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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    Yummy and such a cute recipe !!! Even though our kids are in their teens, we still enjoyed reading the directions :
    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.
    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!
    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.
    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. 
    Excellent fries n cheese for kids....been searching for this when I saw it in 30 minute show....thank you ..toasty in Alaska
    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!
    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.
    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!
    These are awesome! Very yummy and the kids love em! They will say "I don't like the onions and green things" but when they actually taste it... YUM! Thanks!
    DELISH!!!!! I haven't had sloppy joes since I was a kid and when I came across this recipe I had to try it. It was soooooooo good-omg.... I practically had everything in my pantry to prepare this dish and it was quick and super easy to make. I followed the recipe to a T. My kids and husband loved it.... Yummy-this one is a keeper. I will DEFINITELY make this again and again and again. 2 thumbs up RR!
    very good! my husband hates bell peppers and onions but totally ate it up in this recipe. definitely a keeper!
    Rachael I invited this recipe. It was actually really fast and not bad.
    I did my thing making the sloppy joe. I am sure they could use the above recipe for it.
    I put the sloppy joe mixture in an 8x10 pan or a meatloaf pan works best.
    Put casserole cheese mix on the top.
    Then this was the neat and fun part. Instead of putting the mixture on top of the bread. I put it on the top.
    I used a package of Martha White's Cheesy Bread Biscuit mix, Poured on top of the sloppy joe mix. Bake at 425 until the top was golden brown. Now because my oven doesn't always bake right. I test the middle of bread with a tooth pick. To make sure the middle gets done. I hope you give this recipe a try.I wish we could contact you personally. On this website you do not have a contact us. I wish you would. Of course I realize you couldn't possibly answer every email. But it would be not to be able to submit a recipe you make personally.
    This is so easy to throw together! I used all the ingredients but I always eyeball it like Rachel. Be sure to tweak it to your liking and you can't go wrong!
    We got Rachel Ray's kid's cookbook for Christmas and they picked this recipe for their first one. The kids helped make it and it was a huge hit! My son loved it and even ate the onions and red peppers. My daughter who is ultra-picky still would not eat it, but don't let that deter you, she won't eat anything!

    We had leftovers and added it into baked spaghetti later in the week! It was fabulous. We also made the cheesy fries with fresh potatoes instead of frozen fries, though I would use a little less ketchup in them (the "secret" ingredient).

    Al in all, a winner, it will show up on our menu often.
    My kids love this meal, and I have been making it for awhile now. For the person who complained it was too salty, it sounds like you bought a grill mix with high sodium, added too much, or are way picky. That can be fixed by adjusting the seasoning...
    I absolutely love this recipe. It is tasty and original. I already had all the ingredients in my fridge and didn't have to make any special trips to the store. I love how Rachael doesn't over complicate food!
    I've been trying to use ground turkey more, but it just doesn't work in some recipes. My husband and I were both happy with the flavor of the sloppy joes, but felt that it was missing a little something. I will make it again tonight and experiment with adding more Worcestershire sauce or a little vinegar. This is a great recipe, just don't be afraid to make it your own.
    This was a great recipe. I also added shredded zucchini to the mixture and the kids didn't notice and ate all of it. That idea was from another Rachael Ray recipe I saw and I decided to try it with this. Success!
    I thought these were terrible, WAAAAY too salty for my taste. All I could taste was the salt in the grill seasoning. Had to throw the batch away.
    This was so simple to make and I actually had everything on hand. The flavor was excellent. I will be making this again when I need a quick week night meal.
    This is absolutely great, and so quick. It is on our table quite often!
    This is such a great weeknight meal recipe. It comes together really quick and is yummy!
    My husband is somewhat of a critic when it comes to new stuff - not only did he love it, it was a breeze to make! (Did I mention he has a crush on Rachael Ray?) He was pleased to find out it was her recipe =)
    Holy cow, these sloppy turkey joes are AMAZING! The sauce is super tasty and delicious, and the onion and peppers in the turkey give it a nice spicy and flavor. I haven't had sloppy joes in years, but I'm definitely going to get hooked on them again. And plus, it was super duper easy!
    So fast and so easy and SO delicious! My 2 year old loved them!
    I thought the joes were pretty good. However, the seasoning and pepper made it a bit too spicy for my kiddos. The fries, celery, and carrots were a big hit though!
    My friend is having some serious problems with her heart. So I'm trying to help her eat healthier. I was worried about cooking with ground turkey. Last time I had ground turkey I was a kid and I hated it. I would have never know it was turkey if I wasn't the one who cooked it. It was very good. In fact, I changed a few of the ingredients for her particular diet. I used no salt tomato sauce, mrs dash poultry seasoning, and spenda brown sugar. I think that was one of the best tasting low fat, low carb, low sodium dishes I've ever made. It doesn't even taste like your eating healthy. It's good.
    I just made these for my sister and I. The recipie was so easy and fast. my sister loved them and she doesn't really like spicy food! i did tweak the cooking time and let it simmer for about ten minutes more than the recipie called for and it made the mix soo much better awesome recipie rachel! thank you so much!
    Loved everything, but added 1/2 green pepper and some red peper flakes along with an extra 8oz can of tomato sauce. We like our sloppy Joes very sloppy. Taste was simply wonderful.
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