A couple of months ago, I saw several Aldi fans on social media raving about Big Mac sloppy joes. Big Mac sloppy joes are just what they sound like: all the ingredients of the signature McDonald’s sandwich but in sloppy joe form instead of burger patties. As the old jingle went: Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun.
My family doesn’t eat McDonald’s often, but when we do, we don’t usually get Big Macs. I tend to go for the two-cheeseburger meal. My husband, who worked at McDonald’s during his college years, doesn’t usually count the Big Mac among his top picks on the menu either.
But then we reviewed the Tuscan Garden Thousand Island salad dressing from Aldi, which is a key component of the Big Mac. My family like the dressing, and it got me thinking about the Big Mac sloppy joes again. So, I figured, why not try the recipe? That’s how we ended up making our own version of a classic McDonald’s meal at home.
A Google search produces several similar recipes on different food sites. I went with the recipe from This is Not Diet Food.
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 3/4 cup Thousand Island dressing
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 diced dill pickles
- 1 cup diced yellow or white onions
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 4-8 sesame seed hamburger buns
- 1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Cook ground beef with about a tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. About halfway through the cooking process, add the diced onions. Once the beef is cooked through, drain the grease and reduce heat to medium.
- Add mayonnaise, Thousand Island dressing, salt, and pepper. Stir well until the ground beef is coated.
- Add diced pickles and stir well again. Reduce heat to low.
- Toast hamburger buns in a single layer on a baking sheet in the oven, about 4-6 minutes. (Alternatively, you can toast the buns in the air fryer at 400 degrees for 1-2 minutes, keeping a close eye on them.)
- Add the shredded cheese to the ground beef mixture and stir just until the cheese is combined.
- Spoon the beef mixture onto the buns.
- Sprinkle shredded lettuce on top of the meat and put the top bun on, then serve.
The recipe states that this makes four servings, but my family found it made eight servings.
I used locally raised grass-fed ground beef, but all of the other ingredients came from Aldi: mayo, dressing, salt, pepper, pickles, onions, cheese, buns, and lettuce. I picked up some regular hamburger buns for the recipe, but at the last minute, I also spotted a four-pack of sesame seed brioche buns and grabbed those, too.
The original recipe calls for adding the diced onions toward the end of the cooking time, when you add the diced pickles. I wasn’t sure how my family would like raw onions in their sandwiches, so I added the onions to the ground beef while it was cooking to soften them up. It’s up to you when you want to add your own onions.
With all that said, this recipe was a hit with my entire family. Even our more picky eater ate it happily and requested more. The dressing mixture adds just the right amount of savory tang, and the cheese melts in and mixes nicely with everything. It is a bit on the salty side, which is perhaps not surprising considering this is a fast food imitation, but you can certainly reduce the amount of salt you add if that suits your tastes.
My husband and I have never been huge Big Mac fans, usually preferring to order other sandwiches off the McDonald’s menu, but the sloppy joe version of the classic sandwich is surprisingly satisfying. I rounded out our meal with some Aldi tator tots and fresh salad. We’ll definitely be making these sloppy joes again.
Aldi fans have been raving on social media about Big Mac sloppy joes, and you can get all the components for these sandwiches at Aldi. That includes Thousand Island dressing, which is a staple ingredient in the Big Mac. If you’re looking for something different to make for dinner, these sloppy joes are a treat and are worth a try.