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Sloppy Meatball Joes

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Sloppy Meatball Joe Sliders from Eatin' on the Cheap

I firmly believe that the powers-that-be gave me my daughter so that I would be forced to constantly be creative (He gave me my son to force me to be patient). My young, vivacious look-a-like has some very particular ways of doing things. Ponytails are acceptable, but braids are not. Books are fun but not if Mom picks them out (she will not read A Little Princess no matter how good I tell her it is). Swimming is awesome until someone gets water in her face. The list goes on and on.

It’s no different with food. Spaghetti is always welcome but not lasagna. Quiche is one of her favorites, but she won’t touch an omelet. And as far as fish goes, it’s salmon or nothing! So, you can imagine my frustration at the fact that she is vehemently against sloppy joes, even though a sloppy joe contains all of her favorite food groups; ketchup, hamburger, and sugar! I for one am a huge fan of the sloppy joe. It’s a quick and easy dinner that isn’t tacos (her other favorite food, but only in a crunchy shell not soft shell) and it’s one of my personal childhood favorites. So when my husband talked my daughter into trying (and LOVING!) a meatball sub a few weeks ago, I knew I could somehow use this to my advantage.

And so the Sloppy Meatball Joe was born.  It has all of the sloppy joe flavor that every red-blooded American knows and loves in a meatball sandwich form. Of course, by using a stash of my frozen meatballs, it comes together super-fast. Most importantly though, it’s daughter-approved.

Sloppy Meatball Joes from

Sloppy Meatball Joes

Servings: 12 sliders
Calories: 247kcal


  • 1 t . olive oil
  • 1 small onion finely diced
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ water
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 t . chili powder
  • ½ t . dry mustard powder
  • 12 fully-cooked frozen meatballs store-bought or homemade
  • 2 T butter softened
  • 12 small buns or dinner rolls such as Hawaiian rolls
  • 6 slices American cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute onions for 4-5 minutes or until tender. Add in the garlic and saute for another minute. Stir in the ketchup, water, brown sugar, chili powder and mustard powder. Bring to a simmer and add in the frozen meatballs. Cover the skillet and reduce the heat to low and cook until meatballs are heated all the way through.
  • Meanwhile, split the rolls in half and butter each side. Place the rolls on a baking sheet and toast briefly in the oven, until the rolls are hot and just beginning to brown.
  • To assemble: Place a meatball on top of the bottom half of each roll, making sure to spoon a little sauce on top of each one. Top with half a slice of cheese and the top half of the roll. Serve and enjoy!
  • Tip: This would work great in a crockpot! Simply mix up the sauce and add it to the crockpot with the meatballs and heat on LOW for 2-4 hours.


Calories: 247kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 521mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 275IU | Vitamin C: 1.2mg | Calcium: 195mg | Iron: 1.9mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @TwoLuckySpoons or tag #twoluckyspoons!

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Jodie is a wife, mom, writer and lover of chickens and gardens. She runs her family's winery by day and cooks and writes by night.

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