Grabbing the Gusto

Deirdre Reid – Freelance Writer & Home Cook

This kicked-up version of Sloppy Joes includes chipotle en adobo, poblano pepper, onion, garlic, dark beer, molasses and other good stuff. Keep it in mind for tailgating and football parties.


What are your mandatory kitchen ingredients? I can’t imagine not having onions, garlic, eggs, parmesan, and pasta on hand. I can create enough meals out of those five ingredients, plus olive oil and a well-stocked spice and herb collection, to keep me going for days.

Chipotle should be on that list too. I have at least one can of chipotle en adobo in the cupboard at all times. As soon as I open one can, I buy another, just in case. So, I always have my eye out for recipes to use up the leftover chipotle in the refrigerator.

I found a recipe for 15-minute Chipotle Sloppy Joes on the Slow Roasted Italian blog. To boost the flavor, I added onion, poblano pepper, garlic and dark beer to the recipe. Jim said he wasn’t a big fan of sloppy Joe’s because they’re usually too sweet, so I substituted molasses for half of the brown sugar.

It was no longer 15 minute Sloppy Joes but, holy moly, it was delicious. Too bad I didn’t find this recipe before the Super Bowl because it would be a great dish for a crowd if the recipe was doubled or tripled. I’d still cook it on the stove, but then transfer it to a slow cooker to keep warm.

My side dish, vegetables al pesto (made with zucchini, mushrooms, onion, poblano, corn, and grape tomatoes), was a perfect accompaniment. I was going to serve sweet potato fries as a side, but after having a salad to start, I didn’t think we needed them. That’s another ingredient that’s always good to have on hand – frozen sweet potato fries.

Chipotle Sloppy Joes recipe from Grabbing the Gusto

Chipotle Sloppy Joes recipe from Grabbing the Gusto

Chipotle Sloppy Joe’s 

You’ll need a large skillet and medium bowl.

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 pound 93% lean beef 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup (or more) stout or porter
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped (to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from chipotle peppers)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Hamburger buns
  • Bread and butter pickle slices
  • Sweet onion slices
  • Thin slices of cheddar cheese

In a skillet over medium heat, add oil and beef.  Cook beef until browned, using a heat safe spatula to break it apart as it cooks. When nearly done, add onion, pepper and garlic. Cook until onion is softened. Add beer and cook until evaporated.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl combine tomato sauce, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, brown sugar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, and spices.  Whisk to combine well.

Add chipotle sauce to beef mixture.  Stir to combine.  Cook 4-5 minutes, until sauce is thick.  Remove from heat.

Serve on toasted hamburger bun with pickle and onion slices and cheese.

Original inspiration: Smoky Chipotle Sloppy Joes in 15 Minutes, Slow Roasted Italian


1 year ago on Gusto: Baked Cod, Sausage and White Beans

2 years ago: Spicy Cheeseburger Dip

3 years ago: New England Clam Chowder with Sweet Potato Fries

8 thoughts on “Chipotle Sloppy Joes

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