Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes are a fun twist on sloppy joes and an easy dinner for any night of the week. Hotdog buns, stuffed with a mozzarella cheese stick and topped with hot sloppy joe sauce for a string-cheesy and delicious dinner.
Let’s talk dinnertime, shall we?
More often than not I find myself in a bit of a struggle when it comes to what to make for dinner. Sometimes I just want to eat popcorn and Hershey kisses and be done with it. But I have these responsibilities. You know, kids.
Well, tonight was one of those nights. And no, we didn’t eat popcorn and Hershey kisses. After working a couple of twelve-hour shifts, I was only in the mood to cook something that didn’t take a whole lot of thought or time. So as I started flipping through my ever growing stack of recipes, I was suddenly struck by a memory of a childhood favorite.
First before we move on, let me say that before today this recipe was nameless.
My Mom didn’t have a name for these, because it was one of those things she made for us kids to use up the leftover sloppy Joe sauce (she’s clever like that). So there I sat tapping my fingers on my desk wondering what to call this recipe?! Then I was reminded of an old SNL skit, the one of Chris Farley as the lunch lady in Lunch Lady Land? She would bust out in son, singing “Sloppy joe… slop, sloppy Joe” with that giant mole on her (his?) face. The. Best. I hope the song is now stuck in your head as it is mine.
And that, my friends, is how I got the name Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes.
To Make The Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes You Will Need:
- olive oil or bacon fat
- yellow onion
- ground round or beef
- chili powder
- yellow mustard, or to taste
- tomato sauce
- worcestershire sauce
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- mozzarella string cheese sticks, at temperature
- hotdog buns
- sliced green onions, for serving
- pickled jalapenos, for serving (optional)
Let’s get started on the ‘sloppy’ sauce.
Throw 2 teaspoons bacon fat or olive oil into a deep sided skillet.
Dice an onion very fine, you’ll need 1 cup give or take.
Add the onion to the skillet and cook until soft and translucent, not browned.
Next squeeze 1 clove of garlic through a garlic press (or finely mince) into the pan. Stir and cook for 1 minute.
Then add in 1-1/4 pounds ground beef. Use a potato masher or wooden spatula to smash the meat into small crumbles.
Next measure and add in 1-1/2 teaspoons of chili powder.
Then add in about 1 to 2 teaspoons of yellow mustard. I go by taste. I’m so one of those people.
Lastly, add the (15 ounce) can of tomato sauce and 1/2 teaspoon sugar.
Then pour in 1/4 cup of water and a few dashes Worcestershire sauce to taste.
Then season with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
Stir the sloppy joe sauce and over medium-heat, bring it to a simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile slice up some green onions.
This is the toughest part of the recipe. Ready? Okay. Now carefully remove the mozzarella cheese from the wrappers.
And then place each one inside of their own hot dog buns.
Doesn’t this look freaking weird? like white hot dogs? HA. No. Seriously it’s delicious, I promise.
Next you’ll wan to top them with the Sloppy Joe sauce and sprinkle with the green onions. Because the sauce is piping hot it should soften the string cheese, therefore creating the most amazing cheese pull.
My girls ate these up and requested them again the next day! For another fun version check out my recipe for Saucy Mozzarella Dogs! Because there’s no such thing as too many kid-friendly recipes where cheese is the star. 😉
So fun and totally delicious. The proof is in the string!
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