Cafeteria Style Sloppy Joes

Jeanne Gliddon


My favorite lunch from the school cafeteria was always their Sloppy Joes, but I wasn't the only one! When my brother-in-law was a kid he also loved Sloppy Joes and since he was the apple of his Mother's eye, she visited the school cafeteria and begged them to give her their recipe. Luckily they agreed to share the recipe and when he married my sister, his mother passed it on to her and then she shared it with me. In school, Sloppy Joes were always served open faced and to this day that is how I still like mine. I hope you enjoy this true authentic cafeteria style way of making Sloppy Joes.


★★★★★ 1 vote

4 open faced or 6 Burger Style
20 Min
30 Min
Stove Top


  • 1 lb
    ground beef, 85-15%
  • 1 c
  • 1/4 c
    white vinegar
  • 1/4 c
    light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tbsp
    dry ground mustard
  • 1/2 medium
    yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large
    celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 c
    whole kernel corn, frozen or canned
  • 1/2 tsp
    salt, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp
    pepper, or to taste
  • 4 - 6 large
    hamburger buns
  • ·
    butter for hamburger buns, room temperature

How to Make Cafeteria Style Sloppy Joes


  1. Gather your ingredients and preheat oven to Broil.
  2. Chop the onion and celery.
  3. Brown the ground beef on medium high heat and season with salt and pepper.
  4. While meat is cooking measure out ketchup.
  5. Add the vinegar and mustard to ketchup in measuring cup. Blend until well incorporated.
  6. Add brown sugar to ketchup mixture and blend.
  7. Drain grease from cooked meat, then add ketchup mixture and onions to The beef.
  8. Stir and blend well. Cover and cook until onions are tender.
  9. Add celery and corn to meat mixture; cover and cook until celery is al dente in texture. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
  10. While celery is cooking, butter the hamburger buns and place on cookie sheet.
  11. When celery is al dente place buns directly under broiler and cook until golden brown. Keep a close watch over them to prevent burning!
  12. When buns are done, place on serving plate and top with Sloppy Joe mixture. You can serve it opened face or burger style. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe Card

About Cafeteria Style Sloppy Joes

Course/Dish: Beef, Other Breads
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: American

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