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Craving a comforting classic with a healthy twist? This single serving Sloppy Joe is made with lean ground turkey for a lighter, more nutritious take on the beloved sandwich. It’s packed with fresh veggies and a hint of molasses for sweetness. You’ll get all the flavor you love, plus a boost of protein and vitamins!

Pair your flavorful Sloppy Joe with creamy Potato Salad, zesty and quick Broiled Tomatoes, and a warm, decadent Brookie for dessert to round off a truly satisfying meal.

Why You’ll Love This Sloppy Joe Recipe

  • Healthier Option: Uses lean ground turkey for a lower fat content.
  • Nutrient-Rich: Packed with vegetables and molasses for added minerals.
  • Easy and Quick: Simple to prepare, perfect for a quick meal.
  • Heart-Healthy: Turkey is a great source of lean protein and B vitamins.
  • Flavorful: The unique combination of ingredients creates a deliciously balanced taste.

Watch How To Make This Recipe

What Is A Sloppy Joe?

A Sloppy Joe is a hearty sandwich known for its ground meat sauce, which is both sweet and tangy, served on a soft bun. It’s a beloved American classic, enjoyed for its easy preparation and deliciously messy eating experience.

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An open faced sloppy joe without the top bun on a plate next to a pint glass of beer.

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Ingredients

  • Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil is used for its high quality and rich olive flavor. It’s unrefined, retaining more natural flavors and nutrients. Alternatively, a lighter olive oil can be used.
  • Ground Turkey: The primary protein, but ground beef is a suitable substitute. If you’ve got leftover ground turkey, consider using it to make a Mini Meatloaf.
  • Vegetables: Finely chopped onions, garlic, and red bell peppers are crucial for adding depth to the flavor. This trio of ingredients can also be used in Ropa Vieja, Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas, and Shrimp and Grits.
  • Tomato Sauce: Use your preferred brand, either jarred or homemade tomato sauce.
  • Seasonings: Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, dry mustard powder, salt, and black pepper in small amounts significantly enhance the sauce’s taste.
  • Molasses: Provides a unique sweetness to the sauce. Use any leftover molasses in a small batch of Molasses Cookies, Baked Beans, and Gingerbread Granola.
  • Bun: Choose your favorite hamburger or brioche bun. For a low-carb option, serve the filling over lettuce instead of a bun.

If you have any ingredients leftover from this single Sloppy Joe recipe, check out our Leftover Ingredients Recipe Finder.

Recipe Variations

Explore different flavors and ingredients with these creative variations to the classic Sloppy Joe recipe:

  • Spicy Sloppy Joe: Add chili flakes or hot sauce for a spicy twist.
  • Veggie-Loaded Sloppy Joe: Incorporate more vegetables like zucchini or mushrooms for a nutrient boost.
  • BBQ Sloppy Joe: Mix in BBQ sauce for a smoky flavor.
  • Cheesy Sloppy Joe: Top with a slice of your favorite cheese for a gooey addition.
  • Mediterranean Sloppy Joe: Include feta cheese and olives for a unique twist.
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How To Make Sloppy Joes For One

  1. Start with the Skillet: Heat oil in a 10-inch skillet.
  2. Cook the Meat and Onions: Brown the ground meat and onions together. Then, add garlic and red bell peppers, cooking until the vegetables are soft.
  3. Combine Ingredients: Mix in all remaining ingredients, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Assemble the Sandwich: Spoon the Sloppy Joe mixture onto a bun to serve.

This homemade Sloppy Joe surpasses any canned version. Don’t hesitate to experiment with veggies; try adding chopped carrots or celery with the peppers, onions, and garlic for a varied twist.

Expert Tips

  • Boost the Heat: For added spice, consider a few dashes of hot sauce or incorporate chopped jalapeños into the sauce.
  • Gluten-Free Options: For those avoiding gluten, serve the Sloppy Joe mix over rice or atop a bed of lettuce instead of using a bun.
  • Recipe Scaling: Want to make sloppy joes for two? Simply double the ingredients and follow the same cooking instructions to make a larger batch.

What To Serve With Sloppy Joes

Elevate your Sloppy Joe meal with these delightful serving ideas, perfectly complementing the rich and hearty flavors of the sandwich.

Related: 5 Simple Tips When Cooking For One

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I store leftover Sloppy Joes?

Keep the meat mixture in the fridge for up to 3 days. It’s also freezer-friendly; just cover and store in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Perfect for making double batches.

Are there any other ways to enjoy Sloppy Joe meat?

For a change, try the Sloppy Joe sauce and meat in taco shells, over spaghetti squash, over buttered noodles, or as a topping for tortilla chips. These variations offer delightful alternatives to the traditional bun.

Can I make gluten-free Sloppy Joes?

Yes, use a gluten-free bun and ensure all sauces are gluten-free.

Is this Sloppy Joe recipe suitable for kids?

Absolutely, it’s a healthier take on a kid-friendly classic.

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Your Cooking For One Source
Because you’re worth it

Healthy Sloppy Joe For One

4.93 from 13 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
A healthy Sloppy Joe made with lean ground turkey, chopped red bell peppers and sweetened with molasses. Lower in fat and calories than a traditional Sloppy Joe sandwich and even more delicious!

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ pound ground turkey
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • 1 clove garlic , minced
  • ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
  • ½ cup tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon molasses
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 burger bun
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Instructions 

  • Heat the oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat.
  • Brown the ground turkey and onions together.
    Then, add garlic and red bell peppers, cooking until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Mix in all remaining ingredients, then lower the heat and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
  • Spoon the Sloppy Joe mixture onto a bun to serve.

Notes

  • Boost the Heat: For added spice, consider a few dashes of hot sauce or incorporate chopped jalapeños into the sauce.
  • Gluten-Free Options: For those avoiding gluten, serve the Sloppy Joe mix over rice or atop a bed of lettuce instead of using a bun.
  • Recipe Scaling: Want more servings? Simply double the ingredients and follow the same cooking instructions to make a larger batch.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 498kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 50g, Fat: 25g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 168mg, Sodium: 740mg, Potassium: 1228mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 703IU, Vitamin C: 17mg, Calcium: 184mg, Iron: 6mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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4.93 from 13 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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18 Comments

  1. Elle says:

    Can I substitute a different ingredient for the Worcestershire sauce?

    1. Joanie Zisk says:

      You can use a splash of soy sauce or leave it out altogether.

  2. Sharon says:

    Another great, easy recipe! I doubled it since I did not split up my ground turkey before freezing. It is delicious!

  3. Leona says:

    Turkey version absolutely delicious! Now I need to try it with ground beef. 😉

  4. J. Hegyi says:

    Terrific recipe.

  5. Linda henery says:

    I really enjoy your recipes. They are so easy to read,make and enjoy. Thank you