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sloppy joe made with ground turkey on bun
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5 from 39 votes

Ground Turkey Sloppy Joes

These absolutely delicious ground turkey sloppy joes are made in one skillet and ready in less than 30 minutes! 
Prep Time7 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time27 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: ground turkey recipe, sloppy joe recipe
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 196kcal


  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 lb ground turkey (I like the flavor of 93/7)
  • 1/2 large yellow onion minced
  • 1/3 large green bell pepper minced
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp spicy brown mustard (regular mustard can be substituted)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar more or less, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup water


Toast Buns

  • Heat a large skillet over MED HIGH/HIGH heat. Add a drizzle of vegetable oil, and once hot, add buns, cut side down. Cook for 30 seconds to a minute (this time will vary), or until golden brown on the bottoms.
  • Remove to a wire cooling rack, cut sides up.

Cook Meat and Vegetables

  • Heat oil in large skillet over MED-HIGH heat.  Add turkey, onion and bell pepper and cook, breaking apart into crumbles as it cooks, about 5 minutes, or until turkey is cooked through and vegetables are beginning to soften.  Transfer to colander to drain.

Add Sauce

  • Add chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, mustard, ketchup, barbecue sauce, tomato paste, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and water and stir well to combine.

Simmer and Serve

  • Reduce heat to MED/MED LOW and cook for 10-15 minutes, until mixture has thickened to your liking, stirring often.  Remove from heat and serve over toasted buns.


  1. Calorie count (which is an estimate) does not include buns, as these will vary from person to person.
  2. Toast the buns - Before you get started with making the sloppy joe mixture, toast your buns.  Toasting the bun makes ALL the difference, and only takes a few minutes.  Just crank up the heat under the skillet to MED HIGH/HIGH, and add a drizzle of vegetable oil.  When the oil is hot, add the buns, cook just 30 seconds to a minute or until they're golden brown, then place the buns cut side up on a cooling rack after they've been toasted.
  3. Consistency - Watch the sauce so that it doesn’t reduce too much.  When too much of the sauce reduces, it gives you a dry sloppy joe mixture.  Everyone likes theirs a little differently, but for me, I cook it down so that I can see the bits of meat, and when I drag my spoon through the sauce, it leaves a trail where the sauce is parted.  If the sauce immediately flows back into that trail, it’s too liquid-y.  I want a few seconds before the sauce covers the trail, which gives me a saucy consistency that’s not too liquid.


Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 42mg | Sodium: 844mg | Potassium: 653mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 673IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 2mg