Barbecue Sauce (Plus, “Mushroom Sloppy Joes”)

The star of this post is the homemade barbecue sauce, but the Mushroom “Sloppy Joes” are a great way to put the sauce to work.  Yes, I realize that it’s still winter, but I use barbecue sauce year-round, don’t you? 😉

The beauty of this barbecue sauce is that you will know exactly what is in it as opposed to grocery store versions (e.g., corn syrups, preservatives, chemicals that you can’t pronounce). It is also customizable. Want it sweeter? Add more ketchup. Want is less smoky? Decrease the smoked paprika. The same goes for all the spices and seasonings.

Fun fact according to Google: “Why are they called Sloppy Joes? Sloppy Joes are largely believed to be the creation of a cook in Sioux City, Iowa. Named, yes, Joe, he based his treat on the loose meat sandwiches that were popular in the 1930’s.”

You know what would go great with these Sloppy Joes? My Pickled fennel.


Did you enjoy reading or making the recipe from this post? If so, please consider giving it a “like” or a comment. It would be nice to know you are out there and that my posts connect with you.

Barbeque Sauce (Plus, “Mushroom Sloppy Joes)

  • Servings: 1 and 1/2 cups barbecue sauce total, and 4 Sloppy Joes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


    For the Barbecue Sauce

  • 1 cup (8 ounces) ketchup
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (55 grams), lightly packed
  • 1 teaspoon unsulphured molasses
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt (not iodized table salt) more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, more to taste
  • ___________________________

    For the Mushroom Sloppy Joe

  • 1 + 1/2 pounds (24 ounces) mixed mushrooms, with at least half being portobellos (portobellos give the “meatiest” taste of all the common mushrooms)
  • 1 small can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste


  1. For the barbeque sauce, place all ingredients in a small saucepan and whisk thoroughly. Bring to medium heat and gently simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce leaves a thick ribbon in the pan when lifted with a spoon
  2. For the Mushroom Sloppy Joe’s, prepare the mushrooms by removing and discarding the stems, clean and finely chop the mushroom caps. Place the oil in a medium sauté pan and bring to medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onions, salt and pepper and stir to coat with the oil. Simmer until the mushrooms release their liquid and the liquid evaporates from the pan, about 15 – 20 minutes. Add the minced garlic in the last minute
  3. Add 1/2 cup (4 ounces) of the barbeque sauce and the can of tomatoes and stir. Simmer until most of the liquid is evaporated and the mushrooms can hold a loose shape on the buns, about 20 minutes. (For example, you ought to be able to make a path with a spoon in the pan and the mushrooms shouldn’t ooze back in, but rather, stay put.) Serve over toasted buns

Author: gregnelsoncooks

Visit weekly for original and adapted recipes as well as cooking tips to make your kitchen life easier — and more delicious! I’ll include simple, straight forward instructions along with recipes that are truly worth your time making. And, recipes that elevate the familiar and introduce you to the new and unexpected.

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