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).

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)


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