Main Dishes

October 6, 2020

The Best Turkey Sloppy Joes with Brussels Slaw

These healthy Turkey Sloppy Joes are way better than store bought Manwich. They're served with the easiest 5 minute Brussels sprouts slaw and fresh dill pickles. Make them for busy weeknights, family BBQs, and freezer-friendly meal prep dinners.

My family was pretty busy growing up, even though there were only three kids. My dad worked crazy hours at the hospital, I had tons of after-school commitments, and my brothers were always involved in sports, so my mom was always taking them places.

On those crazy nights, I could usually guess what we were having: Chicken Alfredo, tacos, or Beef Stroganoff.

On some occasions, however, my mom would mix things up with Sloppy Joes and I was not a fan. I honestly don't know what it was, but I just dreaded them!

Fast-forward to 22-year-old me, a full-time food blogger with a much different palette, I was scrolling through fall recipes on Pinterest one night and came across Sloppy Joes.

I decided to give them a shot again, but this time it would be my own recipe. And you know what? I LOVED THEM. And so did my husband!

I'm convinced that 1) they taste better because I'm an adult now and 2) I made them from scratch.

If you're on the fence like I was, this recipe is for you! If you already love Sloppy Joes, you're going to love these Turkey Sloppy Joes even more!

Ground turkey sloppy joes with potato chips and brussels sprouts slaw

Ingredients you'll need

What makes this recipe different from other recipes is the specific ingredients I chose. Most recipes called for ground beef, ketchup (yuck), brown sugar, and three different kinds of canned tomatoes, and I was not about it.

Instead, to keep it "made-from-scratch," I chose ingredients that are not only pantry-friendly but diet-friendly too! I even added a fun twist with a homemade slaw. For these incredible Turkey Sloppy Joes, you'll need:

  • 93% lean ground turkey: a much better option than ground beef with less sodium and less saturated fat! Jennie-O is my favorite brand.
  • Yellow onion: classic ingredient used for adding flavor, texture, and bulk to the sauce
  • Minced garlic: a must-have ingredient for any savory sauce! If you struggle with mincing garlic, be sure to check out my tutorial for easy peeling and mincing here!
  • Minced mushrooms: adds an incredible amount of flavor to our homemade tomato sauce. Even if you're not a fan of mushrooms, don't skip this ingredient! Just make sure to mince them very very fine. I promise you won't notice!
  • Tomato sauce: the base of our Sloppy Joes, it is also a much better option than ketchup
  • Tomato paste: thickens our homemade sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce: an amazing bottle of flavor to keep on hand for any homemade savory sauce. I also use it in this family-favorite recipe!
  • Maple syrup: a refined-sugar-free substitute for brown sugar with a lower glycemic index as well. It also adds the perfect touch of flavor to round out the savory ingredients! I use sugar-free maple syrup, but you can use regular syrup too.
  • Yellow mustard: adds depth to the sauce and a touch of extra yumminess
  • Robust seasonings: oregano, chili flakes, salt, and pepper will do the trick!
  • Brussels sprouts: our only ingredient for the homemade slaw! We're going to shred these and pan-fry them to sandwich between the Sloppy Joes and the buns.

A turkey sloppy joe with the bun sliding off

How to make turkey sloppy joes

I wanted to make sure this recipe was easy to make, even on those crazy days (we've all had those, right?). That's why you'll only need one skillet for the main dish and one for the slaw! Even better, we can break down the entire meal into 3 simple steps:

Step 1: make the mirepoix

This is just a fancy French word for "sautéed veggies." Simply turn your stove to medium heat and sauté the mushrooms, diced onion, and garlic for 5 minutes until fragrant. Then brown your meat until no pink remains.

Step 2: make the sauce

Now that our meat and veggies are ready, we can add everything else to the skillet to finish the sauce. This includes the tomato sauce, tomato paste, maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, oregano, chili flakes, salt, and pepper.

Mix until well combined, cover with a lid, and simmer for 10-15 minutes while you make the slaw.

Step 3: make the slaw

Chop the bottom 1/2" off of the Brussels sprouts and let all the loose leaves fall off. Then, slice into very thin pieces with a sharp knife.

Spray another skillet with cooking spray and sauté the "shredded" Brussels sprouts over medium-high heat until vibrant and green, about 5-7 minutes. (You can also buy shredded Brussels sprouts at the store to save some time.)

When the slaw is done, you're ready to eat!

A sloppy joe on a cutting board

Why you'll love this recipe

  1. Minimal prep or cleanup: you'll only need 10 minutes to prepare all the veggies, two skillets, and your dinnerware. That's it!
  2. Ready in 30 minutes: for those busy days and lazy nights when cooking sounds like the last thing you'd like to do!
  3. Freezer-friendly: let the Sloppy Joes cool to room temperature, then freeze in a large ziploc back for up to 3 months! Let thaw at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before warming up. You can even keep your hamburger buns in the freezer too!
  4. Easily feeds a crowd: the list of ingredients easily doubles and triples if you need to make lots of Sloppy Joes. If you want to make it in a slow cooker or Instant Pot, sauté the veggies and meat on the stove, then add everything to your appliance and cook on low for 6 hours.
  5. Naturally gluten free and dairy free: everyone can enjoy this delicious recipe too! For gluten free diets, choose GF hamburger buns.

Turkey sloppy joes on a cutting board

What to serve with sloppy joes

Turkey sloppy joes with potato chips and brussels sprouts slaw

I know you'll love this recipe as much as I do! It's easy, healthy, and incredibly delicious. Even your kids and picky spouses will love it!

If you try these Turkey Sloppy Joes, tag me on Instagram @kapaicooking and then leave a comment and rating below for me to see. Your feedback is valuable to the content creation here and helps me improve!

These healthy Turkey Sloppy Joes are way better than store bought Manwich. They're served with the easiest 5 minute Brussels sprouts slaw and fresh dill pickles. Make them for busy weeknights, family BBQs, and freezer-friendly meal prep dinners.


Brooke Harmer













  • 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • 1 C minced mushrooms
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 8 oz tomato sauce
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp sugar free maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp yellow mustard
  • ¾ tsp salt, divided
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp chili flakes (optional)
  • 1½ lb Brussels sprouts, shredded
  • Hamburger buns, for serving


  1. Heat a large skillet to medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Add the onions, mushrooms, garlic, and ¼ tsp salt. Sauté for 5 minutes or until fragrant, respraying the pan if necessary.
  2. Add the ground turkey to the skillet and brown until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Make sure to constantly stir so the meat doesn't boil. Drain any excess liquid.
  3. Add all remaining ingredients (except for the Brussels sprouts) to the skillet and mix until well combined. Cover with a lid and simmer 15 minutes.
  4. To make the Brussels slaw, spray another skillet with cooking spray and pan-fry the shredded sprouts until vibrant green, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle a touch of salt over them while sautéing to keep them soft.
  5. To serve, spoon Sloppy Joes over a hamburger bun (GF if necessary), then add a serving of slaw and top with the remaining bun.


Nutrition facts are a calculated estimate of one serving of Sloppy Joes, not including hamburger buns or Brussels slaw.