Maid Rite Recipe Copycat (Loose Meat Sandwich) - The Food Hussy (2024)

· FoodHussy · 43 Comments

Pin

Share

Tweet

Share

Jump to Recipe

Pin

Share

Tweet

Share

This Maid Rite Recipe will teach you all the secrets to one of my favorite hometown foods! That’s right – this is a copycat of my favorite Iowa Maid Rite. If you’re not familiar – it is a tasty loose meat sandwich – but there’s more to it than just ground beef!

Maid Rite Recipe Copycat (Loose Meat Sandwich) - The Food Hussy (1)

What is a Maid Rite?

Now if you don’t know what a Maid Rite is – think back to the days of Roseanne. Remember when she opened a diner and they served “loose meat sandwiches”? Well – there you go! It’s like a sloppy joe without the sauce.

Besides the OG Maid Rite loose meat sandwich – you can also get aCheese Riteor aBreaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich.

When I go home to Iowa – it is ALWAYS one of my stops! The funny thing is – I always order two Cheese Rites (just add a slice of cheese) or a Cheese Rite & Tenderloin Sandwich and NO FRIES. Why? Because we have french fries in Cincinnati – but we don’t have Maid Rites!

Jump to Recipe

Maid Rite Recipe Copycat (Loose Meat Sandwich) - The Food Hussy (2)

Where is the Original Maid Rite?

Maid Rites originated in the city I was born in – Muscatine Iowa! Now it’s a little bit of a point of contention – as the folks in Newton IA think they started it – butWikipedia never lies– right? There are Maid Rite franchises mainly in Iowa but across the Midwest – also in Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri and right here in Ohio! Our authenticMaid Rite is in Greenville, OH and yes – I’ve been there!

What’s the difference between a maid rite and a sloppy joe?

The Maid-Rite sandwich – aka Loose Meat Sandwich – doesn’t have a sauce. You have the liquid and seasonings but those liquids cook off and the meat is “dry” whereas Sloppy Joes have a thick tomato sauce. My ex-husband referred to the Maid Rite as the “fall-apart burger” – which was a pretty appropriate name.

Maid Rite Recipe Copycat (Loose Meat Sandwich) - The Food Hussy (3)

Maid Rite Ingredients

Here’s everything you’ll need to make these delightful sandwiches:

  • lean ground beef
  • onion, minced – traditionalists don’t add onion to the ground beef but I think it adds flavor!
  • beef bouillon cube &warm water
    • ​you can also sub in beef broth
  • brown sugar
  • apple cider vinegar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Soy sauce (no salt needed here – there’s plenty in the Worcestershire & Soy Sauces)
  • Hamburger buns – make sure you get cheap buns – this isn’t a time for fancy brioche buns! Trust me!
  • mustard – you’ll notice I’m not listing ketchup – here’s the thing – I like ketchup on my Maid Rite but they don’t put ketchup on them in the restaurant. You can ask for it – or it’s on the table – but it won’t come on your burger
  • pickles
Maid Rite Recipe Copycat (Loose Meat Sandwich) - The Food Hussy (4)

How to Make the Traditional Maid Rite recipe?

The Iowa Maid Rite Copycat recipe is easy to make:

  • In a large skillet, brown ground beef and onion over medium-high heat – chopping vigorously until the pieces are tiny
  • Drain grease from ground beef
  • Add bouillon, warm water, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire and soy sauce and bring to a boil
  • Stir and continue to chopground beef
  • Reduce heat and simmer until liquid has evaporated
  • In a separate skillet, warm bun lightly just so edges start to crisp
    • You can also do it in your air fryer or on a griddle top
  • Top a heaping spoonful of meat onto cheap hamburger buns and top with pickles and mustard and you will be reveling in the delight of the Iowa Maid Rite!

Can you Make Maid Rites in the Crock Pot?

Yes of course! I typically make mine on the stove top – but you can easily adjust the recipe to the crock pot:

  • Brown the ground beef in a skillet
  • Turn the slow cooker on low
  • Add ground beef and all the seasonings and liquid – then keep on low for a minimum of 2 hours of cook time – or until you’re ready to serve!
Maid Rite Recipe Copycat (Loose Meat Sandwich) - The Food Hussy (5)

What to serve with Maid Rites

  • Air Fryer French Fries
  • Copycat KFC Cole Slaw
  • Rhubarb Custard Pie
  • Here are 30+ side dishes that go great with Maid Rites!

Other Delicious Iowa Foods

  • Copycat Casey’s Breakfast Pizza
  • Air Fryer Breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich
  • Copycat Carlos O’Kelly’s Queso
  • Copycat Taco John’s Potato Oles
  • Copycat Carlos O’Kelly’s Enchilada de Monterrey
Maid Rite Recipe Copycat (Loose Meat Sandwich) - The Food Hussy (6)

More Ways to Have Maid Rites!

  • Maid Rite Biscuit Bites
  • Maid Rite Sliders with Cheese
  • Maid Rite Crescent Braid

Maid Rite Recipe Copycat (Loose Meat Sandwich) - The Food Hussy (7)

Maid Rite Recipe

The Maid Rite is a loose meat sandwich – and this Iowa Maid Rite Copycat Recipe will teach you the secrets of my favorite hometown food!

4.12 from 167 votes

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 5 minutes mins

Cook Time 20 minutes mins

Total Time 25 minutes mins

Course Entree

Cuisine American

Servings 8 burgers

Calories 166 kcal

Join Our Facebook Group!Check out Favorite Copycat Recipes!!

Ingredients

Instructions

  • In a large skillet, brown ground beef and onion over medium-high heat – chopping vigorously until the pieces are tiny

    1 lb ground beef, 1 onion

  • Drain grease from ground beef

  • Add bouillon, warm water, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire and soy sauce and bring to a boil

    1 beef bouillon cube, 1/2 cup water, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1.5 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1.5 tbsp soy sauce

  • Stir and continue to chop ground beef

  • Reduce heat and simmer until liquid has evaporated

  • In a separate skillet, warm bun lightly just so edges start to crisp. You can also do it in your air fryer or on a griddle top

    Hamburger buns

  • Top a heaping spoonful of meat onto cheap hamburger buns and top with pickles and mustard and you will be reveling in the delight of the Iowa Maid Rite!

    mustard, pickles

Video

Notes

  • Make it a cheese rite by adding a slide of Land o’Lakes American
  • Or make them into Maid Rite Sliders
  • Or make them into Maid Rite Biscuit Sandwiches

**We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.**

Nutrition

Serving: 1burgerCalories: 166kcalCarbohydrates: 24.1gProtein: 7.7gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1.2gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 495mgPotassium: 106mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 4.9gCalcium: 65mgIron: 2mg

Keyword copycat, iowa, maid rite

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Pin

Share

Tweet

Share

Previous Post: « Copycat 10 Vegetable Soup from Panera

Next Post: Beginners Guide to Smoke a Brisket on a Pellet Grill »

Get the FIVE most popular Copycat Recipes!

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Comments

  1. fast fabulous foodie says

    Or stop at the Maid Rite in Greenville OH and load up.

    Reply

    • Brenda Gunter says

      Maid Rite Recipe Copycat (Loose Meat Sandwich) - The Food Hussy (8)
      There is an Original Maid Rite diner in Christopher, IL a few miles off of Interstate 57, Benton, IL exit. This is South of Mt Vernon, IL, and North of Marion, IL. Been there since the franchise was born.

  2. Food Hussy says

    I've been there! Gum wall and all!

    Reply

  3. Anonymous says

    Iowa Maid-Rites are an institution! I remember when the Maid-Rite in Lake Mills, IA burned down about 1969. I was pretty young, but remember a long period of mourning. They rebuilt and I was raised in that place. Your recipe looks great…I'm gonna try it. I make them now with beef broth and a little black strap molasses. I wrap each one in wax paper before I serve them to make it feel just like a real Maid-Rite. It's awesome!

    Reply

  4. FoodHussy says

    Yaaaaaas!!!! I love them! pickles, ketchup and cheese and it's Cheese-rite perfection!

    Reply

  5. kp says

    I wasn't expecting them to taste sweet. I followed your recipe to a T.

    Reply

  6. FoodHussy says

    There's a little sweetness but not too much – hope you still liked them!

    Reply

  7. Anonymous says

    I will be trying this recipe tonight, but thought I would let you know your beef will chop up finer and more easily if you add water to pan while browning it. In this case, I may try mixing the liquid ingredients from the recipe and adding it with the meat so it all cooks at the same time. I use water with the ground beef anytime I want it super fine….like taco meat to resemble taco bell texture.

    Reply

  8. FoodHussy says

    Good tip!

    Reply

  9. Unknown says

    Used to original Maid-Rite's these were not that good. Bland just loose hamburger..

    Reply

  10. Food Hussy says

    Sorry you didn't love them – I think the seasonings, worcestershire and soy really add a bunch of flavor to the meat!

    Reply

  11. Jayne Homsher says

    Heather this recipe for the Maid Rite sandwiches are so good and so easy to make. I am so surprised I made this last night and both my husband and I loved this dinner meal.

    Reply

  12. Unknown says

    This recipe was amazing! I made over a pound for 2 and there is nothing left! So good and can't wait to share with friends!

    Reply

  13. Lame Blind Bob says

    Using salt? As the Made Rite sandwich uses finer broke up ground beef, try adding your salt as the last step of the recipe. With this method, you can break up the ground beef finer and easier. So you are getting closer to the original recipe.

    Reply

  14. Anonymous says

    I love this recipe. I added one final step. Load up the bun with meat, wrap in parchment or waxed paper and microwave for 15 seconds. Perfection! Just like the real deal!

    Reply

  15. Linda says

    Just to let you know Heather, there is a Maid Rite in Cedar Falls, Iowa on University. Still serving the best. I will give this recipe a try. Thanks.

    Reply

    • FoodHussy says

      Thanks! it’s the best I can get in cincinnati oh is to make my own!

  16. Jessica Markley says

    Easiest way to put the meat on the bun is use an ice cream scoop while holding the back side of the buns together. You forgot BBQ Rites, just add BBQ sauce instead of ketchup. I worked at the one in Waterloo for years. I also make a few changes, you used minced onion… I substitute that for onion powder and add some garlic powder. I can’t tell you how much because I’m Iowa born & bred!

    Reply

    • FoodHussy says

      oh we didn’t have bbq rites in muscatine/cedar rapids/west liberty!

  17. Jackie says

    You brought back memories with this recipe. Memories of Neil and lunches with my grandfather. Same hometown

    Reply

  18. Trish says

    Delicious! My husband ate 3 sandwiches…he told me that I needed to add it to our rotation! Easy to make!

    Reply

    • FoodHussy says

      Yeah!!! It’s a hometown favorite!

  19. Anna says

    Thank you for the nostalgia! I live in Iowa so I’ve had many Maid-Rites. There are even still three of the restaurants left in my town. This sounds close. I’ll probably leave out the sugar and I’ve seen some recipes that use pickle juice, may try that instead of ACV (also I just love pickles). And chop up the onions as small as possible – I don’t recall them being noticeable in the restaurant sandwiches.

    Reply

  20. Paula says

    My dad’s family lives in Waverly but over the years they have also lived in Shell Rock, Waterloo & Parkersburg. I’m going to ask my dad about these. I bet he remembers them! I’m going to make them & send the recipe to my mom so she can make them for him! 🥰 Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

    Reply

    • FoodHussy says

      Oh yeah – every Iowan knows about Maid Rites!!!!

  21. Ashley says

    Maid Rite Recipe Copycat (Loose Meat Sandwich) - The Food Hussy (9)
    Wow these were awesome! I loved the little bit of sweetness too

    Reply

    • FoodHussy says

      glad you loved! they’re my fav too!

  22. Jeanette says

    Maid Rite Recipe Copycat (Loose Meat Sandwich) - The Food Hussy (10)
    Always a good go to sandwich. Use my instapot and works out fine

    Reply

  23. GWPDA says

    I prefer to use 3/4 lb of chopped sirloin combined with 1/4 lb high quality beef chorizo (not pork).

    Reply

  24. Sherri Rochester says

    Maid Rite Recipe Copycat (Loose Meat Sandwich) - The Food Hussy (11)
    I have been making these for years. Made it last night after watching Guy’s Grocery Games on Friday. Thank you for reminding me just how yummy these are!!!! Congratulations 🎉 on winning!!!

    Reply

  25. Keaton Alexander Kohl says

    Maid Rite Recipe Copycat (Loose Meat Sandwich) - The Food Hussy (12)
    THE SECRET INGREDIENT! I’m also from Muscatine IA and my mom used to work for Maid Rite and the secret ingredient everyone keeps trying to hit with sugars is actually ******* (haha. i’m keeping it secret now until I can test it!).

    Reply

  26. Gina says

    I am considering using your recipe for a large gathering and I was wondering if you have ever made the maid rite meat and then froze it for later use.

    Reply

    • FoodHussy says

      I have not but it would be 100% fine to do! I would just undercook the meat slightly – so when you reheat it doesn’t get dry. And when you reheat – add a little beef broth to liven it up again!

    • Richard lambert says

      The maid rite at Christopher,illinois cooks it ahead and freezes it all the time for your imformation

  27. Marti says

    Maid Rite Recipe Copycat (Loose Meat Sandwich) - The Food Hussy (13)
    These are wonderful. I lived in Iowa and Nebraska for many years and ate these all the time. This is a great recipe.

    Reply

  28. Barbara says

    Im trying to track my protein. How many ounces is 1 burger please?

    Reply

    • FoodHussy says

      Approx 4 oz – feel free to weigh your own.

  29. CLF says

    Maid Rite Recipe Copycat (Loose Meat Sandwich) - The Food Hussy (14)
    I like the meat really, really fine. The best way I’ve found to do that is to soak the ground beef in water and break it up with your hands until it’s basically mush. The meat absorbs a good amount of water when you do this so keep adding water until you can mix it into a mushy consistency (but not too much or you’ll be cooking it off forever). It looks disgusting but then you add it all to the pan and cook it (keep stirring) you get extra fine meat that kind of holds together a bit when you put it on the buns. I love a good tavern/loosemeat/maid rite!! If I’m really feeling nostalgic I’ll wrap them in waxed paper and let the hot meat steam the buns for a bit before eating (at least that’s how my school served them! And we could get a second one for 25cents!! The good old days lol.).

    Reply

  30. Marcy says

    Maid Rite Recipe Copycat (Loose Meat Sandwich) - The Food Hussy (15)
    So excited to have found your recipe. Most of the other recipes like this had mustard in them. yUCK!
    My sister-in-law”s father ran one of the restaurants many years ago.
    I made your recipe exact. It’s soooo good! I recently had oral surgery so needed something with minimal chewing. I put the meat over mashed potatoes instead of on a bun! It was my favorite meal in weeks!

    Reply

    • FoodHussy says

      So glad you liked it!!!!

  31. Anne Mull Kaufman says

    Maid Rite Recipe Copycat (Loose Meat Sandwich) - The Food Hussy (16)
    I’m from Muscatine, Iowa as well and grew up on Maid-Rites. They are the best. At one time, there were two Maid-Rite restaurants in Muscatine. I always look for them anywhere in the midwest. Thanks for your recipe. And, what is the “secret” ingredient?

    Reply

  32. Susan says

    Maid Rite Recipe Copycat (Loose Meat Sandwich) - The Food Hussy (17)
    Love your recipes and your comments . What I thought would be fun is a posting based on some of the food items you eat(not the ones you tested tested)for yourself during the week…you know, Food HussyEats. This would be in addition to your new recipes postings. What are some of your fave things to eat?

    BTW…my husband grew up on River Road near Delhi. So we are pretty familiar with Cinty.we miss a lot of being there.

    Reply

    • FoodHussy says

      Susan – well here’s the thing – I live alone – so pretty much I eat what I make. I’m usually making a recipe to feed 4 and I’m only 1. I share some with a friend that works long hours. But if it’s not something that you see on the blog – then I’m probably eating chips and salsa. HAHAHAHA! But when I go out to eat – I do share on my Instagram @foodhussy.

      To answer your other question – some of my fave things to eat? Tacos, pizza and Kraft mac & cheese! I’ve been doing quick wraps a lot – my jalapeno chicken wrap is one I eat all the time.

      And cool that hubby is from Cinci – it’s funny you’re commenting on my Maid Rite post because I miss alot about Iowa- which is where I’m from!

Maid Rite Recipe Copycat (Loose Meat Sandwich) - The Food Hussy (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Annamae Dooley

Last Updated:

Views: 5748

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Annamae Dooley

Birthday: 2001-07-26

Address: 9687 Tambra Meadow, Bradleyhaven, TN 53219

Phone: +9316045904039

Job: Future Coordinator

Hobby: Archery, Couponing, Poi, Kite flying, Knitting, Rappelling, Baseball

Introduction: My name is Annamae Dooley, I am a witty, quaint, lovely, clever, rich, sparkling, powerful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.