No-Salt Sloppy Joe Seasoning Mix

Sloppy Joe made with homemade no-salt seasoning mix

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Alice Henneman, MS, RDN, UNL Lancaster County Extension

What could be easier than serving a Sloppy Joe mixture on buns, or over baked potatoes, or pasta? Make your own seasoning mix and cut back on the salt found in commercial mixes. A quick (and easy!) way to further cut back on salt is using no-salt-added ketchup when preparing your Sloppy Joes.

Makes enough for use with 1 pound of ground beef

  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Mix all ingredients until well blended.
  2. After you've tried this recipe and adjusted seasonings to personal taste, double or triple the recipe next time. It's simplest to set out small bowls and measure enough for one recipe into each bowl. Then, transfer the mixture in each bowl to a 6-inch square of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Fold tightly and store the packets together in a plastic freezer bag in a cool, dark, dry place.
  3. As a general rule, keep ground spices for about a year from time of purchase for best quality. Plan to use this mix while your seasonings are still within this freshness range for best taste.

To make 4 servings of Sloppy Joes:

  1. Brown 1 pound of lean ground beef over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes in a large nonstick skillet or until beef is not pink, breaking beef up into small crumbles. Pour off drippings.
  2. Add seasoning mix, 1/2 cup of water and 1 cup of no-salt-added ketchup.
  3. Simmer for 10 minutes, reducing heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer. Stir occasionally. Add more water if the mixture becomes too thick.

Cook's Tips:

  1. 1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce plus 1 to 2 teaspoons of vinegar and 1 teaspoon of sugar can be substituted for the ketchup.
  2. Use any leftovers within 3 to 4 days. Either reheat (until steamy hot — 165 degrees F) for Sloppy Joes or serve over pasta or baked potatoes. Or, freeze extras in freezer-quality bags in amounts you'll plan to eat at one meal. Cool in a shallow pan (meat should be no deeper than 2 inches) before transferring to freezer bags.
  3. A large skillet is recommended for browning the meat. If the skillet is overcrowded, the meat will steam cook rather than brown properly. If you only have a small skillet,cook your meat in batches.

Recipe developed by Alice Henneman