Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes

5 from 2 votes

Messy, and oh so delicious! You'll love this kid friendly and super healthy version.

turkey sloppy joes

Messy, sweet, and oh so delicious! Sloppy Joes are a favorite of both children and parents alike. Unfortunately, they’re not exactly the healthiest meal around. They’re usually full of unhealthy saturated fats from the beef, and that ketchup-laden sauce is packed with refined sugars (or, worse, high-fructose corn sugar). We decided it was time to take this meal back with our Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes recipe.

We make our sloppy Joes with 100% clean ingredients, so it won’t damage to your waistline like traditional recipes. You’ll be happy to learn that we managed to do it without sacrificing taste a bit, either! No one in the family may even notice that these Joes are made with turkey instead of beef–they have that much flavor. Enjoy them for lunch or dinner and give the whole family something to smile about. We even have a way to make these low-carb, which we’ll tell you about in a bit.

The Slow Cooker: The Savior of Weeknight Dinners

The slow cooker is one of my favorite appliances in the kitchen. It makes it so easy to create healthy lunches and dinners without putting in too much work! This Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes is especially convenient when made in the slow cooker because you can hold it hot until you’re ready for dinner. If you have any leftovers, they can easily be heated up later for lunch.

This recipe is possibly our most popular slow cooker turkey dish because it is so easy to make and it tastes delicious. To gain an extra layer of flavor, we recommend sautéing the ground turkey, onions, and peppers in a skillet before tossing it into the slow cooker. I know, I know, that dirties up an extra dish! If you don’t have time, no worries: It’ll still taste delicious without that extra step. But, it’s totally worth it when you taste the depth of flavor it brings to the dish.

Between the healthy homemade ketchup (which is low-sugar, of course), the spicy yellow mustard, and the tangy barbecue sauce, these Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes have all the flavor of your comfort-classic favorite. And, without the bun, they clock in at less than 200 calories a serving! If you want to keep things low-carb, you could even serve them on lettuce leaves instead of whole-wheat buns. Check out this recipe for Low-Carb Philly Cheesesteaks to learn more about making the lettuce cups.

Serve these turkey sloppy Joes with a side of our favorite Plant-Based, Old-Fashioned Potato Salad. Your kids will never know this meal is healthy, and it’s tasty enough to serve to dinner guests. Quick, easy, and delicious: what more could you ask for?

5 from 2 votes

Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes

This easy and delicious sloppy joe recipe is kid-friendly and perfect for a fun weeknight dinner.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Yield 4 people
Serving Size 1 cup (bun not included)
Course Dinner
Cuisine American


  • 1 pound ground turkey breast raw
  • 1 cup onion diced
  • 1/2 cup green pepper diced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup ketchup natural
  • 8 ounces tomato sauce can, no salt added
  • 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce
  • 1 to 2 packets Stevia optional, if you want to make it on the sweeter side


  • Mist a skillet with oil and brown raw turkey, onions and green pepper over medium heat. (You could skip this step, but you will get a better flavor.)
  • Place turkey meat, onions & green pepper in the slow cooker. Add all the other ingredients and mix well.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 3-4 hours or HIGH for 2-3 hours. If you don't brown the meat first, then cook on LOW for 5-6 hours or HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  • Serve with a whole grain bun, toasted.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cup (bun not included) | Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 632mg | Potassium: 632mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 343IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 2mg |
SmartPoints (Freestyle): 4
Keywords Budget-Friendly, dairy-free, Kid-Friendly, Low-Carb, Slow Cooker

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Recipe contributed by Kristine Fretwell from Busy But Healthy.

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  1. Can't wait for this recipe to come together! I am making it now and realize I forgot to buy all the ingredients but the turkey, green pepper and onion! Hence – I forgot all the seasonings and buns! Will report back when it comes together! 🙂

  2. Which kind of onion – yellow or white? I couldn't bring up or see the acceptable worcestershire sauces so I bought Lea & Perrins. What kinds are acceptable?

    1. Unbelievably, Lea & Perrins has high fructose corn syrup. French's does not, and is inexpensive. So, go with French's Worcestershire sauce!

  3. Just wanted to let you know that these were THE BEST sloppy joe's we've ever had!  I have been dying to make my own "Manwich" sauce and didn't think it would be possible, but let me tell you, this blew away Manwich!  I made my own ketchup & BBQ sauce (Gracious Pantry recipes) and just added them as the recipe called for.  I also made it all in the skillet since I didn't have time to wait for the slow cooker, and they were amazing!  I cannot wait to make these again!!!  Thanks again so much!  Your recipes make eating clean so easy!    

  4. Yum! Just tried this recipe tonight and it was a hit with me, my kids, and my neighbor's kids. So easy to throw together, this will become a regular on my recipe rotation! 🙂

  5. so i am in the process of cooking this tonight and well, i have a dutch oven and didn't want to cook in a slower i think it is truning out well (well smells good ) and i am pairing it with baked sweet potatoes fries…. all new items i haven't cook so,  i hppe they both turn out well…. 😀

    1. Erica, I think freezing this after being completely cool would be fine…up to a few weeks anyway.

  6. I've been looking for a turkey sloppy joes recipe and this sounds perfect and not too high in sugar, thank you!

  7. I don't care for green peppers, so I left that out. And I didn't have a can of tomato paste on hand, so I used a half jar of Prego Veggie Smart smooth spaghetti sauce. I will definitely be making this again. I only made a half batch for myself, but can't wait for my extended family to try this recipe.

  8. This was sssooo yummy! The only thing I would change the next time I make it will be to use an 8oz can of tomato sauce, instead of 15oz… It was a bit to liquid based (not firm enough to load on a hamburger bun for a sandwich) so I toasted a bun and had it as an open faced sloppy joe. It was fantastic!!

  9. I LOVE this recipe! It is so delicious! Even my husband asks me to make it and he doesn't even like sloppy joes 😉 I will never buy that nasty canned stuff again!

  10. This was AMAZING!!! And my husband Loved it! It is so good in fact that the 1lb of turkey is just barely enough for two people. I'll double the recipe for sure next time!!

  11. Hi! I am excited to try this tomorrow. I was reviewing the comments and there are a lot of questions about Worcestershire sauce but, I don’t see it in the recipe. Am I missing something? Thanks!

  12. I made this for dinner tonight and it was very good!Definitely beats the canned stuff.Will be making this again!

  13. I made this for a quick and easy supper for working nights. I added red peppers along with the green peppers, red onion instead of yellow onion and some pepper. I also browned the meat like suggested. My house smelt amazing!! Ate it with a baked potato instead of a bun. This a recipe that will be used again.

  14. Such a great recipe to have on hand! I love using my crock pot and making a giant batch of food. I’m not always crazy for sloppy joes, but I enjoyed this one!

  15. Hi! We make these all the time and they are awesome. Ordered the ingredients today and going to make them tomorrow!

    Just wondering if you’ve ever frozen these before. If so, how long can you freeze them for, and what do you think is the best way to reheat?

    Thank you!5 stars

    1. Kathleen, Yes, this Sloppy Joes recipe can be frozen. I would recommend using within a month. To reheat, place in the fridge until thawed then heat in a pan.

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