The Sloppy Joe is one of those American staples. I remember how excited I would be when my mom or dad made Sloppy Joes for my sisters and me growing up. The sweet-tangy-savory loose meat sandwich was so delicious. But it was always made using the McCormick© Sloppy Joe Seasoning Mix and who knows what’s in those things? Oh wait, I know what’s in them: SUGAR, ONION, SALT, CORN STARCH, PAPRIKA, SPICES (INCLUDING CHILI PEPPER), RED AND GREEN BELL PEPPERS, GARLIC, MALTODEXTRIN, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, CITRIC ACID, VINEGAR SOLIDS, CIDER VINEGAR, AND NATURAL FLAVORS. Could be worse.

I decided to make some Sloppy Joes from scratch. I once used a recipe from Cooking Light that was very good but I found this one on Martha Stewart’s web site and decided to give it a try. My ingredient amounts were a little off since the Pomi chopped tomatoes I bought don’t come in a 28 oz package (it was a little more than 26 oz) so I just added a bit more tomato paste to the mix. It was delicious!


Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 carrots, coarsely grated (2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 pound ground turkey (93% lean, dark meat)
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons dark-brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 whole-wheat hamburger rolls, split


  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium; add carrots, onion, and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add turkey; cook, breaking up meat with a spoon, until no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, sugar, vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 12 to 14 minutes. Serve on whole-wheat rolls.