Nacho (Ordinary) Sloppy Joe


It’s another wheatless Wednesday post…

I can’t say that any sloppy joes I had growing up were memorable. I don’t know that we had them that often. But I recall a conversation with my mom after I had moved out on my own, a conversation in which she mentioned that she had come across a sloppy joe recipe that my sister actually liked (she’s not a big red meat person), one in which you added chopped pickles and some of the pickle juice. Hey — I love pickles, so this grabbed my attention!

What has become my version of sloppy joe is more of a saucy burger flavor. I’m not going to try to hide the fact that I add a cup of ketchup, a liberal amount of mustard, onions, and pickles — not so shy on those, either. A tablespoon of chili powder adds just enough depth to make it interesting without taking it into the chili-on-a-bun sphere.

Now, while this stuff is great on a bun with cheese, sloppy joes aren’t so independent toddler-friendly. Nor are they gluten-free. But enter a bag of tortilla chips… We’ve discovered that many times we can get our toddler to eat that last bit of supper if put on a chip. When I made sloppy joe the other night, I decided to simply start with that approach. Worked like a charm! And unlike many nacho meats which are either so dry the clumps of meat roll off the chips or loaded with so much grease the chip gives way, this stuff holds up. I’d guess that if you take out the pickles and pickle juice, add in some vinegar, olives, tomatoes, and taco seasoning, this would be the ultimate nacho meat. But back to the sloppy joe… The saltiness of the chips adds a great balance. Sprinkle liberally with cheddar cheese, and enjoy!


Sloppy Joes

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped dill pickles
  • 1/4 cup pickle juice
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. yellow mustard
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (or any preferred flavor)
  • tortilla chips and/or buns for serving
  1. Cook ground beef over medium-high heat in 10-inch skillet, adding 1/2 tsp. each of garlic, salt, and pepper, breaking up and stirring occasionally until no longer pink. Drain fat as needed.
  2. Add onion and cook until onion is tender, about 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add pickles, pickle juice, chili powder, mustard, ketchup, and remaining garlic powder, salt, and pepper.  Cook until mixture is bubbling; reduce heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Serve over tortilla chips or buns with cheese.

2 responses »

  1. Pingback: This Week’s Eats – 11/6(ish) Edition « The Magic Apron

  2. Pingback: Sloppy Joe Pies | The Magic Apron

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