Sloppy joes with ground turkey

Depending on your memory, sloppy joes are either kiddie comfort or scary cafeteria food. This recipe is a lighter version that my daughter, husband and mother-in-law all adore. Adapted from


  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Olive oil (or other cooking oil)
  • 1 pound ground turkey (I use 93% lean)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons prepared mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 hamburger buns, split


  1. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat and add onions and garlic. Cook until softened.
  2. Add ground turkey, breaking it up with a spoon, and cook until it is no longer pink. Drain any excess liquid and return to pan. If you cook the meat long enough, you may not have excess juices.
  3. Stir in the ketchup, water, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve on buns.


  • Add cayenne powder or crushed red pepper for a little spice if desired.
  • If you like green pepper, another traditional sloppy joe ingredient, saute some along with the onions.
  • You can substitute 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and/or 1/2 teaspoon onion powder if you don’t have fresh.
  • If you don’t want to use so much commercial ketchup, you can easily make your own with tomato paste, sugar, vinegar, salt, garlic powder and onion powder. Here’s my recipe for homemade ketchup.

Here’s a link back to the post and pictures.

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