A leaner twist on classic sloppy joes

Published 8:06 pm Thursday, May 19, 2022

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Sweet yet savory ground meat served on a bun is a comfort food classic that has been a staple for restaurants and home cooks for decades.

Sloppy joes are beloved sandwiches that feature meat paired with a lip-smacking, tomato-based sauce. Some attribute the original sloppy joe to a cafe in Sioux City, Iowa, where in 1930 a cook named Joe added tomato sauce to his “loose meat” sandwich. Others say the sandwich evolved from sandwiches that were introduced by Floyd Angell, the founder of the Maid Right Restaurants, in 1926. Others attribute the recipe to a bar and cafe in Havana, Cuba, called “Sloppy Joe’s.”

Though the origin story is debatable, most people agree that the sandwiches are delectable. Sloppy joes are called by many different names in various parts of the country, including yum yums, steamers and slushburgers. While it’s traditional to make them with ground beef, any other meat can be substituted, including ground turkey for a leaner take. Try this recipe for “Turkey Sloppy Joes for a Crowd” from “Taste of Home Healthy Cooking Cookbook” (RDA Enthusiast Brands, LLC) by the Taste of Home Kitchen.

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Turkey Sloppy Joes for a Crowd

16 servings

3 pounds lean ground turkey

3 medium green peppers, chopped

3 medium onions, finely chopped

2 1⁄4 cups ketchup

3⁄4 cup water

3 tablespoons white vinegar

3 tablespoons spicy brown mustard

1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped

1⁄2 teaspoon pepper

16 whole wheat hamburger buns, split

In a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray, cook the turkey, green peppers and onions over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink and the vegetables are tender; drain.

Stir in the ketchup, water, vinegar, mustard, jalapeño and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve on buns.