Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes

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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?

Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes

Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes

Yields: 4-6 Servings | Serving size: 1 Cup (bun not included) | Calories: 167 | Fat: 4 g | Carbohydrates: 14 g | Sugars: 8 g | Fiber: 2 g | Sodium: 387 mg | Protein: 23 g | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 2 |


  • 1 pound (454 grams) ground turkey breast (raw)
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup green pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup natural ketchup
  • 1 (8 ounce) can no-salt added tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon BBQ sauce
  • 1-2 packets Stevia (optional, if you want to make it on the sweeter side)


  1. 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.)
  2. Place turkey meat, onions & green pepper in the slow cooker. Add all the other ingredients and mix well.
  3. 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.
  4. Serve with a whole grain bun, toasted.

Recipe contributed by Kristine Fretwell from Busy But Healthy.

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37 Comments on "Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes"

  1. Ashleigh  January 26, 2012

    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! 🙂

    • Skinny Ms.  January 26, 2012

      Ashleigh – Fantastic! Hope you enjoy it!

  2. Crystal  January 29, 2012

    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?

    • Linden  May 3, 2015

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

  3. Sandy  April 26, 2012

    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!    

    • skinnyms  April 26, 2012

      Sandy, That's what we like to hear. So glad you enjoyed the recipe!!! 🙂

  4. Crystal_lightbody  June 9, 2012

    Where do you find natural katup?

    • Skinny Ms.  June 10, 2012

      Crystal, Just emailed you the link to our recipe. Thanks!

  5. Kellyspahn  June 28, 2012

    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! 🙂

    • Skinny Ms.  June 30, 2012

      Kelly, Great!!! We're so happy the kids enjoy. Thanks for keeping us posted! 🙂

  6. Lynncsmith2  July 16, 2012

    Sounds yummy & has great reviews. We love slopy joes!!

  7. Crystal_Lightbody  July 29, 2012

    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…. 😀

  8. Erica  July 31, 2012

    wondering if you'd advise freezing.  I'd love to make a double batch and freeze 1/2

    • Skinny Ms.  July 31, 2012

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

  9. Smashingly_4  August 6, 2012

    what kink of worchester should i use?

  10. Gail  October 5, 2012

    could you send me the link for the natural ketchup

  11. bariatricbeginnings  February 17, 2013

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

  12. SusieQ  February 17, 2013

    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.

  13. Meribeth  October 17, 2013

    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!!

  14. LIz  October 20, 2013

    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!

    • Skinny Ms.  October 21, 2013

      Liz, Thanks so much for letting us know. 🙂

  15. shannon  May 6, 2014

    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!!

  16. Penny  February 1, 2016

    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!

    • Gale Compton  February 1, 2016

      Penny, That may have been an older recipe. This one doesn’t have Worcestershire Sauce.

      • Penny  February 2, 2016

        Thank you!

  17. Chassidy  August 21, 2016

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

    • Gale Compton  August 22, 2016


      YAH!!! Thanks so much for letting us know. 🙂

  18. Myriah  February 19, 2017

    What kind of BBQ sauce is needed?

  19. Ashley  July 26, 2017

    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.

    • Emilia Horn  July 27, 2017

      That sounds delicious, Ashley 🙂

  20. Debbie Alford  September 3, 2018

    Do you have to slow cook it or can you jus simmer and then eat?

    • Gale Compton  September 4, 2018

      Debbie, Definitely can cook on top of the stove.

  21. Colleen  October 20, 2018

    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!

    • Nichole Furlong  October 20, 2018

      We’re so glad you enjoyed this recipe, Colleen!


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