Thursday, August 26, 2010

Super Saver Sloppy Joes

When I was younger, Manwich was the go-to meal for my dad to fix whenever my mom wasn't home for supper. He cooked on a regular basis, but my mom really didn't like Manwich so he'd wait until she wasn't going to be around to fix it. He LOVED the stuff. 

I'm sort of 'meh' about the stuff. I don't hate it, but I'd never request it, ya know? My husband, on the other hand, is as big of a fan as my dad. I usually make up a big batch if I'm going to be away from home for a stretch so that he has an easy at-home meal to reheat rather than eating out.

That's where this whole thing started. I was planning to be out of town for a long weekend and promised him I'd make up a batch of Manwich and stick it in the fridge. No big deal, except that when I went to the pantry we were *gasp in horror* out of canned Manwich.

Instead of abandoning the project all together, I googled Sloppy Joe recipes and came upon this recipe on I wasn't sure how it'd compare to the name-brand, but I gave it a go. The result was a hit. My husband raved about it for weeks and said he liked it waaaay better than the real Manwich. I shared the recipe with my dad and even he said he'll never buy the "real" stuff again.

I've made it several times and tweaked it each go-round to better suit our tastes. With these revisions, I can actually say I like the stuff. I never measure anything when I make it, but here are my (very rough) estimations for how I make it:


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (not pictured)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Brown the ground beef with the onion. Stir in all remaining ingredients. Bring to a bubble. Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes.

Ta da! Easy peasy, right? Not difficult to make, yummy and very, very inexpensive. If my calculations are correct, it's less than 25 cents per batch for the sauce. That's a considerable amount of savings over the canned variety. (This amount does not include the meat.)

I don't like juicy things like this on a sandwich because I cannot stand soggy bread. Instead, I serve mine over pasta. You can never go wrong with pasta. :)

I forgot to take a pic before we ate, but here's the closeup view of our leftovers.


  1. I'm definitely going to try this! What kind of buns do you use? Any particular brand?

  2. It varies. My husband really likes the big kaiser rolls from the grocery deli. Sometimes he'll eat it on just regular hamburger buns or Sandwich Thins, too.

  3. Yum! We have Manwiches only when we go camping, but I hate buying it because it's made with high fructose corn syrup. This looks much healthier. I have been wanting to put sloppy joes on the menu this fall, and will give this recipe a try.