maid rite sandwich {an iowan delicacy}

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We just returned home from a loooong day in the cities… We went to the Mall of America to do some school clothes shopping and then to the Cheesecake Factory to celebrate Gracie’s 14th birthday. All of the walking around has worn me out. But, before I retire for the day, I just had to share this easy, yummy recipe with all of you.

One of my readers wrote to me, commenting on how much she enjoyed making my Sloppy Joes for her family and in the same message she asked me if I had ever tried Maid Rite sandwiches. She described them to me and I decided then and there that I had to try making them. So, I scoured the internet for a good recipe. According to several posts I found online regarding this little sandwich, this is a pretty close replica (as far as I can tell.) Several people said that the “secret” to making them taste authentic is to add cola, which I did. There are LOTS of recipes online, some with cola and some without. I personally like the sweetness the cola adds to the sauce, and what I noticed is that most of the time when I found a recipe that didn’t include cola, it did include sugar or brown sugar.

These really are awesome and remind me a bit of the Coney sauce I make for my Coney Island “Red Hots.” Give them a try and let me know your thoughts!

Read a little about the history of this sandwich HERE if you like. And HERE is the company’s website if you’d like to visit the restaurant!

3 lb. ground chuck

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon prepared mustard

12 oz. Coca Cola

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 to 10 warmed hamburger buns

ketchup, mustard, chopped onions and pickles for serving

Place the ground chuck, chopped onion, mustard, cola, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and salt in a large saucepan. Stir well and break up meat chunks with a fork.

Bring to a boil and then immediately turn the flame on low and allow the meat mixture to simmer for an hour, uncovered. Stir frequently until most of the liquid has cooked away and has thickened considerably.

Warm the hamburger buns and top each with a generous amount of the meat mixture, along with your desired toppings. Die hard Maid Rite fans say that they would never dream of adding ketchup… but we like ketchup on ours, as the picture indicates. You be the judge. πŸ˜‰



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  19 comments for “maid rite sandwich {an iowan delicacy}

  1. August 10, 2014 at 12:37 am

    Looks and sounds wonderful! I’ve got a new sandwich to make for my boys! <3

    • August 10, 2014 at 12:39 am

      And….Happy Birthday, Gracie! I hope the day was fabulous! I still need to finish my school shopping.

      • Melissa
        August 11, 2014 at 2:00 pm

        Thanks so much, Debi! πŸ™‚ I’ll pass the birthday wishes on to Grace. Enjoy the recipe, Lovely lady! xo ~M

  2. Dale Read
    August 11, 2014 at 3:47 am

    So are Chicken Gumbo burgers! Maid Rite burgers with a can of Campbell’s Chicken Gumbo soup added (instead of sloppy Joe sauce). Yummmmmm. πŸ˜€
    (Don’t forget to use your Hamburger Masher to grind your beef while it browns) (Old style metal potato masher πŸ˜› )

    • Melissa
      August 11, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      Ooh! Love that idea, Dale! I will definitely try that and let you know how the fam likes it. Thanks so much for stopping by! πŸ™‚ ~M

  3. laura
    August 11, 2014 at 5:54 am

    I met a guy years ago that was the nephew of one of the made rite owners..he took me to Iowa to the little shop..I have made them many times since..but I use root beer as they did…just a thin smear of mustard on toasted bun, chop pickles and onions up very fine and put on top of meat..only ingredients I used was good ground meat, rootbeer, lots of salt and some pepper…let it cook down to very little moisture left..

    • Melissa
      August 11, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      I’ll have to try your version, Laura! Sounds delicious and easy! Thanks so much for sharing. XO ~M πŸ™‚

    • Ronni
      August 13, 2018 at 10:45 am

      Hi Laura,
      I’m from Iowa and now live in IL. I grew up on Maid-Rites and have always wanted to try to “copy” them at home. I have heard they use A&W Root Beer as the main ingredient, but didn’t know what else they use. After reading your post with your version, may I ask the exact ingredients and how much please? How much beef, root beer and salt and pepper did you use? Did you do this in a pan or crock pot? I cannot wait to try this! Thanks in advance.

      • Melissa
        August 17, 2018 at 10:26 am

        Hi Laura, here’s my recipe. πŸ™‚ You could certainly try root beer in place of the cola. Enjoy!

      • Laura Ann Calvert
        August 20, 2018 at 6:05 pm

        I use good ground beef 90/10 ,two lbs meat,16oz bottle of a&w rootbeer,.i dont measure salt but use quite a bit so wont be too sweet,pepper as you like. Must use scabt amt mustard on buns.mix finely chopped onion and pickles together..i toast buns.add scant mustard, good scoop of meat,onions and pickle mix…i cook mine in cast iron skillet..cook meat and rootbeer til moisture pretty much gone

  4. April 29, 2015 at 1:02 am

    I make something similar that I call “sloppy joes” . It starts with the basic mixture of hamburger, chopped onion & green pepper cooked together. Salt & pepper to your taste. (With this mixure you could even make chile beans if you changed your mind). Then, you add your favorite BBQ sauce (I like a hickory one), just enough to your liking. Simmer awhile. Then, serve it on buns of your choice. Really good & simple.

  5. Mary
    April 29, 2015 at 5:07 am

    You don’t give amount if ketchup it is mentioned in instructions thank you

  6. Ginny
    April 29, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    My Dad used to take me to Maid-Rite in IL. I even tried to find a Maid-Rite restaurant while on vacation one year, but the one we found was closed for the season…what a disappointment!

  7. April 29, 2015 at 6:19 pm

    I used to go to Maid-Rite in Minnesota. Those sandwiches are so good. I used to get them plain add then add cheddar cheese and bacon at home.

  8. Susan
    May 3, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Has anyone ever used ground turkey instead of the beef?

  9. Nikki
    May 3, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    I am trying these tonight. I followed the directions to a T but am wondering if the meat should have been browned and drained first?

    • Melissa
      May 3, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      Hi Nikki! πŸ™‚
      No, you don’t have to brown and drain the meat first. I use extra lean ground beef/lean ground beef in these and never brown the meat first, if you do it will become overcooked and tough.

      Thanks for stopping by and for trying my recipe!

  10. Autumn Gabriel
    May 4, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    Maid Rite usually steams their bun. You are correct, that we wouldn’t put ketchup on a Maid Rite, but do use extra mustard. πŸ˜‰

  11. Priscilla
    January 9, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    I grew up outside of MΓ rshalltown Iowa and every Saturday we went to town for Maid-Rite sandwichs. I am going to try your sandwich.

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