too sloppy sloppy joe. I like to put a generous enough amount on the buns so I can really taste it and so maybe some will fall out (because they are sloppy, after all), but not so much that all of it falls out or that the bun disintegrates. My rule of thumb is to allow about 1/2 cup (or a heaping 1/3 cup) of sloppy joe mix per person.
Since I have done a Whole30 before, I get this question pretty frequently. You’ll have to be very careful with your ingredients, and of course you won’t be able to add any sweetener unless you use soaked and blended dates, so sweet and sour sloppy joes are out for the duration of your whole30. But, if you serve them as lettuce wraps or over sweet potatoes or russet potatoes, you can certainly make a Whole30 compliant sloppy joe mix with ground beef, Whole30-approved Ketchup like Tessemae’s or canned whole tomatoes, mustard, chopped onion, green or red bell pepper and garlic, a touch of vinegar. I found this recipe for Whole30 Sloppy Joe Bowls for you that you might really enjoy–it sounds good to me!
Fortunately, it is easy to scale this recipe. Figure 1 pound of ground meat per 4-5 sandwiches, so for 30 people, you’ll want to start with 6 pounds of ground beef and scale all the sauce ingredients accordingly. For 50 sloppy joes, start with 10 pounds of ground beef, for 100, you’ll need 20, etc.
Side Dish Options
As far as I’m concerned, sloppy joes are about as retro as it gets–and I mean that in a good way–so retro side dish recipes are the order of the day.
Try serving them with my mom-style macaroni salad, or maybe some no mayo potato salad (that also happens to be Whole30!). If you’d like a hot side dish, consider spicy succotash, an old-fashioned southern side dish I love to make.
If you want to indulge in all the comfort food at one meal, make some creamy mac and cheese to go with.
If you want to lighten things up a bit, maybe go with a strawberry spinach salad, mashed rutabaga, or this fantastic Brussels sprouts salad.
Let’s Get Cooking, Shall We?
If you have questions about this post or recipe, don’t hesitate to get in touch. You can leave a comment on the post and I will get back to you within about 24 hours.
If your question is more urgent, please shoot me an email, and I will respond within 4 hours, unless I’m asleep.
These guys are loaded with organic onion and sweet red pepper goodness from the HT Organics line at Harris Teeter. And the sauce is sweet/sour/tangy.
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Thanks, and enjoy!
Easy Sloppy Joes
This easy sloppy joe recipe makes enough to feed a family of four. Twice. Most of the ingredients are organic from Harris Teeter and their HT Organics brand, and you can certainly make them all organic by purchasing organic beef and steak sauce.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil or neutral vegetable oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, medium dice, I used an HT Organics onion
- 3-5 cloves garlic, minced, I used HT Organics garlic
- 1 red bell pepper, medium dice, I used HT Organics red bell pepper
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 pounds ground beef, I used 80% lean ground chuck from Harris Teeter
- 1 cup ketchup, I used HT Organics ketchup
- 2-3 Tablespoons honey (depending on how sweet you like things), I used HT Organics honey
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons A-1 Steak Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard, I used HT Organics yellow mustard
- 4 sandwich buns of your choice
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add the oil and heat for a few seconds.
- Add the onion and garlic along with a heavy pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are translucent.
- Add the red bell pepper and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Make a space in the center of your pan and add the 2 pounds of ground beef, breaking it up well with a spatula. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cook until the beef shows no remaining pink, stirring the vegetables back in as you cook. This step will take about 7 minutes.
- Move the meat and vegetables to one side of the pan and tilt the pan so the fat gathers in the "empty" side. Spoon off as much of the fat as you would like. Leave at least a couple of tablespoons behind, but you can leave more if you choose.
- Spread the meat back out in the pan and add the ketchup, honey, vinegar, lemon juice, A-1, and yellow mustard.
- Stir together and simmer for 5-10 minutes to marry the flavors. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Add a heaping 1/3 cup of the sloppy joe mixture to each of 4 buns,* and serve with sides of your choice.
*You will use about half of the mixture. You can of course enjoy more sloppy joes the next day, but I switched things up a bit and heated the leftover sloppy joe mix, made four "wells" in it, and cracked an egg in each. I cooked it on the stovetop for 3-4 minutes and then finished it under the broiler until the eggs were cooked to my liking, about 4-5 additional minutes. "Sloppy Joe Egg Bake" makes a great part of a hearty weekend breakfast. See a photo below.
Amount Per Serving Calories 464Saturated Fat 9gCholesterol 80mgSodium 587mgCarbohydrates 29gFiber 1gSugar 12gProtein 23g
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What Others Are Saying...
Robin Chesser says
Looks great, I just happen to have some ground beef on hand.
Jennifer Field says
It is Kismet! I hope you really enjoy them, Robin!
My kids LOVE sloppy joe’s and I sometimes feel guilty. I love this healthier organic version!
Jennifer Field says
I cannot get enough of this sweet/sour/tangy combo! Except now. I am being very good on Whole30! 🙂
I grew up with sloppy joe’s in Texas, but why oh why have I never made them for my kids?!!!
Jennifer Field says
I don’t know, but you’d better jump on it, stat, Laura! =) Enjoy!
Beth (OMG! Yummy) says
Love the 2 meals for $20 Jenni. What a great post and great use of the ingredients!
Jennifer Field says
Thanks, Beth! Honestly, I was pleasantly surprised that I stayed really close to the $20 allotted, plus: sloppy joes are the best! =)
What a great combination of savory-tangy-sweet sauce ingredients! This is delicious 🙂 Thank you for your specific ingredients and teachniques, even down to the size of chop and type of component. Every recipe provides a great dish AND a little education.
Jennifer Field says
Hey, Kate, I’m so pleased you like these, and thank you for the lovely compliment. xo