Messy Burgers…aka Sloppy Joes

Messy Burgers

My kids love Sloppy Joes, or should I say they love Messy Burgers.  My son changed the name when he was about 3.  You see to him anything on a bun was a burger, could be PB&J and it was a PB&J burger.  His introduction to the Sloppy Joe was a very messy one and he told me “mommy dis is a messy burger”, from that moment on when he wanted Sloppy Joes he would request Messy Burgers.
Typically I would brown my ground beef, add a can of Manwich and voila, Messy Burgers.  Tonight however when I was asked to make Messy Burgers I decided to continue with my make my own…no Manwich tonight.  I checked to ensure I had everything I needed and fortunately I did so my messy burger creation began.

My version of the messy burger didn’t get the rave reviews I expected but they were still pretty good.  My youngest did however eat four of them so they must have been pretty good.  I finally made myself you, you know how moms are…we always eat last. It was pretty good but a bit on the sweet side.  The recipe that I’m posting is the one I made tonight but I will be tweaking it using less sugar and will repost the results.

Messy Burgers


  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 8 hamburger buns, split


  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the ground beef for 5 minutes. Add the onion and red bell pepper; saute for 5 more minutes, or until onion is tender. Drain the fat.
  2. Mix in tomato paste and water, stirring until paste is dissolved. Stir in garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, vinegar, brown sugar, oregano, salt and pepper. Continue to heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until mixture is thick and stewy.

Messy Burgers…its whats cooking 2 nite.