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Loose Meat Sandwich (Maid Rite Copycat)

This copycat Maid Rite loose meat sandwich is the perfect dinner recipe! Deliciously seasoned beef with pickles and onions piled high on a bun.

Loose Meat Sandwich (Maid Rite Copycat) on a white plate.

Do you all remember the TV show Roseanne when she worked at The Lanford Lunch Box? They served loose meat sandwiches, and I NEEDED to try them immediately after hearing that name.

This sandwich is tangy, flavorful, and easy to make. It’s a simple sandwich with a big flavor.

I’ve been making these sandwiches for a while, and it just occurred to me that I should share them on the blog. These sandwiches are reminiscent of Sloppy Joe’s. They are messy without being sloppy. And they don’t contain any tomatoes.

The fun thing about a sandwich like this is that it has many names! Depending on where you’re buying your sandwich in the Midwest, you might hear it called a tavern sandwich, Maid-Rite sandwich, or ground beef sandwich.

Well, as we all know, the Lanford Lunch Box is not real, so luckily, you can make this loose-meat sandwich at home or try it at Maid-Rite, Tastee, or Canteen Lunch in the Alley.

Ingredients for Loose Meat Sandwich (Maid Rite Copycat) on a table.

Ingredients for a loose meat sandwich

  • Ground beef
  • Chopped onions
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Yellow mustard
  • Beef stock
  • Spices
  • Buns
  • Pickles
  • Ketchup

How to make

This sandwich is similar to making a Sloppy Joe but without a tomato-based sauce. First, you’ll brown your meat with chopped onions. Once it’s no longer pink, pour in beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, yellow mustard, and spices.

Gently simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed, but the meat is still moist.

For serving, pile high on a soft bun and top with additional onions, pickles, and any condiment you choose. My favorite condiment is extra yellow mustard!

Loose Meat Sandwich (Maid Rite Copycat) on a plate with fries.

What to serve alongside

This sandwich is traditionally served with french fries, but you can serve it with any simple side dish salad or eat it plain and skip the sides.

However, I’m a side girlie, so here are some delicious options:

Tips and Tricks

This sandwich is easy to make, but tips and tricks are always helpful!

  • Don’t go too lean on the ground beef you use. You want some of that fatty flavor to help keep the meat mixture moist and tender. I like to use a 90/10 ground beef.
  • This is a simple sandwich, but a good bun elevates it. I used a brioche bun for this recipe.
  • Use basic toppings such as dill pickles, yellow mustard, ketchup, and chopped raw onion.
  • Get fancy by adding on a slice of cheese, sliced red onion, mayonnaise, or even a drizzle of BBQ sauce.
  • If serving for a crowd, add to your slow cooker after cooking and keep it warm on low heat for up to 4 hours. You don’t want the mixture to dry out too much, so add an extra splash of beef stock.
Loose Meat Sandwich (Maid Rite Copycat) topped with pickles and onion.

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Loose Meat Sandwich (Maid Rite Copycat)

This copycat Maid Rite loose meat sandwich is the perfect dinner recipe! Deliciously seasoned beef with pickles and onions piled high on a bun.
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 sandwiches


  • 1 pound ground beef 90/10
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/3 cup beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 sandwich buns
  • Toppings yellow mustard, dill pickles, ketchup, or raw onion


  • In a 12-inch skillet add your ground beef and saute on medium-high heat until lightly browned. Some remaining pink in the meat is ok.
  • To the meat, add in your beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, yellow mustard, garlic powder, onion powder, ground black pepper, and kosher salt.
  • Lower the heat to low, simmer for about 10 minutes, covered, until most of the moisture is cooked out of the pan.
  • Serve on buns topped with your choice of toppings.


  • I’m using 90/10 ground beef. Don’t go leaner than that, or you may end up with dry ground meat. 


Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 477kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 724mg | Potassium: 518mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 11IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 5mg
Course Sandwiches
Cuisine American
Keyword loose meat sandwich, maid rite sandwich, maid rites, tavern sandwich
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About Brandy!

I am a food lover and recipe developer bringing you delicious recipes that taste great and are easy to make! My food is inspired by travels around the world and my love of flavorful food. A list of things that make me happy: cats, Coke Zero, houseplants, and travel. Read more...

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