Sloppy Joes

Updated On: Jan 29, 2024
how to make sloppy joes
This week has been a lot of eating out!  This typically happens when the Hubs is on a business trip.  Luckily he gets home tomorrow and I’m fast-fooded-out!  I asked the kids this morning what sounded good for dinner tonight and they both said Sloppy Joes and not out.  I guess they’re fast-fooded-out too.  So I asked “sloppy joes out of a can?” and they both looked at me with the “ya right” look on their faces.  They know me too well.  I’ve been making Homemade Sloppy Joes now for quite a few years, and every time is a little different but still great in it’s own way.  The recipe that follows is tonights concoction.  The kids gobbled it up which usually means “thumbs up”.  I hope you enjoy it as much as they did.  (me too for that matter)
Start by adding 1 tablespoon of olive oil to your hot saute pan.  Toss in 1 large onion diced and saute over medium-high until they start to become translucent.  Don’t brown.
Dice up a whole pepper.  Usually I would’ve used a red or green pepper but I had a yellow one on hand.  Saute it for about 3 or 4 minutes or until they start to become soft.
Add a 1.25 lb package of ground turkey.  You could also use ground beef, but I’m trying to watch my girlish figure so I opted for Turkey instead.  Brown the meat until it’s just cooked through.

Note: the longer you cook turkey, the tougher and or chewier it gets. It needs to be cooked fast to stay juicy.

To the meat mixture add 3 minced garlic cloves, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1 15oz can of tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar.  Stir it all together and get it to a soft boiling stage

Don’t skip the vinegar part.  I know it sounds – strange.  But I assure you that the acid makes this dish better.

Turn the heat down and simmer for 10 minutes or so.  Serve it on kaiser rolls, or as I did on the burger bun thins.  A few less carbs is good this time of year while I’m wearing my hibernation suit.  
Homemade Sloppy Joes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced (your choice of color)
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs ground turkey (or beef)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c ketchup
1-15oz can of tomato sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1) Add olive oil to a saute pan and heat over medium-high.  Add the onion and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the bell pepper and saute for another 3 to 4 minutes.
2) Add the ground turkey and cook until just browned.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  Bring just to a boil and then lower the temperature and simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened.  Serve on hamburger buns and enjoy.

Recipe By:

Heather is a recipe developer and content creator living in Vancouver, Washington. She started Farmgirl Gourmet in 2006, almost 20 years ago, as a way to share recipes with friends and family. Heather is also the co-founder of Spiceology , a unique spice company, which she started in 2013. She shares family friendly recipes for easy everyday meals with a gourmet twist.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join the Conversation

  1. Denton Den says:

    Two thumbs up from the Denton Family! Travis had three overflowing sloppy joes! The kids are gobbling them up too! I left out the red pepper flakes just in case it would be too strong for the kids. Next time, I’ll add some to the adult batch. This is a new family favorite and is very easy to make!

  2. Denton Den says:

    Hmmm maybe tomorrow’s dinner (if I can wait until then)! I have all the ingredients in the house! I love it when that happens! Thanks bunches!

  3. Mermaids of the Lake says:

    Great picture! And, I have never made them from a can. Too easy and too good from scratch! I used the skinny buns too!


Made with in Vancouver, WA. All rights reserved.