Canned Tomato Soup Is The Comforting Shortcut To Great Sloppy Joes

A staple of school cafeteria lunches and easy weeknight family dinners, sloppy joes are a classic dish from childhood (and one you might not have had since then). An American comfort food that you may have forgotten about, it's typically a mixture of ground beef and a "sloppy" sauce made from tomato paste, tomato sauce, or ketchup (or some combination of the three), and the likes of onion, bell pepper, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce.

For a cheap and easy dish, it has a surprisingly long list of ingredients. Luckily, there's an easy shortcut using something you probably already have in your pantry: canned tomato soup. Yes, that same canned tomato soup that you can turn into an exquisite bisque or to change your mac and cheese forever can also be used to quickly and easily make great sloppy joes, without having to resort to the canned sloppy joe sauce. Using canned tomato soup also gives sloppy joes a richer flavor than simply using tomato paste or tomato sauce. And it's as easy as simply adding a comforting can of your favorite tomato soup and letting it simmer with a few other ingredients. 

How to use canned tomato soup in sloppy joes

Use canned tomato soup to replace tomato paste, tomato sauce, or ketchup in whatever sloppy joe recipe you use. Campbell's, perhaps the most notorious makers of canned tomato soup, has a recipe on their website that calls for ground beef, canned condensed tomato soup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and garlic powder. Depending on the recipe, and how sweet you like your sloppy joes, you may want to omit brown sugar after adding canned tomato soup. The beauty of making your sloppy joe sauce from tomato soup as opposed to just using a canned version is that you can customize everything to your (and your kids') taste. To really simplify things, you can even just combine ground beef with canned tomato soup and nothing else.

One thing to be aware of is whether the tomato soup you're using is condensed or not. A non-condensed soup will have a lot of extra liquid. To ensure the right consistency for your sloppy joes, you'll want to let the sauce cook down long enough to thicken a little. Then simply serve your sloppy joes on a classic hamburger or brioche bun for an easy and classic comfort food throwback.