I survived another Mother’s Day, one of my least favorite days of the year. When your mom is dead and your daughter lives five time zones away, there’s not much to celebrate. I avoided all the happy moms on Facebook, skyped with my baby, and pretended like the whole thing wasn’t happening. Then everything went bananas at work, and I worked two Saturdays in a row, which is not so awesome. I needed comfort with a side of nostalgia. I needed something to remind me of my mom.
Sloppy Joe Casserole was one of my very favorite dishes when I was a kid. This is total 80’s mom food. There’s nothing classy or refined here. It’s the kind of thing people used to make before we started thinking anything from a can or package was going to kill us. I could have probably made a “healthier” from scratch version, and maybe someday I will. This week, though, I wanted it exactly the way my mom used to make it.
This casserole starts out with a layer of crescent rolls topped with a pound of sloppy joe, then some “cheese” and another layer of crescent rolls. I love that the crust gets a little bit soggy and the top layer is nice and crisp. I also love the sweet vinegary taste of the Manwich sauce. Does it even count as sloppy joe if you don’t use Manwich? The store brand is never as good. It’s so simple and so so good. I remember my mom used to serve this with a pile of canned green beans along side, and I’d always try to avoid eating them. Now I’m grown, and I just have a gummy vitamin instead. I have problems.
My mom worked hard to give my brother and me everything we wanted. I was probably a brat about being poor and not having everything my friends had. I wish I could take that back. I love that my parents taught me to be frugal and appreciate the simple things in life. Here’s to old-fashioned food for hard working moms. Long live Sloppy Joe Casserole!
- 1 pound ground beef
- Salt and pepper
- 1 can sloppy joe sauce
- 1 can crescent rolls
- 4 slices American cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 and lightly spray a 8x8 baking pan with nonstick spray.
- Put a large skillet over medium high heat and add the ground beef. Break it up with a wooden spoon and season it with salt and pepper. Continue to cook until completely browned, then drain off the fat and return the meat to the pan. Stir in the can of sloppy joe sauce.
- While your beef is browning, unroll half of your crescent roll dough and spread it out on the bottom of your pan. You should be able to place two rectangles of dough side by side without too much effort. Pop the bottom layer of rolls into the oven to bake while the meat is cooking. You can even put them in while the oven is preheating. Ten minutes is plenty of time. You want them to be just ever so slightly browned.
- Take your parbaked layer of rolls back out of the oven and spread the sloppy joe mixture over the top. Arrange your four slices of cheese on top, and then add the other half of the crescent rolls on top.
- Put the whole thing in the oven for about 12 minutes or until the crescent rolls are golden brown. Allow to cool for about five minutes before cutting and serving. It might taste better if you wear your hair in a side ponytail.