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!
See more pictures in the slideshow below.
School Lunchroom Sloppy Joes
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 2 tablespoons onion finely chopped
- 1 cup celery finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 can condensed tomato soup
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1½ teaspoons dry mustard
- 1/8 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3/8 tablespoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 pound American cheese grated
- In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef, onions, and celery together. Drain the fat. Set aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the 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.
- 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.
- Serve over split buns.