Transform a Sodium-Filled Cafeteria Special Into a Weeknight Dinner Winner With This Lighter Spin on a Sloppy Joe

Flash back to 1985: An oozing Sloppy Joe sandwich on a plastic tray with some ‘tater tots in the school cafeteria. Sure didn’t look pretty, but it tasted fantastic! We’ve remade the recipe—without canned meat—for this lighter sloppy joe sandwich. You’ve still got that juicy, meaty goodness between the buns, but with less sodium, sugar, calories and guilt than you get from the cafeteria shortcut. P.S. You can also make it in a slow cooker (directions at the end).

Healthier Sloppy Joes

Better-For-You Sloppy Joes

  • Serves 4-6
  • Prep Time: 00:15
  • Cook Time: 00:30/ 4 Hours Inactive


  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs ground turkey
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 c plain tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp worcestershire sauce
  • hamburger buns (toasted)


  • In a large non-stick skillet, heat 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the ground turkey, and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Once the turkey has cooked through, drain in a colander and set aside.
  • Add the remaining oil to the pan, then add the carrots, celery, onion, red bell pepper and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and the turkey to the pan. Stir together and simmer mixture for 10 minutes.
  • Spoon the sloppy joe mix over the buns and enjoy.

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

To make in a slow cooker, brown the meat and drain as before. Combine the carrots, celery, onion, bell pepper, garlic, tomato sauce, and Worcestershire sauce in the slowcooker and add the drained turkey. Mix everything to combine and then cook on low for four hours.


#fbf to 1994 (ish) with my buds, @richardwiese and @wendirogerstv Bought that sport coat on sale for about 20 bucks because that’s all I had in the bank. Was 10% wool and 90% “other.” Got caught in the rain with it and smelled like wet dog ass all night.

Nine years ago, I made a vow to live my life based on three guiding principles: Love, Awe and Gratitude. Today, instead of feeling sad, angry or anxious about The Chew’s cancellation, I will look through the lens of Gratitude and thank: My cohosts, @chefsymon and @carlaphall, for being two of the greatest people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. The crew and staff of The Chew for being so dedicated, hardworking and collaborative. Our viewers for allowing us into your homes each day to share a laugh and a recipe — and a cocktail. It’s been a fun run and I am so freakin’ lucky to have been a part of it. Much love, CK ❤️

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