Sunday, November 21, 2010

Turkey Sloppy Joes - Almost a Hit

Aaron mentioned he wanted to try making sloppy joes with ground turkey. I didn't want to buy Manwich because of the ingredient list. However, we had about 3 pounds of ground turkey in the house, and the Weight Watchers recipe database is HUGE. I figured I would find some good ideas there, even if I didn't find a sloppy joe recipe.

Much to my delight, WW has a sloppy joe recipe. I had high hopes for this recipe, and I still think this recipe will work for our family. I simply need to find a less spicy or less smoky barbecue sauce.

Turkey Sloppy Joes
From Weight Watchers - 8 points per serving
Serves 6

1 Tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion(s), finely chopped
1 medium green pepper(s), finely chopped
2 medium garlic clove(s), minced
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1 pound(s) uncooked ground turkey breast
1 cup(s) barbecue sauce
4 item(s) mixed-grain hamburger roll(s)

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Swirl in the oil, then add the onion, pepper, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chili powder, oregano, and mustard; let cool 1 minute. 

Add the turkey and cook, stirring to break up the meat, until no longer pink, 3–4 minutes. Stir in the barbecue sauce and cook until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve on the hamburger rolls. Yields 1 roll with 3⁄4 cup meat.

Why buy the salty packaged flavoring mix when you can easily make them yourself? This dish can be made with ground skinless chicken, ground lean beef, or, for a vegetarian version, textured vegetable protein crumbles, now found in the freezer case in most supermarkets. 

Just cook the crumbles according to the package directions and add them to the cooked vegetable mixture at step 2. 

If you’d like a little more heat, try adding 1 chopped jalapeƱo pepper to the vegetable mixture in Step 1, then stir in 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro just before serving.

Like I said, I had high hopes for the recipe. And as far as Aaron was concerned, this recipe is awesome. Ellie was pretty happy with it too, and she is pickier than Caleb about most food. Caleb, however, was not a fan of the dish. He said it was too spicy/hot. I only can blame my BBQ sauce from Trader Joe's. I don't remember which variety I have, though I remember something about "smoky" in the description. I asked Caleb if he would try the meal again with a different sauce, and he said he would try it. I still have some hope for this one. :)

If you make your own sloppy joes, what do you use for the sauce?


  1. I'm not a fan of bottled bbq sauce....too sweet. If I were making this, i'd use a can of tomatos and maybe a bit of spaghetti sauce or ketchjp to thicken, maybe a little agave and adjust seasoning to taste. I'd also add in cubed zjuccbhini and red peppers. And eliminate the bun...gee, if you add beans, that would be my chili recipe. Guess I should have prefaced by saying I don't ever crave slopy joees....

  2. i am so lazy :) I make sloppy joes with this packet:

    you just add tomato paste, that is it. it's not spicy at all. kids love it, we serve it with ground turkey over ezekiel english muffins :)

  3. @Stephanie - sloppy joes are one of those odd yet fond childhood foods for me. I was actually giddy about eating mine! weird, right?

    @JEN - is that packet available in stores or only online?


    This is the recipe that I use (well, use as in I roughly follow the ingredients, I never measure anything). It's a big hit here.

    Karen S.

  5. @Karen S - how sweet does that recipe end up? I want it to have a bit of kick but not as much as the BBQ sauce gave it. The ketchup made me think that the recipe might be really sweet.

  6. It's not spicy, although you could add some kind of hot sauce or red pepper or cayenne to it if you want to. I don't usually add the brown sugar, so that knocks down the sweetness a bit. I've also been known to replace the ketchup with BBQ sauce or split it half and half.