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Neat Joes: A Delicious, Not-So-Sloppy Version Of The Classic

The Birth Of An Icon

Sloppy Joe (the messier cousin of these Neat Joe’s) was born in the 20th century. He typically consists of ground pork or beef, onions, ketchup, bbq sauce, Worcestershire sauce and a variety of spices and seasonings. It may not sound appetizing when the ingredients are listed, but this is a staple and most certainly almost everyone has tried it or at least heard of it.

The preparation for Sloppy Joe changes from recipe to recipe and the name might too. Spanish Bamburgers, Toasted Devil Hamburgers, Hamburg A La Creole, etc. The takeaway is that it is a version of a hamburger with a little extra kick.

Word on the street is that at the Heinz Test Kitchen in the 1930’s, and chef named Joe put together “loose meat sandwiches.” Again, sounds…. delicious? Not. But by 1940, Sloppy Joe’s had their official name and were increasingly popular.

The Many Faces Of Joe

In different regions and for different diets, the sandwich is prepared a variety of ways with small adjustments; adding peppers, using ground turkey, or even vegan crumbles!

One thing we know for sure is that traditionally it really is a “loose meat” version of a hamburger. Well, the Sloppy Joe we have for you is the more “tidy” version of an 80-year classic.

The flavor is just as good, if not better, and the odds of you dripping ground meat on your shirt are dramatically lower!

It’s a win-win. So, let’s take a jump back to the 1940’s and show them how far we’ve come and how we do it now!

Neat Joes (A Not So Sloppy Version)

A twist on the classic that we all wish we heard about sooner
5 from 1 vote
Print Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sandwiches
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 261.3kcal
Cost: $25


  • 1 Mixing spoon
  • 1 Medium-sized pan
  • 1 Chopping knife


  • 1 lb. Ground beef, pork, turkey or meat substitute
  • 1/4 cup Chopped bell pepper
  • 8 rolls / buns Hawaiian rolls or slider buns
  • 3 whole Russet potatoes
  • 1 can Tomato sauce *recipe needs 8oz.
  • 12-16 chips Pickle chips *optional
  • 1 tbsp Chopped Parsley
  • 2 tbsp Grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 packet Sloppy Joe Mix *McCormick has a great one
  • 1 cup Lettuce
  • 0.5 tbsp Spices include: Italian seasoning, garlic powder, black pepper, lemon pepper, cajun seasoning, brown sugar, onion powder, crushed red pepper


Serving: 4people | Calories: 261.3kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6.7g | Trans Fat: 0.7g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Sodium: 489mg | Potassium: 779.5mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 25g
Tried your hand at this recipe? We’re eager to see!Mention @manopauseman or tag #manopauseman!


  • In a mixing bowl combing your 1lb. of meat and sloppy joe mix.
  • Add 1/2 tsp. of each of these seasonings (italian seasoning, black pepper, garlic powder, brown sugar, onion powder, crushed red pepper)
  • Chop your bell peppers (1/4 cup total) and add 6oz of tomato sauce to the meat mix.
  • Mix well and set in the fridge while we prep our baked chips.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 375º F. While the oven is warming wash your potatoes. You can either peel them or keep the skin on, I actually like the skin, plus we’re going to be slicing them thin so it doesn’t matter much!
  • Toss the raw chips in 2 tablespoons of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), garlic, lemon pepper, salt, and cajun seasoning.
  • On a baking sheet place all your raw chips spread apart and not touching one another.
  • Place them in the oven for 8-10 min then remove them let cool for 2 min.
  • Flip them all over and put them back in the oven for a 3-5 more minutes
  • Dust them hot with sea salt, parmesan and fresh parsley toss and enjoy a few, why not?!
  • Remove the meat mixture from the fridge and using your hands, grab a meatball-sized amount of meat and start to flatten using your hands. Remember they should be “slider-sized.”
  • Using a grill (if desired) or cast iron skillet, it’s time to cook! (Whatever you do make sure the surface is oiled and HOT! Because of the tomato sauce, the patties are more susceptible to breaking. So be gentle during the handling process!)
  • Sear 4-5 min (less if you’re using beef and want the meat more rare) and then flip for 1-2 min.
  • Using your rolls/ buns spread some heated tomato sauce (2oz. can be heated stovetop or microwave).
  • Add your patties and top them with lettuce and pickle chips (I used spicy pickles because I’m a hot mama)
neat Joe's


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About The Author
Sheridan Street
Sheridan Street
Street + Spice, LLC. is a Catering, Personal Chef Service and Meal-Prep small business that started with a girl who loved food and had a blog. Sheridan now travels the US cooking for clients of all kinds, sharing her love through great food and drink. She has cooked for a sprinkling of a-list celebrities and athletes and is just getting started. While her nickname is "tiny hands," don't be surprised when your love for her cooking and recipes grows BIG.
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