Sloppy Joes

I love hugs. Nothing is better than a hug when you feel alone, or scared, or stressed. I wish I could bottle hugs…sounds goofy, but it would be a best seller.  You’d buy one, right?   

Like handshakes, hugging can also be done incorrectly. The back pat…what is that! Some people are born huggers….their arms swallow you and pull you in.  With a hug, they show you how much you mean to them. 

To me, a good Sloppy Joe is like an awesome bear hug. The canned variety…well that’s a back pat…bleh.  

This Sloppy Joe recipe is adapted from Ellie Krieger. It was one of the first things that my husband started cooking for me after we got married. It is sweetened with molasses, spiced with jalapenos, and veggie-chunked with bell peppers and beans. Yes Beans. This is definite cowboy food.

They are so harty that we usually eat these puppies open faced with a fork. 

Ya Ya Ya, I know. What fun is it to eat it with a fork, you say. Well take it from me, I can’t eat ANYTHING without it ending up in my lap, hair, and behind my knees (weird, I know). So I must resort to a fork to keep from ruining ALL of my clothes. Or I  should just wear a bib.

Ok. I’ll wear a bib even when I use a fork. Don’t judge!

 Sloppy Joes  (adapted from Ellie Krieger)

Notes: The ingredient list looks long, but don’t get overwhelmed. It is super easy and the ingredients are located in your cupboard or fridge.

Makes: 4 servings

Prep/Cook Time: 30 minutes


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper (any color that you have…I prefer yellow or red), diced
  • 1 jalepeno, diced (deseed if you are making this for kids or non-cowboys)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 6 oz can of tomato paste
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard (or 1 teaspoon of mustard powder)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups (or one 15 oz can) of black beans or kidney beans
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns or whole grain bread


  1. Brown ground beef in skillet over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain any grease from pan.
  2. Add onions, pepper, and jalapeño and cook until onions are translucent. Add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  3. Mix tomato paste, water, molasses, worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, and red wine vinegar in a small bowl until combined. Add to the skillet with the ground beef mixture. Simmer over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
  4. Add beans, salt, and pepper. Heat until beans are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Serve over whole wheat hamburger buns.

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