Sloppy Joe Sliders


Let’s be real. Sloppy Joes from the cafeteria were just plain scary. Yes. Yes they were.

And that scene in Billy Madison didn’t help erase that from my memory. You know…the one…the boys are sitting around the lunch table, talking about Miss Vaughn and the lunch lady comes around screaming, “MORE SLOPPY JOES,” in that I-smoked-too-many-cigarettes-and-now-I-have-a-tank voice…I love that movie so much–it’s a masterpiece, I swear.

Despite meaty, sloppy sandwiches still scarin’ me a little, they have a place deep down in my 3rd grade awkward heart.

I figured it was time to bring ’em back, cute-ify them, give ’em an upgrade…they’re just too good not to have a moment.

Project Cute-ify Sloppy Joes

Step 1: I picked meat that wasn’t scary. Pretty easy, right!? I decided on ground sirloin that was 90% lean. Since I was cooking it on the stovetop, I knew I’d end up having to drain the fat anyway, so I went with something lean. Let’s skip steps! Also, if you wanted to go even leaner, I bet these would be delicious with ground turkey.

Step 2: I properly seasoned that shiz. Yeah, I’m not talking just a little S&P; I’m talking onions, yellow pepper, lots of garlic, cayenne and a little brown sugar. P.S. I dig spicy. The 1/2 teaspoon below just gives you a small kick. If you want a major one, I’d double it. LIVE ON THE SLOPPY JOE EDGE!

Step 3: I made them small a.k.a sliders. Everything is cuter in its smaller form. Everything.

Step 4: I picked some good, soft bread. Sweet Hawaiian Rolls, to be specific. And since the softness was important, I didn’t really toast the buns–just warmed them in the oven for like, 5 minutes.

Step 5: I added greenery. I debated on this one. I was going to add coleslaw. I even did a little quick pickle and radish situation that I decided against. Because in the end I wanted them to have a soft, melt-into-each-other type texture. So I added a small amount of microgreens. SUCH a good idea. Just a hint of freshness.

Step 6: I served these sloppy joes with beer. We’re not in the cafeteria anymore. We’re full-fledged grown-ups now! Let’s celebrate and get tipsy on beer all while eating a a sloppy joe. Paying taxes/having other small humans/having a mortgage has never been SO fun!

P.S. Besides the taxes, I do none of those.

P.P.S. Isn’t Worcestershire the most annoying English word like, ever?!

Slider Sloppy Joes

Adapted from Martha Stewart

Print this recipe!

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
1 can (15 ounce can) tomato puree
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (1/4 teaspoon if you’re adverse to heat)
1/4 tablespoon brown sugar
1 large handful of microgreens
12 slider buns, split and warmed

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell pepper; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add ground beef to skillet. Cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until it is no longer pink, 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook, 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.

Stir in tomato sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar into beef mixture in skillet. And add cayenne (if desired). Simmer until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes.

Season the mixture with more salt and pepper, as desired. Spoon onto buns, add microgreens, and serve immediately.

Yields about 12 sliders

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Leave a Reply

  • Reply [email protected] October 24, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Sooo cute!! And I love that movie.. I used to copy his dance down the stair case – got a kick out of it!

    • Reply Adrianna October 24, 2011 at 10:03 pm

      “I’ll tumble for you.” Yes. That song/dance is amazing.

  • Reply Kathryn October 24, 2011 at 8:43 am

    Oh these are adorable. The only difficulty would be stopping at one..or two…or three…

  • Reply Blog is the New Black October 24, 2011 at 9:28 am

    I can’t rem the last time I had one of these! Or, one of yesteryear!

  • Reply Jessica @ How Sweet October 24, 2011 at 10:43 am

    yes, worcestershire IS the worst word ever. i hate it.

  • Reply Katrina October 24, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Sloppy joes are my childhood favorite 🙂

  • Reply Sue/the view from great island October 24, 2011 at 11:39 am

    I love the little rolls…what is it about Hawaiian rolls that makes them so good? I think I’d like these much better than regular sloppy joes. I know they’re supposed to be sloppy, but I need a bib and a spoon. These look like much more fun.

  • Reply Heather (Heather's Dish) October 24, 2011 at 11:56 am

    what a cute little slider! we haven’t had sloppy joes in forever and i’m thinking that changes this week….

  • Reply [email protected] October 24, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    These are so cute! They would be perfect for a weekend football party! My boyfriend would just love these!

  • Reply Sally October 24, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Not only is everything cuter in its smaller form, but to me, everything tastes better in it’s smaller form – I am a sucker for anything miniature!

  • Reply DessertForTwo October 24, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Gosh! I haven’t had a sloppy joe in forever! Now I’m craving one! Better make these soon 🙂

  • Reply Bev Weidner October 24, 2011 at 1:39 pm

    Holy crap I’m posting sloppy joe sliders on Wed! Please don’t think I’m copying. I’m not.

    And UH, yes – Worcheestsefreetshire freaking sucks to spell. And say.

    • Reply Adrianna October 24, 2011 at 10:04 pm

      Blogging zeitgeist! It happens. No biggie! 🙂

  • Reply dawn October 24, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    It’s worse-ta-sure. Except in the east where I’ve heard it called woos-ta-sure.

    And the school cooks in my school were excellent. Here’s to Margaret Foley, Marge Dykstra and those wonderful ladies who served us with love.

  • Reply Allyn October 24, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    1) Everything really is better in miniature. Hence why I had mini cupcakes at my wedding. They were just so much cuter (and, ahem, cheaper)!
    2) I can easily eat a package of plain hawaiian rolls in a couple of days. Or a day. Don’t judge.
    3) The hubs has mentioned cloppy joes recently. Which means I need to make these asap.
    4) Beer makes everything better
    5) I like ending on 5 more than 4

    • Reply Adrianna October 24, 2011 at 10:05 pm

      Totally not judging. Promise.

  • Reply dana @ my little celebration October 24, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Yum! These look fantastic!

  • Reply Mags October 24, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    Mini sloppy joes? I like the way you think.

  • Reply Rachel @ The Avid Appetite October 24, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I loooove a good – and real – sloppy joe! These sliders are adorable!!

  • Reply Kelsey G October 24, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Who knew sloppy joes could be so stinking cute! Thanks for the inspiration! Now i’m off to try to cute-ify some other things – like broccoli casserole. Ciao!

  • Reply Lauren @ FoodIsTherapy October 24, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    “Stop looking at me swan!”

    I love that you used Hawaiian rolls! Soooo yummy!

  • Reply [email protected], Read, Rant October 24, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    These looks so, so good, I want several right now+plus the beer. Becaue then my work day would be less irksome. And yes, worcestershire is the most annoying word. Like, why are there so many extra letters that don’t get pronounced? or are we just pronouncing it wrong? I wonder…

  • Reply Legally Delish October 24, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Oh my gosh! I want these for lunch right now! I’m mildly obsessed with mini food, these are such a great idea.

  • Reply Heather Michelle October 25, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I love the microgreens… Such a perfect way to top things off!

  • Reply Amanda (onceuponarecipe) October 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    Cheers to everything being cuter in smaller form. And to getting tipsy on beer. Hellz yeah! 😉

  • Reply Lora October 25, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    I make homemade sloppy joes all the time and they are definitely delicious. This recipe looks a lot fancier than my last-minute-throw-it-together-and-hope-I-have-all-the-stuff-I-need ones that I usually make. Not to mention these are a heapload cuter as well.

  • Reply France October 25, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    Sloppy Joes is something I’ve never tried to make but like eating. You’re turned out beautifully.

  • Reply Maria October 26, 2011 at 5:00 am

    I still get these in my lunchroom ;]

  • Reply Lily October 26, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    Mmmm these look so good! I’ll have to figure out how to make them vegetarian but it shouldn’t be too hard. Thanks!

    • Reply Adrianna October 26, 2011 at 6:45 pm

      Hi Lily, A friend of mine tweeted at me and told me she made them with veggie meat and said they came out amazing!

  • Reply Shannon October 26, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    These look great!

  • Reply Deb October 26, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    This sounds great! But you simply must try some Himalayan pink salt. I get mine from Sustainable Sourcing The flavor is so much better than regular salt! Thanks for sharing this recipe—I can’t wait to try it!

  • Reply Mike October 27, 2011 at 6:47 am

    Sliders are among my fav binging food. Gonna try to make these!

  • Reply Becki's Whole Life October 27, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Love sloppy joes! It’s actually a food my mom makes for me when we go home to NY. I like the addition of the greens to freshen them up a bit.

  • Reply Elle of Chellbellz October 29, 2011 at 11:07 pm

    Okay see this is WAY better then the Manwhich crap my mom loves and holds dear to hear heart. She would never part with it. I bet if i made these she wouldn’t know what to do.

  • Reply imen November 7, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    I will def give this recipe a go! I love sloppy joes, but my Irish husband does NOT dig them at all. Still, I am convinced that I can persuade him to change his mind. Maybe this will do it! Thanks for sharing. x

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  • Reply Leslie August 2, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    Made these about a week and a half ago. About to make them again. Because SLOPPY JOES.