Once you nail the classic recipe for sloppy joes, you can continue to customize it by adding flavor and swapping ingredients to make this weeknight staple just what your family wants. In this rendition of the sloppy joe, we used light and lean ground turkey in place of ground beef, and made a few ingredient swaps to ensure the filling was Paleo-friendly and gluten-free.
Customize Sloppy Joes to Your Liking
Sloppy joes are a blank canvas. It's a flexible recipe that lends itself to numerous customizations, all dependent on your tastes and preferences.
Maybe that means upping the heat (harissa, anyone?), altering the flavor profile (maybe soy and fish sauce?), adding more veggies, or simply using different types of meat. And that's just where I landed with this version, using lean ground turkey in place of beef. But no matter how I customize this sandwich, the one thing I'll never change is making this meal in the slow cooker.
Learn How: How To Make Sloppy Joes in the Slow Cooker
Make These Sloppy Joes Paleo
With a few simple swaps from the original version (like nixing ketchup for honey and using apple cider vinegar instead of Worcestershire sauce), it was easy to make this sloppy joe filling paleo-friendly. To keep it that way, it's all about how you serve it (sayonara, hamburger buns). And lucky for you, the options are many.
Serve your sloppy joes over a warm baked sweet potato or wrapped in a leafy piece of kale, cabbage, or collards. You can also use the sloppy joe mixture as a topping instead of a filling, spooning it over your favorite spiralized veggies or spaghetti squash.
Slow-Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dry ground mustard
1 teaspoon garlic powder (no salt)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 hamburger buns, for serving (optional)
Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker. Stir well to combine all the ingredients, making sure to break up the turkey. Cover the slow cooker with the lid. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours, or on high for 2 to 3 hours. Stir again before serving.
- 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.