Real Meals Modified

Level 5: Minced & Moist Perfect Sloppy Joes

Perfect Sloppy Joes

These Level 5: Minced & Moist Perfect Sloppy Joes are sure to be a party favorite! Serve them to your friends and they’ll love the modified meal as much as you do!

Sloppy Joes

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Potluck Fun

I absolutely love sloppy joes. Who doesn’t? I grew up eating them because my dad owned a bar for 20 years and made them frequently.

My favorite thing about this recipe is that it’s easily shared with others. You can take it to a potluck and it will be a crowd favorite. If you want a smaller crowd, you could share it with your whole family for dinner. It’s both kid and adult friendly! Your friends and family will never know it’s a modified meal that is safe for a minced and moist diet! If your friends don’t have dysphagia, let them have it on a hamburger bun! If you are able, you can eat this on a transitional solid, something like a soft, meltable cracker. 

One-Pan Meal

The other great part about this meal is that you can make the entire thing in one pot. It’s quick and simple with an easy clean up. You can start browning the hamburger and have the entire meal ready in 30 minutes. Then, when you’re done eating, you only have one pan to clean! It’s a perfect meal for a weeknight dinner!

Level 5: Minced & Moist

Level 5: Minced & Moist is appropriate for individuals who have good tongue control and can manage small bits of food, but may have decreased chewing or tongue force. Foods contain visible lumps and are covered with a moist sauce. These foods can be scooped and shaped into a ball on the plate, but no liquid can separate from the solids if the plate is tipped.

Food pieces or lumps can be no larger than 4mm for adults or 2mm for children and must fit between the tines of a fork; this is called the Fork Test. Minced & Moist recipes must pass both the Fork Test and the Spoon Tilt Test, in which the food must hold its shape on a spoon but fall off easily if tilted or lightly flicked. We recommend watching IDDSI’s Youtube video of the Spoon Tilt Test before you cook as well as during the testing of your final modified portion.

Always test your food before serving to ensure that it meets all the IDDSI testing guidelines.

The hardest part here will be to ensure that the pieces are small enough to fit the minced and moist criteria. Personally, I like to take a metal spatula and break up all the small pieces. This may take a little bit of time. You could also put the meat in a food processor and pulse it a couple of times to break up the meat before it turns into a mushy puree.

Sloppy Joes

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Sloppy Joes
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5 from 4 votes

Level 5: Minced & Moist Perfect Sloppy Joes

These Level 5: Minced & Moist Perfect Sloppy Joes are sure to be a party favorite! Serve them to your friends and they'll love the modified meal as much as you do!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Level 5: Minced & Moist
Servings: 8
Calories: 143kcal


  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons minced dehydrated onion
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 dash Worcestershire sauce


  • Brown hamburger in a large pot along with the dehydrated onion. Use a metal spatula to break the beef into 4mm sized pieces.
  • Once cooked all the way through, drain grease off of the hamburger.
  • Mix in ketchup, yellow mustard, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce.
  • Taste and adjust for seasoning as needed. If any large pieces remain, ensure that they are broken up into 4mm sized pieces.


Calories: 143kcal

Did you make this recipe?  Let us know how it went below!

5 thoughts on “Level 5: Minced & Moist Perfect Sloppy Joes”

  1. 5 stars
    Another hit for the family. I love these recipes because everyone in the family likes the end product. I don’t like the idea of my dad having to eat “different” food than the rest of the family, so it’s nice to find recipes that we can all eat and enjoy. Thank you!

  2. Hi there! I am brand new to this so please forgive me. I have a 15 month old who has been advanced to minced and moist. I made this and it was absolutely delicious but I found I still had to chew it even after breaking it up so I didn’t feed it to him. I used low fat hamburger, is that where I went wrong? Thanks so much!

    1. Hello! Level 5: Minced & Moist does require minimal chewing ability according to IDDSI. A good texture test is whether you can smash the lumps with your tongue on the roof of your mouth. If your hamburger is coming out too browned, you may need to reduce the temperature and cook it for a longer time on slower heat.

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