AuthorLauren MelaneyCategorySandwichesDifficultyBeginner

Loose Meat Sandwich (Maid-Rite Copycat)

Yields2 Servings

 1 pound ground beef
 ¼ cup water
 1 tbsp yellow mustard
 1 tsp granulated sugar
 ½ cup onion finely chopped, plus more for topping
 Salt and freshly ground black pepper
 4 hamburger buns split, for serving
 Toppings such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, pickles, for serving


 1 pound ground beef
 ¼ cup water
 1 tbsp yellow mustard
 1 tsp granulated sugar
 ½ cup onion finely chopped, plus more for topping
 Salt and freshly ground black pepper
 4 hamburger buns split, for serving
 Toppings such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, pickles, for serving


Loose Meat Sandwich (Maid-Rite Copycat) – Recipe

Loose meat sandwiches are the most popular item on the Maid-Rite menu. This recipe of these sandwiches will taste as good as Iowa-classic.

The famous sandwich from Maid-Rite is the one and only! But is it so? Today we offer you a copycat of these sandwiches with loose meat. It will take you about 10 minutes to prepare this copycat!

Recipe ingredients

If you’re not from Iowa or didn’t watch the Roseanne TV show you may not know what a Maid-Rite sandwich is. It’s a loose meat sandwich with seasoned slow-cooked ground beef served on a hamburger bun and it’s really quite delicious.

A sandwich with loose meat is a real American classic of roadside food! Although it is not as sloppy as Sloppy Joe, it is definitely included in the list of sloppy sandwiches. Maid-Rite and Sloppy Joe can’t really be compared. The common things that they have are loose ground beef and a hamburger bun. There is no sauce in Maid-Rite, on the other hand, Sloppy Joe is a saucy, tomato-based creation.

Moreover, there are a lot of similar sandwiches to Maid-Rite and you probably heard such names as:

  • Taverns
  • Beef burgers
  • Canteens
  • Nu-Way
  • Steamer
  • Big T
  • Sloppy Joes
  • Yip-yips

Tavern sandwich

If you are a fan of hamburgers and Sloppy Joe’s you should definitely prepare this Maid-Rite Copycat!

You will need:

  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup onion finely chopped, plus more for topping 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 hamburger buns split, for serving
  • Toppings such as ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, pickles, for serving
  • Ingredient notes

    Ground beef

    Ground beef: The best choice is 85 % minced meat with 15% fat content, thanks to which you will get a wonderful taste.


    Onions: You can add any onion that you like (white, yellow, red, or shallots). There are two options for how to cook onions. You can add them after the meat is ready, if you want them to remain slightly firm in structure. Or you can first cook the onions in order to acquire a soft structure.

    Hamburger Buns

    Hamburger Buns: We recommend you a soft burger bun of good quality, toasted and buttered. You can also use buns for sliders or any other bread, it all depends on your taste preferences.

    Step-by-step instructions

    • Step 1

    Put the beef, water, mustard and sugar in a large frying pan and mix them well. Simmer for about 5 minutes over medium heat, until the beef is ready. We also advise you to break the pieces of meat with a spoon.

    • Step 2

    Add the onion and season to taste with salt and pepper. In the original recipe, everything is prepared with fat, but if you want, you can drain it.

    • Step 3

    Now it only remains to put loose meat on fresh hamburger buns. And don’t forget to add mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard and pickles.

    Recipe tips and variations

    How many Loose Meat Sandwiches you will get?

    This recipe lets you make 4 servings of loose meat sandwiches.

    How to store Loose Meat?

    If you have any loose meat left, you can safely put everything in the refrigerator in a container. This way, loose meat can be stored for up to 4 days. The container should be airtight.

    Can I prepare Loose Meat Sandwiches in advance?

    You can prepare everything in advance and eat it later. We advise you to put the meat in an air-tight container and put it in the refrigerator. Then you can reheat the meat in any convenient way( microwave or oven) and add it to hamburger buns.

    Can I keep the Loose Meat in the freezer?

    You can also put the meat in an air-tight container in the freezer, and when needed you can get it out and reheat it.

    Can I prepare Loose Meat in a slow cooker?

    It is quite simple to prepare sandwiches in a slow cooker. For this, brown the ground beef in a frying pan, then add it to the slow cooker. Add all the other ingredients. Cook on low heat for 2-3 hours. When the meat is ready, put it on the buns.

    Can I add additional seasonings to my Loose Meat Sandwich?

    Alternatively, you can add Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce to add spice to your loose meat.

    Can I add other toppings to my Loose Meat Sandwiches?

    You can feel free to add whatever you like. We have the opinion that you should add what you like in your sandwich and it is not always necessary to strictly follow the recipes. Add pickles with dill, red onion, tomato slices, a little barbecue sauce, mayonnaise, ketchup or mustard. Or you can add them all, it’s up to you!

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    Nutrition Facts

    Serving Size 1 Loose Meat Sandwich

    Servings 2

    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 302
    % Daily Value *
    Total Fat 23g36%
    Saturated Fat 9g45%
    Cholesterol 81mg27%
    Sodium 120mg5%
    Potassium 335mg10%
    Total Carbohydrate 3g1%
    Dietary Fiber 1g4%
    Sugars 2g
    Protein 20g40%

    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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