This ground turkey-based Sloppy Joe recipe is a simple, healthy version of a childhood classic. Put it over zucchini noodles for a low-carb/gluten-free option!
Growing up we were “deprived” of the usual pre-made food delights – I never had Spaghetti-Os, Sloppy Joes, Lunchables, or Kraft Mac ‘n Cheese. My mom was a purist. We would only eat homemade meals, dammit! This was nothing short of torture to my 10-year-old self.
That said, when I came up with this homemade Sloppy Joe recipe I had to ask Vegas if this tasted like the “real” thing. She confirmed that the flavor was spot on… minus the fatty ground beef and the trashy white bread. I call that a win.
As an adult, I appreciate the care my mom took in making sure we ate well. The way I grew up informed how I eat today. I prefer cleaner, made-from-scratch meals… which means Vegas has to suffer through all of my cooking experiments. Mwhahaha!
This experiment was a double win because I gave her the (gluten-free) sandwich version of a Sloppy Joe, including the slice of cheddar on top. I enjoyed mine over zucchini noodles.
Side note: This handheld spiralizer makes my life so much easier.
These Sloppy Joes are better for you than the canned variety, and they’re MUCH tastier. I loved the fresh tomatoes in the sauce, and the natural sweetness the carrots added.
Rather than beef, I used lean ground turkey sent to me from Jennie-O. It was a perfect lighter option (read: left plenty of room for seconds).
Turkey Sloppy Joes
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1/2 C yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 C chopped green pepper
- 1 carrot, peeled and minced
- 1 T tomato paste
- 18 oz (1 jar) whole peeled tomatoes, diced
- 2 T spicy mustard
- 1 T Worcestershire
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp pepper
For a Sandwich
- 8 slices of bread or 4 buns, split
- 8 cheese slices
For a Zucchini Noodle Dish
- 3 zucchinis, spiralized
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add in oil. Once hot, stir in turkey, onion, pepper, and carrot.
- Cook, breaking up the turkey as you go, until the turkey is cooked and veggies are soft (~ 5 mins).
- Meanwhile, whisk together remaining ingredients for the sauce.
- Stir the sauce into the turkey mixture and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce thickens slightly (3-4 mins).
- Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
- When ready to serve, preheat broiler.
- Place the bottom buns on a baking sheet and top with turkey mixture. Cap each bun with a cheese slice and place under a broiler until it melts. Remove and top the other piece of bread.
- If you're using zucchini noodles as your base, simply spoon the turkey mixture over your noodles.
I feel like I need to apologize to my mom for all the times I begged for trashy food. Kids… sigh.
To the mammas: do your kids beg for the packaged stuff?
What’s your favorite trashy childhood food?