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I’m thrilled to share one of my all-time favorite quick and easy dinner ideas – the Loose Meat Sandwich, aka Copycat Maid Rite Recipe! 

Maid rite Recipe on a wooden serving board

Picture a juicy, crumbly, beefy delight in a soft bun – it’s all that and more. This Maid Rite Recipe is simple and one the whole family will love!

A favorite in Midwestern cuisine, this sandwich is packed with ground beef, sweet onions, and a zesty blend of seasonings. 

My husband and I had heard of these but never tried them. When we took our first bites, our eyes went wide. These things are so mouth-wateringly good!

If you close your eyes while eating, you might think it’s a hamburger from your local burger joint. It’s got a lot of similarities to your traditional burger. The main difference is that the meat isn’t in a patty.

I’ve seen them called Iowa Maid-Rites, Loose Meat Burgers, or Maid-Rite Sandwiches. There are even more names for them as you travel throughout the Midwest!

Whatever you want to call them, they are a seriously delicious sandwich that I’ve adopted into my regular rotation. With big approval, of course, from Lily and Jeremy!

The ingredients’ simplicity and the blend of flavors make this Maid Rite Recipe a star. Let’s dive in!

Some of our other favorite ground beef recipes we have on our site include: Cheeseburger Recipe, Slow Cooker Chili, and Enchilada Stuffed Zucchini.

Maid rite recipe on a wooden serving board

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:

  1. Effortless to Prepare: This easy ground beef recipe is perfect for a quick dinner. No intricate steps, no complicated ingredients.
  2. Flavorful: The blend of sweet onion, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard offers a mouth-watering, savory, and slightly tangy experience.
  3. Great for Groups: It’s a great recipe for feeding a crowd, and everyone can customize their own sandwich.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED (SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST FOR THE FULL RECIPE CARD):

  • Ground beef
  • Sweet onion 
  • Beef stock
  • Light brown sugar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Yellow mustard
  • Garlic powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Burger buns
  • Dill pickle chips (optional)
ingredients needed to make maid rite recipe

HOW TO MAKE MAID RITE RECIPE:

  1. Add the ground beef and onions in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Break up the ground beef into crumbles and cook until the onions are softened, and there is no pink left in the meat, occasionally stirring for about 10 minutes.
  2. Drain any excess oil. Add the stock, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper, and stir to combine.
  3. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed. 
  4. Serve immediately on burger buns with dill pickles if desired.
collage of images showing how to make maid rite recipe

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS RECIPE:

WHAT IS A MAID RITE SANDWICH?

A Maid Rite sandwich is another name for the Loose Meat Sandwich we’re talking about.

It’s a ground beef sandwich and a specialty of the Midwestern United States.

IS THIS LIKE A SLOPPY JOE?

It’s similar to a Sloppy Joe but without the tomato-based sauce, making the ground beef blend the star of the show. Really, it’s more like a loose hamburger!

maid rite recipe on a wooden serving board

HOW TO SERVE THIS?

Traditionally, these sandwiches are served on hamburger buns with dill pickle chips and french fries on the side.

If you like, though, you could even try it on hot dog buns! You can add your favorite burger toppings like mustard, ketchup, or cheese for extra flavor.

ANY ADDITIONS?

Of course, here are some options:

  • Cheese: American, provolone, cheddar cheese, or mozzarella
  • Spices: Cayenne, chipotle powder, crushed red pepper flakes
  • Extra sauces: Ketchup, hot sauce, pickle juice
  • Vegetables: Sautéed bell peppers, tomatoes
  • Toppings: Caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms
  • Other meats: Bacon bits, ground turkey, ground chicken
  • Condiments: Relish, BBQ sauce
  • Bread: Try a different type of bun or even a tortilla
  • Heat: Jalapeño slices for a spicy kick
  • Sweetness: A little bit of honey mustard sauce

ANY SUBSTITUTIONS?

Yes, there are a few simple swaps, here are my suggestions:

  • Ground turkey or chicken for a lighter version
  • Soy sauce instead of Worcestershire for a slightly different flavor
  • Beef broth if you can’t find beef stock
  • Apple cider vinegar to replace the tanginess of the mustard
  • Coconut sugar or honey as a substitute for brown sugar
  • Red onions or white onions instead of sweet onions for a stronger flavor
maid rite recipe on a wooden serving board

HOW TO STORE:

Refrigerator: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

The ground beef mixture is perfect to heat up for lunches later on!

Freezer: This dish can be frozen for up to 3 months in freezer-safe containers. When you’re ready, thaw in the fridge and warm it up on the stove or microwave.

DANA’S TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • Use lean ground beef for the best flavor.
  • Brown ground beef well for the best texture.
  • Don’t skip simmering; it helps the flavors meld together.
  • Feel free to adjust the amount of mustard and Worcestershire sauce to your preference.
  • Toast the buns for an extra layer of flavor and texture.
  • If reheating, add a splash of beef stock to maintain the juiciness. Use low heat till you reach the desired temp.
a hand holding a maid rite recipe sandwich in the air

This Maid Rite Recipe is a deliciously simple dish that packs a punch. The combination of savory ground beef, sweet onions, and tangy mustard offers a unique flavor that will leave you wanting more.

Plus, with plenty of room for customization, you can make these loose meat sandwiches truly your own. So, why not join all those Midwesterners out there and give this recipe a go? There is a good reason it is such a well-known sandwich. You’re going to love it!

If you’ve tried this MAID RITE RECIPE, let me know how it turned out in the comments! You can follow me over on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK to find some more of our mouthwatering recipes! 

This Silly Girls Kitchen Logo
4.80 from 43 votes

Copycat Maid Rite Recipe (Loose Meat Sandwich)

Author Dana at ThisSillyGirlsKitchen.com
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
I’m thrilled to share one of my all-time favorite quick and easy dinner ideas – the Loose Meat Sandwich, aka Copycat Maid Rite Recipe! 
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Add the ground beef and onions in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Break up the ground beef into crumbles and cook until the onions are softened, and there is no pink left in the meat, occasionally stirring for about 10 minutes.
    1 pound ground beef, 1 cup small-diced sweet onion
  • Drain any excess oil. Add the stock, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper, and stir to combine.
    1 cup beef stock, 1 tablespoon light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon yellow mustard, 1 & 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed.
  • Serve immediately on burger buns with dill pickles if desired.
    4 burger buns to serve, dill pickle chips to serve

Video

Notes

Nutrition is not calculated with hamburger buns and toppings.
  • Use lean ground beef for the best flavor.
  • Brown ground beef well for the best texture.
  • Don’t skip simmering; it helps the flavors meld together.
  • Feel free to adjust the amount of mustard and Worcestershire sauce to your preference.
  • Toast the buns for an extra layer of flavor and texture.
  • If reheating, add a splash of beef stock to maintain the juiciness. Use low heat till you reach the desired temp.

Nutrition

Calories: 330kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 587mg | Potassium: 525mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 3mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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4.80 from 43 votes (36 ratings without comment)

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10 Comments

  1. Can’t wait to try them! I am in Iowa, but the wrong side! The Maid-Rite Restaurants are only in the Eastern half of Iowa. It’s been so long since I’ve had a true Maid-Rite!

  2. 5 stars
    We live in the Midwest where the Maid-Rite restaurants are but I have to say these are better than the restaurant!

  3. Renee Callahan says:

    I haven’t made yet, but am excited to make (hopefully tonight)! I haven’t had a maid rite since moving from Illinois. Lived right across the river from a maid rite restaurant in Clinton IA. My husband has never tried one. Being as I have a gluten allergy this recipe (compared to others I’ve seen) I won’t have to tweak, except the bread of course. Thanks for sharing!

  4. 5 stars
    Made these for supper for my family and they were a hit with everyone! I doubled the recipe to make sure there was leftovers for my husband’s lunch and it’s a good thing because everybody had seconds! This recipe is more flavorful than I remember the restaurant sandwich being.

  5. 4 stars
    Flavor was excellent and easy to prepare and cook. I only added 1/3 cup of broth vs 1 full cup. 4 star vs 5 I couldn’t keep the meat on the bun. 😀

  6. Marlyce W says:

    5 stars
    I’m from Indiana & had never tried one, but my Iowan friend had not had a Maid Rite in decades and was nostalgic for this, so I’m practicing before I see him. I am surprised at how savory this recipe is! However next time I will reduce the broth so it doesn’t have to simmer as long to reduce, and I will also decrease the mustard by a SMIDGE as it seemed a little overwhelming. Overall it is a very flavorful recipe, and a nice change from the sweet sloppy Joe’s we usually have!

  7. 1 star
    I was very disappointed in this recipe. I was expecting it to be great after reading other’s comments. It was alot of liquid and very bland.

  8. 1 star
    Grew up in East Moline Illinois with a wonderful Maid Rite “Cafe” close to home. Very sorry to say that this recipe in no way resembles what I remember, Way too much salt (probably from the beef broth) and way too much vinegar taste (YELLOW MUSTARD.) The true Maid Rite recipe is simple without all of the added razmataz!! I have tried many online recipes and have yet to find one that takes me back to what I remember this truly wonderful sandwich to be. I will continue my search but will definitely look for a simple approach.

  9. Rachel Smith says:

    5 stars
    This was delicious!

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