Not your lunch lady’s Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes are hard to photograph……

What do Sloppy Joes remind you of?

But these are definitely not your lunch lady’s Sloppy Joes…..

This might seem like a strange post for the night before Thanksgiving, but trust me it’s not.

Whenever our family would come home over the holidays my mom would always make lots and lots of good food beyond just the traditional holiday fare. I’m sure she did this week, but my family isn’t there. When we would walk in the door there would usually be something simmering on the stovetop that we could eat.

Sloppy Joes and BBQ Hamburgers(recipe coming soon) were two dishes that my mom would always make a big batch of. There would also be several containers of Bison chip dip and possibly some of her dill potato salad with black olives.  Mmmmm…now that is what I call comfort food.  I am sure that these foods have been my choice for my birthday dinner once or twice. Jim always tells me I’m a cheap date:-)

This is my mom’s recipe and they are my favorite.  I’m not sure where this recipe came from and it’s not necessarily the recipe that she has always used, but  they are the recipe I make these days and they are soo good.  They have some sweet spice to them which is really unique. The allspice gives them a really different almost addicting flavor. If you don’t have allspice you can substitute half cinnamon and half ground cloves.

These are so easy to whip up, too. I’m not sure what is in the canned version of the Sloppy Joe, but I can’t imagine any reason not to make them from scratch.  I used lean ground beef and you could also use ground turkey if you wanted to.  Although, I have to be honest, I like to stick to the ground beef.

So when you are tired of the turkey and stuffing, have some Sloppy Joes ready for lunch or dinner on Saturday. The whole family will be happy you did!  Jim and the girls love these and I actually wished that I had made a full batch(I only made half) because I only ended up eating one sandwich (which was very sad.)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  Remember what you have to be thankful for and enjoy the long weekend!

Family Pleasing Sloppy Joes
Recipe type: Main
  • 2 lb. ground beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1¼ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground mustard
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 8 sandwich buns
  1. Cook beef and onion. Drain well.
  2. Add ketchup, water, brown sugar, vinegar, salt, mustard, chili powder & allspice.
  3. Bring to boil.
  4. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes.



  1. I have never heard of sloppy joes but yes, they look like a great meal – something to be enjoyed by everyone in the family. Happy Thanksgiving. We don’t celebrate it here in Australia but I sure wish we did.

  2. I love sloppy joes. These sound great, I have never heard of putting allspice in them before. I will have to give them a try.

  3. I love sloppy joes too! Such great comfort food. These are packed with flavor.

  4. This recipe makes me grin. My aunt often makes these for us when we visit. Truly comfort food at it’s very best!

  5. fact: until i die, i’ll always associate sloppy joes with lunchlady land. 🙂

  6. YUM! Your sloppy joe version sounds wonderful! 🙂

  7. This makes a nice alternative to turkey! Hope your Thanksgiving was great, sloppy joes and all.

  8. Back Road Journal says:

    I haven’t had one in years but I love them.

  9. Mary Bergfeld says:

    These really sound good. Now that there are just two of us “Joes” are a rare occurrence and that is a shame. I like them as much as my children did. I really like you recipe. Have a wonderful day. Blessings…Mary

  10. Minibakercakes says:

    sloppy joes are amazing! they remind me of my childhood & sixth grade camp 🙂 haha can’t wait to browse around- just found your blog!

  11. I love recipes like these that have history behind them! I love sloppy joes and have made many versions of them, but sometimes the classic is just the best!

  12. Jenn's Food Journey says:

    LOL… I love the lunch lady song!!! And sloppy joes have always been a favorite of mine!

    Thanks for stopping by my site – I appreciate your comments!

  13. I had never seen this SNL skit! It’s sooo good — it made my morning. Your sloppy joe’s look sooo good, too. I’ve only made these a couple of times in my life. Perhaps it’s time to try them again.


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