Sometimes I just want something quick and easy for dinner. On days when I’ve had a rough week like the one I had last week, I just want to get in and out of the kitchen as soon as I can. I had a sick pre-schooler on my hands and 2 boys who pretend that they have no idea where the food is in the kitchen. I also had a husband who was at work at all odd hours so I was left alone to do most of the work. So what’s a mom to do on those super busy days? You do easy! And what’s easier than Italian Sloppy Joes? Not only does it take very little time to prepare but everyone loves them.
Italian Sloppy Joes
1 pound lean ground beef
1 link fresh chicken Italian sausage
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup frozen onion & pepper blend, chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 cup marinara sauce
6-7 fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley
Salt & pepper to taste
Buns of your choice
In a large skillet, heat the oil oil over medium heat.
Add the Italian sausage, making sure to break it into small pieces as it cooks. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until cooked through.
Add the peppers and onions and saute until the liquid has cooked out, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the ground beef and cook until it’s browned and cooked through, which will take about 5 minutes.
Add all of the seasonings and stir well to combine.
Add the brown sugar and marinara and stir to combine.
Bring to a simmer, turn the heat down to medium-low, cover and let cook for about 10 minute to blend the flavors.
Taste and adjust the seasonings.
Just before serving, stir in the Italian parsley and some of the basil.
To serve, lay a few spinach leaves on the bottom of the bun, mound with as much of the meat mixture as you like and then sprinkle with additional fresh basil and some parmesan cheese.
We use lean beef and chicken Italian sausage to save some fat & calories, but you can use the full-fat if you want to. Just be sure to drain any grease off, so you don’t have a greasy dish.
If you prefer your sausage and beef to be more combined, you can mix them together prior to cooking and brown them both together in the first step. We like to keep them separate and get little bites of both, but that’s totally up to you and won’t change the flavor.
We lightly toast our buns to give them a little added texture. To do this, just pop them under the broiler for 30-60 seconds and watch them close so they don’t burn.