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.

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

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.

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

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.

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

To Make The Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes You Will Need:

  • olive oil or bacon fat
  • yellow onion
  • garlic
  • ground round or beef
  • chili powder
  • yellow mustard, or to taste
  • sugar
  • tomato sauce
  • water
  • 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.

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

Throw 2 teaspoons bacon fat or olive oil into a deep sided skillet.

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

Dice an onion very fine, you’ll need 1 cup give or take.

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

Add the onion to the skillet and cook until soft and translucent, not browned.

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

Next squeeze 1 clove of garlic through a garlic press (or finely mince) into the pan. Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

Then add in 1-1/4 pounds ground beef. Use a potato masher or wooden spatula to smash the meat into small crumbles.

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

Next measure and add in 1-1/2 teaspoons of chili powder.

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

Then add in about 1 to 2 teaspoons of yellow mustard. I go by taste. I’m so one of those people.

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

Lastly, add the (15 ounce) can of tomato sauce and 1/2 teaspoon sugar.

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

Then pour in 1/4 cup of water and a few dashes Worcestershire sauce to taste.

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

Then season with 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

Stir the sloppy joe sauce and over medium-heat, bring it to a simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

Meanwhile slice up some green onions.

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

This is the toughest part of the recipe. Ready? Okay. Now carefully remove the mozzarella cheese from the wrappers.

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

And then place each one inside of their own hot dog buns.

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

Doesn’t this look freaking weird? like white hot dogs? HA. No. Seriously it’s delicious, I promise.

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

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.

I like to serve them with some Bettermade chips and a Rock & Rye Faygo pop to make the childhood memory complete!

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

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. 😉

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

So fun and totally delicious. The proof is in the string!

Enjoy! And if you give this Lunch Lady Sloppy Joe recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes l SimplyScratch.com

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes
Yield: 8 servings

Lunch Lady Sloppy Joes

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.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or bacon fat
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1-1/4 pounds ground round
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons regular or ancho chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons yellow mustard, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • Worcestershire Sauce, a few drops to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 8 mozzarella string cheese sticks, at temperature**
  • 8 hotdog buns, toasted if you're in the mood
  • sliced green onions, for serving
  • pickled jalapenos, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a medium sauce pan, over medium-low heat, sauté the onions in olive oil (or bacon fat). Once soft and translucent add in the garlic, cook for one minute. Next add in the ground beef and use a spatula (or potato masher) to break it up into small pieces and cook thoroughly.
  2. Then measure and add in the ancho chili powder, mustard, sugar, tomato sauce, water, Worcestershire, salt and pepper to the meat mixture. Stir and simmer over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes.
  3. Place the cheese sticks inside the buns and top with sloppy Joe sauce. Sprinkle with green onions, pickled jalapeno slices and/or anything else your heart desires and serve!

Notes

For optimal cheese string action, warm the mozzarella cheese sticks in the microwave until very soft (but not melting) before placing in the bun and pouring sloppy joe sauce on top.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 460Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 1080mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 32g

All information presented on this site is intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information shared on SimplyScratch.com should only be used as a general guideline.