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Spoon Burgers {Sloppy Joe Burgers}

Spoon Burgers are a quick and easy freezer friendly meal your family is sure to love!

Spoon Burgers

Some of you might be wondering what exactly a spoon burger is because you have never heard of them. Basically a spoon burger is a form of a sloppy joe.

I have heard regular sloppy joes called spoon burgers, but most spoon burgers are a little different version of a sloppy joe. They are the same basic idea of a meat sandwich, but with slightly different flavors than we normally think of when it comes to sloppy joes.

Sloppy Joe Burgers

The version of spoon burgers I am sharing with you today is one that I have been making for years. They can either be called spoon burgers or sloppy joe burgers.

My family likes these because they do not have the typical tomato based sauce that sloppy joes have. Don’t get me wrong, we love sloppy joes, but we love these for a fun change.

I started making these years ago as part of my freezer cooking meals. I would make a large batch of the meat filling and freeze it in freezer bags. It made for an easy, inexpensive freezer meal and all I had to do was add the buns and a side dish for an simple dinner.

We normally serve this over buns or bread, but it is also really good served over baked potatoes.

I am curious if any of you have heard sloppy joes or that type of a recipe called spoon burgers? It is a regional thing or maybe an older term for them? I would love to hear your thoughts on it. 

Sloppy Joe Burgers


Lynn's Kitchen Adventures


  1. Thanks Lynn! Making this again tonight after reading your email. Such a quick supper and is great with venison!

  2. We grew up on my mom’s Spoonburgers – and they were called that, not Sloppy Joes! Most people know Sloppy Joes, but have never heard of Spoonburgers. I think it might have originally been a Campbell’s Soup recipe on the back of the can? Here recipe is as follows:

    1 lb ground beef
    1/4 cup diced onions
    1 can chicken gumbo soup (sometimes hard to find now)
    2 to 3 tablespoon ketchup
    1 tablespoon yellow mustard
    1 t Worcestershire sauce
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1 dash pepper
    6 to 8 hamburger buns
    opt. sliced mild American or Colby Jack cheese

    1.Brown ground beef and onions together. Drain off grease.
    2.Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Simmer at least 15-20 minutes.
    3.Serve hot on hamburger buns.
    4.Can add a slice of mild American or Colby Jack cheese to each bun.

    When my boys were young I would make both the Spoonburgers and Sloppy Joes. Now I make only the Spoonburger recipe as that is what I prefer – sort of comfort food.

    • Thank you for sharing your version. I don’t think I have ever seen the chicken gumbo soup, but I will have to look for it. My husband would probably like that version. I think you might be right about spoon burgers being a campbells soup recipe. I have also seen a version that is more sloppy joe like, but it called for canned tomato soup. So maybe the original difference was that spoon burgers had canned soup in the sauce part.

  3. Candace Letson says

    I grew up in Michigan, and my mom made spoon burgers. Her version didn’t have the soup. She just mixed mustard, mayo, and Worcestershire together and added it to the ground beef.

  4. Paula Powell says

    Omg. My mom used to make these all the time when I was a kid. No one I know has ever heard of them. When I got married my husband didn’t know what they were. Now we have them all the time! I use your exact recipe except I leave out the Worcestershire sauce. We eat them on white bread with mayo and a side of tater tots.

    • I love hearing stories like this! I am glad to know that others enjoy these too. I have never had them with mayo, but will have to try it.

  5. Elena Baby says

    I grew up in Rockford, Illinois in the 70’s-80’s. My mom is a Rockford native. Spoon burgers came from her side (Irish Catholic) and that’s what we always called them, as long as she used chicken gumbo soup. We also had manwiches and sloppy Joes, but they were totally different.

  6. I went to Crestview elementary in Brooklyn park, MN in the late 60’s early 70’s. They made white sloppy Joe that was called a spoonburger, and it was the best thing they made! We got seconds and thirds on spoonburger day! Going to try your recipe and see if it’s close…

    • I would love to hear if it is close. I think they may vary slightly by region, so I will be curious if these are what you remember.

    • Just found this recipe, but wanted to add my Mom made them with both chicken gumbo and with cream of mushroom soup. I suspect the white version uses cream soup. I’ve also used celery instead of mushroom. Mom picked up the recipe from school cooks at the school where she was teaching. I still make them and my hubby loves them.

  7. Kevin Peifer says

    My grandmother always called a sloppy Joe spoonburgers we always loved her version of this classic. My family is from south western Ontario Canada 🇨🇦.

  8. Sandy Long says

    My Sister use to make these for her Pajama Parties, the recipe was on the side of the Heinz Chili Sauce bottle. She passed away in 1999 and I am still looking for the recipe. Heinz had no record of it. They were delicious and if anyone has that recipe, please share.

    • Was the chili sauce the sauce instead of ketchup based? I think I have seen recipe where you use chili sauce in place of the tomato sauce or ketchup.

  9. Sandra Long says

    I was 13 at the time and now I am 71, I don’t remember. Lol. I don’t remember any soup in it though.

  10. Janet James says

    My father loved these so much we always called them “Bob’s Delight” (try Googling that). He always claimed it was a “secret recipe. Our family cookbook has been lost over the years, but I remember that he used tomato soup (and hamburger and onion of course) I’ve tried to recreate the recipe but I’m not quite there yet. Loved them – it was a special day when we had them for supper.

    • I am so glad that your family enjoyed these spoon burgers. I love to hear the stories behind family recipes. I also love it when a reader shared that one of my recipes reminds them of one they remember. Thank you so much for letting me know!

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