The Chunky Dip That Adds Flavor To Canned Sloppy Joe Sauce

The list of classic childhood meals has just gotta include that simple yet so delicious dinner of sloppy joes. Today it's still a kid favorite, even for the picky eaters, plus sloppy joes is a go-to dinner for time-crunched families. Just brown some ground beef, simmer it with a savory, tomato-based sauce, and pile it onto hamburger buns. While using canned sloppy joes sauce as is will certainly bring back memories of those childhood suppers, it's so easy to zhuzh it up and make it taste even better. Just open up a jar of your favorite salsa. 

The diced peppers, onions, and other veggies or fruits in salsa add texture to sloppy joes, as well as more flavor and a little spiciness. Just as important, incorporating salsa into Sloppy Joes adds no additional time: When the sloppy joe sauce goes into the pan with the cooked ground beef, spoon in the salsa so that it can heat through with the rest of the sauce. The amount of salsa that goes in is up to you. It can be as little as a few spoonfuls or a full jarful for extra chunky, extra-sloppy sloppy joes. 

So many salsas, so many possibilities for sloppy joes

Adding salsa to sloppy joe sauce is just one part of the ingredient upgrade — the other part is choosing the flavor and type of salsa, and this is where things can really get interesting. Sloppy joe sauce is tomato based and has the same sweet-tangy flavor profile as ketchup and some barbecue sauces, thanks to ingredients like Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and vinegar. Try pairing it with a basic salsa built from onions, bell peppers, chili peppers, and tomatoes at your favorite level of heat. Black bean salsa or Southwestern style with both beans and corn will give sloppy joes even more heft and texture.

For those who really like some heat, extra spicy salsas made with ghost peppers or habaneros are the perfect varieties to add to the joes. A green tomatillo-based salsa will add a bright, tart flavor to the sandwiches. Fruit salsas made with mango, pineapple, or peach are an especially intriguing option to play up the sweet-savory blend in the sloppy joe sauce.

Don't forget fresh salsas! Whether a homemade batch of pico de gallo or a prepackaged tub from the produce section in the grocery store, the veggies in fresh (uncooked) salsa are crunchy with vibrant flavor and spiciness. This may not be your mother's sloppy joes, but your dinner guests will thank you.