This past weekend I spent my time catching up with a friend and enjoying a short trip to DC. I absolutely love weekend trips! You get in and out of cities with a few fantastic meals, memories to laugh over, and the excitement of travel. There’s only really one thing I despise: travel aftermath.
I always find myself in a state of chaos after an adventure. I’ll even fully admit to you that my suitcase isn’t getting unpacked for at least two weeks. There will also be piles of laundry starting at me, and it will take at least two days to sift through emails. Oh and then to top it all off I have to think about cooking myself dinner after dining out all weekend and guzzling margaritas like I have the metabolism of a gymnast… forget it! At that point all I desire to do is spread out in my bed and watch a marathon of shows that used to be cool in the 90s. Or the Food Network because it’s truly the only channel I need.
This is the time where super lean turkey sloppy joes come in. They’re so easy to throw together — and healthy too! Total travel worry diminished. Really you guys, you absolutely have no idea how obsessed I am with favorite childhood foods, particularly heaping tomato slathered juicy turkey sandwiched between a whole wheat hamburger bun. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE. As a kid, I used to eat them with corn chips almost every day. Now that I’m an adult, I hold the hope that someone will create a sloppy joe food truck and park it in front of my house during lunch time.
Okay I admit that’s an unlikely scenario, but I really do adore them! These joes are a quick fix for my comfort food cravings.
Seriously how much easier could dinner get? Minimal ingredients. Healthy and easy. Just awesome flavor in your mouth. They remind me of being a kid! This recipe calls for a bit of BBQ sauce which means the sloppy joes aren’t as sweet, but instead have a perfect tangy, rich flavor with a hint of spice. I recommend using a bbq sauce with minimal sugar, and a spicy flavor, although your favorite sauce would work too. My favorite way to serve them? With sharp cheddar cheese on whole wheat crusty buns. Doooo it.
Favorite Lean Turkey Sloppy Joes
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 red pepper, diced
- 1 pound extra lean ground turkey
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- red pepper flakes, if desired
- 1 cup (8 oz) tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup bbq sauce of choice
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Frank's Hot Sauce or Tabasco
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, if desired
- 6 whole wheat hamburger buns
Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Once oil is shimmering, add red bell pepper, onion and garlic and cook until the onion is tender and garlic is fragrant, about 4 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and set aside. Keep heat on and use the same skillet to cook your turkey.
Next add ground turkey to the skillet. Break up the meat and spread it around the pan. Season generously with salt and pepper and cook 8-10 minutes or until the turkey is cooked and no longer pink.
Stir in tomato sauce, a pinch of red pepper flakes, bbq sauce, Worcestershire, chili powder, tomato paste, and hot sauce to the skillet with the meat. Add in the vegetables and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer 15-20 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. If you find the sauce too tangy, add a bit of brown sugar or ketchup.
Serve on whole wheat hamburger buns. Top with cheese if desired.