sloppy joes like you’ve never seen them before.

it all started with this salad.

i had this salad for lunch on tuesday, and while it was delicious, it was missing a little oomph. so, yesterday i got the genius idea to top it with sloppy joe mix! brad’s grandma makes him batches of food every now and then to bring back to school with him and a lot of the time she includes these sloppy joes. Β she whips up the recipe, ladles it into single servings on a cookie sheet, freezes them, and then individually packages them in baggies for brad to enjoy. (yes, he is ridiculously spoiled. i don’t know how i’m ever going to live up to that.)

i do get to benefit from his spoiled-ness, though, because he usually shares one or two of the servings with me. it was one of those that he shared that i used to top my salad.

oh my goodness. why have i not done this before?!? we’ve used the sloppy joe mix to make nachos and i’ve made taco wraps and cheesy sloppy joe wraps, but just simply plopping it on a salad never occurred to me.

now, i didn’t make the batch that i put on my salad, but i did get the recipe from brad’s grandma, so here is it!

grandma elaine’s sloppy joes


  • 1.5 lbs grass fed & finished ground beef
  • .5 cup diced onion
  • .5 cup diced celery
  • 1 15 oz. can tomato soup (or make your own)
  • 1/8 cup chili sauce
  • 1/8 cup ketchup
  • dash of worchestershire sauce (about .5-1 Tbsp)


brown the beef and skim off the fat. add other ingredients, stir, and simmer until vegetables are tender.

it’s really easy and pretty standard, but it always tastes SO GOOD. maybe it’s the grandma secret ingredient of love (i kid).

did anyone else grow up calling them hot tamales and not sloppy joes?

we called them hot tamales in my house until i realized that they are really very different from tamales and that every else called them sloppy joes! is it a wisconsin thing?


About sarah

hi, i'm sarah. i'm a graduate student, dog lover, newlywed, blogger, aspiring baker/cook, and a veggie lover. :)
This entry was posted in dinner, food, lunch, meals, recipes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to sloppy joes like you’ve never seen them before.

  1. i’m thinking hot tamales is a wisconsin thing…although i lived in MN for several years but never remember them being called that. either way, your salad looks great!

  2. I’ve never heard them called hot tamales. We always called them sloppy joes or barbecue. Looks great!

  3. Sounds good! That is hilarious about the individually packaged portions. He is SPOILED! πŸ™‚ Thank you for the recipe.

  4. OliePants says:

    I always heard them called sloppy joes – whatever they may be – it was always delicious!

  5. My dad used to call it american chop suey… so werid! haha

    I benefit from my husband’s spoiled-ness all the time – go for it! =) They adore us regardless ❀

  6. I’ve only called them sloppy joes. Whatever they’re called, they’re delicious!

  7. I have never heard of that either! Always sloppy joes and I would never eat them because it didn’t look very appealing. Using it as a topping looks so much better!

  8. Sana says:

    Sloppy Joes all the way πŸ™‚

  9. This post made me laugh-we have sloppy joes every year for Xmas eve-no joke! and we called ’em Sloppiessss

    • Sarah says:

      hahaha, i like that one. also, every time i think of sloppy joes i think of that scene from billy madison where the lunch lady is plopping scoops of sloppy joes on his tray. πŸ™‚

  10. Sarah says:

    haha, I know that this is a super late post, but I had to give a vote for Hot tamales!! (Grandma Elaine is from Plymouth and that is what she has always called them too, so it must be a regional thing). It’s fun to see what you have done with them. I too have gotten creative with her meals! Yum!

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