Grown Up Sloppy Joes with Ground Turkey and Avocado

by feastonthecheap on July 22, 2009

Mariel here. When I was writing the BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich recipe, I mentioned how I had graduated from Sloppy Joes a long time ago. Well, apparently I lied. This week, I was struck by a big-time craving for those sloppy little sammies so I decided to cobble together an updated, PG-13 version.

I swapped out ground beef for ground turkey to lighten things up, added a kick of Tabsaco, and topped it all off with some avocado. I was pretty pleased with my new rendition and decided to throw them to the wolves when my lady friends came over last night. Judging by the empty tray at the end of the evening, they were too.

I suggest serving these alongside a crisp green salad, my mother’s zippy Root Beer Baked Beans, or whatever’s on sale at Shop & Stop.

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Grown Up Sloppy Joes with Ground Turkey and Avocado
Makes 6 full-size sandwiches or 12 mini-sliders

1.3 lbs of lean ground turkey (that seems to be the standard weight in pre-packaged portions in the supermarket) – $3.69
1/2 green Bell pepper, chopped coarsely – $1.05
1 cup finely chopped Vidalia onion – $0.89
1 small minced shallot – $2.99 (for a package)
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic – stock
2 TBS olive oil – stock
8-oz can of tomato sauce – $0.89
1/2 cup ketchup – stock
2 TBS Worcestershire sauce – stock
2 TBS cider vinegar – stock
2 TBS brown sugar, packed – stock
1/4 tsp oregano – stock
1 tsp Tabasco sauce – stock
1 avocado – $1.99
6 whole wheat buns – $3.39
freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste – stock
Grand total assuming stocked kitchen: $14.89
Cost per serving (6 full-size sandwiches): $2.48

1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat

2. Add the onion, garlic, shallot and pepper to the skillet cooking until onions are translucent and pepper is tender

3. Crumble in the ground turkey making sure to break the meat into small bits. Cook until most of the meat has turned from pink to brown.

4. Stir in the remaining ingredients (hold off on salting the mixture until the end). Bring the Joe mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to low simmering for 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickens.

5. Toast the buns until golden brown.

6. Cut avocado into thin 1/8-inch slices.

7. Scoop the Sloppy Joe mixture onto the buns and top with avocado slices. I served baked beans on the side, which were a fantastic complement. I cheated and used store-bought beans…

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristin March 23, 2010 at 5:41 pm

Just stopping by looking for a good ground turkey recipe. This has got me in the mind for sloppy joes, myself. Thanks!


feastonthecheap March 24, 2010 at 8:05 am

I hope you enjoy it! And if you have any questions, just let us know. It’s a tasty twist on a childhood fave…


Kelsey April 7, 2010 at 9:18 pm

Tried this recipe tonight and LOVED it! Thank you for sharing. :)


feastonthecheap April 7, 2010 at 9:24 pm

I am so happy to hear that! This has become a standby in my kitchen (and it saves so well I’ll usually eat it for a week straight!). Thanks so much for your feedback


Joy Bowen July 8, 2010 at 8:09 pm

Just tried this recipe with veggie crumbles to make it vegetarian and it was GREAT! The more avocado, the better! :)


feastonthecheap July 8, 2010 at 8:55 pm

I love that you made it vegetarian! What kind of veggie crumbles do you like best?


Susie December 13, 2010 at 10:43 am

So, I have to say that these were the yummiest Sloppy Joe’s I’ve ever tried. Even my pickiest food critics (my 14 year old son and my husband) loved them. I’m excited to look around and figure out dinner for tonight! Thanks again!


Feast on the Cheap December 13, 2010 at 10:46 am

Woohoo! So glad you and your crew liked them. The Sloppy Joe is way undervalued in my opinion…


Halley February 3, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Everyone in my house LOVED this recipe…which includes 4 kids under 10! In addition, I added a can of low-sodium beans and we ate with brown rice instead of bread and a side of steamed broccoli. Yum!

Thanks for sharing!


feastonthecheap February 3, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Halley, this is the absolute highest compliment! We are thrilled that everyone at the table agreed on a meal – coming from a family with three siblings, we know that isn’t always easy….


Susie February 16, 2011 at 1:36 pm

I couldn’t resist letting you know that my 14 year old son has actually been requesting this dish! “Mom, when are you going to make those grown up sloppy joes again?” Love it!! Thanks so much!


feastonthecheap February 16, 2011 at 1:38 pm

So you just pretty much made my day…


Taylor May 12, 2011 at 6:06 pm

I was looking for something cheap and filling for our family tonight and this fit the bill! Everyone loved this recipe, thank you for sharing! Sweet potato fries went amazingly with this! Thank you!!


Misty January 16, 2012 at 12:06 am

Made this for lunch today. Big hit in our family. I pinned it for others to see as well :)



feastonthecheap January 16, 2012 at 9:48 am

Thanks! We’re so glad this classic pleased your family. Have a wonderful day!


Shqunda cooper June 24, 2012 at 10:17 pm

This was the best sloppy joes ever my family loved it although I had no avocado we still loved it .


feastonthecheap June 25, 2012 at 4:20 pm

Love to hear that Shqunda, thank you so much for letting us know how much the fam enjoyed these! You’ve actually inspired me to make them for dinner tonight – an oldie but a goody


Regina July 9, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Hi! I made these for dinner last week and my husband and I loved them! I am making them again tonight! Thank you for the recipe!!


feastonthecheap July 9, 2012 at 8:43 pm

So glad you enjoyed them, Regina. Thanks so much for writing! Best, M & M


allison July 31, 2012 at 7:44 pm

had ground turkey and didn’t know what to make tonight, I’m so happy I found this! it was so delicious, and I loved that I had most of the ingredients at home already. I had to substitute my own frozen tomato sauce, and at the last minute realized I was out of brown sugar…and used white sugar instead..thought that would make a big difference, but it’s still really tasty. I will make this again


Elisha May 14, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Made and LOVED! Had them two nights in a row. Great recipe. I added a sprinkle of cayenne for a little extra kick!


Lisa June 23, 2013 at 6:59 pm

Just made this for supper. I have been making your recipe for a couple of years. Every time I make sloppy joes, I make this recipe. No more “manwich” for me!


Melissa August 7, 2013 at 4:06 pm

The recipe calls for an 8oz can on tomato sauce. I have both tomato sauce and tomato puree at home. What’s the difference? And when you are referring to tomato sauce you are talking about a can of tomato sauce (plain old tomato sauce un-seasoned) not a jar or marinara or tomato sauce I would put on pasta, right?


feastonthecheap August 8, 2013 at 10:13 am

That’s right, just a plain old can of tomato sauce that’s unseasoned, like this from Hunt’s Tomato sauce means that it was typically cooked slowly and slightly more flavorful, a little sweeter. Tomato puree is just literally pureed cooked tomatoes and tends to have a grittier texture. That being said, you could certainly sub it in if you didnt have tomato sauce. Marinara would also work in a pinch.


Rebecca February 27, 2014 at 10:07 pm

I just made this for dinner with my husband, including some canned baked beans. It was absolutely delicious and I’ll definitely have another got lunch tomorrow! Thanks for this awesome recipe, I LOVED it!


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