Make Ahead Smooth & Saucy Sloppy Joe Sauce

Prep Time
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"A little background on this recipe. A good friends daughter LOVES sloppy joes; but, won't eat them - when she sees pieces of vegetables. So, I took 3 or 4 recipes; and made this. I made a big batch; so, this is perfect to make ahead and freeze in 2-3 batches if you want (I love to use mason jars for storage). Then, just thaw, reheat; and, add your meat ... for a quick and easy dinner. I like to use a mix of beef and turkey for my sloppy joes; but, use your favorite combination. Add to a soft sesame seed bun, top with bread and butter pickles; and, some thin onion slices if you want. This sauce recipe makes enough for 2 1/4-2 1/2 lb of meat. You can always double this recipe as well for a party, BBQ, potluck; it will stay nice in warm in crockpot or slow cooker."

Original recipe yields 8-12 servings
  • FOR SAUCE (makes enough sauce for 2 1/4-2 1/2 lbs meat)


  • Serving Size: 1 (227.5 g)
  • Calories 383.9
  • Total Fat - 15.2 g
  • Saturated Fat - 8.3 g
  • Cholesterol - 31.7 mg
  • Sodium - 732.6 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 53.3 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 4.2 g
  • Sugars - 16.4 g
  • Protein - 9.6 g
  • Calcium - 155.3 mg
  • Iron - 3.6 mg
  • Vitamin C - 27.1 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.5 mg

Step 1

Note: I normally make this ahead of time; but, you can also use it right away. And, it freezes great - I like to make a double batch and freeze.

Step 2

Sauce ... Add all the vegetables to the food processor; and, pulse several times. Now, you don't want to make baby food; but, you do want a coarse grind or mince on all the vegetables. Add the remaining ingredients, except the water; and pulse to combine everything. Obviously, with the some of the ingredients - like the hot sauce, vinegar, mustard, sugar, chili powder, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper; it is to taste. I like to start with the smaller amounts as suggested; then, puree until you have a smooth sauce.

Step 3

Note: This can also be done in a blender if that is all you have.

Step 4

Simmer ... In a medium size pot; bring the sauce up to a light boil (medium-high heat). Then, reduce to a simmer on medium-low to low heat. Once the sauce is simmering; you can easily adjust your seasoning to your tastes. Personally, I like more mustard/vinegar, and heat (hot sauce, chili flakes); but, my friend prefers a sweeter sauce; so, just adjust how you like it. And, season with salt and pepper to taste too. It really is a personal preference. Simmer a good 30-60 minutes; and, as it simmers ... if the sauce looks a bit thick; add a little water.

Step 5

Cool and Pack Up ... I like to make this ahead; and freeze; although, you can use this right away - or, put in the refrigerator. I like to use mason jars or tupperware containers; but, you can use ziploc bags too. Just cool completely before you store it. It is a great make ahead sauce for a quick weeknight dinner, party, potluck, or BBQ.

Step 6

Sloppy Joes ... When ready to use the sauce; simply brown your meat of choice as mentioned, I like a mix of turkey and beef. Once browned; drain the meat, if necessary - and, add your sauce. Simmer 10-15 minutes to warm up. Done!

Step 7

Serve and ENJOY! ... Serve on soft sesame rolls, with bread and butter pickles; and, optional onion slices. Add chips, potato salad, fries, or corn on the cob as a side dish.

Tips & Variations

No special items needed.