Weeknight Dinners

Sloppy Joes

4 items



total time


1 Tbsp. olive oil ($0.15)

1 pound ground beef (20% fat) or cooked lentils (about 6 oz dry) ($0.31)

1 medium onion, chopped ($0.30)

1 green bell pepper, chopped ($0.88)

2 garlic cloves, grated ($0.08)

1 Tbsp. chili powder ($0.15)

1 cup low-sodium chicken stock ($0.15)

1 cup tomato purée ($0.18)

¼ cup ketchup (can usually use ketchup packets)

1 Tbsp Worcestershire or soy sauce sauce ($0.15)

1 tsp. Djion mustard ($0.05)

1 tsp. robust-flavored (dark) molasses ($0.15)

4 hamburger rolls, buttered, toasted ($0.73)

Sweet potatoes ($0.33)

Coleslaw ($0.94)


Heat oil in a large skillet over high. Cook beef, breaking up with a spoon, until browned on all sides but not completely cooked through, 6–8 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving as much fat in pan as possible.

Reduce heat to medium and cook onion, bell pepper, and garlic, stirring, until tender but not browned, 6–8 minutes; season with salt and black pepper. Add chili powder, paprika, onion powder, and red pepper and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add stock, tomato purée, ketchup, Worcestershire, mustard, molasses, and beef along with any accumulated juices to pan. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, until mixture is thick and saucy (like a ragú or Bolognese), 12–15 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

Spoon beef mixture onto rolls. Serve with chips and pickle spears alongside. Do Ahead: Meat mixture can be made 3 days ahead. Cover and chill in an airtight container, or freeze for up to 3 months. Reheat before assembling. Editor’s note: This recipe was originally published in March 2017. Head this way for more easy ground beef recipes →


serve with coleslaw and sweet potato fries

4 items



total time
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