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Pizza Joes

Make a fun, kid-friendly dinner with this Italian take on classic Sloppy Joes. Serve up your Pizza Joes with a Caesar salad for a quick crowd-pleasing meal.

A Palatable Pastime
Top toasted buns with pizza toppings, marinara sauce, and mozzarella cheese for a fun take on Sloppy Joes.

Sometimes I like to browse recipes on the Internet. I was doing just that when I spotted a recipe called “Pizza Joes.” Immediately I thought it sounded interesting.

So I clicked on the recipe but … it wasn't Pizza Joes. It had bbq sauce and was only Sloppy Joes. Not exactly what I had envisioned.

I don’t really need recipes to make my own food. When I look at other recipes, it's really more like browsing a menu in a restaurant where I merely discover what I am hungry for. And I was hungry for those Pizza Joes.

I had them envisioned already, topped with pizza sauce and stuffed with pizza toppings, piled high on a bun with mozzarella cheese, like a strange lovechild of Sloppy Joes and French bread pizza.

And like many things, if you want them done right, you might well have to do them yourself. They were exactly as I imagined. Kids are going to love these. And the kid inside every adult, too.

Pizza Joes
Serves 6-12 

1 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 pound lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
6 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped
Salt and black pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
28 ounces pizza sauce
1/2 cup water
4 ounces turkey pepperoni, chopped (turkey is less greasy than the other type)
6 large kaiser rolls or 12 smaller hamburger buns, toasted
12 ounces mozzarella cheese slices

 1. Cook sausage, ground beef, onion, green pepper, garlic, mushrooms, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes in a large skillet until meat is browned, cooked through and crumbled. Drain off as much fat as possible.

2. Add the Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, pizza sauce, and water. Stir to mix.

3. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes or until thick.

4. Remove from heat and stir in the chopped pepperoni.

5. Serve mixture on toasted buns with slices of mozzarella cheese if desired (I microwave my sandwich with the cheese for about 30 seconds.)

Related post on A Palatable Pastime: Delicious Sloppy Joes

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