The classic, comforting, easy, sweet, flavorful Sloppy Joes….
…that I haven’t made in my apartment until just last week.
This is partly due to the fact that I wasn’t a huge fan of Sloppy Joes as a kid. It wasn’t the taste, but the mess. I didn’t like eating something in a sandwich bun with a fork and knife — either that or get the food all over my face when I bit into it. I think the texture weirded me out, too.
Just as I got over my strange hummus aversion, I have overcome my mild dislike towards Sloppy Joes. This is partly due to my maturation into my fabulous adulthood, and partly due to the fact that the sauce is 100% homemade. Those McCormick packets are great in a pinch (and to make things even more simple for you), but I promise, making the sauce for this took about 5 minutes of chopping and measuring.
It’s worth it.
- 2 lbs ground turkey
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 small/medium sized onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 cup water
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- dash of Worcestershire sauce
- dash of Tabasco sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 – 8 hamburger/sandwich buns
- Brown the ground turkey in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Drain off the fat.
- Add in the green pepper, onion, and garlic; stir. Then add in the ketchup and 1 cup of water. Stir to combine.
- Finally, add the brown sugar, chili powder, mustard, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, salt, and pepper. Give it one more stir, then cover, turn the heat down to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Toast or warm the burger/sandwich buns, then place a heaping spoonful of the ground turkey mixture on the bun. Close shut, try to eat with your hands, resort to fork and knife. Enjoy.
My Two Cents: This is several notches healthier than the Pioneer Woman’s original Sloppy Joe recipe, which called for ground beef, more ketchup, more sugar, and buttered buns.
This is a great, quick meal to make for the family or a hungry (moderately-sized) dinner crowd. To spruce up the meal, serve with a spinach salad (complete with pecans, mandarin oranges, and balsamic vinegar dressing).
But this also makes great leftovers — so if there’s just 1 or 2 of you in the house, half of your meals will be whipped up all week ;)
P.S. Ever wonder why they’re called Sloppy Joes? Much to my surprise, I have never looked this up until now! According to Wikipedia:
A sloppy joe is an American dish of ground beef, onions, sweetened tomato sauce or ketchup and other seasonings served on a hamburger bun. Commercially made sauces are also available. Textured vegetable protein may be used as a vegetarian substitute for the meat. The Original Sloppy Joe Sandwich was invented by a cook named Joe at a cafe in Sioux City, Iowa, as a variation of the popular “loose meat” sandwich (which does not contain tomato sauce).
And there you have it! Thank you, Joe, from Iowa, for inventing such a tasty dish.