Turkey sloppy joe

With all of our fancy feasts lately, I was craving something completely on the other end of the spectrum. I brought it back old school with a variation of the school lunch favorite: sloppy joes. Everyone has memories of their elementary school experience when the hefty, hair-netted cafeteria lady would slop the meat mixture onto their open-faced bun. (Pass on the white milk…chocolate milk, please.)

To make it a little healthier, I used ground turkey instead of the usual ground beef. The original recipe came from ChoppedOnions on All Recipes. It was very simple to make and ready to eat in a jiffy. We ended up leaving the sandwich open-faced and eating it with a fork because, like its name, it was incredibly sloppy.

Also, I’m trying out this recipe plugin John installed for me. Let me know what you think. Should I continue to use the recipe template plugin, or should I stick to my rudimentary HTML skills and just list ingredients and directions the way I did in the Vietnamese chicken curry recipe?

Recipe: Turkey Sloppy Joes

Summary: Original recipe from ChoppedOnions on All Recipes


  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 (8 oz.) can pureed tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. barbecue sauce
  • 2 tbsp. ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. brown mustard
  • 1 tbsp. chili garlic sauce (optional)
  • 4 burger buns


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and cook onion and bell pepper until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ground turkey, and cook until meat is well done, about another 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Stir in the pureed tomatoes, barbecue sauce, ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and chili garlic sauce. Simmer until heated through, about 7 to 10 minutes. Serve on burger buns.

Quick Notes

Try using Stubb’s barbecue sauce instead of, say, KC Masterpiece–it’s got a more robust flavor.

For the chili garlic sauce, use Sriracha brand. It comes with a green lid and has a rooster on the jar. You can find it in Asian supermarkets or in the international food aisle.

Serve with potato salad or chips, and slices of raw onion or pickles.


The sloppy joe mixture was very runny (hence the name “sloppy). I think I’d prefer a heartier meat filling in my sandwich, so next time, I’ll try using 1.5 to 2 lbs. ground turkey instead of just 1 lb.

Since I used spicy barbecue sauce and spicy brown mustard, I decided to omit the chili garlic sauce. It had enough of a kick as is.

Cooking time (duration): 30

Meal type: lunch

Culinary tradition: USA (General)

Microformatting by hRecipe

Remember, if the Blind can Cook it, so can you.

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7 Discussion to this post

  1. Heari says:

    looks yummy. i need to try this at home and i like the idea of making the sauce instead of using the canned variety.

    oh and i like this style for ingredients. i need to look back to your previous recipe to compare but it looks fine.

  2. dark mark says:

    pics of chocolate milk not found. mmmm.

    not a fan of sloppy joes in any iteration but i applaud your effort. that thing needs a side of slaw or tater tots for a complete lunchroom throwback meal!

    recipe formatting looks great and easy to follow. what would be really nice is if you could print ONLY the recipe (as opposed to the entire post), kind of like a recipe card.

  3. the Blind Cook says:

    dark mark: What a neat idea regarding printing solely the recipe. Will have to get j5 on that idea. Thanks for the suggestion.

  4. T says:

    for a beginner cook like me, i'd probably only look at ingredients and instructions. but formatting looks fine to me.

  5. EZE says:

    mmm.. i like sloppy joes. there's something about having messy junk food every once in awhile!

  6. These recipe sure bring back the old memories, I never thought I would be missing school when I grow up. Gotta try this recipe for my kids since their school canteen are not serving this meal this days.

    • Christine Ha says:

      I often suffer from elementary school lunch nostalgia, too: soy-based burgers, tater tots, rectangular cheese pizza, runny spaghetti, Salisbury steak…They taste terrible, I'm sure, but there is just something about the memory that makes them comfort food.

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