This recipe is straight out of Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms. Tim and I both agreed that this is one of the best recipes for sloppy joes that we have found. My favorite thing about it is that it includes a fair amount of celery in it. When I read the recipe, I was really skeptical about this addition. It turns out, though, that the flavor the celery adds is terrific, and as long as you get them chopped super fine, you don’t even notice that they are included in terms of texture. What a sneaky way to add some veggies to your meal! I’m definitely going to use this trick in other recipes.
You will also see tips for putting this together a day ahead, if desired, as well as for freezing leftovers. We froze some of what we made, and I know we’ll really enjoy being able to heat this up quickly on a weeknight in the next month or two!
Special thanks to Jane, the author, for permission to print her recipe.
Best Sloppy Joes Recipe
2 lbs. ground beef, 85% lean (we used ground turkey, and it turned out great!)
2 celery ribs, finely diced
2/3 cup onion, finely diced
2/3 cup green bell pepper, finely diced
½ cup ketchup
½ cup Bull’s-Eye Original Barbecue Sauce
16 oz. tomato sauce
2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 hamburger buns
~A Day Ahead~
In a large skillet, cook the beef, celery, onion, and green pepper on medium heat, until the beef is cooked through. Drain the fat. Add the ketchup, barbecue sauce, tomato sauce, brown sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer the mixture to a bowl to cool. Cover and refrigerate until ready to reheat.
Reheat in the microwave. Serve on hamburger buns. Makes 8 sloppy joes.
Freeze the sloppy joes in labeled freezer bags and freeze flat. This defrosts in the microwave very quickly for an easy weeknight meal. For us, this is our go-to recipe, as it is the best sloppy joes recipe we have yet to try (and we’ve tried probably 8 different recipes!).