Kid Friendly Sloppy Joe Recipe

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In my house, my kids are I am very picky about certain things in my food.

First lettuce never, ever is allowed to touch a sandwich.

Second, celery is not even allowed in my kitchen.

Third, I like onion flavor but I hate onions.

I’m a 40 year old child with texture issues.  But I’m ok with it.

The onion thing has really been tricky for us.  Onion powder usually does not replace onions in a recipe – ever.  It just does not taste the same.  But if I SEE an onion in my food I will pick around it, and for sloppy joes, it is messy enough.

The recipe below was adapted and improvised from 2 different recipes I discovered, neither of which would fly in my house because of the chunks of onion and peppers (I noted 3 examples above – just know that those are just a sampling of my pickyness).

It’s easy to make plus it’s kid friendly and picky adult friendly.

And it tastes great too!

Kid Friendly Sloppy Joes Recipe
5.0 from 2 reviews
Recipe type: dinner, lunch, sandwich
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Easy to make a super-kid friendly!
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ to ⅔ cup ketchup
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp homemade taco seasoning (link provided below)
  • 6 hamburger buns (we used Rudy's Organic)
  1. Brown ground beef in a skillet.
  2. Add onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper during browning.
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Drain.
  5. Add water, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes and taco seasoning to beef mixture and stir.
  6. Cook until boiling, stirring constantly.
  7. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
Using ½ cup of ketchup will make for a more crumbly joe, ⅔ cup should make it more sticky. I use all organic ingredients, it's certainly not required but makes for a healthier sandwich because you know there is nothing fake in it!

I used my homemade taco seasoning mixture for this recipe which is very versatile and can be used with tacos, chili, sloppy joes and more!

I was not overly optimistic that these would taste that great because I didn’t use real onions but they were really, really good.  I went with the 1/2 cup ketchup and they were quite crumbly so if you want them more sticky, I would definitely increase it.

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  1. says

    Being from a health and fitness background i could only feed this to my kid at a birthday party. This could not be eaten on a regular basis. However it does look yummy. Anyway if it was mixed with greens or carrots instead of paste I’d give it 2 thumbs up

  2. says

    My mom would disguise onions in food by pureeing them in a blender. When I make homemade sloppy joes I add onion and green pepper but follow my mom’s guideline and puree them in a blender first.

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