How To Thicken Sloppy Joes: 5 Best Ways
Who doesn’t love making Sloppy Joes for dinner? This quick and simple meal is often a go-to option for many, but occasionally, the end result can turn out watery. If this has happened to you, then you may be wondering how to fix it, look no further! We’ve got you covered.
Below, we will show you some tips and tricks to fix watery Sloppy Joes. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or new to the kitchen, our step-by-step guide will help you turn your watery Sloppy Joes into a delicious and satisfying meal.
Why Should You Thicken Sloppy Joes?
Thickening sloppy joes can help improve their texture and consistency. Sloppy joes are typically made with ground beef and a sauce consisting of tomato sauce or ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and spices. However, sometimes the sauce can be too thin and runny, which can make the sandwich messy and difficult to eat.
Thickening the sauce can help it adhere better to the meat and bun, making the sandwich easier to handle and more enjoyable to eat. It can also provide a richer and more flavorful taste to the sauce.
Overall, thickening sloppy joes can help enhance their flavor and texture, making them a more satisfying and enjoyable meal.
There are different ways to thicken sloppy joes which we’ll go over below in more detail.
How To Thicken Sloppy Joes?
Read on to learn how to make sloppy joes thicker!
In Asian cuisine, cornstarch is the first choice to thicken the sauce for dishes.
To start, add a spoon of cornstarch to the pot and stir well. The dough will clump into small lumps, and your task is to use a spoon to break them.
If these clumps are not broken in time, they will stick together like dumpling and won’t be able to thicken anything as you would like.
The thing to remember here is that you have to stir well and continue until the powder is completely dissolved.
If it isn’t thick enough, you can add more corn starch to the pot and continue with the steps above.
If you don’t have cornmeal at home, you can make roux instead.
First, put two tablespoons of flour in the pot and stir like cornstarch, but don’t forget to dissolve all the flour you put in by breaking up the small lumps.
Be careful if you don’t want your pot of sauce to turn into a charred mess instead of a delicious treat.
In addition, a roux mixture between flour and cooking oil is also a good suggestion. It has a stronger flavor than many other agents, so you should only use a small amount in your dish.
Increase The Heat
Many people consider this one of the best ways to thicken sloppy joes, and it is.
With this method, you can quickly get a perfect sauce without any thickening agent. It also won’t affect the dish’s taste unless you burn it.
All you need is to stir in the initial thin relish and wait for the steam to evaporate. At this point, you should lower the selection so as not to burn the things in the pot.
Continue doing this until your mixture thickens like a noodle relish.
Add Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is a favorite in European cuisine and other cuisines when preparing dishes and even when thickening sauces.
Its flavor is quite similar to wine, which will be lost when exposed to high temperatures; it will not impact the dish’s taste.
Besides, another plus for this ingredient is that it can tenderize pork or beef in the dressing mix.
You need to put some butter in the saucepot and stir well like the food ingredients above. Cook for about 15 minutes on low heat, and you are ready for a standard dish.
Using Vegetable Purées
Most people only use vegetable purees to make soup without knowing it is also a thickener, especially starchy vegetables.
However, you should choose vegetables that match the dish’s flavor, such as sloppy joes with tomato paste or smashed pumpkins, puréed parsnips, etc.
The method is also very simple, as you just stir it with the relish mixture in the pot until you reach the consistency you need.
Best Sloppy Joe Recipe
Here’s a simple recipe for homemade sloppy joes that serves 4–6 people:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Hamburger buns
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, breaking it up with a spoon or spatula, until it’s browned and cooked through, about 8–10 minutes.
- Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the skillet with the beef. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard. Pour the mixture into the skillet with the beef and vegetables. Stir to combine.
- Reduce the heat to medium and let the mixture simmer for about 10–15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, and the flavors have melded together. If the sauce is too thick, you can add a bit of water to thin it out.
- Taste the Sloppy Joe mixture and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Toast the hamburger buns in the oven or toaster.
- To serve, scoop the sloppy joe mixture onto the bottom half of a bun and top with the other half. Enjoy!