Sloppy Turkey Joes

Note: This recipe method is written for children to follow, too. Adult helpers are referred to as GHs, or Grown Helpers.

Total Time:
30 min
15 min
15 min

4 servings

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan
  • 1 package, 1 1/3 pounds, ground turkey breast or lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning blend (recommended: McCormick Montreal Grill Seasoning or Mrs. Dash seasoning for poultry)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup tomato sauce,( 8- ounce) can
  • 4 crusty sandwich rolls, split
  • 12 celery sticks, available in produce department or Grown Helper can chop
  • 12 carrot sticks, also available in produce department or grown helper can chop
  • Cheese Fries, recipe follows

Have a GH (grown helper) place a big skillet over medium high heat for you. Use some kitchen scissors to cut the turkey package open. Add some extra-virgin olive oil, 2 turns of the pan in a nice, slow stream. Have the GH add the ground turkey to the pan, in case it spatters. Break the turkey up with a big wooden spoon as it starts to cook. If anyone touches the raw turkey, they should go wash their hands.

If you are a really good chopper, using a small, sharp knife chop up some red onion. Remember when you are chopping to keep the fingers that are not holding the knife all tucked in and curled under. Have a GH help you. You need half a red onion chopped up small. Pull the seeds and white membrane and the top out of a half red bell pepper and chop that up small too. Add the veggies to the cooking meat and stir it all together.

Next, mix in a small bowl: grill seasoning blend, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce and the tomato sauce. This will make your special sauce. When all the ingredients are combined, pour the sauce evenly over the meat and stir everything together really well. Turn the heat down to simmer and cook the sloppy mixture for 10 minutes. Blow on a spoonful until cool and taste it to see if you need to adjust the seasoning.

Have the GH help you serve. Place a bun bottom on a plate. Use a big ice cream scoop to get a pile of sloppy meat onto the bun. Put bun top in place and serve with vegetable sticks on the side and Cheese Fries.

Cheese Fries:

1 sack frozen French fries, any brand or shape - crinkle cut, thin cut, steak cut, waffle fries - prepared to package directions

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2 1/2 cups, (10-ounce) sack shredded yellow Cheddar

3 squirts ketchup, about 1/4 cup

Have your GH (Grown Helper) put fries in oven on a cookie sheet. While fries are baking in the oven, have a GH place a sauce pot on the stove and heat it over medium heat. Add butter and melt it. Add the flour and stir. Cook butter and flour together for 1 minute or so. This is called "roux" (like Tiger and Roo with Pooh Bear) and it helps to thicken up sauces. Use a whisk to stir as the milk goes into the pot. Keep stirring until the milk gets thicker. Use a wooden spoon or heat-safe spatula to stir in the cheese. When all of the cheese melts, take the sauce off the heat and stir in 3 squirts of ketchup. This is your SECRET ingredient. When everyone asks what you put in your cheese sauce that makes it taste so good, just say milk and cheese, you can NEVER tell what secret ingredients you add! Tell your GH to keep the secret, too or they can never help you again!

Pour the sauce over the fries or serve the sauce on the side if you like to dipping better.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Ease of preparation: easy

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Cooking Tips
4.5 87
Easy, good, and tasty! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yummy and such a cute recipe !!! Even though our kids are in their teens, we still enjoyed reading the directions : item not reviewed by moderator and published
For those who thought this may be a bit bland, you might try only adding 1/2 c of the tomato sauce and 1/2 c of your favorite barbecue sauce. I'd also add one or two cloves of minced garlic when I add the peppers and onions. You can kick it up another notch if you like it more flavorful by adding 1/4 -3/4 tsp of Tabasco or Sriracha. Also, using dark meat turkey although higher fat content would give it a bit more flavor than the white meat turkey. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I went by the directions and then tasted....and then opened the fridge and started adding....which greatly helped. Truth be told, nothing can make turkey in a "beef recepie" taste good or even near normal. Run don't walk. Arms in the air - screaming! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Too much brown sugar made it too sweet for me. Maybe 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar and add more to taste. I'll try it again with less sugar. Not really tangy enough for me either, so I added 1 Tablespoon tamarind paste. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I used this as a basis for my sloppy joe and it worked very well. I am concerned however by your comment on cheesy fries I think not to reveal your secret ingredient. I cannot have wheat and dairy and my husband cannot have onions, garlic, scallions. (We're a lot of fun to cook for. This is why I am always adjusting recipes. Not to reveal all the ingredients means that the cook may inadvertently make me or my husband sick. Whenever we hold pot lucks, we always ask for the ingredients. I just thought that you would like to take this into account. Thanks. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellent fries n cheese for kids....been searching for this when I saw it in 30 minute show....thank you ..toasty in Alaska item not reviewed by moderator and published
Super simple and delicious! My husband and kids LOVED it! Just a perfect blend of flavors - not too tomatoey like other sloppy joes I've tried. Since I doubled this recipe, I had a little bit of leftovers for lunch the next day. Add pasta to the sloppy joe, a little bit of parmesan, and little sprinkle of sea salt... and Viola! Delicious pasta! This recipe will most definitely be a regular! item not reviewed by moderator and published
My family and I thought this recipe was very tasty and a keeper. I didn't have all the necessary ingredients and had to make some substitutions-yellow rather than red onion, green rather red pepper, 1/2 T Montreal seasoning and 1/2 T Lawry salt. I hope I can remember all the tweaks the next time because there were no leftovers. I particularly liked her suggestion for the vegetables to accompany the entree. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Instead of a sandwich, I put the mixture on corn tortillas with Mexican cheese, sour cream and salsa. If you want to eat them like this, you might want to cut down on the brown sugar just a little. They make excellent tacos! item not reviewed by moderator and published

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