Gourmet Sloppy Joes have a touch of red wine vinegar and fresh veggies in the sauce and are served on a French baguette. That's why they're simply the best and known as Sloppy Janes at our house!
Much like our Gourmet Meatloaf, this is not the classic recipe you had as a child! Sloppy Janes have a touch of elegance!
Let's review why they're so special.
- We use lean beef in these Sloppy Joes so there's less fat to contend with. Also, check out the protein variations below.
- The homemade sauce is laced with fresh vegetables like mushrooms and onions and has a zingy splash of red wine vinegar.
- The meaty sauce is spooned over thick crusty bread instead of a hamburger bun. We used a whole wheat baguette.
- Eating low-carb? Hollow out the bread, serve it open-faced or on Low-Carb Cloud Bread.
This dinner is kid-friendly and adult-approved and comes together faster than a trip through the drive-through, even though it's made from scratch.
And, faster still if you follow our make-ahead strategies below.
Gourmet Sloppy Joes Step-by-Step
Beef is the main ingredient. We use the leanest cut possible (90% lean) and try to buy a grass-fed brand. Ground turkey is an option as well as vegan soy crumbles.
Step 1 - Cook beef in a skillet until browned and transfer it to a paper-towel lined plate to soak up any extra fat. I didn't have to do this because I always have a bag of crumbles in the freezer. 🙂
Tip: Cook several pounds of ground beef at a time. Allow it to cool and package it in plastic bags to store in the freezer. I package it in 1 or 2 cup portions.
Step 2 - Prepare vegetables
We absolutely love fresh onions and mushrooms in this sauce. If you like green peppers, add those too. Honestly, you can sneak in other vegetables too. Puree carrots and cauliflower and you can add those to the sauce too!
How fine should you chop the vegetables?
- I keep the vegetables big and chunky and for a good reason. If someone (and I'm not naming any names) does not care to have mushrooms and/or onions in their sauce, then it would be extremely easy to pick these out.
- Conversely, I am told (by nobody in particular) that if these veggies were a bit smaller and less noticeable than they would have been gobbled right up.
Well, you can't blame a girl for trying to please everyone!
Step 3 - Saute onions and mushrooms for about 5-7 minutes and then add the rest of the sauce ingredients. Cook over medium heat for about 5-10 minutes to wake-up the flavor and aroma of the tomato paste (lesson learned from Rachel Ray) and to allow all the flavors to combine.
Step 4 - Stir in the crumbled beef and simmer for a few minutes more.
How to Make-Ahead and Freeze
Make a double or triple batch of the Sloppy Joes sauce and freeze it in plastic bags or freezer containers.
Freeze the sauce at whatever stage makes sense for your family:
- Add cooked beef crumbles and all of the other ingredients to a freezer-friendly bag or container.
- Make just the sauce with or without the vegetables.
When you're ready to enjoy, simply defrost in the refrigerator overnight and heat on the stovetop or in a microwave.
Need a quick dinner? Just pull the sauce out of the freezer, defrost and serve on the tastiest bread you can find.
Healthy Side Dish Ideas for Sloppy Joes
Here are some ideas to round out the meal:
- Salad - we usually have our "house" salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette Dressing. These items seem to compliment each other because of the comment ingredient!
- Coleslaw - This Vinegar Based Coleslaw by Billy Parisi also looks yummy.
- Vegetable chips or fries - check out Healthy Alternatives to Chips to find a favorite.
- Any vegetable that's in season...especially Microwave Corn on the Cob since it takes minutes to make!
I guarantee everyone will be happy with these gourmet Sloppy Joes...I mean Sloppy Janes!
Please rate this recipe and tag @DinnerMom or #DinnerMom on social media. We love to see what you are cooking up!
Gourmet Sloppy Joes Recipe
- 2 pounds lean ground beef cooked and crumbled (about 4 cups)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- ½ white onion sliced into slivers
- 8 ounces white mushrooms sliced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 16 ounces tomato sauce 2 cans
- ½ cup tomato paste 1 can, with 2 Tablespoons removed
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar or Sweetener of choice
- 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
- Baguette, lettuce wraps or favorite roll Not included in calorie count
- Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.
- Add onions, mushrooms and garlic and saute for about 5-7 minutes or until vegetables or softened.
- Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, brown sugar and red wine vinegar and stir to mix and combine.
- Simmer for about 5-7 minutes to wake-up the tomato sauce and allow the sauce ingredients to combine.
- Stir in crumbled ground beef and simmer for about 5 minutes more.
- Serve in French bread rolls, lettuce wraps or on your favorite type of bread.
- This sauce is freezer-friendly. Double or triple the recipe and freeze the sauce for a quick dinner.
- Make it vegan by using soy crumbles!
- Substitute brown sugar with low-carb sweetener and serve in lettuce wraps or Low-Carb Cloud Bread to keep recipe South Beach Diet Phase 1 compliant.