Sloppy Joe Day is March 18, and we’re feeling nostalgic for this school lunch classic. Depending on how good your school cafeteria was, you may or may not have fond memories of Sloppy Joes. But the next time you’re at your MA butcher, why not pick up some ground beef and try a slightly gourmet version of this lunch from your school days?
The great thing about this recipe is that it doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. Come to think of it, that’s probably why it became a school cafeteria staple! Other than the buns, this recipe only has five ingredients: ground beef, bell pepper, onion, garlic, and the homemade sauce. The sauce is what makes this recipe a step above what you remember from school.
The sauce is also easy to make and doesn’t take a lot of ingredients. In a bowl, combine:
Depending on the flavors you like the best, and how much sauce you need to make, you can adjust the amounts and ratios of each ingredient. You’ll want more tomato sauce than anything else. If it’s too thick, you can add a little more water.
Now we get down to cooking! Dice an onion and a bell pepper. Green pepper is our go-to, but if you prefer the taste of another color, feel free to substitute. Take one or two cloves of garlic (or more!), mince it, and then set it aside. If you haven’t already made your sauce, do that after you chop your veggies.
Now it’s time to cook the beef! In a deep skillet, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Put the ground beef in the pan and break it up as it cooks. Season it with a little salt and pepper, then add the onion and bell pepper. Let that cook until the vegetables are tender.
Next, add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant. Finally, grab the sauce that you made and pour it in. If necessary, turn the heat up and let the sauce come to a soft boil. Once it does, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. You can also add more salt and pepper to taste at this point.
And you’re done! Grab some toasted buns, spoon your Sloppy Joe mixture onto them, and enjoy! This meal is so simple and tasty that you’ll add it to your easy dinner rotation right away.