You’ve seen the movie Billy Madison, right?

It’s one of my all-time favorite Adam Sandler movies, besides Airheads and Happy Gilmore, of course. I quote Billy Madison more than one person should. In fact, I quote far too many movies than one person should.

“Someone, stop me!” {Sorry}.

Anyway, one of my favorite scenes from this movie is when Billy is in the cafeteria with a few of his 3rd grade classmates. The special for the day was “sloppy joes”. They are all sitting around eating from those pale blue-colored lunch trays when the lunch lady appears wearing a peach-colored dress and a white hair cap. In her hands she is holding a large bowl of sloppy joe mixture and begins to plop extra meat down onto the tray, “Have some more sloppy joes,” she cackles with a voice only 50 years of smoking cigarettes will get you. “I know how you kids like them extra sloppy!” Billy replies, “Lady, you’re scaring us!”

I swear, growing up, didn’t all lunch ladies look like that? Now that I think about it, God bless their hearts for feeding hundreds of crazy kids day in and day out. Talk about the least glamorous job on the planet!

Thankfully, my version of sloppy joes doesn’t require a large cafeteria or hairnets because this simple dish you can whip up right in your ol’ kitchen. As a I kid, I loved eating sloppy joes, my mom would indeed make them extra sloppy. I love the kind of sammies after you eat the whole thing you still have scraps of leftover meat on your plate to scrape up with a fork. . . . . .mmmm . . . . now I’m getting hungry.

But! If you’re in a hurry, and a plate and a fork sounds like too much of a pit stop, why not make a quesadilla? I swear there should be more things stuffed inside a “dilla.” Just like there should be more meat on a stick (name that movie?). The possibilities are really endless. I wonder if you could stuff tortillas with mac and cheese?

Food for thought, people.

Sloppy Joe Quesadillas


1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
1.5 cups ketchup
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1.5 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
4 large soft tortillas


Preheat a skillet to medium-high heat. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and begin to saute onions. Once the onions are translucent, add the ground beef and begin to brown. Takes about 7 to 8 minutes. Add ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, tomato paste, red wine vinegar, and salt/pepper. Reduce the heat to simmer and let the sloppy joe mixture hangout for about 5 more minutes or until thickens.

Preheat a pannini press. Take a tortilla and press in half making a half moon. Place about two tablespoons of cheese on one half. Then add about 1/4 cup of sloppy joe mixture (more if you want) and top with two more tablespoons of cheese. Fold the other half of the tortilla onto the ingredients. Gently place quesadilla on pannini press and grill for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until bubbly and brown! Remove from pannini press, let it cool slightly, and cut into triangles!

sloppy joe recipe from Tyler Florence

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