Maid Rites’ loose meat sandwich may look like a sloppy joe, but it tastes nothing like one. The flavor of these sandwiches is so much better, and with our recipe, you can make them at home!!
If you live in the Midwest, you may already be familiar with Iowa’s famous Maid-Rite restaurant franchise. They’re best known for their loose meat sandwiches – Perfectly seasoned ground beef served on a warm, slightly sweet bun with pickles and diced onion.
My husband and his family grew up enjoying maidrite sandwiches. I wanted to create a homemade version to replicate the restaurant classic. After a lot of trial and error, I came up with this crockpot loose meat sandwich recipe. Trust me, this one is a keeper!!
This loose meat sandwich recipe may seem simple, but trust me – there’s something special about these sandwiches. They’re easy to make and irresistibly scrumptious!
I don’t have a Maid Rite near me, and you may not either, but it’s okay! Now you can enjoy maid rites anytime!! Run (do not walk) to your kitchen and make this Maid Rite recipe!!!
For a delicious twist on a loose meat sandwich, make a batch of burger bombs. They’re made with frozen dinner roll dough – the perfect game day food!
Making Our Loose Meat Sandwich Recipe
At the restaurant, the ground beef is prepared in very large pots. But for this recipe, you’ll be using a crock pot.
- Slow cook the ground beef.
Combine all of the ingredients in a slow cooker, then cover and cook on High for 1 hour. Remove the lid, then continue cooking for 2-3 hours, or until most of the liquid is gone.
- Assemble the sandwich.
The classic Maid Rite sandwich is served on a steamed bun. If you have a steamer, you can use that. Otherwise, warm or toast the buns.
Scoop the seasoned ground beef onto the bread. Use a slotted spoon, otherwise the liquid will make the buns too soggy.
- Add your favorite toppings.
At Maid-Rite, you can order a “Cheese-Rite”, which is the original loose meat sandwich topped with cheddar cheese, onion, and pickles. Other popular toppings at the restaurant are jalapenos, BBQ sauce, and cheddar cheese sauce.
Maid Rites FAQ
While both are made with seasoned ground beef, Sloppy Joes feature a rich tomato-based sauce. The meat mixture is slightly sweet and often enjoyed without additional toppings.
Loose meat sandwiches like Maid Rites, on the other hand, have no sauce at all. The meat has a bold beefy flavor, and the sandwich comes with pickles and diced onion on top.
Pair your Maid Rite sandwich with any of your favorite cookout or picnic side dishes. You can’t go wrong with a side of corn (which Iowa is also famous for) or a side of French fries.
Prep Ahead Instructions
This Maid Rite recipe is perfect for meal prep! Toss everything in the crockpot and let it cook for a few hours while you go about your day.
If needed, you could also cook the meat ahead of time and reheat it later. It will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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How To Store Maid Rite Sandwiches
Allow the meat to cool, then transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. I don’t recommend storing the assembled sandwiches, because the buns will become soggy.
Reheat the meat in the microwave or in a pot on the stovetop, adding a splash of liquid as needed to keep the meat moist.
With love from our simple kitchen to yours.
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Other Easy Crockpot Sandwich Recipes
Maid Rites Loose Meat Sandwich + Video
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
- 1 teaspoon low sodium beef base, or a bouillon cube
- 1 teaspoon low sodium chicken base, or a bouillon cube
- 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 3 pounds lean ground beef
- 8 hamburger buns
- diced onion
- Set slow cooker to high. Add all ingredients except ground beef and stir to combine. Add beef and stir again; be sure beef is completely coated.
- Cover slow cooker and cook for 1 hour, stirring occasionally to break up ground beef. After 1 hour of cook time, remove lid and continue cooking on high for 2 ½ – 3 hours, until most of the liquid has cooked off. Continue to stir occasionally and break up any chunks of beef.
- Using a slotted spoon, serve a heaping spoonful on a warm bun and load it up with your favorite toppings. We love cheese, ketchup and pickles!
- Serve and enjoy!
- To make this recipe JUST like the Maid Rite restaurant does, steam the hamburger buns before you load them up with loose meat.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.
Originally published April 2014, last updated July 2022
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