Adam Sandler has sung its praises. School kids get pumped when it makes an appearance in the cafeteria. We've given this much-adored American classic the grown-up makeover it deserves with a sweet-and-tangy slaw and house-made sauce piled high atop a buttery brioche bun. Paired with crisp sweet potato chips, this is a dish that will make everyone want to trade lunch with you.
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You Will Need
Prepare the Ingredients
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with foil or use a nonstick baking sheet. Thoroughly rinse produce and pat dry. Remove the membrane (spiny white innards) and seeds of bell pepper and chop into a small dice. Peel the sweet potato and slice into ¼" thin rounds.
Make the Sweet Potato Chips
In a mixing bowl, combine 2 tsp. olive oil, sweet potato rounds, and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Combine until chips are evenly coated with oil and spices. Arrange coated chips (with as little overlap as possible) on the prepared baking sheet and put on middle rack of the oven to bake. After 10 minutes, flip chips and bake for another 10 minutes, until browned and crisp. Add a pinch of sea salt to the chips and let cool on the baking sheet so the chips become slightly crisp.
Sauté the Beef and Peppers
While sweet potato chips are baking, in a medium pan over medium-high heat sauté 1 tsp. olive oil and ground beef until no pink remains. Once ground beef is cooked, tip pan and drain excess fat from the meat. Be careful not to drain fat into a garbage disposal (it will clog your drain). Instead, either save the grease for other cooking purposes (it’s great for hash) or discard in the trash. Add the green pepper to the drained ground beef and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly softened.
Prepare the Sloppy Joe Mixture
Reduce heat to low and add ketchup, 2 Tbsp. of brown sugar (reserving remaining for slaw), Dijon mustard, chili powder to taste, ⅓ of the apple cider vinegar (reserving remaining for slaw) to the ground beef and pepper mixture, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes. Stir until completely assimilated. If necessary, add 1 Tbsp. water to thin the sloppy joe sauce.
Prepare the Slaw and Toast Buns
In a mixing bowl, combine the slaw mix, remaining apple cider vinegar, remaining brown sugar, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir until combined, cover, and place in refrigerator to chill until ready to serve. If desired, add buns to the baking sheet with the sweet potato chips toward the end of their baking cycle and bake for 3-5 minutes for a warm, toasty texture.
Plate the Dish
On a plate, arrange a warmed bun and add a generous serving of the sloppy joe mixture to the bottom portion of the bun.Top sloppy joe mixture with chilled slaw. Arrange sweet potato chips on the side. Add top bun to cap off the sandwich and enjoy.