Kid Friendly Meals


December 19, 2019

Kid-Friendly Rudolph Mini Sloppy Joe Sandwiches

Happy December! It’s @lunchesandlittles here, and we are so excited to be back on the Munchkin Blog today. Can you even believe that Christmas is almost here? This holiday season has been going by so fast, but don’t worry- there is still time for a festive meal or two, and we have a great recipe for you all today!

If you follow us over on our feed, @lunchesandlittles you already know that we like to play with our food a bit and make healthy meals fun. Our festive Rudolph Mini Sloppy Joe Sandwiches are soo kid-friendly, fun, and easy to make. Talk about the best of both worlds. These little sandwiches feature a bright red Rudolph nose (aka grape tomatoes) as well as fully edible eyes, made with mozzarella cheese sticks and black olives. Pretty cool, right?

These little sandwiches are perfect for any day leading up to Christmas- think play dates, a fun kid-friendly food for a Christmas gathering, and so on. We make these every year and they always bring a bunch of smiles. Your little ones will love them and the adults- they will enjoy this fun take on a classic Christmas character too! AND- this recipe is perfect for this busy time of year, because it is super easy, requires foods that most consider kitchen and pantry staples and takes minimal time. We know some food art can be really tricky and time-consuming, but these Rudolph Mini Sloppy Joe Sandwiches have YOUR name on them! Anyone can make them- we promise!


Check out the recipe and instructions below, and be sure to tag #munchkininc and #lunchesandlittles in your posts! *And, as always, before starting, be sure to read through the entire recipe below, to ensure best results!

Rudolph Mini Sloppy Joe Sandwiches

INGREDIENTS (for sandwiches):

  • 2 lbs ground turkey or lean ground beef
  • 1 medium-sized green pepper; diced
  • half of 1 medium-sized onion; diced
  • 1- 1 and 1/2 cups ketchup of choice
  • 1 and 1/2 tbsp brown sugar (more or less as desired)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • slider buns, or rolls (we used Kings Hawaiian’s original rolls)

INGREDIENTS (for reindeer touches):

  • pretzel twists
  • mozzarella cheese sticks
  • black olives
  • grape tomatoes
  • toothpicks


  • Start off by dicing your pepper and onion. Then set aside.
  • Next, in a large skillet over medium heat, brown your ground turkey or beef for a couple min., then add the green pepper and onion and stir it all up.
  • Once browned and cooked through, drain and then return to heat/skillet.
  • Now, add in your ketchup, brown sugar, garlic powder, and water. Stir until well incorporated.
  • Cover skillet and turn heat to low. Allow to simmer for at least 20 min. until all saucy and yummy.
  • Pile meat mixture on sliced (halved) buns or rolls.
  • For reindeer touches:
    • Nose: Place grape tomatoes on toothpicks (can also cut tomatoes in half if desired) and slide into bun, as shown.
    • Eyes: Cut mozzarella cheese stick into small pieces, retaining it’s shape. Then, using a small straw (stainlees steel will work best) punch out a hole into each cheese piece/circle. Set aside. Next, cut black olives in half, then using the same straw cut out a small piece of olive and insert olive piece inside of hole in mozzarella cheese. See below. Attach with half of a toothpick, similar to how you attached the tomatoes. Alternatively, you could use candy eyes from the store and attach with peanut butter, a drop of honey, etc. (anything to make them stick to the bun). Attach candy eyes with a drop of honey, peanut butter, etc.; just something sticky you have on hand.
    • Antlers: Break pretzel twists into halved pieces to resemble antlers, as shown. Stick one end of each pretzel into the top of the bun, as shown.

Serve and enjoy these fun and festive little guys (and girls!). If you have leftover meat, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. These would also be perfect for making ahead of time (the meat mixture).

For more quick and easy kid-friendly recipes be sure to check out our feed, @lunchesandlittles where we are making meals and fun snacks like this all of the time. And of course, be sure to check out for feeding supplies and more for your little ones, like the plates and cups you see here. Munchkin tableware is so fun and practical – perfect for all your little ones!

AND- Merry Christmas!

Lunches + Littles

Lunches + Littles focuses on quick, healthy and fun meal options for little ones while sharing practical tips & tricks on how to make meals enjoyable, all the while keeping things simple. A lover of colorful plates and an advocate for getting kids in the kitchen, Lunches + Littles is also a great resource for parents of picky eaters, parents looking for healthy family and toddler recipes and those mamas (dads too!) who are short on time. A mantra of sorts - making meals fun doesn’t have to be hard! With 3 little ones (4 and under) it can’t be! Follow @lunchesandlittles for more!