Quick Homemade Sloppy Joe’s
with Slow Cooker and Freezer Cooking Instructions
We all love quick, messy meals for a weeknight dinner. City Spouse, in particular, loves sloppy joes.
He would love me to use the stuff in that dark red can (you know what I’m talking about) but I am on a mission to remove all processed foods from our diet.
It’s not much more work to make this from homemade ingredients.
While you may not have home canned diced tomatoes and green chilies stocked in your pantry, it’s not a difficult process to add this to both your gardening plan and your canning plan/inventory for the year ahead. I make sure to plant enough chilies and tomatoes to put up at least a dozen pint jars of home canned tomatoes and chilies.
Let’s check out the label on the store bought sloppy joe sauce, shall we?
The second ingredient (after tomato paste) is high fructose corn syrup. *shakes head*
It’s in just about everything nowadays isn’t it?
The other concerning ingredients are at the end of the list: Guar Gum, Xantham Gum, Locust Bean Gum and Natural Flavors. Does anyone know exactly what these are? I’m assuming preservatives and thickeners, but really? Who wants to eat something they have no idea what it REALLY is?! I could use the Google machine and attempt to find out what it is, but I’m not a chemist so I’m sure it isn’t going to help my recall of high school chemistry or physics. Did we ever learn anything food related? I’m guessing not. Why would they associate chemicals with food? It’s simply horrifying.
But enough of my rants about the atrocities of the food industry. Let’s just get back to eating real food here.
In about the same amount of time that it takes to make sloppy joes with the premade can of sauce, we can whip up a pan that is as chemically free as is possible.
And tastes better, in my opinion.
Quick Homemade Sloppy Joes
- 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
- 1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
- 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. spicy brown mustard
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Sandwich buns, for serving.
- In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat until cooked through.
- Drain fat from meat and return to skillet.
- Stir in all other ingredients, mixing well.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, or until you are sure everything is heated through and sauce has thickened to your liking.
- Spoon onto sandwich buns and serve.
Want to jazz up your sloppy joes?
Try melting some cheddar cheese over the meat on your bun. Or add a couple of dill pickle slices (homemade of course) to your sandwich to give it a little extra crunch.
*Slow Cooker Instructions*
Brown ground beef. Add to slow cooker. Add in all other ingredients, stirring to combine. Cook on LOW 6-8 hours or until sauce is thickened to your liking. Serve on bread or buns and enjoy.
Cook as instructed above. Once heated through, allow to cool down to room temperature. Spoon into a freezer-safe dish, or spoon into freezer bags. Label and freeze for up to 6 months. To reheat, thaw in refrigerator overnight. Dump contents into a saucepan. Heat to boiling and simmer for a few minutes, adding water to thin if necessary. Serve on buns and enjoy.
Freezer to CrockPot– Brown ground beef. Cool completely. Spoon browned beef and all other ingredients into a freezer bag. Label and date. Lay flat to freeze for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Cook on LOW 6-8 hours or until sauce is thickened to your liking. Serve on bread or buns and enjoy.