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?
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)
- 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.
Recipe contributed by Kristine Fretwell from Busy But Healthy.
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