Beef and Mushroom Sloppy Joes

A new take on a timeless classic

Remember eating sloppy joes as a kid? All it took was a can of Hunt’s Manwich Original Sauce and some cooked ground meat. Talk about gourmet! I see why my mom loved this dinner. It was rich and full of flavor, took just 15 minutes to prepare and only one pan was used. 

The Manwich still comes in three great flavors—Original, Bold and Thick and Chunky. I love the slogan: “A sandwich isn’t a sandwich, but a Manwich is a meal." If Hunt’s could figure out how to put a serving of vegetables in there, it would have been a complete meal.

This takes me back to the 70s. Sloppy joes were a staple in my house along with Hamburger Helper, tuna casserole and Shake 'n Bake. Oh, thank goodness I went to culinary school and learned how to use more than a can opener. 

My mom made sloppy joes at least once a week. My brother and I thought this was the best dinner ever. I had not eaten a sloppy joe in years, but when I saw that Cooking Light Magazine had published a beef and mushroom sloppy joe recipe in this month’s issue I had to make it. 

Since it did not come in a can, I actually had to use my culinary skills and make it from scratch. I wanted my boys to experience sloppy joes and hopefully love it as much as I did as a kid.

I must say this recipe is fantastic. It sure beats the version I ate as a kid. The mushrooms really made the meal. A blend of tomato paste, red wine vinegar, worcestershire sauce and molasses created a delicious sauce that blended nicely with the 100-percent grass-fed beef. Both my sons gobbled their sandwiches down. If only I would have served tater tots with the sloppy joes, it would have been exactly like how my mom put the meal together. There's always next time. Happy eating!

Beef and Mushroom Sloppy Joes
Take from Cooking Light Magazine June 2011

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes


1 tablespoon olive oil
12 ounces ground sirloin
1 pound pre-sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup no-salt-added tomato paste
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon molasses
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
4 hamburger buns


  1. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add oil. Add beef and cook for 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. 
  2. While beef is cooking, prepare mushrooms in a food processor. Pulse several times until finely chopped. Add the mushrooms, onion and garlic to the pan and cook for another 3 minutes or until onion is tender. 
  3. Add tomato paste, oregano, red wine vinegar, worcestershire sauce and molasses. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes until mushrooms are tender and liquid evaporates. Stir in salt, pepper and hot sauce. 
  4. Spoon about 1 cup beef mixture on bottom half of each bun. Top with other half of bun and serve.

 Yield: 4 servings

Jodi VanWoerkom June 15, 2011 at 04:45 PM
I just wanted to let you know that there actually is a serving of vegetables in Sloppy Joe Can. But when you divide it by 4 people or 2 people - you get just slightly less.
Rebecca Underly June 15, 2011 at 11:04 PM
Thanks for your response. I see the can says it has a 1/2 cup serving of vegetables. Thanks for pointing that out. Here are the ingredients on the can: Tomato Puree (Water, Tomato Paste)High Fructose Corn Syrup, Distilled Vinegar, Corn Syrup, Less than 2% of: Salt, Sugar, Dehydrated Onions, Dehydrated Red and Green Bell Peppers, Chile Pepper, Tomato Fiber, Spices, Guar Gum, Xanthan Gum, Dehydrated Garlic, Carob Bean Gum, Natural Flavors. So making it homemade you avoid some of those unnecessary ingredients. Just a thought. Give this recipe a try. It is really great!
Melinda June 16, 2011 at 08:21 PM
I loved manwich as a kid but started making sloppy joes from scratch for the same reasons you mentioned above. This sounds delicious, I'll have to try it!
Eliza Wong June 17, 2011 at 01:40 AM
I could never bring myself to buy Manwich and make dinner from a can so I was excited to see this recipe. I tried it tonight and we loved it -- the flavors are great! Now, I just need the healthy recipe version for Shake N Bake!


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