Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. While the pan is heating, grate carrot. Add carrot, beef, and onion to pan; cook 6 minutes or until beef is browned and vegetables are tender. Add garlic powder, chili powder, and pepper; cook 1 minute.
Combine 1/4 cup ketchup and the next 5 ingredients (through tomato sauce) in a small bowl. Add ketchup mixture to pan, stirring to evenly coat beef mixture. Simmer for 5 minutes or until thickened.
While sauce thickens, arrange buns, cut side up, in a single layer on a baking sheet. Broil 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Place about 1/4 cup beef mixture on bottom half of each of 8 buns; top each slider with top half of bun.
With respect to the person below who thought this was "bland and just nondescript", I disagree. We thought it was great.
Modifications: Sloppy Joes are a great place to sneak in veggies: I put in about 1 cup of corn, half a chopped red pepper and half a chopped green pepper. I replaced garlic powder with 2 fresh minced garlic cloves, used good quality chili powder (Penzey's) and used 1 whole pound of ground beef because I hate having just a few ounces left over.
Served on Martin's Potato Rolls with a side of coleslaw. It was delicious!
For sloppy joes, this was excellent. I followed the recipe except that I grated a small amount of onion and carrot since my picky kids would not touch large chunks of either. I was afraid the chili powder would make these spicy but the kids ate em and I thought they had lots of flavor and were not at all bland. I liked them as sliders. I served with sweet potato casserole, onion rings and green salad. Excellent dinner.
We were pleasantly surprised by this recipe! Didn't find it to be too bland necessarily, but I too will probably try and mix it up with a little more flavor - maybe fresh garlic or a fresh herb next time? Or more bit more spices? I will check back for suggestions before making it again. Served it with steamed green beans and a simple green salad with vinaigrette dressing.
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