Quick and easy dinner: Neven Maguire's Sloppy Joes

This American-style classic is a guaranteed hit at the dinner table
Quick and easy dinner: Neven Maguire's Sloppy Joes

American Style Sloppy Joes are an ideal handheld dinner for hungry students finished a hard day at school.

This is a version of a sandwich that is an all-American classic, consisting of minced beef cooked in a spicy tomato sauce, often with the addition of kidney beans. It should be a hit with all the family and is very quick to prepare. According to legend, a cook named Joe at Floyd Angell’s café in Sioux City, Iowa, added tomato sauce to his ‘loose meat’ sandwiches and the ‘sloppy Joe’ sandwich was born. The rest, as they say, is history!

Serves 4–6 

Preparation time: 20 minutes 

Cooking time: 30 minutes 

Freezer friendly 


  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil 
  • 50g (2oz) raw chorizo, diced 
  • 350g (12oz) lean minced beef 
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 green pepper, diced 
  • 1 fresh small green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (optional) 
  • 140g (4¾oz) tomato purée 
  • 3 tbsp dark brown muscovado sugar 
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 tbsp honey 
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard 
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 × 400g (14oz) tin of kidney beans in chilli sauce 
  • 4–6 burger buns 
  • 1 Little Gem lettuce, shredded 
  • 100g (4oz) Cheddar cheese, grated 
  • handful of mixed hot chillies in brine or sliced jalapeño chillies, drained (optional) 
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over a medium heat. Add the chorizo and cook until it just starts to release its oil, then add the minced beef. Stir-fry until the meat starts to brown, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon. Add the onion, green pepper and chilli (if using) and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the vegetables are beginning to soften.

Add the tomato purée, sugar, vinegar, honey, mustard and Worcestershire sauce and stir until well combined, then stir in the beans. Season to taste, then bring to a simmer and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is nice and thick.

Toast the burger buns under the grill. Arrange the lettuce on the bottom of each bun, then spoon over the sloppy Joe beef mixture. Scatter the grated cheddar on top with the hot chillies (if using), then sandwich together with the tops of the buns.

  • Neven Maguire’s bestselling Midweek Meals is published by Gill Books, priced €22.99.

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