School Lunch Room Sloppy Joes

sloppy joesIMG_7817  IMG_7820“A very special school cafeteria cook is my Aunt Gloria, and she gave me this school recipe which I have treasured through the years and made it for my own family. I used to look forward to the day this was on the menu at school! This was back in the day when school cafeterias served all homemade food from scratch! Even their bread and rolls were homemade!   The old school lunch recipes are regional variations throughout the country as the cooks used  many  of their own favorite recipes.    Barrington, Rhode Island was the beautiful town I grew up in.  

There are  a lot of little ingredients in this recipe so it is helpful to get them all measured out ahead of time.  

Forget those instant Sloppy Joe mixes in an envelope or a can.  They don’t even come close to this exceptional recipe!   Enjoy!”

Servings: 6


2 pounds ground beef

2 tablespoons finely chopped onions

1 cup finely chopped celery

1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 can condensed tomato soup
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/8 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3/8 tablespoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 pound grated American cheese 


1. In a large skillet, brown the ground beef, onions, and celery together. Drain fat. Set aside.
2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine lemon juice, white vinegar, condensed tomato soup, brown sugar, onions, dry mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt, garlic powder, and American cheese until well blended and heated through.
3. Add the drained ground beef mixture to the saucepan mixture and heat it all together for a few minutes. Do not overcook because you want the celery to be a little crunchy.
4. Serve over split buns.

Nutritional Information ( without the buns)

School Lunch Room Sloppy Joes

Amount Per Serving: 1/8 recipe
Calories: 264
Calories from Fat: 65

* % Daily Value *
* Total Fat 21g 32%
* Saturated Fat 13g 66%
* Cholesterol 76mg 25%
* Sodium 536mg 22%
* Total Carbohydrates 6g 2%
* Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
* Protein 21g 39%
* Sugars 5g
* Vitamin A 1%
* Vitamin C 5%
* Calcium 5%
* Iron 10%

* * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Categories: Main Dishes, Meat

Tags: , , , , ,

4 replies

  1. Oh, these sound absolutely wonderful ! Thanks for sharing such great recipes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You are quite welcome, Lily! Let me know if you try it! 🙂


  3. Sloppy Joes is a classic, thanks for sharing your recipe:)

    Liked by 1 person

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