Turkey sloppy Joe’s have a rich, delicious sauce that can be made spicy or not. A total family favorite! (And psst.. check out the tips on how to avoid a soggy bun.)
I cannot adequately express my love for sloppy Joe’s.
I love the slow simmered bold flavors, the comfort they evoke, even the total messiness.
It’s such a classic and such a family favorite in my house!
I’ve tweaked the recipe a bit and use ground turkey for my sloppy Joe’s. It’s leaner, doesn’t require draining off any grease and we just love the flavor!
The ground turkey is mixed with peppers and a delicious sauce. I make mine a bit on the spicy side unless I’m serving it to the kiddos, too.
I’ve made the spicy parts optional in the recipe below so you can adjust it to your liking.
But let’s walk through this with some step-by-step photos.
How to make Turkey Sloppy Joe’s:
First, you’ll heat the oil in the pan and add the green pepper, ground turkey and jalapeño (if you’re using one.)
Let this cook, cook, cook until the ground turkey is all the way cooked through, with no pink remaining.
While that’s cooking, mix up your sauce. Combine the beer (or broth or water), ketchup, sriracha or chili sauce and the Worcestershire sauce.
I like to do this in a large measuring cup so that I can measure and mix all at once. (Less dishes for later too!)
Once the turkey is cooked through, add the garlic and and chili powder and stir those around to get everything well coated.
Then add in all of your sauce and stir again. It will be very liquidy. That’s OK.
Once everything is well mixed, reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer away.
You’ll want to stir it occasionally but otherwise, this part is totally hands off. It’ll need at least 10-15 minutes to thicken, and you can let it go longer if you want it even thicker.
As everything simmers together, the flavors develop and the sauce thickens and you end up with a swoon-worthy pan of saucy sloppy Joe goodness.
The last thing is to stir in the green onions and adjust the seasonings. Add more salt or pepper if needed.
You are ready to serve!
Now, one valid complaint against the sloppy Joe is that it can be a sloppy mess. All that saucy goodness comes with a price.
Tricks on how to avoid a soggy bun:
- Toast the bun. This gives it a bit of a barrier to stand up to the sauce. But if you like a soft bun, and even if you toast it, I also suggest,
- Spread butter or mayonnaise on the bottom bun. The fat acts as a shield so the sauce doesn’t soak into the bread, or at least not as quickly. (This trick is also good for burgers, so the grease doesn’t get the bun soggy.)
My bonus third trick is what I often do myself for sloppy Joe night. I eat my sloppy Joe mix over a quick and easy microwave baked potato.
Sometimes I’m just not into having double carbs in my meal. I’m also one of those people who eats the whole potato, skin and everything, and so it acts as an edible bowl.
It’s always a good night when turkey sloppy Joe’s are on the menu.
P.S. You may also want to check out cheesy Sloppy Joe casserole for a twist on this favorite!
You can adjust the level of heat in this recipe to make it spicy or not. For more spicy, use the jalapeño and opt for all of either the sriracha or spicy chili garlic sauce (or a combination of the two). For less spicy, omit the jalapeño and use a scant tablespoon of a mild chili sauce. Tricks on how to avoid a soggy bun:
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 490
You can adjust the level of heat in this recipe to make it spicy or not. For more spicy, use the jalapeño and opt for all of either the sriracha or spicy chili garlic sauce (or a combination of the two).
For less spicy, omit the jalapeño and use a scant tablespoon of a mild chili sauce.
Tricks on how to avoid a soggy bun: