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Grown-Up Sloppy Joes


A childhood favorite gets an upgrade! These sloppy joes are just what you remember having as a child only with a grown-up taste.


  • 1 yellow onion, cut into large chunks
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into large pieces
  • 1 bell pepper, cut into large chunks
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 1 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/4 cup red wine (I used Pinot Noir)
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil.
  2. Spread the onion, celery, and bell pepper evenly on the baking sheet. Drizzle the olive oil over them and drop the tablespoon of tomato sauce on the baking sheet. Lightly toss the veggies with the tomato paste (the oil will help it spread around) until they are evenly coated.
  3. Carefully slice off the very top of the garlic so that most of the cloves are exposed. Drizzle a 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil over the top and then wrap the garlic in tin foil. Place it on the baking sheet with the rest of the veggies. Roast all of it for about 40 minutes or so. Remove them from the oven to cool.
  4. While the veggies are cooling, heat another tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the ground beef and Italian seasoning and cook, breaking the beef apart with a spatula, until browned. Add the red wine and boil until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  5. Once the veggies are cool enough to handle, chop them up until they are in small pieces. Add them to the pan with the ground beef and stir.
  6. Gently squeeze the garlic to extract the roasted cloves. Run your knife through the cloves until they are in a paste-like consistency (use the back of your knife to mash them if needed). Add them to the pan and give it all a good stir.
  7. Add the chicken stock, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar to the pan. Bring it to a strong simmer and reduce the heat to medium-low. Let is simmer for at least 20 or 30 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste (I added about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few turns of the pepper mill). Serve on hamburger buns.


This is totally optional, but I noticed the flavors really deepened and married together after the beef mixture sat overnight in the refrigerator. You can easily make this ahead and reheat the day you want to serve.

The nutrition estimates don’t include the buns.

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Burgers & Sandwiches
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 395
  • Sugar: 7.8g
  • Sodium: 737.6mg
  • Fat: 26.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 16.3g
  • Fiber: 2.9g
  • Protein: 22.5g

Keywords: sloppy joes