The first time I ever heard of sloppy joes was when I was watching that movie with the Olsen twins. I think it’s called It Takes Two? With Kirstie Alley and they go to summer camp and find out that they were twins separated at birth, then they switch places? There’s a scene in the cafeteria where they have sloppy joes and then they have a food fight. Food fights always look fun in the movies, but the idea of being literally covered in food in real life is surprisingly unappealing to me. As much as I love food, I do not love it on my body instead of in it.
Sloppy joes were just never something my mom made, so when I did finally have one, it seemed like a special treat and I fell in love. I tried to make them once before with no ketchup (I used tomato sauce) and no sugar. It tasted like bad meat sauce. It was a total failure, and I’m pretty sure I threw a temper tantrum during the time Steve ate his entire serving and went back for seconds. Anyway, I knew I needed to try again.
This time, I stuck to the simple and traditional, and ended up with a total treat that made me feel like a little kid again. It was totally messy, and got all over my face and clothes in the best way possible. It had that sweetness you imagine with a sloppy joe without any refined sugar, and the sriracha adds a little kick that I love. But then again, I put sriracha on just about everything.
This is one of those perfect healthy meal for anyone who has kids (or lives with people that act like kids), or just likes simple, delicious foods. It’s healthy, nutritious, super filling and so easy to make that you will be making it over and over again!
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb lean ground turkey (I used 93%)
- 3/4 cup reduced sugar ketchup
- 2-3 tsp molasses
- pinch each salt and pepper
- dash worcestershire sauce
- dash sriracha or other hot sauce, optional
- whole grain buns for serving (whole wheat, brown rice, etc.), optional
- In a large pan over medium heat, saute onion, bell pepper and garlic in olive oil until tender and fragrant, about 7-10 minutes. Add ground turkey and brown until cooked throughout.
- Stir in ketchup, molasses, salt, pepper, worcestershire and sriracha. Bring to a light boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes.
- Serve immediately on buns, or over a salad, or any way you like.