Big Mac Sloppy Joe’s

Sloppy Joe’s have always been a favorite meal dating back from childhood to present day. In our house, they are regular in the dinner rotation each month. There have been different variations over the years, from the packet with tomato paste to the Manwich brand, to my mom’s A&W copycat recipe that she started making about 10 years ago.

One thing that was new to me moving in with Eric and Addi was that they put sliced cheese on their Sloppy Joe’s. I had not ever done that growing up, nor had I seen that before. Hhmmm…where does it fall on the irony scale that the Wisconsinite never put cheese on her sandwich and the Minnesotans did? Well…I’ll have to ponder that another time.

A little over a year ago I wanted to find a new way to Sloppy Joe and I came across this concept of merging Big Mac flavors with a Sloppy Joe and the Big Mac Sloppy Joe was created. Every member of this house is a fan. We have made this a good number of times and unless I make a double batch, we run out! The recipe below is a double batch because I’m not messing around.

The recipe calls for the sautéed pickle and onion on the side, but you certainly can mix it right in the hamburger if you would prefer. It will depend on whether everyone in your house likes pickles and onions, or if you want people to decide the configuration of their own Joe.

I appreciate the fat content in hamburger to add flavor, but I will remove much of that fat/grease before adding seasonings or sauces. That way, the meat has the rich, fat flavor cooked in, but not the oily texture.

The most common way I have removed grease from the pan is soaking it up in paper towels and letting them cool before throwing away. As a home-owner who has had to snake their own drain (thank you Eric), we do NOT make it a practice to put fats down the drain. Over time that will reek havoc on your pipes ability to pass water. I apply the same logic when cleaning the pan – wait for the remaining fats to solidify and wipe the pan clean with paper towels that go in the garbage.

The final product of a yummy dinner is ready to go. Most often the sides are baked beans and ripple chips with top the tater, but we were fancy this day with roasted red potatoes and a simple vinegar cucumber salad.

Big Mac Sloppy Joe’s


  • 2 lb hamburger (80/20 or 85/15)
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tbls worchestershire sauce
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup Thousand Island dressing
  • 1 Tbls butter
  • 1 small white onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup bread and butter pickles, finely diced
  • Buns
  • American Cheese slices


Heat a large 12″ skillet to medium-high temperature. Add hamburger and break up meat with a wooden spoon. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, continuing to flip and break up meat. Add salt, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and pepper. Continue cooking another 3 minutes after spices worked into meat. Add worchestershire sauce and finish cooking hamburger until all the pink is cooked out.

In a separate smaller (8 inch) skillet, melt butter over medium heat. When melted, add onion and pickles and sauté with a sprinkle of kosher salt.

In a small bowl, stir mayo and Thousand Island dressing. When hamburger is fully cooked, add mayo/dressing sauce and stir to coat all the hamburger. Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer until fully incorporated.

To assemble the Big Mac Sloppy Joe…grab your sesame seed bun and top with cooked Joe Meat, sautéed onion/pickle, and American cheese slices.

Happy Joe’ing!

*Experimental Spoon original.

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