Turkey Joes (GF)

Sloppy Joes
Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients, these wholesome Sloppy Joes are very easy to make and taste much better (and are much better for you) than that stuff in a can. Chock full of fresh veggies, these Joes offer more nutritional bang for the buck, and you can easily substitute with grassfed ground beef, if you prefer (just see note below).

P.S. This recipe is one of those perfect examples of how Mise en Place is one of the best prep techniques for easier cooking. So be sure to pre-chop all ingredients in advance of cooking and you’ll find this recipe comes together in a snap!

Turkey Joes (GF)

Yield: 4-5 servings

Turkey Joes (GF)


  • 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup finely diced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup finely diced organic red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely diced organic carrots
  • 1/4 cup finely diced organic celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 lb. organic ground turkey
  • 15 oz. organic tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup organic ketchup
  • 1/4 cup filtered water
  • 1 tbsp organic *Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar (or sucanat)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper and pinch of ground cloves


  1. In a large sauté pan, or cast iron skillet, over medium-high heat, add 2 tbsp of olive oil along with the finely diced onion, red pepper, carrot and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until veggies are soft (about 4-5 minutes). Add the minced garlic and cook just a minute longer, until fragrant. Remove pan from heat and place sautéed veggies in a small bowl.
  2. Using the same pan, over high heat, add an additional 2 tbsp of olive oil and crumble the ground turkey into the pan. Sprinkle meat with sea salt. Do not stir the ground turkey, as you want to brown it. Instead, allow the meat to cook undisturbed until lightly browned on one side. (Use a spatula to take a peek every now and then to check it.) Then, flip it over and brown the other side. Once turkey is browned, remove from heat, and using two spatulas working in tandem, break up the meat into a fine crumble.
  3. Place pan back on burner and heat over medium. Return the sautéed veggies to the pan with the crumbled browned turkey. Add the tomato sauce, ketchup, water, Worcestershire, vinegar and rapadura to the pan. Then, add the thyme, sea salt, ground pepper and just a dash/pinch of cayenne pepper and ground cloves. Mix well to combine. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer – you may need to reduce the heat a bit. Simmer uncovered for about 8-10 minutes until sauce is nice and thick. Serve on toasted sourdough rolls, or your favorite GF rolls/biscuits. (Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes.)


If using ground beef, drain all but one tablespoon of the fat from the pan after browning the meat. Then proceed as outlined.


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  1. Amanda Hawkins says

    Made this tonight, every bite kept asking myself if i really made this. Hands down better than anything canned you can buy. I am new to cooking so I was really proud of how it turned out. I didn’t quite get the don’t disturb the meat while browning part because when I went to flip it over it all crumbled and I just stirred it like you would hamburger helper.

    • Kelly says

      Hooray! I’m so happy you all enjoyed this and it gave you confidence to continue making healthy meals for your family! That is truly my desire – to inspire and help! LOL about the disturbing the meat. I could explain that better, hey! Meat does better when it has a high heat sear (much juicier), so my point was to let is have a good amount of time to sear/brown, before you start flipping it over and crumbling it. That way, it stays moist. And we couldn’t agree more – not only does this taste better than a can or boxed “helper” mix, it’s so much healthier too! Thanks for taking the time to leave a note! Many blessings, Kelly :)

  2. Erica says

    Made this for dinner tonight and served it inside sourdough rolls. Oh my yummy goodness! I will be making these again! Thanks!

    • Kelly says

      Awesome, Erica! So glad you and your family enjoyed these. They are one of my boys favorites! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a kind note! Blessings, Kelly :)

  3. Paula says

    Delicious! My kids ate it up without any protest. I only used 1/4 cup of ketchup to keep the sweetness down and it worked great!

  4. Samantha says

    This tastes amazing. Seriously. I was pretty grossed out by the idea of sloppy joes–bad memories of the canned stuff!–but my husband asked for them, and I figured you’re recipe would at least have some redeeming qualities! I am inhaling it right now and will probably make some almond flour biscuits to serve with it. Mmmmmmm!

    • says

      How sweet of you! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a kind note. I’m so happy you enjoyed this recipe. Lots of blessings to you, Kelly :)

  5. Rox says

    Let’s start by saying…I am a horrible cook! Anyway, I made this tonight and my family couldn’t believe I actually made it! I am very excited to have found this site and now I need to go and figure out what I will be making tomorrow night for dinner.

    • says

      That is awesome, Rox! I am so happy to hear your Turkey Joes were a huge success! Thank you for taking the time to leave a kind note! And, welcome to The Nourishing Home. I’m so glad the Lord led you here. Blessings, Kelly :)

  6. Wendi says

    I made this tonight using local beef and it was fantastic! I am not a veggie eater, but by dicing them and then sauteing them, I barely noticed they were there! And the flavor was sensational. I’ve been following your meal plans for 3 weeks now and I am so grateful you are sharing your knowledge with others. I’m a newbie cook – unless you count warming up frozen pizzas – so your meal plan with shopping list and prep suggestions is blessing my socks off. Truly. Thank you so very much. <3

    • says

      aww, you are blessing my socks off with your kind words. Thank you, Wendi, for taking the time to leave a kind note of encouragement. I am so happy and honored that the Lord has enabled me to help in this way! Many blessings to you, Kelly :)

  7. Susanna says

    I love sloppy joes, but always ate the canned kind. And honestly since switching to real food this seemed like too much work, and my family doesn’t love them as much as me so I just kind of gave up on them. But these, oh man! My hubs, who could live in a world with out sloppy joes, loved it! And my 20 month old devoured and then bathed himself in it! He was so happy!

    • says

      LOL! I’m so glad these were enjoyed by all. I would love to have seen that little cutie all orange-faced with sloppy joe. How precious!! :)

  8. Stephanie Trax says

    Just wanted to add in my vote that these are dee-lish….even my hubby who previously declared he “hates sloppy joes” loved them:) He declared they needed to be on the “regular rotation” :)

    • says

      Yeah! Love it when home cooked beats the can, as it does so often! Appreciate you taking the time to leave a kind note! :) So glad you all are enjoying this recipe! :)

  9. Amy Smith says

    Hi Kelly! I’m going to make these today and always meant to ask, do you have an alternative to 1 tbsp organic *Worcestershire sauce? I see there’s an asterisk but I don’t see any notes on it. Thanks Kelly!

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