I first stumbled across the idea of adding lots of veggies to the classic comfort food sloppy joes when doing Weigh Watchers a few years back. It was a bit of a revelation and super delicious. Back then, Matt and I were carefree and childless and could have things with chunks of vegetables in it without the worry of chubby little toddler fingers picking them out. Over the years, I have come up with my own recipe for turkey and veggie sloppy joes which are both toddler and husband approved. That is saying a lot in our house since Matt cooks much better than me!
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 1 medium onion
- 1 bell pepper (I prefer green)
- 1-2 carrots or handful of baby carrots
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/2 c ketchup*
- 1/4 c BBQ sauce*
- 1/4 c Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp hot sauce (or more if you like it spicy!)
- 1 tbsp granulated garlic
- Salt and pepper
- Olive oil
In a deep skillet begin to brown ground turkey in enough olive oil to get things going and salt and pepper lightly. Once it is about half way cooked through add the tomato paste and cook for a few minutes more.
Cut veggies into chunks and put in food processor and pulse several times. I took the opportunity to use my fancy new Ninja! Since we have those aforementioned chubby toddler fingers, I pulsed mine until it is pretty much a purée. Keep it as chunky as you like. I recommend if you keep it chunkier to add the veggies earlier in the cooking process to allow them time to break down.
Add veggies to the meat mixture and allow to cook until meat is cooked through. Salt and pepper with the addition of your veggies. If you have a purée of veggies, let the liquid cook down by about half.
Meanwhile, whisk your remaining ingredients in a bowl. You can use any BBQ sauce or ketchup but do taste along the way. I really prefer my husband’s homemade BBQ sauce because it is a bit thinner and spicer than many store brands. If you have a Kansas City type sauce that means it will be sweeter so you may want to add more hot sauce or less ketchup to cut the sweetness a bit. Add the sauce to your meat and veggie mixture and let it all simmer for about 15-20 minutes to allow it to thicken. We serve these on whole wheat buns and I love mine with a bit of mayo, mustard and pickle!