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Inspired by all the wonderful things we love about pizza – an Italian seasoned sauce, mushrooms, olives, and pepperoni topped with melted mozzarella cheese. These Pizza Joes are a great family-friendly, 30-minute meal option!
I kind of have a thing for sloppy joes. Less than a month after I started this blog I posted one of my favorites to this day – Cajun Sloppy Joes. I found out that I wasn’t alone in my feelings for the messy sandwich filling when about a year later I shared my recipe for Sloppy Joe Squares. That recipe became one of the most viewed recipes in those early days. Well, friends, I take my sloppy joe recipes seriously and I’m sharing a recipe today that is epic. The ingredient list is simple, it’s ready in 30 minutes, start to finish, and it blows away the store-bought mixes.
The flavor is fabulously reminiscent of pizza which makes it a completely family-friendly meal. Yes, the kids will love it, but I guarantee the adults will be on board with the Pizza Joe idea as well. Combining the flavors of pizza with sloppy joes may sound indulgent, but you can lighten the situation up, if you’d like, and I’ll tell you just how to do that in a bit.
You’ll need a jar of your favorite basic pasta sauce. I try to always keep some of this Mezzetta Tomato Basil in the pantry. It’s a good one! You want to keep it simple – a simple marinara or tomato basil sauce is best.
The meat portion of the recipe consists of ground beef and pepperoni. I picked up this 25% Less Fat Pepperoni from Hormel to help myself feel a bit less guilty about inhaling a Pizza Joe. If you’d really like to combat the fat and calories, go with turkey pepperoni, use lean ground turkey in place of the ground beef, and top it off with part-skim mozzarella.
Check out the quick how-to video below to see how fast and easy these are to put together.
Behold the Pizza Joe in all it’s glory. Give it a try. You’re family will love ya’ for it.
- 2 pounds lean ground beef or ground turkey
- ¾ cup chopped onion
- ¾ cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ¾ cup chopped cremini mushrooms
- 2.25 ounce can sliced black olives drained
- 25 to 28 ounces tomato basil marinara
- 3 ounces sliced pepperoni or turkey pepperoni cut in half
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper or to taste
- 1 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese or as needed
- 8 onion rolls or hamburger buns
- Place a large nonstick skillet over MEDIUM heat. Add the beef (or turkey), onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring to break up the ground meat as it cooks. Continue to cook and stir until meat is thoroughly cooked and the veggies have softened. Drain off as much grease as possible and return the skillet to the heat.
- Add the mushrooms, olives, marinara, pepperoni, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to LOW, cover the pan, and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven's broiler. Split open the onion rolls and place them, inside facing up, on a baking sheet. Place the baking sheet in the oven for about 2 minutes, watching closely, until the rolls are toasted and lightly browned.
- Remove the top buns from the baking sheet. Divide the filling between the bottom buns, sprinkle with mozzarella cheese, and return to the oven for a minute or two, just until the cheese is melted.
- Remove from the oven and place the top buns on the sandwiches and serve.