Mini Essentials: Sloppy Joe Filling

Andy Anderson !


I have not made any sloppy joe’s in a bit of time, and then I got this order to make up a whole bunch of the filling, to be used for sliders during a basketball game. He said that he wanted something different. So, here is my definition of different.

This recipe should make 8 – 10 sliders, or 4 good-sized sandwiches.

FYI: I do think that this would make an excellent filling for tacos... just a passing thought.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.


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10 Min
35 Min
Stove Top



  • 1 lb
    chuck, coarsely ground
  • 14 oz
    diced tomatoes (1 can), drained
  • 2 medium
    pepperoni peppers, stemmed and deseeded
  • 1 medium
    yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp
    sweet butter, unsalted
  • 1 Tbsp
    grapeseed oil
  • 1 medium
    carrot, finely chopped
  • 1
    celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp
    ground cumin
  • 1 tsp
    coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbsp
    worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tbsp
    apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 c
    salsa, your favorite brand
  • 1/2 tsp
    black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
  • ·
    salt, kosher variety, to taste

  • 8 - 10
    slider buns
  • ·
    yellow mustard
  • ·
    dill or sweet pickles
  • ·
    chips or fries

How to Make Mini Essentials: Sloppy Joe Filling


  2. Chef’s Note: I grind my own meats, and I am using charcoal steaks, but ground chuck from the butcher will do quite nicely.
  3. Chef's Tip: Why go to the trouble of pureeing the diced tomatoes? Why not just use a can of tomato puree?
    Well, the reason is canned tomato puree is prepared in a different way; using heat, and even some sugars. I prefer the pure taste of pureed diced tomatoes.

    Besides, it is my recipe and I can do anything I so choose :-)
  4. Gather your Ingredients (mise en place).
  5. Drain the liquid from the canned tomatoes, then add the tomatoes, and the pepperoni peppers to a blender, or a food processor, fitted with an S-blade
  6. Puree, and reserve.
  7. Chef's Note: I am using mild pepperoni peppers, but if you want to kick it up a bit, try going with hot.
    Lions and Tigers, Oh My...
  8. Add the butter and grapeseed oil to a sauté pan over medium heat.
  9. When the butter stops foaming, give the pan a swirl to mix with the oil, and then add the chopped onions.
  10. Cook, until the onions soften, and begin to brown, about 3 – 5 minutes.
  11. Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 – 60 seconds.
  12. Add the chopped celery and carrots, and cook until the veggies begin to soften, about 3 – 5 minutes.
  13. Chef’s Note: When you add the veggies, throw in a pinch of salt, to get the process started.
  14. Add the beef, combine with the veggies, and cook until the beef browns, about 6 – 8 minutes.
  15. Add the cumin, brown sugar, and black pepper, and then stir for 1 minute.
  16. Chef’s Tip: If you like your sloppy joe’s a bit sweeter, add another teaspoon or two of coconut sugar.
  17. Add the pureed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, apple-cider vinegar, and salsa.
  18. Bring up to the simmer, and cook until it thickens.
  19. I like to gently remove the excess liquid using a low heat. So the thickening process can take 30 minutes or longer. The rewards of waiting a bit longer will be a nice rich/mellow tasting meat.
  20. Chef’s Note: While it is simmering do a final tasting for proper seasoning.
  22. Place the meat on buns, and serve with pickles and chips. Enjoy.
  23. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

Printable Recipe Card

About Mini Essentials: Sloppy Joe Filling

Course/Dish: Sandwiches
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: American

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