Monday, November 28, 2011

Turkey Sloppy Joe's

It wasn't even lunch when I texted my husband today: "Sloppy Joe's for dinner?"  Maybe it was the overcast weather, or maybe I just needed to reconnect with a basic comfort food.  In any case, it made a perfect throw-together dinner.

This recipe is an amalgamation - bits and pieces from the sloppy joe recipes in Nanny's cookbook (my paternal grandmother... more on her and her fantastic recipes in upcoming posts), a bit of the recipe from America's Test Kitchen / Cook's Illustrated, and largely, whatever I have in my fridge.  That said, my exact recipe can vary; sometimes I'll use bell peppers instead of (or in addition to) mushrooms, but I really like the earthy, meaty quality that the mushrooms add when I'm using ground turkey. Tonight  I used small finger rolls (about the size of dinner rolls) to make sloppy joe sliders, but I top-cut them, New England style, to help make them not-quite-so-sloppy.

Turkey Sloppy Joe's
Makes a bit over 2 lbs. (feeds 4 - 6 people)
Click here for printable recipe

2 T. vegetable oil
1 small white or sweet onion, chopped
15 or so medium cremini or button mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 lbs. lean ground turkey
1 1/2 t. salt
3/4 t. pepper
2 1/2 t. chili powder
2 t. brown sugar
2/3 c. ketchup
1 1/2 c. tomato puree
2 T. yellow mustard
Dash or two of Worcestershire sauce
Dash or two of Tobasco sauce (optional)
Hamburger rolls or small slider rolls

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  When oil is shimmering, add in the onions, mushrooms, 1/2 t. salt, and 1/4 t. pepper.  When the mixture has started to give off its moisture to the pan, add the garlic.  Cook until the onions begin to turn translucent, about 5 minutes.

Move the onions and mushrooms to the outside edges of the skillet and add in ground turkey.  Break up the meat, mixing with the onion/mushroom mixture after it has started to brown.  When meat is mostly browned, reduce heat to medium low and stir in ketchup, brown sugar, chili powder, and remaining salt and pepper.  Add tomato puree, yellow mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and Tabasco (if using) and stir well.  Let simmer until the mixture has thickened and meat has cooked through, about 8 - 10 minutes.  Serve on hamburger or slider rolls.


  1. Good reading Kelci, I want to try the mini cheesecakes; sounds yummi! I also enjoyed the informative narrative on Irene. I hadn't the chance the read about Irene when it was happpening. :)

  2. Thanks SS! I'm hoping to post more frequently in 2012 - my "day job" kept getting in the way this past month! :)