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Grandma’s Sloppy Joes

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Grandma’s Sloppy Joes | 10 Meals in an Hour | Food Made Simple | Freezer Cooking | Main Course Meat | Meatless Meals | Sloppy Joes Recipe

Does your family have any famous recipes that have been passed down through the years? These oh-so-easy Sloppy Joes were my grandmother’s specialty, and although she has been gone for ten years, I still can’t make this recipe without thinking of her and our Sunday afternoon family gatherings. I love that they have now become a favorite for my own family!

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The original recipe calls for ground beef but I make it vegetarian friendly (and much lower in calories) by using vegetarian crumbles instead–it is delicious either way! I like serving it with some store-bought coleslaw on the side, but that is just a personal preference. The recipe whips up fast with just a few basic ingredients, and makes enough to feed a crowd. It also freezes beautifully which makes it the perfect recipe to include as part of a freezer cooking day, or simply divide it into bags to eat some now and save some for later!

Grandma’s Sloppy Joes | Vegetarian Sloppy Joes recipe ingredients.

Here is what you need:

4 lbs ground beef or vegetarian crumbles
1 can chicken gumbo soup
1 or 2 cans tomato rice soup
1 large onion
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 cup ketchup
deli coleslaw (optional)
Hamburger buns
 

Chop the onions into a small dice for the sloppy joes.

Step 1: Chop onions.

Brown the ground beef, or use vegetarian crumbles to make this a meatless recipe.

Step 2: Brown ground beef ( or vegetarian crumbles) and then set aside.

Mix soup, sauces, and seasonings together in a bowl - this makes the sloppy joes sauce.

Step 3: Whisk together soups, brown sugar, chili powder, vinegar and ketchup. If you are making the vegetarian version, you can skip the chicken gumbo and double up on the tomato rice instead.

Add the chopped onions into the sauce mixture and stir together.

Step 4: Add chopped onions and whisk well.

Add ground beef to sauce mixture and mix until fully incorporated.

Step 5: Then add ground beef ( or vegetarian crumbles) and mix well.

This sloppy joes recipe is freezer friendly. Divide the sloppy joes into two gallon sized freezer bags and label.

Step 6: Label freezer bags and then divide mixture into 2 bags.

When ready to cook, let thaw and simmer on medium to low heat for about 30 minutes.

Step 7: Let thaw, heat mixture on stove-top, let it come to a boil then lower and simmer for 30-45 minutes or heat on low in crock-pot for 3-4 hours.

Grandma’s Sloppy Joes | 10 Meals in an Hour | Food Made Simple | Freezer Cooking | Main Course Meat | Meatless Meals | Sloppy Joes Recipe

Grandma's Sloppy Joes

This is my Grandma's recipe and brings back such great memories. This will soon be your family's new favorite as well!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Sloppy Joes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Author Ruth Soukup

Ingredients

  • 4 lbs ground beef or vegetarian crumbles
  • 1 can chicken gumbo soup
  • 1-2 cans tomato rice soup
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup ketchup

Instructions

  1. Chop onions.
  2. Brown ground beef ( or vegetarian crumbles) and then set aside.
  3. Whisk together soups, brown sugar, chili powder, vinegar and ketchup.  If you are making the vegetarian version, you can skip the chicken gumbo and double up on the tomato rice instead.
  4. Add chopped onions and whisk well.
  5. Then add ground beef (or vegetarian crumbles) and mix well.
  6. Label freezer bags and then divide mixture into 2 bags.
  7. Let thaw, heat mixture on stove-top, let it come to a boil then lower and simmer for 30-45 minutes or heat on low in crock-pot for 3-4 hours.

Recipe Notes

Cooking time: 30-45 minutes on stove-top or 3-4 hours in crock-pot

Number of servings (yield): 16

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What recipe has been handed down in your family?

16 Comments

  1. August 13 at 08:48AM

    This is such an interesting recipe! The sloppy Joe recipes I’ve seen (and made) in the past were basically Ketchup/mustard/brown sugar combinations.

    Incidentally, speaking of family recipes, my dad, who doesn’t cook AT ALL, has suddenly started craving his mother’s sloppy Joes. I’ve dropped in over at his house twice recently to find him in the kitchen mixing things together trying to get the sauce just right. 🙂

  2. August 13 at 11:31AM

    I love it when making a family recipe reminds you of Sunday dinners! I also love that this sloppy Joe recipe is easily frozen and thawed for easy weeknight dinner!

  3. Haley @ Cheap Recipe Blog
    August 14 at 10:40AM

    Ooh, I’m going to have to try these, Ruth! These sound much more southern and exotic than the sloppy joes we make up here (MN). The gumbo soup addition is intriguing… and the brown sugar addition sealed the deal for me 🙂

  4. Alicia
    August 18 at 11:33PM

    When I first saw this picture, I thought it was a fried egg in that sloppy joe! And something about that thought sounded good. I think I’m going to try it!

  5. Mindy
    October 26 at 06:50PM

    I couldn’t find tomato rice soup. Only found tomato soup so how can I substitute?

  6. JJ
    July 31 at 10:07AM

    unfortunately with the chicken gumbo soup it’s no longer vegetarian. I cannot digest meat, so for that reason I have become “meatless” in all my meals. What substitution for that soup in its place that you would recommend?

    • Anonymous
      October 20 at 01:32PM

      Hey! It actually says in the recipe breakdown to sub vegetarian crumbles instead of the hamburger, and two cans of the tomato rice soup instead of one of each.

  7. Shelby
    May 23 at 01:52AM

    Hello. I am trying to avoid the mainstream condensed soups and grains. I know I can toss some quinoa in as a sub for the rice. Would it work to use a carton organic tomato soup or would tomato or pasta sauce be better instead?

    I am very interested in trying this one, and avoiding the spice packets which contain a lot of filler that your body doesn’t need. Thank you!

    • Ruth Soukup
      May 23 at 05:39AM

      I would try the tomato soup instead of the sauce. 🙂

  8. Lynda
    April 7 at 10:50AM

    Your recipes sound good, just wondering if doing your method would work for a single person like myself. Some of the recipes say it serves 8. Using these recipes I would need to put them in smaller containers and reheat them when I wanted do have it for dinner. Would need to label the containers with recipe name and date. Trying to watch my sodium intake so some substitutions would have to be made.

  9. Rico D
    July 28 at 10:16PM

    This may be a silly question but I’m just a guy trying some new things here and I’m not sure if I’m supposed to mix the soup with water like it says on the can.

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