Turkey Sloppy Joes

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These Turkey Sloppy Joes are a lighter version of the classic, but still just as delicious! We love this kid-approved, quick, and easy lunch or dinner recipe.

Turkey Sloppy Joes on a plate with chips and pickles

The Best Turkey Sloppy Joes

Some of my favorite recipes have two things in common. They are ready in 30 minutes or less total time AND are made in one pot or pan. Life with kids can get kind of hectic and there are some nights when the last thing I want to do is cook dinner. Tasty and simple recipes like turkey sloppy joes are perfect for that situation.

I love sloppy joes. I never knew how good they would be with ground turkey instead of beef. This recipe proves that as long as you use the right amount of seasoning, it can be just as good, maybe even better! Using the turkey removes the excess grease that is released from cooking beef. Then, you can skip the step of draining the fat. I like to taste as I cook and adjust the seasoning to my liking. Some people like a little more or less salt, for example. However, this is hands down the best recipe for sloppy joes with ground turkey that I have ever had.

Several recipes can be made with ground turkey instead of ground beef. One of my favorites to make with ground turkey is Instant Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup.

What You’ll Need

These are the basic ingredients for any sloppy joe mixture – including these ground turkey sloppy joes. There’s plenty of seasoning so it will not be bland even though you are using less flavorful meat. 

  • Canola Oil: You can also use vegetable oil.
  • Green Bell Pepper: This should be diced.
  • Yellow Onion: Also dice the onion so it cooks at the same rate as the peppers.
  • Ground Turkey – We use lean ground turkey.
  • Garlic: Freshly minced cloves add the best flavor to this recipe.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Ketchup: You can also use sugar-free ketchup. I have made this recipe using both kinds and it tastes great either way.
  • Chicken Broth: Instead of broth, water may be used.
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Brown Sugar – just 1 tablespoon for a touch of sweetness.
  • Yellow Mustard
ingredients needed to make turkey sloppy joes

How to Make Ground Turkey Sloppy Joes

This turkey sloppy joe recipe comes together in just over 20 minutes! Both the prep time and cooking are so quick.

  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil. 
  • Cook the bell pepper and onion until softened, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the ground turkey and cook until no longer pink, breaking it up with a spoon as it cooks. This will take 6-8 minutes.
  • Add garlic, salt, and pepper and cook for about 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Then add ketchup, broth, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and mustard. Stir until well combined.
  • Bring to a gentle boil and then turn to low and simmer for 10 minutes. You can cook it longer if you want a thicker consistency.
  • Serve warm on your favorite hamburger buns. Toast them first if desired,
Turkey Sloppy Joes side view

How to Store Leftovers

Leftover turkey sloppy joes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Be sure to use it within 3 days. To reheat, pour the mixture into a skillet over medium heat and add a splash of chicken broth or water.

Can I Freeze Turkey Sloppy Joes?

Yes! Once completely cooked, store the homemade sloppy joe sauce in a freezer-safe container. Allow the meat sauce to cool completely before transferring to the container. It will last up to 3 months! When ready to eat, defrost in the refrigerator before reheating.

Turkey Sloppy Joes

Tips and Tricks

  • I have made this recipe with sugar-free ketchup, which works just as well as regular ketchup.
  • Feel free to use whatever color bell pepper or onion you have on hand. Red, yellow, and orange bell peppers work great, as do white and red onions. 
  • If your sauce reduces more than you would like during the simmering process, add a splash more chicken broth or water to reach your desired consistency. If the sauce isn’t thick enough after 10 minutes of simmer, allow it to simmer for an additional 5 minutes or until your desired thickness is achieved. 
  • If your ground turkey releases a lot of water during the browning process, drain the excess liquid before adding the sauce ingredients.
turkey sloppy joes on white plate with chips and pickles

More Sloppy Joe Recipes

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Turkey Sloppy Joes

These Turkey Sloppy Joes are a lighter version of the classic, but still just as delicious! We love this kid-approved, quick, and easy lunch or dinner recipe.
Servings: 4
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 22 minutes
Total: 27 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 large green bell pepper diced
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard


  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the veggies soften, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the ground turkey and cook, breaking up the meat with a spoon until it browns and is cooked through about 6-8 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, salt, and pepper and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until fragrant.
  • Add the ketchup, broth, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, and mustard and stir to combine. Bring to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes or until the desired consistency is reached.
  • Serve warm on toasted buns.

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Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 799mg | Potassium: 610mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 417IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 2mg


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