Recipe: Slow-Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes

updated Nov 14, 2019
Slow-Cooker Turkey Sloppy Joes
Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Diana Yen)

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.

(Image credit: Diana Yen)

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

Serves 6

Nutritional Info


  • 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


  • 2 tablespoons

    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)


  1. 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.

Recipe Notes

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.