Homemade Sloppy Joes

2018 was generally a good year. We had a few great vacations, the girls started new hobbies, and my work was anything but slow. 2018, however, did see one tragedy. My will-eat-anything daughter, Maddie, turned into a picky eater.

Riley has always been a picky eater. She’s a spaghetti-no-sauce kind of girl and has stuck true to that her whole life. Maddie, on the other hand, was my fellow foodie. She loved Palak Paneer. She savored lobster bisque. She stole sips of my spicy Thai soup when I wasn’t looking. But in 2018, she turned into a chicken-nuggets-hold-the-mac-and-cheese girl. Who won’t eat mac and cheese?

I was stumped, and we struggled through many many dinners of protest. Then, finally, one day she came home and declared that she found a new food that she likes: sloppy joes. Sure, it wasn’t a gourmet meal, but I was ecstatic. Finally something that wasn’t processed meat shaped in a nugget! I set to work. I needed to create a recipe that would convince her my sloppy joes were just as good as the canned stuff daycare feeds them.

A few days of research and a quick trip to the grocery store later, we were ready to get to work. Maddie, just as excited about the idea, helped add the ingredients to the pan and stir it. Riley ate buttered hamburger buns as she watched. We were all having a great time, and in the end, the sloppy joes turned out to be delicious. Another weeknight staple added to our recipe box!

Homemade Sloppy Joes



  • Brown beef and set aside.
  • Melt butter in frying pan.
  • Add onion, garlic, and red pepper and saute until onion is clear.
  • Add ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Add beef and serve on hamburger buns!