Dive into this sumptuous Sloppy Joe Casserole packed with lean ground beef, fresh bell peppers, onions, and a zesty tomato sauce, all crowned with a cheesy homemade crust. Comfort food at its finest!
Once upon a summer afternoon, I found myself lost in a sea of nostalgia. Remember those good ol’ school days when a messy sandwich was all we needed to uplift our spirits? That’s where the inspiration for this Sloppy Joe Casserole was born. Wanting to take the mess out of the traditional sloppy joe (because let’s be honest, I’ve had one too many spills on my favorite shirts) while retaining its soul-satisfying flavors, this casserole idea started taking shape. A couple of trial and errors later, while blending childhood memories with a grown-up love for casseroles, this masterpiece came to life. Every bite is a trip down memory lane, without the laundry aftermath!
What makes Sloppy Joe Casserole stand out:
- The Classic Twist: This recipe brings together the iconic flavors of a Sloppy Joe but in an innovative casserole form. Perfect for when you’re craving a touch of nostalgia but with a contemporary flair.
- Homemade Goodness: With an all-natural list of ingredients, there are no hidden preservatives. Just pure, unadulterated comfort in every bite.
- Cheesy Magic: That homemade crust isn’t just there for show! It’s a cheesy, fluffy layer that complements the robust meaty filling below, creating a delightful texture contrast.
Ingredients for the Sloppy Joe Casserole:
- Ground Beef: Opt for lean ground beef for a healthier touch. However, if you’re feeling a bit indulgent, go ahead and choose a fattier mix for a richer flavor.
- Worcestershire Sauce: It’s the secret ingredient adding a tangy, umami twist. Don’t skip it!
- Cheese: While cheddar is the cheese of choice here, feel free to get adventurous! Maybe a pepper jack for a little kick?
How to make Sloppy Joe Casserole:
- Meat Mixture Prep: Begin by browning your beef in a large skillet. Once it’s mostly cooked, toss in those onions and bell peppers. Give them about 5 minutes to become tender and mingle with the beef. Now, it’s flavor time! Mix in brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, and garlic salt. Finally, pour in the tomato sauce and ketchup. Stir well, letting all those ingredients get to know each other, and let it simmer.
- Cheesy Topping: Grab a big bowl and whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly stir in the milk, butter, and egg. Once you have a smooth mixture, fold in that beautiful cheddar cheese.
- Bringing it Together: In a baking dish, lay down your meat mixture as the base. Spoon dollops of the cheesy mixture on top, spreading it out evenly. Pop it in the oven and bake until you have a tantalizing golden-brown crust.
Got leftovers? No worries! Store this casserole in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Want to enjoy it later? This dish can be frozen for up to a month. Just ensure you thaw it overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Variations and Substitutions:
- Veggie Twist: Swap the ground beef for lentils or a veggie meat substitute for a vegetarian take.
- Spice It Up: Add some red pepper flakes or diced jalapeños for a kick.
- Different Cheese: Swap out cheddar for mozzarella, pepper jack, or even feta for a change in flavor profile.
Whew! There you have it, folks. A sloppy joe that’s not so sloppy but oh-so-delicious. And remember, casseroles are just like life: It’s all about the layers and the love you put into them! 😉
Sloppy Joe Casserole
- 1.5 pounds of lean ground beef
- 1 large white onion finely diced
- 1 large green bell pepper finely diced
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons of dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon of garlic salt
- 1 can 15 ounces of tomato sauce
- 3/4 cup of ketchup
- 1 cup of all-purpose flour
- 1.5 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1 cup of milk
- 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter melted
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to a temperature of 400°F (200°C).
- In a skillet of ample size, placed over medium heat, brown the lean ground beef. Once the beef has browned, incorporate the finely diced onion and green bell pepper. Continue to cook until the vegetables have softened, which should take approximately 5 minutes.
- To the skillet, add the brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, dry mustard, and garlic salt. Mix thoroughly. Subsequently, incorporate the tomato sauce and ketchup, stirring until the ingredients are uniformly combined. Allow this mixture to gently simmer on low heat as you proceed with the next steps.
- For the casserole topping: In a separate mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly incorporate the milk, followed by the melted butter and egg. Mix until these ingredients are uniformly combined. Finish by gently folding in the shredded cheddar cheese.
- Transfer the meat mixture from the skillet to a baking dish measuring 13 by 9 inches. Carefully distribute the prepared topping over the meat mixture, ensuring an even coverage.
- Place the dish in the preheated oven and bake for a duration of 25 to 30 minutes, or until the topping achieves a light golden brown hue. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before serving.