Lighten up your sloppy joe game by making Healthy Turkey Sloppy Joes! This twist on the traditional sandwich is high in protein, lower in fat, and great as a main course to your favorite healthy side dishes!
Sloppy joes are a type of sandwich made with ground beef, onions, tomato sauce or ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings. The mixture is simmered until it is thick and sloppy, then spooned onto hamburger buns.
This American classic sandwich can be made in many different ways, including using ground turkey instead of beef! Ground turkey is a lightened-up version because it's lower in fat. This makes it a healthier option and great for those looking to cut down on calories while keeping the delicious flavor intact.
Making sloppy joes with ground turkey is easy and just as delicious as the original! Serve them with a sandwich bun, or use it to top a salad or bed of rice.
No matter how you enjoy them, we're sure this will be one of your go-to ground turkey recipes!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Great for those who are looking for lighter calorie options.
- The ingredients are simple and can be found at any grocery store.
- Ground turkey is a budget-friendly meat option.
- You can serve turkey sloppy joes in a variety of different ways.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Ground Turkey - You can use lean ground turkey or one with a higher fat content depending on your personal preference.
- Green Bell Pepper - Adds fresh garden taste to the meat mixture and texture.
- Garlic and Onion - Both compliment the natural flavor of turkey.
- Hamburger Buns - Used to scoop the meat mixture onto the bread to eat as a hearty sandwich.
Sloppy Joe Sauce
- Tomato Sauce & Ketchup - Gives the sloppy joe sauce a rich tomato flavor along with a touch of natural sweetness.
- Brown Sugar - The deep flavor of brown sugar also adds sweetness to compliment the smoky and salty flavors.
- Yellow Mustard - Adds a tangy acidic note to the sauce that pairs well with the rest of the ingredients.
- Worchestershire Sauce - Gives the sauce a salty umami flavor that brings everything together.
- Seasonings - A mix of chili powder, ground black pepper, salt, onion powder, and paprika work together to properly season the sauce and bring out a smoky, savory flavor.
How To Make Sloppy Joes With Ground Turkey
Cook the ground turkey: Add the ground turkey to a skillet and turn the heat to medium-high. Using a spatula, break up the meat as it cooks until browned. This should take about 6-8 minutes.
Add the vegetables: Mince the garlic and dice the bell pepper and onion. Add them to the skillet and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften. Drain off the excess grease.
Assemble the sloppy joe sauce: Add the sauce ingredients into the skillet with the meat and vegetables. Stir to combine and simmer for 6-8 minutes.
Assemble sandwiches: Ladle the meat mixture onto hamburger buns while hot. Enjoy!
- Chop the peppers and onions roughly the same size to ensure that they cook evenly.
- Make sure to simmer the sloppy joe sauce long enough so that the flavors have a chance to meld together properly.
- Draining any excess grease is important because you don't want your sloppy joes to be, well, too sloppy or greasy!
- Because there is sugar in the sauce, you want to make sure you keep the heat on low while simmering to prevent the sauce from burning.
You can change up this turkey sloppy joe recipe in many ways to make it your own!
- If you want a bit more of a kick, try adding some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to the sauce.
- Not a fan of green bell peppers? Leave them out or substitute them with a different type of pepper, like red, yellow, or orange.
- Looking for more vegetables? Try adding some shredded carrot or zucchini to the sloppy joe mixture.
- You can use crumbled tofu or tempeh instead of ground turkey for a vegetarian option.
- Serving suggestions: Serve sloppy joes on a whole wheat bun, lettuce wrap, or over a bed of rice or quinoa. Pair them with a green salad, roasted vegetables, or sweet potato fries.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Leftover sloppy joes taste even better the next day! Once cooled, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freezing: Turkey sloppy joes freeze well too! Place leftovers in a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months. When you're ready to eat, thaw the sloppy joes overnight in the fridge, then reheat them on the stove over low heat until warmed through.
While turkey sloppy joes are my personal favorite, you can absolutely use a different type of ground meat. Lean ground beef, chicken, or pork would all work well in this recipe.
This depends on your personal preference. If you want a leaner sloppy joe, then use lean ground turkey. If you're looking for more flavor, then go for ground turkey, which has a higher fat content.
Yes! Sloppy joes actually taste even better the next day as all of the flavors have a chance to meld together. Simply store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days and reheat when you're ready to eat.
More Easy Dinner Ideas
- Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas
- Honey Teriyaki Chicken
- Grilled Teriyaki Chicken
- Easy Honey Garlic Chicken Stir Fry
Healthy Turkey Sloppy Joes
- 1 lb ground turkey
- ⅓ cup green bell pepper (seeded and diced)
- ½ cup yellow onion (diced)
- 1 tsp garlic Minced
- hamburger buns
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the ground turkey to the skillet. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until browned, breaking up the ground turkey with a spatula.
- Add onions and green peppers and cook for 4-5 minutes or until they become soft.
- Drain off excess grease.
- Add sauce ingredients and simmer uncovered for 6-8 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
- Serve on your favorite buns, and enjoy.
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.