Health(ier) Sloppy Joes

October 3, 2016

Health(ier) Sloppy Joes

With so many mouths to feed, my mom did everything she could to stretch her dollar at dinner and keep her recipes simple.
That meant that a lot of our meals featured ground beef, from meatloaf to spaghetti to tacos to chili, there wasn’t a ground beef dish my mother didn’t have a recipe for.
And then there was my favorite of them all, Sloppy Joes.
The Sloppy Joes my mom made always included ground beef, onion powder, a Sloppy Joe seasoning mix, and potato rolls. The sides typically included an iceberg lettuce salad, on special occasions we would also get Ore-Ida french fries.

Health(ier) Sloppy Joes

Yesterday I had an intense craving for my mom’s Sloppy Joes, I was feeling a tad under the weather and needed comfort food.
Google to the rescue.
After searching for recipes I stumbled across this particular one.
In an effort to keep grocery shopping at a minimum (going out was so not an option) I made some tweaks, and let me tell you it was awesome.
The biggest difference between my version and the one I found online was the substitution of ground turkey. I prefer ground turkey for three reasons: first, it’s healthier, especially when you use all white meat, second, I find it to be more flavorful and third, there is less grease and less grease means less clean-up. Less clean up makes me a happy camper.

Health(ier) Sloppy Joes

This recipe couldn’t be easier. A couple of ingredients you’ve probably got in your kitchen, 30 minutes, and dinner is served.
To serve the sloppy joes, I like to toast the buns first (strictly GF buns). It gives a little bit of substance and crispness to the sandwiches, and it creates more work for me, which is a hobby of mine.
Nah, just kidding.
So without further ado here’s my recipe for Health(ier) Sloppy Joes.

Health(ier) Sloppy Joes                                                                                                                   Print this recipe!
Adapted from AllRecipes

Serves 4

1 lb / 453 gr ground turkey, white meat only
1 medium onion, chopped
8 oz / 225 gr baby bella mushrooms (white button mushrooms), quartered
1 (6 oz / 170 gr) can tomato paste
1 cup water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder (adjust according how hot you like it)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar (I used coconut sugar)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Your fave buns (I used sesame seed gluten-free buns)
Onions, cilantro, and cheese for topping


In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the ground turkey until cooked through, about 7 to 8 minutes.
Add onion and mushrooms, sauté for 5 more minutes, or until onion is tender and translucent.
Add tomato paste and water, stirring until paste is dissolved.
Stir in garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, vinegar, brown sugar, oregano, salt, and pepper.
Continue to cook for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until mixture has thickened and flavors have blended.
Serve on your fave bun (I like to toast the buns first), with onions, cilantro, and if you’re feeling particularly naughty, you can melt a slice of cheese over the top.

Nutrition Facts

One serving yields 265 calories, 8 grams of fat, 24 grams of carbs, and 25 grams of protein.


  1. I also often use ground turkey in recipes calling for beef, like chili, and Bolognese sauces (but don't tell my Italian friends) - I find it easier to digest, and very flavorful

    Lately I've been using my crockpot to prepare this type of meal - I set it up before leaving for work, and come home for lunch to a bowl of chili, every time made a little different. I can see these Sloppy Joes in my future... ;-)

  2. We have a similar recipe. So much better than the old canned sauce! YUCK.

  3. These sandwiches are so high protein and healthy! Love all the spices and flavorings you used in here :)

  4. These are so adorable. They make me so happy!

  5. I used to have sloppy joes all the time when I was younger, so good! I love that you created a healthier version of an old favorite!

  6. People want to eat without limits.

    Some get problems when they become obessed.

    Good for slim people though.

    This is what they need to eat and then keep shape.