Sloppy Joes! Do these remind anyone else of their childhood? Specifically of that weird canned Manwich stuff. What was up with that? Anyways, homemade Sloppy Joes are my jam. This version highlights an underutilized protein, ground Simple Truth bison. Nope, not buffalo. Ever wonder the difference between the two? Me too. According to Brittanica, buffalo are found in South Asia and Africa while bison are found in North America and Europe. There are a few other differences, but when I found out that “Home on the Range” is actually a lie, I had to stop reading.
While there isn’t anything wrong with using ground beef in your Sloppy Joes, this little protein twist is actually a big heart healthier. You’ll notice that when you start cooking and there is way less fat that will need to be removed from the dutch oven. When you first toss the ground bison in the pan, the texture seems a bit wonky but it definitely crumbles up into that typical Sloppy Joe mixture towards the end.
The nice thing about Sloppy Joes is that it has a pretty simple base that can be easily changed, depending on your favorite veggie. Or in our case, what was on sale at our local Kroger. Red bell peppers were only $0.88, $0.88! I like the little Christmas look going on with the fresh jalapeno and garlic in there. No matter which peppers you use, just make sure that you dice them all to a pretty similar size, including the onions. You don’t want a big ol’ hunk of raw onion mixed in with soft peppers unless you’re into that sort of thing. While bison is on the healthier spectrum compared to its’ cattle friends, some of the other Sloppy Joe ingredients can’t say the same. I like mine to be a bit on the sweeter side which means I added a significant amount of ketchup and brown sugar to the mix. If you’d prefer a bit more savory, check the sugar content of your ketchup (like one without high fructose corn syrup) and maybe skip the brown sugar. Lowering the amount of ketchup will change the texture, but the brown sugar will just change the flavor. Have I mentioned how much I love one pot meals? I guess this is why people love crock pots. It just makes clean up so much easier. Also, shameless plug for something that will make your life easier. Clicklist from Kroger! We personally love grocery shopping together. I mean we fell in love at a grocery store. But, when you both have full-time jobs, a blog that you adore and a little peanut at home, 2-hour weekly shopping trips aren’t always in the mix. If you don’t know, Clicklist is Kroger’s personal shopping program and it’s all online! You don’t even have to leave your car. Oh, and it’s a free service. P.S. also download their app, it’s my favorite. Something that’s super great about this recipe is that it’s super simple which makes it easy to multitask for your side dishes. Technically, the best side dish with Sloppy Joes are chips, which clearly take a lot of preparation. But, if you are making mac and cheese or an actual vegetable, you can just let your Sloppy Joe mixture sit on low heat while you finish the rest of your meal. Or, like me, try and wrangle a 10-month-old and stop her from chewing on everything in sight. The finishing touch, the toasted bun. I found these cute little Pepperidge Farm Sesame Seed slider buns and thought they would be perfect for this meal. I’m actually planning on making them for our 4th of July family dinner! I mean slider buns are really just an excuse to eat four mini sandwiches instead of two large ones, let’s just be honest guys.
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 lbs ground Simple Truth bison
- 1/2 sweet white onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper (any color), diced
- 5 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 jalapeno, diced (seeds removed)
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 cup water
- 2 (heaping) Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- salt and pepper, to taste
- rolls, large or mini
- Chop all veggies (onion, bell pepper, garlic, jalapeño pepper) to same sized dice and set aside.
- Add butter to dutch oven and melt over medium high heat.
- Add ground Simple Truth bison, using a wooden spoon, cook until brown.
- Pour ground bison through strainer to drain fat, discard fat, pour ground bison back into dutch oven.
- Add onion, bell pepper, garlic and jalapeño to ground bison. Cook over medium high heat for a few minutes, until veggies are softened and garlic is fragrant.
- Add ketchup, brown sugar, and water. Stir and let simmer for about 15-18 minutes.
- Add tomato paste, Worcestershire, salt and pepper and stir to combine.
- While sloppy joe mix is finishing up, butter your buns and toss under broiler for 45-70 seconds. Be sure to watch them so they don't burn!
- Spoon finished bison sloppy joe mix on to the toasted buns and serve with chips and mac and cheese. Extra points if you serve on paper plates!
- Sloppy Joe mix should be thick and spoon easily, with water all evaporated. If it's still watery, keep letting it cook and stir until desired consistency.