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Tuesday, January 5, 2021

The Best Maid Rite Sandwiches

Maid rites, tavern burgers or loose meat sandwiches, are a super quick and easy dinner that your family is sure to love! They are a staple around here and for good reason!

plate of maid rite sandwich with cheese and ketchup with cheese and broccoli rice in background

      If you are looking for a super simple dinner for a busy night, maid rites are definitely a great answer!  They are one of those dinners that nobody complains about and it will likely take you longer to make the sides than the main dish. Plus they scale so easily, so they are perfect for parties too.

     Have you ever had a maid right? I am really not sure if they are a regional dish or if everyone knows about these gems.

     If you are unfamiliar, maid rites are a loosemeat ground beef sandwich. It's like a sloppy joe without the tomato sauce. 

    Or like a hamburger, but in little pieces rather than a patty. It is quicker and easier to make than either of them as well!

skillet filled with ground beef and spices ready to be made into maid rite sandwich filling

     There is a chain of restaurants here in the midwest that is famous for them. In fact they share the same name as the sandwich.

      I have never been to any of the others, but I am sure the one in our town is best. It is definitely a fixture here.

     In addition to the namesake sandwiches, they make the most fabulous from scratch pies. They have quite the list of pies available each day and choosing one is the hardest part. I used to always go for one with a mile high meringue!

maid rite sandwich on plate with seasoned fries

      Maid rites don't have to be reserved for the restaurant though, they are easy to make at home! In fact we had them quite a bit during my childhood.

      I don't think to make them very often, they had kind of fell off my radar. Then a coworker brought in a slow cooker full of maid rites for us all a few weeks ago.

      It got me back in the maid rite mood and we've been having them almost every week since. My guys aren't complaining, they are both excited to see them on the menu!

close tavern sandwich with cheese and ketchup on plate

     This recipe has just the right balance of flavors.  It's simple enough but still really flavorful.

      The toppings are definitely a matter of taste.  I prefer mine plain or with pickles. My husband likes ketchup, mustard and cheese. 

    Little Dude likes ketchup and cheese. Pickled jalapenos and cheese would be a fun twist too!

What is the difference between a maid rite and a sloppy joe?

    Both are crumbled ground beef filling that is usually served on a hamburger bun, but they are different for sure.

    Both make great quick and easy family dinners. They are also both great for parties. Just keep the meat warm in a slow cooker and it will be ready when you are!

    A maid rite is very beef forward. The crumbled beef is definitely the star of the show. A little onion and seasoning is added, but that's about it.

    A sloppy joe has a sweeter tomato based sauce.  After the meat is drained, a ketchup based sauce is added and simmered down. 

     We have a great recipe for big batch sloppy joe sandwiches you should check out. It is a great recipe for a party.
dinner plate with maid rite and fries

       If you are looking for some fun side dishes to go with your maid rites. May I suggest some slow cooker corny macaroni and cheeseSummer corn salad would be great too. Or this time of year a pea salad would be great!

       So grab some ground beef and buns. These maid rites are a perfect busy night dinner that are sure to make their way into your rotation!

Watch me whip some up on YouTube:

thumbnail for youtube video

maid rites, loose meat sandwiches, quick and easy dinners
weeknight dinners, easy recipes
The Best Maid Rite Sandwiches how easy it is to make tasty loose meat maid rite sandwiches. It's a quick and easy weeknight meal.
Yield: 6 servings
Author: Cooking With Carlee
The Best Maid Rite Sandwiches

The Best Maid Rite Sandwiches

Maid rites, or loose meat sandwiches, are a super quick and easy dinner that your family is sure to love! They are a staple around here and for good reason!
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 15 MinTotal time: 20 Min


  • 1 pound ground beef*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce


  1. Mix all ingredients in a large skillet.
  2. Brown over medium heat until meat is cooked through and most of the liquid is evaporated, about 15 minutes.
  3. Adjust salt to your liking and serve on buns with desired toppings. 


*Don't use super lean ground beef. We like using 85/15. This recipe scales easily. You can make several pounds of burger on the stove ahead of a party and put the meat in a slow cooker to keep it hot. It's a great way to feed the team or a hungry crew.



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Did you make this recipe?
Tag @carleecooks on instagram and hashtag it #cookingwithcarlee

Maid rites, tavern burgers or loose meat sandwiches, are a super quick and easy dinner that your family is sure to love! They are a staple around here and for good reason!

Shared at The Weekend Potluck


  1. I am not a fan of sloppy Joe’s so I have a feeling I would absolutely love this. What an easy mix to cook up for quick and yummy sandwiches. Have a marvelous Monday!

    1. I like these much better than sloppy joes so I hope you do too!

  2. I've never heard of "Maid Rite". I wish we had them in Buffalo. I am definitely going to make this for dinner this week.

    1. Yay! I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

    2. I remember this burger but, they were made by Taco Bell back in 1970's in Fresno, CA. I remember my Dad used to take us there after shopping at Kmart we would always go there burgers were .25 cents.

    3. Dede, I remember those, too! My sister loved them! I grew up in Concord (East of S.F.) and our Taco Bell had those for year! I remember when everything on the menu was just .25 cents each! :)

  3. These look simple and delicious and very family-friendly! I've heard of loose meat sandwiches, but never this name.

  4. I've never heard of these called this - love it because we love sloppy Joes but one of my girls detests them - she would so eat this!

    1. We like sloppy joes too, but made rites reign supreme here. I hope your daughter likes them as much as we do!

  5. I have become less of a fan of sloppy Joes over the years so I'd probably love this.

    1. These aren't so sweet or sticky, more simple and savory!

  6. I've never heard of these! But they sound great so I need to try them!

  7. I'm always looking for new ways to serve up ground beef, this will definitely be a hit here!

    1. This is a quick and easy one that we love. I hope you do too!

  8. Ha! I've never heard of "maid rite" or "loose meat" sandwiches. I guess the only thing I know is sloppy joe's which would fall under that category. No matter what it's called this does look good.

    1. It's a lot like a sloppy joe, but without the sauce! They eat similarly but taste different.

  9. This may be better than sloppy joes.....will make them..

  10. I've never heard of Maid Rite sandwiches but they look tasty and easy! The best combo!

  11. I love Maid-Rite's and it's obvious you have never had an original one. The proper way is plain browned and steamed ground beef, served on a bun with chopped raw onions and mustard. Period. It's funny but I hate raw onions and mustard, except on this sandwich, it just works. To top the whole meal off, you need a chocolate malt. I'm a former Iowa girl, who unfortunatly doesn't live near a Maid-Rite any longer.

    1. It's funny how we all put our own little spin on things. Now I am craving a malt!

    2. A Maid-Rite has more ingredients besides ground beef. Most people don’t know the secret ingredient.

    3. I've heard some rumors as to what the secret ingredient is in the restaurant's maid rites. We really like this homemade version as it's easy and yummy!

  12. A classic! Love your idea of topping with some jalapenos!

  13. Taco Bell: Bellbeefers...

  14. Maidrites were a restaurant chain in Iowa owned by our neighbor Clayton Blue. While your recipe is similar it did not contain soy sauce sugar or mustard. We make them at our house on a regular basis. Lots of ways to change them up no matter how you season them. TheTmeat is great on a salad my
    kids like American cheese melted in the meat.

    1. We all tend to put our own touches on these simple recipes. Now my husband wants your melted American cheese version! (actually we all do!)

  15. We still have a maidright in Illinois about 40 miles away stop there a few times a year still great food but I still order mine with cheese 😊

    1. Ours is in Illinois too! Cheeserites are soooo good!

  16. Here's a little clarification on the Maid-rite. It is still an active chain of franchised restaurants, in the Midwest. A butcher, Fred Angell, invented them in 1926, in Muscatine, Iowa. My mother worked in the second of Mr Angell's restaurants in Muscatine, in 1936, at the age of 16. Growing up there, Maid-rite's were definitely our favorite burgers. Mr Angell's second restaurant also featured another first, in the US, Car-Hops!

  17. I had never heard the term Made Rite or knew it was a franchise. Mmmm sounds and looks so good! Have a great day!

    1. It is definitely a regional thing, but they are really good!


Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I love reading your ideas!