Everyone’s Favorite…Sloppy Joes


6 servings 

Serve Sloppy Joes for dinner as a treat for kids on Valentine's Day.

  •  1½ pounds lean ground beef or uncooked ground turkey or chicken
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 cup tomato-base chili sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce or to taste
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 4 to 5 drops hot sauce or to taste (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 to 8 French or Kaiser rolls, or onion rolls, or hamburger buns, split in half and toasted
  •   Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese or cheese-blend of choice,
  •   or reduced-fat cheese of choice as desired (optional)
  • Freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  •   or reduced-fat Parmesan or Romano cheese as desired (optional)
  • Sweet gherkins, pimento stuffed olives, sweet cocktail onions for garnish (optional)

Lightly coat a large heavy skillet with non-caloric vegetable cooking spray.  Lightly brown ground beef or turkey or chicken thoroughly over moderate heat; drain well, reserve drippings and set aside.  Saute onion and garlic in reserved hot pan drippings until tender but not browned; drain off any remaining drippings.  Reduce heat and add chili sauce, water, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and hot sauce, blending well.  Stir in reserved ground beef or turkey or chicken.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until mixture is bubbly hot and flavors blended.   Spoon beef or turkey or chicken mixture onto one-half of each of the 6 to 8 rolls or buns.  May sprinkle Cheddar and/or Parmesan cheese over each sandwich, if desired (see note).  Top each sandwich with a second roll half.  Garnish each sandwich with sweet gherkins, pimento-stuffed olives, and sweet cocktail onions, if desired.

Note: May Sprinkle Cheddar cheese over Sloppy Joe mixture on each sandwich half; place under broiler, about 6 inches from heat source, and broil for 2 to 3 minutes until cheese begins to melt.  May then sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and continue broiling until Parmesan cheese is lightly browned.  Top each sandwich with a second roll half or serve open-faced.

Variations: Add 1 to 2 teaspoons cider vinegar to mixture. Add 1 teaspoon of dried Italian herbs to mixture, if desired.

Mini “Joes”: Serve Sloppy Joe mixture in heated miniature rolls.

Vegetarian Variation: Omit ground beef or turkey or chicken.  Add 1 drained (16-ounce) can kidney or pinto beans to sautéed onions.                        

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