Simplicity Savored: Unsloppy Taco-Joe’s

The boy and I try to eat dinner together whenever we can. Granted, sometimes life gets in the way, but for the most part, we try to sit down for a few minutes each night. My family always did this growing up, and it was a good time to just connect and chat about the day. So now, we’ve – unintentionally or otherwise – incorporated it into our nightly routine.

That said, I’m the cook in our apartment.

I don’t say that with a groan: I love to cook. I’m also a huge foodie, and I love experimenting with different flavors and spices and cheeses and meals. However, the boy? He’s a bit less adventurous when it comes to eating. We’ve had to find a compromise many times so that I don’t feel stuck in a rut of eating mac and cheese every night (which, trust me, the boy would so willingly do).

During my search for creative but palette-friendly dinner ideas, I came across Unsloppy Joes. Well, okay, I didn’t so much “come across them” as my boss suggested them. She’s got 2 kids and a wealth of recipes.

The original recipe is quite simple in premise: make sloppy joe mix, and put it in a Pillsbury Grand instead of slopping them onto a bun. They’re much less messy, and who doesn’t love putting anything inside of a biscuit?

I made the original recipe one night, and they were a hit with the boy. They became a regular meal in our apartment, until one day, I went to go make them for dinner, and I didn’t have any sloppy joe seasoning. I did, however, have taco seasoning.

And so, the Unsloppy Taco-Joe’s were born! (I’ve been playing around with the name for a bit… Unsloppy Taco-o’s? Taco-In-A-Biscuit? I’m not entirely sure what works best here so, if you’ve got an idea, drop a note in the comments!) To be honest, these were much more of a hit than the original recipe, partly because tacos are one of the boy’s other favorite meal. Watch… soon enough, I’ll be stuffing mac and cheese inside the biscuit dough.

The best part is, they don’t take a whole lot of effort, so they’re perfect for a weeknight!

Ingredients (makes 8): 

  • 1 can of biscuits
  • 1 lb ground meat (turkey, beef, chicken… whatever you like best!)
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 can tomato sauce
  • Taco seasoning (this can be homemade or out of the packet)
  • CHEESE (as much as desired, but I suggest loads)

Method: 

  1. Cook ground onions & meat as directed. Once cooked, drain the excess liquid (you really won’t want that later on) and incorporate tomato sauce & seasoning.
  2. Let meat cool to room temperature.
    Note: this step isn’t necessary, but helps keep the biscuits from getting soggy.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. While the oven is preheating, fill the biscuits. Roll each biscuit out so it lays flat. Fill with a spoonful or two of the meat and top with cheese. Fold biscuit dough over and press the edges with a fork.
    Note: If you have some leaking out, that’s fine. I usually dab excess liquid with a paper towel, just to keep things from getting messy.
  5. Pop those bad boys in the oven! Cook for at least 9 minutes, or however long you’d like to get the biscuits baked to your ideal level of golden-brown. We like ours a little less brown, so we cook them for a little less time, but of course, you’ll want to make sure they’re fully cooked. We’ve found that the insides do cook a bit more even once they’re out of the oven.
  6. LET COOL. You’ll obviously want to eat them while they’re warm, but remember that anything in a pocket is going to be a bit steamy on the inside!
  7. Enjoy.

I pair these with some steamed broccoli or a salad to get some extra veggies in.

Now, like I said, these make about 8, so if you live in a normal household, you’ll probably have leftovers. I live with a walking disposal, who also really likes these, so we rarely have leftovers, but if I made these just for myself, they’d last me for several days. They reheat really easily, too – just pop them in the toaster oven or the regular oven for a few minutes, but I suggest cutting them in half so the insides get warm again too.

If you make these, I’d love to see them! Post a photo on Instagram and use the hashtag #SevenAfterSevenCooks.

PS: There is a similar recipe to mine on Pillsbury.com. They call them Mexican Sloppy Joes, but there’s a few differences. Let me know if you make these, too! 
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