Turkey Sloppy Joes*

Growing up we didn’t eat what other kids at school ate. We never had hamburger helper (not that that’s a bad thing, but now my 17 year old baby sister thinks its ahmazing). We didn’t eat take out a lot…in fact it was a really rare treat to have dinner out somewhere. And we definitely didn’t have sloppy joes.

At our house, we had real dinners. Meat, vegetable, starch-y something…and more often than not, we also got something fun like cake for dessert. Sure sometimes my Mom made easy things like spaghetti or beans & rice (two things that I seriously dislike today), but more often than not we had a really good dinner on the table.

But it’s funny, while I never had them growing up…I LOVE SLOPPY JOES. Seriously. I love the name, I love to say the name, I love how they taste and I really love how easy they are to make. A tasty, ass friendly dinner on the table in under 20 minutes? You just can’t beat that my friends!

I know that it’s a “comfort food” and most people think they are crap food…but when made right, boy are they good! If you don’t believe me, please prove me wrong and give these Turkey Sloppy Joes a chance. You won’t miss the beef, they have a little bit of heat to them from the crushed red pepper and they are only 246 calories a piece! :-)



Turkey Sloppy Joes

Yield: 6 Sloppy Joe Burgers

Total Time: 20 minutes

Recipe Note: This reheats wonderfully! Pop it into a airtight container and save the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!


  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 16 oz extra lean ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 6 whole wheat buns


Preheat broiler.*

In a small bowl, whisk together ketchup, dijon mustard, worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, red wine vinegar and tomato sauce. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add onion and cook, stirring as needed, for 5 minutes or until translucent.

Add turkey and cook until browned through, breaking it up with a spatula/spoon as it cooks. Add chili powder, crushed red pepper, salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes more and then add the ketchup mixture, stirring to evenly coat turkey mixture.

Simmer for 5 minutes more, or until thickened. While sauce thickens, lightly toast buns under the oven broiler, cut side up, for 2 minutes. Divide turkey mixture evenly among hamburger buns and serve immediately!


*I have heard many times that you do not actually need to preheat your broiler. I have no idea if that's true, but I still preheat mine anyways. :)

-Nutrition Information-
Per 1 Sloppy Joe: 246 Calories. 5g Fat. 30.3 Carbs. 5g Fiber. 24.2 Protein.
or 6 WW Points Plus

Inspired by  Cooking Light

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41 Responses to “Turkey Sloppy Joes”

  1. 1

    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — April 26, 2012 @ 12:55 am

    I’ve made turkey sloppy joes before and you’re right, you don’t even know that the meat isn’t there! Can’t wait to give your version a try and stuff myself with this “ass friendly” dish :)

  2. 2

    Averie @ Averie Cooks — April 26, 2012 @ 1:12 am

    I love sloppy joe sauce…it’s the best! Random fact, Manwich (until you add the meat) is vegan. I love manwich but not meat. Lol. Seriously these look so good and I bet it felt good to step back from the mini donuts for a minute and make something savory.

    • Jessica replied: — April 26th, 2012 @ 1:14 am

      Oh girl! You are so right!

      I turn in the manuscript this weekend and I will be so happy to be back to anything but 100 mini donuts haha :)

  3. 3

    Heather of Kitchen Concoctions — April 26, 2012 @ 1:54 am

    I spy fabric from your instagram pic! I love the yellow! I always use ground turkey for almost everything I make. I never miss the beef!

  4. 4

    Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats — April 26, 2012 @ 2:20 am

    oh my! I love sloppy joes! I always forget about them! I love even more that youve healthified them! I cant wait to throw these on the table sometime soon! YUM!

  5. 5

    Blog is the New Black — April 26, 2012 @ 5:07 am

    We had real dinners, too…. hamburger helper slipped in there once in awhile, though! 😉 This looks great!

  6. 6

    Kathryn — April 26, 2012 @ 5:24 am

    I’ve never had a sloppy joe but always been quite intrigued by them, maybe I shall have to lose my sloppy joe virginity!

  7. 7

    branny — April 26, 2012 @ 6:28 am

    Mmm, I can’t take my eyes off the sweet potato fries. My mom didn’t make these growing up either and I didn’t eat lunch in the school cafeteria so I was an adult the first time I had them. Nowadays I make sloppy joes with lentils which might lighten them up a little more. These look great, though.

    • Jessica replied: — April 26th, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

      I love the idea of using lentils…but the hubs isn’t a huge fan of them. :-/

      P.S. I know. Sweet Potato Fries rock my socks!

  8. 8

    Becki's Whole Life — April 26, 2012 @ 6:51 am

    I love sloppy joes and I have to say they were definitely in the rotation at my house growing up. Especially if my dad wasn’t going to be home because he was definitely a meat starch veggie meal guy.

  9. 9

    Jen @ BeantownBaker.com — April 26, 2012 @ 7:22 am

    I grew up in the opposite kind of a house. Sloppy Joes were a regular. I haven’t had one in YEARS.

  10. 10

    Cassie — April 26, 2012 @ 9:52 am

    Man, I love sloppy joes but never make them. That needs to change. These look awesome, Jessica!

  11. 11

    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — April 26, 2012 @ 10:11 am

    We never had sloppy joe’s either growing up and I seriously hated my mom for it thinking we were totally missing out. Obviously, she was right. Hate when that happens…
    PS- I loved #11 in your Dear baby sister post. So flipping true! ha

  12. 12

    Gina @ Running to the Kitchen — April 26, 2012 @ 10:12 am

    *and by sloppy joe’s I meant hamburger helper. Duh.

  13. 13

    Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) — April 26, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

    Manwich sloppy joes are one of my ultimate comfort foods. On a butter grilled bun, they just can’t be beat. I would love to try a homemade version–and turkey is certainly “ass friendly” haha!–but I know Manwich will always have a place in my heart :)

  14. 14

    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts — April 26, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

    We don’t have sloppy joes often, but always love when we do! I often use turkey as well or half turkey/half lean ground beef!

  15. 15

    Rebecca — April 26, 2012 @ 1:24 pm

    That sounds really good! I’ll have to try it this next week. However, for some unknown reason, ketchup makes our little girl vomit. So any ideas what I can use instead of ketchup? Thanks!

    • Jessica replied: — April 26th, 2012 @ 1:59 pm

      Oh no that stinks!

      I think you could just add in an extra 3 tablespoons tomato sauce and an extra 1 tablespoon tomato paste. That way, it’s the same texture as the ketchup and also still tomato-y.

      Let me know if you try it and what happens! 😀

  16. 16

    Julie @ Sugarfoot Eats — April 26, 2012 @ 2:17 pm

    One of my BFF’s always hosted a Friday night dinner party. When it was my birthday, she asked what I wanted for Friday night B-day dinner. I seriously asked for sloppy joes & tater tots!! :)

  17. 17

    Joanne — April 26, 2012 @ 9:25 pm

    My mom definitely relied on some traditional staples to feed us during the week….I think we had rice-a-roni daily. ugh.

    I would have much preferred these from-scratch sloppy joes! They get a bad rep but they really can be tasty!

  18. 18

    Maggie @MaggieCooks — April 26, 2012 @ 9:40 pm

    I want a bite of that burguer !!!
    looks soooooooooo good! :)
    Your pictures are gorgeous!

  19. 19

    Paula — April 26, 2012 @ 10:38 pm

    Love that you use the term “ass-friendly” and love the sound of these sloppy joes. As a side note, I purchased Hamburger Helper once when my kids were younger and still at home….never again!!

  20. 20

    Debra Kapellakis — April 27, 2012 @ 6:27 am

    My kids love sloppy joes! We rarely have leftovers.

  21. 21

    rick — April 27, 2012 @ 10:15 am

    As a kid we grew up on sloppy joe’s. Great recipe. Thanks for sharing

  22. 22

    Nicole, RD — April 27, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

    I never had them growing up, either. And obviously they weren’t “cool”…but now? LOVE LOVE LOVE’em!!!

  23. 23

    Rebecca M — April 27, 2012 @ 8:58 pm

    Thanks! I will have to try it. :-)

  24. 24

    Nikki — April 29, 2012 @ 10:49 pm

    We just had sloppy joes (not turkey, though) last night. I love topping mine with some sloppy coleslaw, too!

    And, I’m glad I’m not the only one who has no clue if I need to preheat my broiler or not… 😉

  25. 25

    Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking — April 30, 2012 @ 11:25 am

    Delish looking sloppy joes! I’ve got to try making them with turkey! These look great, Jessica.

  26. 26

    Steph — May 3, 2012 @ 2:16 pm

    I made these the other day…really good and easy to make! I ended up adding more chili powder, worcestershire sauce and tomato paste and reduced the ketchup by about half. What’s so great about this recipe is you can really adjust it to your liking and not have to worry about it turning out wrong. Thanks for the recipe!!

    p.s. I think you meant to put tomato sauce instead of the second tomato paste in the directions :)

    • Jessica replied: — May 3rd, 2012 @ 11:06 pm

      Awesome! I agree, that is totally the best part. I like being able to make it my own…or switch out ingredients if I happen to run out of something and don’t want to go to the store. :)

      Thanks for that! I did mean tomato sauce!! haha

  27. 27

    Rebecca M — May 5, 2012 @ 9:57 am

    BTW, it turned out great! Thanks! :-) I’m making them again this next week.

  28. 28

    Mercedes — May 8, 2012 @ 6:40 pm

    OMG!!! This recepie rocks! You saved me from making some goo with the ground turkey that was being held hostage in my fridge. My husband LOVED them! Thank you!!!! :)

  29. 29

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  31. 31

    Alyssa — January 28, 2013 @ 8:12 pm

    Just made these for my husband. Delicious!!!!

  32. 32

    She Thought, Y Not? — January 29, 2013 @ 9:02 pm

    […] I honestly get all of my recipes from Pinterest these days! I found these healthy sloppy joes and made them right away. They were FAB!!! Plus, the meat freezes nicely so you can have leftovers next week. Try them and dont forget to follow me on Pinterest  Turkey Sloppy Joes […]

  33. 33

    Britt — February 7, 2013 @ 6:15 pm

    I tripled the sauce quantities, added a bit more worcestershire,spices and tomato sauce (on top of using your ketchup substitution suggestion) and turned this into a meat sauce for roasted spaghetti squash! it tasted kind of like bbq pasta. . . in an amazing way! i’m a new reader, but already a devoted one! keep the fantastic recipes coming 😀

  34. 34

    Whitney — September 5, 2013 @ 12:31 pm

    I made these for dinner a few weeks ago – so yummy!! Thank you for sharing your recipe! Also, feel free to check out my own food blog, if you’d like. =)

  35. 35

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    Turkey Sloppy Joes | Sew You Think You Can Cook — October 31, 2013 @ 9:26 pm

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