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Under 30 Minutes

Turkey Sloppy Joes

Roll up your sleeves for this neat, nourishing rendition of a meat-and-tomatoes favorite. Use ground turkey as a smart stand-in for ground chuck in a range of recipes -- it provides plenty of meaty flavor, with less saturated fat.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4
  • Yield: Serves 4
Turkey Sloppy Joes

Photography: John Kernick

Source: Everyday Food, September 2007


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 carrots, coarsely grated (2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 pound ground turkey (93% lean, dark meat)
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 whole-wheat hamburger rolls, split


  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium; add carrots, onion, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes.

  2. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add turkey; cook, breaking up meat with a spoon, until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes.

  3. Add tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 12 to 14 minutes. Serve on whole-wheat rolls.

Reviews (34)

  • tatjana lapointe 14 Aug, 2015

    Great recipe! It tasted tons better than any of the cans you find on the grocery shelves.

  • Suzbijoux 2 Oct, 2014

    I'm sorry to say this, but I made the recipe as listed, and it smelled and tasted terrible. The turkey was just purchase a few hours ago, and didn't smell bad out of the package. There just isn't any flavour - and it kinda smelled like a wet dog. Hubby said to toss it. I've made other recipes from this site, and they've been great. Not this one, though.

  • cindy 12 Jun, 2014

    Per Serving (excluding unknown items): 333 Calories; 13g Fat (33.2% calories from fat); 17g Protein; 40g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 31mg Cholesterol; 394mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 2 1/2 Vegetable; 1 1/2 Fat; 1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

  • aebrownson 17 Jan, 2012

    When you are providing recipes for "lighter" fare, it would be great if you would include nutritional info.

  • eveshatteen 20 Sep, 2011

    My family likes this recipe, and I like how I get to sneak in some carrots.

  • thelouws 18 Sep, 2011

    I made this without reading the reviews and now that I have, I would hardly call it bland! I probably added a little more tomato paste than what was called for but my husband loved it and I thought it was pretty good.

  • nimrodel70 2 Aug, 2011

    This is only okay. The sauce has a decent flavor, but the carrots are overwhelming. If I made this again, I would cut the amount of carrots at least in half. I assume the carrots are there to lighten the dish by bulking up on vegetables, but they seam out of place in a sloppy joe particularly in the listed amount.

    Finally, the recipe made a lot more than stated. Unless you have huge buns, expect to make at least 6 sandwiches, if not more.

  • lindasaunders 29 Jun, 2010

    I made this last night, shredded the carrots in the food processor shredder and they literlly melted in the sauce. No one knew that there were carrots in it. I didnt use salt, just pepper and organic ingredients with tomatos and paste. Not sure why some would think this is bland if the receipe was followed exactly.

  • jennperrywork 29 Jun, 2010

    We love this recipe I have added it to my dinner menu ever since they posted it the first time. We have it about once a month, hubby and kids don't complain about the veggies.. Amazing... Try it..

  • sue 28 Jun, 2010

    This may be sacrilege, but I used to make a version of this while my kids were growing up, we called it Sloppy Gobbles, and I always added a squirt or two of plain old yellow mustard. I also used to add a finely chopped green bell pepper. My kids loved it.

  • tanea crawford 10 Mar, 2009

    Just okay. Bland

  • whodoesntlovemartha 25 Feb, 2009

    Yes, this recipe is very good. Caution: It definitely makes way more than four servings! I agree on adding pretty much salt and pepper. I am also going to put in more spices next time and maybe an additional onion. It bordered on bland, but was still really good.

  • KMartens4 26 Jan, 2009

    My family LOVES this recipe. I also made it for guests last summer and everyone raved about them. I will never go back to old sloppy joe recipes after this one...especially knowing that this recipe is so much healthier! In fact, I'm planning to make them again for my super bowl party next week! My husband can't wait. I made this recipe exactly as it reads and wouldn't change a thing-especially don't take out the carrots!

  • KMartens4 26 Jan, 2009

    I made this recipe exactly as written and my family absolutely loved it! I made it again for guests last summer and they raved about them. I wouldn't change the recipe one bit and I am planning to make them for the Super Bowl too! And yes, the carrots are a necessary part!

  • crawpl3 14 Jan, 2009

    A few more things: I did only add two carrots, and I thought that was plenty. Be sure to add plenty of salt and pepper. I ended up adding more than I thought I would need, but there are a lot of ingredients to season, especially because turkey is a little bland. Follow these tips, and you are sure to love this "tweaked" recipe.

  • crawpl3 14 Jan, 2009

    Because some other readers gave this recipe rather bland reviews, I decided to dress it up a bit. I added a few herbs and spices with the turkey-- basil, oregano, cumin, and a pinch of cayenne. This helped add depth of flavor. I also cooked it down a little longer than suggested, but at a lower heat. I found that the recipe called for too much brown sugar, as it tasted a little too sweet for my palate. However, an extra splash of cider vinegar fixed that. YUMMY OUTCOME!!!!!!

  • kimwylie0523 11 Jan, 2009

    Sounds different...don't know that I'd be thrilled about that many carrots, and I KNOW my husband wouldn't go anywhere near it if I put carrots in it at all. Anyone who's tried this recipe (and liked it) and feels that the carrots are necessary?

  • mbs4174 1 Jan, 2009

    i liked it but i am not sure i would make it again. and certainly not wihout modifications. too many carrots and needed more cook time to reduce the liquid.

  • melanie4118 28 Dec, 2008

    I read many of the comments before making this dish. At the last minute I hesitated due to all the negative feedback, but by that point I had all the ingredients. I decided to modify a little: I used only two carrots, added a bit more Worcestershire and used a full lb. of turkey. My husband and I both loved it.

  • JBabb 12 Sep, 2008

    I have tried a few sloppy joe recipes and unfortunately this one is at the bottom of the list. There was WAY too much crushed tomato and it left the filling without any substance and taste. I thought that I must have mis-read the directions, but nope. Will be sticking with the old stand-by recipes.

  • 1hotmama 14 Aug, 2008

    Great recipe! My 18 months old son who doesn't like veggies loved it! Thanks for the healthy recipe! Love it!

  • Somayeh 6 Aug, 2008

    Whole family enjoyed!!!! Delicious!!!!

  • Somayeh 6 Aug, 2008

    Whole family enjoyed!!!! Delicious!!!!

  • little_love 27 Jul, 2008

    i didn't have any carrots in the house when i came across this recipe, but i had a load of zucchini. i substituted and it was very tasty. i also added about half a table spoon of bbq sauce right at the end to add a little smokiness. this recipe has become one of our favorites because you know you are eating a lot of vegetables, but they are in disguise.

  • MeganSF78 8 Jul, 2008

    I thought this take on the sloppy joe was very, very bland: way too many carrots, and far too much crushed tomato. To salvage the recipe, I just kept adding more salt, pepper, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce (in proportionate quantities) until it actually tasted decent. I doubt I will make this one again.

  • hungrybois 21 May, 2008

    No kids in this household, its a favorite of the entire household of adults. Easy to prepare, and the leftovers work well for lunch the next day, or as a topping in a baked sweet potato

  • anne 8 Apr, 2008

    I'm a fan of this easy-to-prepare recipe! So are my preschool-aged children, who are eating their vegetables without realizing it while enjoying this dish.

  • katiemommy 7 Mar, 2008

    I just made this for dinner. It was so fast and easy to prepare and it tasted great! My kids all loved it - even my 1 year old! I will make this again.

  • cookinglover 26 Feb, 2008

    I thought they were rather good. I will definately make these again.

  • sac9224 23 Jan, 2008

    Gosh, such harsh comments! You can't expect it to taste just like actual sloppy joes. My family really enjoys this recipe and I've made it several times. We haven't tired of it yet.

  • cbkm1 14 Jan, 2008 taste. It needs something?? What a waste of ingredients

  • Dimundy 4 Jan, 2008

    One of the most disgusting things I've ever made! Tastes like carrot candy with lumps of turkey!11

  • hungryfatcat 26 Nov, 2007

    Really good! We were actually surprised at how good and healthy this tasted... and not greasy.

  • magrangetto 7 Nov, 2007

    This was a fabulous, healthy twist on the regular Sloppy Joes. My 3,9,

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