A Sloppy Joes recipe may be known as lowbrow cafeteria food, but they’re still delicious. To make these satisfying hot sandwiches, cook bell peppers, onions, and garlic until softened; add tomato paste; and then brown ground beef or turkey in the same pot. Add a few seasonings along with Worcestershire and tomato sauce, and simmer until the flavors concentrate into a sweet, tangy mixture. Pile a generous helping on a toasted bun, top with our Cabbage and Carrot Herbed Slaw, and don’t forget to tuck a napkin under your chin.
Game plan: The flavors continue to develop as the Sloppy Joe mixture sits, so you can make this recipe up to 2 days in advance and refrigerate it in a container with a tightfitting lid, or freeze it for up to 1 month.
2 tablespoonsolive oil
2red bell peppers, seeded and cut into small dice
2 medium yellow onions, small dice
4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cuptomato paste
2 poundslean ground beef or ground turkey
2 teaspoonschili powder
2 teaspoonsground cumin
2 teaspoonskosher salt, plus more as needed
2 (14-ounce) canstomato sauce
2 tablespoonscider vinegar
2 tablespoonsWorcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
6 to 8hamburger buns, split and toasted
1Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the peppers, onion, and garlic, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 6 minutes.
2Add the tomato paste, stir to combine, and cook until the raw flavor has cooked out, about 1 minute.
3Increase the heat to medium high, add the ground beef or turkey, and cook, breaking the meat into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon, until it’s just cooked through and no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
4Add the chili powder, cumin, and measured salt, stir to coat the meat and vegetables, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
5Add the tomato sauce, water, vinegar, Worcestershire, and brown sugar, stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors meld and the mixture thickens, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.