If you’re looking for a Mid-West sandwich experience, then these Loose Meat Sandwiches will fit the bill. It is a quick and easy dinner recipe made of ground beef that is crumbled and browned in a skillet. The flavor is enhanced by adding a few seasonings. Then, it is served up on a white hamburger bun.

Loose Meat Sandwich

My Iowa Food Experience

Little known fact. I lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for a few years. In that time I came in contact with some food experiences that I won’t forget and they became a part of my foodie life back here in New York State.

Iowa is the first place I experienced the Hyvee Store, something I wish was here in NY! That grocery store sold the best ever crab rangoon and was actually my very first experience eating them.

I had a friend there that liked to make beef flavored rice mixes and add cooked crumbled ground beef to it. Then, he would butter a slice of white bread and scoop a pile of the rice mixture onto the bread, fold it up, and eat it. It was surprisingly delicious!

For Easterners (like me) the Loose Meat Sandwich is basically the sloppy joe without the sauce. It can be a messy sandwich to eat, so be sure to have a fork handy to help you out.

maid-rite sandwich

Loose Meat Sandwiches aka Maidi-Rite Sandwiches made my way

One of my biggest takeaways from Iowa was the Loosemeat Sandwich. It is also known as the Maid-Rite Sandwich that you can buy at the Maid-Rite Restaurant in Cedar Rapids, IA. That is where I had my first experience of eating a Loose Meat Sandwich.

There are many ways you can make the Loose Meat Sandwich, but my favorite way is the way I make it for us at home. I cook the ground beef with onions. Then I season it with mustard, sriracha sauce, sweetener, coconut aminos, and garlic powder. And, I always pile on the dill pickles.

I make the Loose Meat burgers keto-friendly (the sweetener is monkfruit) so I can enjoy it on a keto slider bun while the rest of the family can enjoy it on my homemade hamburger buns!

simmering ground beef

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What you need to make this recipe

Ground Beef: I found a new organic Waygu ground beef that I have fallen in love with. I highly recommend this beef as the flavor is out of this world delicious!

Golden Sweetener: I use this particular brand of all-natural golden sweetener. It is my very favorite one. If you don’t mind regular brown sugar, you can use that in place of the sweetener.

Hot Sauce: Hot sauce is used in this house quite frequently and I use several different brands. This is the brand of hot chili sauce I used in this recipe.

Coconut Aminos: I use this in place of soy sauce. It is important to choose a brand of coconut aminos that is keto-friendly if you are following the keto diet. Otherwise, go with your preference.

Garlic Dill Pickles: These are essential for topping the Loose Meat Sandwich. And, because I am addicted to dill pickles, I even use some of the pickle juice in the loose meat mixture! If you make your own, then be sure to try this Garlic Dill Pickle recipe on my other website!

Hamburger Buns: If your not keto and enjoy regular burger buns, then give this recipe a try, it is super easy to make and they are so soft and delicious. If you are keto, then try these Keto Slider Buns. This is my go-to recipe for keto buns.

a sandwich on an acia plate with a bite taken out of it

Make these Maid-Rite Sandwiches YOUR way

The sky is the limit here. Sure, you can make it the traditional way, but why not add a little pizazz to your Loose Meat Sandwich? One thing you can guarantee with this loose meat sandwich is that it is pure comfort food on a bun!

  • Substitute ground venison for the ground beef.
  • Add 1 cup of beef broth to the ground beef while it is simmering. Allow it to simmer until the broth is reduced and meat is not watery.
  • Stir in a couple of tablespoons of sweet chili sauce in place of the hot sauce. This sweet chili sauce is the sugar-free version I use.
  • Melt some cheddar cheese with a little heavy cream and pour it over top of the Loose Meat before sandwiching it in.
  • Stir some jalapenos in with the onion when cooking the ground beef.
  • Mix in some crumbly blue cheese just before adding the loose meat to the sandwich.
  • Top the Loose Meat with a heaping spoon of homemade coleslaw.
  • Pile on the dill pickles, pickled jalapenos, or banana peppers.
Upclose close image of Loose Meat Sandwich

What to serve with Loose Meat Sandwiches

Air Fryer Cauliflower: This is a delicious treat, whether you are keto or not. If you haven’t air fried cauliflower yet, then definitely give it a try!

Sweet Potato Fries are a delicious side to go with any sandwich. I do eat these on keto when I am having a higher carb day!

Pickled Green Beans are just as delicious as the pickles and I have even put these on my loose meat sandwich!

Garlic Mashed Cauliflower for the keto dieter who loves their comfort food next to a sandwich, you cannot go wrong with this recipe.

Homemade Mashed Potatoes for those who don’t do keto, this is the BEST way to make mashed taters!

Loose Meat Sandwiches Pinnable Image

*If you made this recipe for Loose Meat Sandwiches, please give it a star rating*

Loose Meat Sandwiches

Shelby Law Ruttan
Crumbled and cooked ground beef is seasoned lightly and sandwiched between a soft homemade hamburger bun.
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 20 mins
Course Family Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 306 kcal



  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 2 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook, chopping the meat up into small pieces.
  • Cook the ground beef mixture, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the meat is no longer pink.
  • Add the hot chili sauce and sweetener. Stir and simmer for 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic powder, coconut aminos, dill pickle juice, salt and pepper. Cook and stir for 5 minutes, or until liquid has absorbed.
  • Serve over buns with desired toppings.



Calories: 306kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 29gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 100mgSodium: 175mg
Keyword Loose Meat Sandwiches, Maid-Rite Sandwich
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

About the Author: Shelby Law Ruttan

Honeybunch Hunts is a website dedicated to Hunting, Homesteading and Harvesting. Written by Shelby Law Ruttan, author and owner of Grumpy’s Honeybunch, she (Honeybunch) and Phil (Grumpy) have come together in a joint effort to share their knowledge and experience from the woods, to the garden, to the table.


  1. Linda Kilbride February 26, 2020 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    I was born and raised in Muscatine, Iowa, home of the Maid-Rites. which was started in the early 1920s by the Angel Brothers Their recipe is very simple, with only four ingredients.

    • Shelby Law Ruttan February 27, 2020 at 6:53 am - Reply

      Hi Linda, this recipe wasn’t made specifically to replicate theirs. I made it with my own twist and flavors we love. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. […] enjoy as breakfast with cream cheese, sugar-free jam, or to use in place of a burger bun in these Loose Meat Sandwiches for a keto […]

  3. […] Maid-Rite Sandwiches […]

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Shelby I'm Shelby, author of Honeybunch Hunts. I love hunting, homesteading, and harvesting and am sharing my experiences and recipes with you! I hope you will join my journey and find something you will love! Honeybunch Hunts is a website dedicated to Hunting, Homesteading and... read more

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