Healthy Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes

This recipe for slow cooker turkey sloppy joes is healthy, packed with protein, and such an easy family-friendly dinner recipe! Throw all ingredients into a crockpot and come home to a comfort food meal that is so much better than Manwich.

healthy Slow Cooker Ground Turkey Sloppy Joes served in a burger bun

Sloppy Joes are a pretty typical All-American dinner. Now, Sloppy Joes look and sound unhealthy,  and it can be. Did you grow up with the Manwich Sloppy Joe Sauce? Well, I have not but I have heard it’s a staple! Unfortunately, Manwich Sloppy Joes is packed with sugar and high in salt. Not so hot for that part. Today I’m teaching you how to make leaner turkey sloppy joes with a legit homemade sloppy joe sauce that rivals your childhood fave.

overhead shot of a burger bun filled with turkey sloppy joes

This lightened-up healthy Sloppy Joes is JUST as delicious as the one you might remember from your childhood but packed with tons of veggies {hello bell pepper and celery} and protein-rich ground turkey.

You can double the recipe, serve it to the kids, serve it on toast, as a topping for a bowl, or just eat it by the spoonful.

Why you will love these healthy Turkey Sloppy Joes:

  • They’re a bit leaner thanks to lean ground turkey, but they also are significantly lower in sugar thanks to a homemade sauce. No additional sugar added.
  • It’s perfectly sweet and spicy.
  • As for the recipe, it doesn’t get much easier than a little ground turkey, some spices, coconut sugar and tomato sauce, thrown all in a crockpot and then cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or on high for 2 to 3 hours. Dinner is ready!

I love serving mine on a burger bun with a side of veggies and/or salad. YUM! But hey, serve is on lettuce wraps and you have an amazing paleo dinner!

close-up of a burger bun filled with healthy slow cooker turkey sloppy joes

How to make healthy Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes?

a picture collage demonstrating how to make turkey sloppy joes in a slow cooker

Step 1 – Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker. Stir well to combine all the ingredients, making sure to break up the turkey (I recommend using a fork!).

Step 2 – Cover the slow cooker with the lid and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or on high for 2 to 3 hours.

Step 3 – Stir again before serving and season with more salt and pepper. See below for serving suggestions.

How to serve your Sloppy Joes:

The traditional way is to serve the meat mixture in a bun, as pictured.

But you can also serve it over a warm baked sweet potato or wrapped in a leafy piece of kale, cabbage, or collard greens.

You can also use the sloppy joe mixture as a topping instead of a filling. Spoon it over your favorite spiralized veggies or baked or steamed spaghetti squash.

How to store Sloppy Joes?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To freeze, cook sloppy joes all the way through in the slow cooker. Then allow for the meat to cool down completely.  Place the meat in an airtight container and place in the back of your freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat in a slow cooker or microwave.

a burger bun filled with healthy slow cooker sloppy joes with ground turkey

Tips:

  • You can serve these Turkey Sloppy Joes on whole wheat buns or gluten-free buns.
  • If you want, load it up with some grated pepper jack cheese and a few pickled jalapeños.
  • Should you plan on cooking this sloppy joe recipe for longer in the crockpot than what the recipe calls for, make a sauce with a tad bit more water.
  • If you like things spicy, add a little chili powder.
5 from 5 votes
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Healthy Turkey Sloppy Joes

This recipe for slow cooker turkey sloppy joes is healthy, packed with protein, and such an easy family-friendly dinner recipe! Throw all ingredients into a crockpot and come home to a comfort food meal that is so much better than Manwich.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword healthy sloppy joes, turkey sloppy joes
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 8 minutes
Servings 8

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 ½ pounds 94% lean ground turkey can also use 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper finely diced ( for a nice smoky flavor, use a marinated grilled pepper)
  • 1 stalk celery finely sliced or diced optional
  • 2 15 ounce cans tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar or honey
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • optional: 1/4 tsp 5 drops liquid smoke
  • Decoration: chopped fresh parsley optional

Instructions

Easy Slow Cooker Version

  1. Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker. Stir well to combine all the ingredients, making sure to break up the turkey (I recommend using a fork!).

  2. Cover the slow cooker with the lid and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or on high for 2 to 3 hours.

  3. Stir again before serving and season with more salt and pepper. See below for serving suggestions.

Instant Pot Version

  1. Using the sautee mode, heat the olive oil on medium high heat, and fry the turkey on medium high heat until meat is no longer pink. Drain. Then add diced onion, celery and green pepper and fry for 5 minutes.

  2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Switch on slow cooker mode. Put on the lid and slow cook for 6 hours.

Recipe Notes

  • Make it gluten free: use gluten free buns.

How to serve your sloppy joes:

The traditional way is to serve the meat mixture in a bun, as pictured.

But you can also serve it over a warm baked sweet potato or wrapped in a leafy piece of kale, cabbage, or collard greens.

You can also use the sloppy joe mixture as a topping instead of a filling, spooning it over your favorite spiralized veggies or baked or steamed spaghetti squash.

Storage:

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

If you tried this healthy Slow Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes Recipe, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on InstagramPinterest and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!

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posted in
Clean Eating Dairy Free Fall Recipes Gluten free Main Dishes Meal Prep Meat Quick & Easy Meals Recipes Refined Sugar Free Slow Cooker Turkey Winter Recipes
10 Comments
  1. l love this idea – I don’t know why I never thought of using turkey for my sloppy joe’s but it seems so much healthier. Love it and adding to my rotation.

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