Ground turkey sloppy joes are a fantastic dinner choice that kids adore. Crafted from simple pantry staples, this gluten-free meal comes together in just 15 minutes!
When you need a speedy, crowd-pleasing dinner for kids, Turkey Sloppy Joes are the perfect solution. Opt for lean ground turkey and whip up a homemade sauce to transform the classic sloppy joe into a healthier rendition. I’m confident that your family will savor this turkey sloppy joe recipe just as much as mine does! You might also find my sloppy joe mix equally delightful for a quick meal fix.
Enjoy a delicious, nutritious dinner that’s both quick and loved by the little ones. Turkey Sloppy Joes are the way to go when you want a stress-free, tasty meal that everyone can enjoy.
Table of Contents
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- 1/4 tsp. salt
How To Make Sloppy Joes With Ground Turkey
Sloppy Joes are my son’s all-time favorite meal. I used to simply add a can of sloppy Joe sauce to browned ground beef then stir and call it dinner. But I was making this meal so often, I decided I wanted to make a homemade version.
To prepare these kid-friendly turkey sloppy joes, start by browning the ground turkey in a medium-sized skillet. This initial step infuses the meat with a savory depth of flavor. As the turkey sizzles in the pan, its aroma fills the kitchen, making everyone’s mouths water in anticipation.
Once the ground turkey is perfectly browned, it’s time to introduce the seasonings that will elevate this dish to a new level of deliciousness. Add 1/4 cup of ketchup for a tangy sweetness that complements the turkey beautifully. A dash of Worcestershire sauce adds depth and complexity, while a teaspoon of brown sugar brings a hint of caramelized richness. For that classic sloppy joe kick, sprinkle in a teaspoon of dry mustard, and don’t forget a pinch of salt to round out the flavors. As you stir these ingredients into the turkey, you’ll witness a wonderful transformation as the sauce thickens and the flavors meld together.
PRO TIP: Add additional Worcestershire sauce for extra zestiness. Add additional ketchup for a saucier sloppy joe.
Once your turkey mixture is hot, scoop it generously onto six gluten-free buns. The contrast of the warm, saucy filling against the soft, toasted buns creates the perfect balance. These turkey sloppy joes are a satisfying, gluten-free meal that the whole family will crave again and again.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- Quality Ingredients: Start with fresh, high-quality ingredients. This includes using fresh ground turkey and checking the expiration date of condiments like ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.
- Onion and Garlic: Sauté finely chopped onions and garlic along with the ground turkey for added flavor and aroma. They can bring depth and complexity to your dish.
- Slow Cooking: For even more flavor, consider cooking the turkey mixture on low heat for a longer period. This allows the flavors to meld together beautifully.
- Vegetable Additions: Sneak in some vegetables for added nutrition. Finely grated carrots, bell peppers, or zucchini can be stirred into the turkey mixture. They’ll blend in nicely and add some extra texture and color.
- Low-Sodium Options: If you’re watching your sodium intake, look for low-sodium ketchup and Worcestershire sauce. You can always adjust the salt to taste.
- Meal Prep: Make a larger batch of turkey sloppy joe mixture and freeze it in smaller portions. This way, you’ll have a quick and convenient meal on hand for busy days.
- Burger Style: Turn your sloppy joe mixture into turkey burger patties. Shape them, grill or pan-fry, and serve with your choice of buns or lettuce wraps.
- Spice it Up: If you like some heat, add a dash of hot sauce, cayenne pepper, or red pepper flakes to the sauce for a spicy kick.
- Sweet Variations: For a sweeter twist, experiment with different sweeteners like honey or maple syrup instead of brown sugar.
- Fresh Herbs: Add freshness and color by garnishing your sloppy joes with chopped fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro just before serving.
- Cheese Topping: Melt a slice of your favorite cheese on top of the turkey mixture for an extra layer of flavor.
- Thicken with Tomato Paste: If your sloppy joe mixture is too thin, stir in a tablespoon or two of tomato paste to thicken it without altering the flavor too much.
If your turkey sloppy joes turn out too runny – don’t panic. Simply mix 1 TBSP of cornstarch with 1 TBSP of water. After stirring, pour the cornstarch into the skillet and bring to a boil then turn to a simmer. Simmer until your desired thickness is reached.
Sloppy Joes are a delicious and nutritious dinner option. This sloppy Joe recipe combines ingredients to make a homemade sauce to make a healthier version that eliminates added ingredients you would find in a canned sloppy Joe sauce.
Yes, sloppy joes are a great choice. This recipe is so versatile to help you meet your nutrition goals. Serve your sloppy Joe on a toasted bun or fresh lettuce wrap with a side of roasted veggies or baked fries for a complete meal.
This sloppy Joe recipe, including a bun, has 275 calories.
Properly storing your ground turkey sloppy joe mixture is essential to maintain its quality and safety. First, allow any leftover mixture to cool to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Ensure that the container seals tightly to prevent moisture and air from entering, which can cause the mixture to spoil or develop off-flavors. You can also use a resealable plastic bag if preferred. Label the container with the date to keep track of freshness.
For short-term storage, place the container in the refrigerator. Your turkey sloppy joe mixture can typically be refrigerated for up to three to four days. When reheating, use a microwave or stovetop, adding a bit of water or broth if it has thickened.
If you want to store your turkey sloppy joe mixture for an extended period, consider freezing it. Portion the mixture into smaller containers or freezer bags, leaving some space for expansion. Frozen turkey sloppy joe mixture can remain safe for consumption for up to two to three months. To thaw, transfer it to the refrigerator overnight. Reheat the thawed mixture on the stove, stirring occasionally to ensure even heating.
Side Dish Ideas
CKC Features both Gluten-Free Guidance and Kids Cooking Instructions: If you’re new to eating gluten-free we understand it’s overwhelming trying to figure out which foods may contain gluten and which ones don’t. All of our gluten-free recipes marked with this symbol ✅ represent foods that need to be checked for gluten or cross-contamination.
The ⭐️ symbol in the recipe below denotes the steps in which kid cooks may need a helper (depending on age). If there is no ⭐️ symbol, that step (or recipe) doesn’t require a helper.
Ground Turkey Sloppy Joes Recipe
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1/4 cup ketchup ✅
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce ✅
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard ✅
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 6 gluten-free buns
- ⭐️Brown the ground turkey then add the seasonings. Add the ground turkey to a medium-sized skillet and cook until browned. To the browned turkey add ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, dry mustard, and salt. Stir well.1 pound ground turkey, 1/4 cup ketchup, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Serve. Serve hot on gluten-free buns.6 gluten-free buns