Grown Up Sloppy Joes with Ground Turkey and Avocado

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…


    • feastonthecheap says

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

    • feastonthecheap says

      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

  1. Susie says

    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!

  2. Halley says

    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 says

      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….

  3. Susie says

    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!

  4. Taylor says

    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!!

  5. Shqunda cooper says

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

    • feastonthecheap says

      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

  6. says

    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!!

  7. allison says

    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

  8. Elisha says

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

  9. Lisa says

    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!

  10. Melissa says

    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 says

      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.

  11. says

    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!


  1. […] Now, dear ol’ Steppy is a bit on the big side and currently dieting in efforts to reach and maintain a healthier weight (more power to her!) Any way when she left for home I was left with 1.2 pounds of ground turkey. I have never used ground turkey as it just wasn’t available back in my home town so this required some research (read Pinterest.) Holy-Moly was I surprised! I had no idea turkey was so versatile. After much deliberation and checking what I had about, I decided on Grown Up Sloppy Joes with Turkey and Avocado. […]

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