Iowa Style Maid-Rite Sandwiches Recipe (2024)

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Folks from Iowa are most likely very familiar with the Maid-Rite sandwich. For the rest of you, find out about this favorite Iowa loose meat sandwich!

The Maid-Rite sandwich…it doesn’t look like much, but looks can be deceiving. In fact, the first time I was served a Maid-Rite, I was in Iowa and had been handed a bun full of loose ground beef. I was a little perplexed as it seemed like something I would make on a night I didn’t want to make dinner for my kids – so I’d try to pass off plain ground beef as dinner. (Come on, don’t tell me you haven’t done something similar!).

What I didn’t know is the Maid-Rite sandwich would soon be one of my favorite, easy dinners to make. The beef is tender and flavorful, made with simple ingredients I always have on hand. It’s as easy as serving ground beef for dinner, but 100 times better!

Like all famous midwestern recipes, everyone makes their Maid-Rite sandwiches a little differently. Some people add pickles or pickle juice. Others used dried minced onions. Some add a bit of BBQ sauce. I like the version I’ve adapted to for our family best.

If you’re from Iowa, you’ll have to let me know what goes into your Maid-Rite sandwiches!

One thing I absolutely love adding is a bit of smokiness in the form of San Francisco Salt Co. Cherry Smoked Sea Salt. If you don’t have this at home, no worries. Just add some Kosher or Sea Salt and you’ll be fine…but for that extra smoky kick give the Cherry Smoked Sea Salt a try!

I’ve been making Maid-Rite’s at home for many years now and there’s a reason I’ve never shared the recipe on Dine & Dish. It’s so, very easy, you almost don’t even need a recipe. So don’t laugh that I’m sharing this with you today. Just make it and enjoy having another easy weeknight recipe on hand!

(PS – if you cook with ground beef or ground turkey a lot, this inexpensive utensil is a life saver to break up ground beef!)

The History of the Maid-Rite

I’ve had several people ask me about the history of the Maid-Rite sandwich. There is a local restaurant in Marshalltown, Iowa which is near my husbands home town. The owner of that restaurant started serving the original Maid-Rite sandwiches in 1926 and the franchises expanded from there.

I do know there are a few Maid-Rite restaurants in Missouri and Kansas, but it seems this loose meat sandwich trend hasn’t caught on outside of the Midwest.

One thing to note, a Maid-Rite is not a Sloppy Joe and can’t really compare. The only thing similar is they are both made from loose ground beef and they are both served on a hamburger bun. A Sloppy Joe is a saucy, tomato based creation while the Maid-Rite doesn’t really have a sauce.

Enjoy this quick and easy recipe! If you ever are traveling through the midwest and spot a Maid-Rite restaurant, make sure to stop in and enjoy one for yourself (although I like this homemade version better, honestly).

Iowa Style Maid-Rite Sandwiches Recipe (4)

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4.55 from 31 votes

Maid-Rite Sandwiches Recipe

Famous in the state of Iowa, Maid-Rite Sandwiches are your ticket to an easy dinner your whole family will love!

Course Main

Prep Time 5 minutes minutes

Cook Time 20 minutes minutes

Total Time 25 minutes minutes

Servings 4 -6

Author Dine & Dish


  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 yellow onion minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 4 Tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt or San Francisco Salt Co Cherry Smoked sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper


  • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add minced yellow onion and cook until tender.

  • Add lean ground beef and break up into small pieces/crumbles while it cooks.

  • As beef begins to brown, stir in beef broth. Add mustard, Worcestershire, salt and pepper.

  • Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, or until liquid is mostly gone.

  • Spoon onto buns and serve.

Here are more great easy beef recipes:

Iowa Style Maid-Rite Sandwiches Recipe (2024)


What's the difference between a Maid-Rite sandwich and a Sloppy Joe? ›

While both are made with seasoned ground beef, Sloppy Joes feature a rich tomato-based sauce. The meat mixture is slightly sweet and often enjoyed without additional toppings. Loose meat sandwiches like Maid Rites, on the other hand, have no sauce at all.

What is the famous loose-meat sandwich in Iowa? ›

Maid-Rite. Maid-Rite might be a popular colloquial name for a finely-ground loose-meat sandwich, but the only official Maid-Rites are sold at one of around 30 eateries — 17 of which are in Iowa, along with corporate headquarters.

What is the original Maid-Rite? ›

The original Maid-Rite sandwich was invented during 1926 in Muscatine, Iowa. Butcher Fred Angell steamed hamburger instead of frying it and slurried in some spices.

How many calories in a Maid-Rite sandwich? ›

There are 415 calories in 1 sandwich (3.5 oz) of Maid-Rite Maid-Rite.

What are Sloppy Joes called in iowa? ›

Maid-Rites. Maid-Rites are a popular Midwestern loose meat sandwich, and are full of savory goodness.

What is the name of the Sloppy Joe in Iowa? ›

One thing to note, a Maid-Rite is not a Sloppy Joe and can't really compare. The only thing similar is they are both made from loose ground beef and they are both served on a hamburger bun. A Sloppy Joe is a saucy, tomato based creation while the Maid-Rite doesn't really have a sauce. Enjoy this quick and easy recipe!

What is the most popular sandwich in Iowa? ›

The most popular item on the Maid-Rite menu, these Loose Meat Sandwiches taste as good as the Iowa-famous diner classic. This easy ground beef recipe cooks in just 10 minutes!

What is the state sandwich of Iowa? ›

If I had to pick a food that epitomizes Iowa, it would be the breaded pork tenderloin sandwich. It's the perfect marriage of three out of the four food groups that Iowans cherish: bread, pork and fried.

What is the most eaten sandwich in America? ›

What's America's favorite sandwich? More cheese, please. Grilled cheese, according to the data which revealed that 79 percent of people either "like" or "somewhat like" the ooey-gooey sandwich. That's no surprise, given that it's one of the most classic comfort foods.

Why is it called a Maid-Rite sandwich? ›

He worked to get just the right combination of a special cut and grind of meat and a selected blend of spices. When a deliveryman tasted Fred's new creation, he said, "This sandwich is made right." With that, the Maid-Rite was born.

What is the oldest Maid-Rite in Iowa? ›

Iowa History Daily: On May 1, 1926, the first Maid-Rite sandwich shop opened in Muscatine.

Who invented the Maid-Rite sandwich? ›

In 1926, the Maid-Rite sandwich was born! Fred Angell started the concept in Muscatine, Iowa. Fred began to franchise his idea, selling the rights to Newton, Iowa in 1927 and Marshalltown, Iowa in 1928.

How many calories does a Chick-Fil-A sandwich have? ›

There are 466 calories in a 1 sandwich (187.000g) serving size of CHICK-FIL-A, chicken sandwich. The calorie breakdown is 40% fat, 34% carbs, and 26% protein.

How many calories in a Chick-Fil-A number one sandwich? ›

1. Chick-fil-A. The popular choice: The classic Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich clocks in at 440 calories and 18 grams of fat. Add a medium order of waffle fries to make that a meal and you've consumed 840 calories and 39 grams of fat.

How many calories are in a Chick-Fil-A sandwich? ›

Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich (1 each) contains 39.8g total carbs, 38.1g net carbs, 18.8g fat, 27.6g protein, and 445 calories.

What is an alternate name for a sloppy joe? ›

Some other names for sloppy joes include: barbecues, dynamites, gulash, sloppy janes, slushburgers, steamers, wimpies, and yum yums. What do you call sloppy joes where you live? Just like the many names for sloppy joes, you'll also find all sorts of variations on the recipe.

What is a better name for a sloppy joe? ›

Manwich, slush burger, yum yums, dynamite, spoonburgers, tavern sandwich; a Sloppy Joe can be called by many other names. The most well-known however is Manwich.

Is a loose meat sandwich the same as a sloppy joe? ›

Primarily consisting of finely crumbled seasoned ground beef and chopped onions, a Loose Meat Sandwich is eaten like a loose hamburger, similar to Sloppy Joes but with the absence of a tomato-based sauce.

Is a pulled pork sandwich the same as a sloppy joe? ›

A tasty tomato-based barbecue sauce flavors these ground pork sloppy Joe sandwiches. They're similar to a pulled pork sandwich but much faster to make.

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