Made with ground turkey meat, tomato paste, ketchup, and simple spices, this healthy slow cooker turkey sloppy joes is a crowd-pleasing dinner that can be made paleo or Whole30.
Also includes stovetop instructions!
How and why to make ground turkey sloppy joes in the slow cooker
Low and slow cook time allows the turkey to get tender and absorb all flavor from the spices.
Once you saute the turkey meat, and add to the crockpot, this is a hands-off recipe.
Making it perfect for busy days, slow weekends at home, or days you just want to set it and forget it.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Onion and bell pepper add a punch of vegetable power, plus added sweetness. You could also add chopped carrot to boost the natural sweetness even more.
We use dark meat ground turkey for this slow cooker turkey sloppy joes recipe, but you could substitute white meat turkey for a low fat option.
Ground beef can also be used in place of ground turkey in this recipe.
The type of catsup or ketchup you use will have a significant impact on your final result as well as on nutrition information.
Add additional water for a looser consistency.
We wanted to keep the added sugar to a minimum in this recipe, however if you prefer a sweeter sloppy joe mixture, feel free to sweeten things up by adding a tablespoon of brown sugar or coconut sugar to the mix.
For a paleo and Whole30 version, be sure to use a no-sugar added ketchup.
How to Use and Serve Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes
Go the traditional route by serving the turkey sloppy joe mixture piled high onto a traditional or gluten-free bun.
For a paleo or Whole30 option, serve the sloppy joe filling over a baked potato or baked sweet potato.
This filling would also be good served over rice or cauliflower rice.
How to store or freeze leftover slow cooker turkey sloppy joes
- The cooked sloppy joe turkey meat will keep well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container.
- This recipe also freezes well, store in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months.
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Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
- 1 tsp granulated garlic powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 cup ketchup (traditional or paleo katsup)
- 2 tsp yellow mustard
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup water
- traditional or gluten-free buns, rice, baked potato, baked sweet potato, or in a lettuce wrap
Slow Cooker Directions
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and bell pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the turkey, sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and the garlic powder, then stir, breaking the turkey apart into small pieces with a wooden spoon.
- Allow the turkey to cook through, stirring occasionally, about 3-4 minutes.
- Carefully transfer the turkey to a 6-quart slow cooker. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, ketchup, mustard, tomato paste, and water, stirring to combine.
- Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours. A longer cook time will yield more tender results.
- Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. F
- Follow step 1-2 above, then add remaining ½ teaspoon salt, ketchup, mustard, tomato paste, and water, stirring to combine. Bring to a simmer, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the mixture starts to dry out, add additional water to reach the desired consistency
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