Maid-Rite Sloppy Joe Tavern Burger old Church Cookbook recipe

Maid-Rite Sandwiches – Instant Pot or Stove-top

and then paste this after the imagemaid rite sandwiches, sometimes called Tavern Sandwiches or Sloppy Joes

I grew up in the Midwest in the 60’s eating various and assorted “loose-meat” sandwiches, mainly Maid-Rites or Tavern Burgers. I never heard the word Sloppy Joe until I was an adult and moved away, and then no-one seemed to know what a Maid-Rite was!

Maid-Rite Sloppy Joe Tavern Burger old Church Cookbook recipe
This is the old family, Church Cookbook recipe for the Maid-Rite made with Campbell’s Chicken Gumbo Soup.

If you’ve never encountered a Maid-Rite, it’s seasoned ground beef served on a soft, white bun (preferably steamed.) It is a lot like a Sloppy Joe but doesn’t have that sweet tomato sauce. This is the Maid Rite I grew up on, & the one I see now & then in Church cookbooks.

The name comes from the Maid-Rite franchise chain, although the recipe for this home-made version is quite a bit different than the original franchise version, which only has a blend of secret spices.

There’s a  surprise ingredient in these Maid-Rites. Campbell’s Chicken Gumbo Soup. Yeah, really. Now you know (if you follow me, and if you don’t, I’d love it if you did!) I like to do clean eating, from scratch cooking, but in this case nostalgia wins out! (Besides, talk about an easy recipe!)

Maid-Rite Sloppy Joe Tavern Burger old Church Cookbook recipe
This is the old family, Church Cookbook recipe for the Maid-Rite made with Campbell’s Chicken Gumbo Soup.

Maid-Rites area just good basic family fare (but you could always add a little hot sauce) and this makes enough to feed a crowd & makes great leftovers. If you have a smaller family, maybe you’ll want to stash some in the freezer.

I’m giving you two recipes, here. One is the traditional stove-top version and the other an Instant Pot recipe. Both are easy, but what the instant pot buys here is a little time savings, and the ability to set it and forget it, and walk away until it’s done.

As far as price savings, it’s the everyday items that really add up, more so than the occasional specialty item. If your family uses two  pounds of ground beef a week, over a year you’ll see savings by stocking up and freezing when it’s at a low. 2 pounds x 52 x $1.89 =  $196.56. At $2.49 a pound it’s $258.96. At $4.49 a pound, it’s $466.96. Just a little food for thought.

Maid-Rite Sloppy Joe Tavern Burger old Church Cookbook recipe
This is the old family, Church Cookbook recipe for the Maid-Rite made with Campbell’s Chicken Gumbo Soup.

Maid-Rites Instant Pot

  • Servings: abt 15
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 onion finely diced (or 1/2 teaspoon onion powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cans (10 3/4 ounces) Chicken Gumbo Soup, one can strained and liquid discarded
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 heaping tablespoons plain yellow mustard

Preheat the instant pot using the Saute function. Add the ground beef & onion & cook until the beef is no longer pink, using a wooden spoon or potato masher to break down the ground beef. Remove the instant pot liner and drain excess fat, if desired, and return the pot & ground beef mixture to the Instant Pot.

Add the remaining ingredients, except the buns. Add the lid and seal and set to high pressure, seven minutes. When time is up, use the quick release.

The beef mixture will still have quite a bit of liquid in it. Press the clear button, then the saute button and simmer, stirring now and then, until reduced to the point that when a spoon is run across the bottom of the pan, the space doesn’t fill in immediately with liquid. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve on buns with desired accompaniments.

And the traditional stove-top version:

Maid-Rites

  • Servings: abt 15
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 onion finely diced (or 1/2 teaspoon onion powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cans (10 3/4 ounces) Chicken Gumbo Soup
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 heaping tablespoons plain yellow mustard

Add ground beef and onion to a large high-sided pan or Dutch oven. Cook over medium-high heat until beef is no longer pink,  using a using a wooden spoon or potato masher to break down. Drain excess fat, if desired, and return the pan to the stove-top.

Add the remaining ingredients, except buns; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring now and then, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until mixture reaches desired thickness.

Simmer to the point that when a spoon is run across the bottom of the pan, the trail doesn’t fill in immediately with liquid. Taste and adjust seasons.

Serve on buns with desired accompaniments.

A photo of my home-town from downtown looking toward the lake.

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I’ll be posting this recipe on Fiesta Friday #189; Fiesta Friday is an ongoing “link” party where bloggers join together and share their best recipes and party ideas of the week.

25 thoughts on “Maid-Rite Sandwiches – Instant Pot or Stove-top”

    1. It was fun to see it – we’re all about the lakes in our family! I live across the road from one in mpls. with a beach down the block, although my dogs always swim in it more than me. My son is a pretty strong swimmer and has swam across it several times. It’s not real large, but all the same it worried me.

      1. That’s awesome Mollie! We are basically lake-less here. So I love all the lakes in Wisconsin, especially up north. I would for sure be worried if my son swam across a lake!! He must be a real fish! You live in a beautiful place– would love to see Minnesota one of these days! xo

        1. I wish I would have been around when you came through on the way to Wisconsin (or at least I had assumed you did, maybe not!) but Minnesota is a magical place. It has to be to put up with the winters, lol!

  1. Hi Mollie! I grew up on these things! But we did call them Sloppy Joes. My mom would slice french rolls, mound the meat on top and then a slice of processed cheese and broil them open faced in the oven to melt the cheese. We thought they were so fancy! Yours look great! And lvoe the bright green corn holders!! Fun post!! xox

  2. Now that does look like a yummy dinner, but in my neck of the woods those look a little on the sloppy joe-y side of the line. We tend to eat our maid rites with just finely minced onion and seasoning in there. If you want ketchup or anything tomato based it would be added on top not stirred in. We have a maid rite in town. We don’t go often, but there are family and friends who just have to go when they are in town. They do make really good from scratch pies, so it would be worth going just for them! I haven’t made maid rites or sloppy joes in a while. I suppose I need to get on it! 🙂

    1. I know these aren’t the traditional restaurant version, that’s for sure – I’ve been to the original Maid-Rite and it is just as you describe. Meat and maybe a few spices. How cool that you have one still in your town, Carlee!! The last Maid Rite I had was on a trip through Iowa on my way to pick up Chance when he was a puppy. It was hard to decide whether to get a Maid-Rite or an Iowa Pork Tenderloin sandwich – which some people call a Breaded Pork Tenderloin. The simple answer would have been have both, lol, I just couldn’t do it! Too full!!

      We also had a small place when I was growing up called Joe’s (my neighbor) who made the best “Joe Burgers” which were loose-meat sandwiches in the line of the real Maid-Rites.

      These aren’t as tomatoey as they look, but this old Gumbo soup recipe has been around at least since the early 60’s – it was a staple when I was growing up. I don’t think I ever used a recipe before I wrote this one down!

  3. Used to make these all the time but am not sure where you can get chicken gumbo soup anymore! Anyway, they are delicious and a nice change from sloppy joes.

    1. Hi Kay. My parents live in a smaller town and I had to pick it up on a drive to Sioux Falls! I just couldn’t imagine I’d not see it at the grocery store, here. I was a little Gobsmacked!

      I haven’t made maid-rites like this for ages and ages and that familiar taste just brought me right back to childhood.

      I’m guessing that maybe this was a back of the can or a Campbell’s cookbook recipe originally?

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