Chef John's Turkey Sloppy Joes

Chef John's Turkey Sloppy Joes

Prep Time Prep: 10m Cook Time Cook: 30m Total Time Total: 40m

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Meat and Poultry, Turkey, Ground

"This made for a very enjoyable lunch, and kept warm in a slow cooker, could also work very nicely for a Super Bowl party. It tastes enough like a traditional beef Sloppy Joe to provide that satisfying comfort food fix, yet seems much lighter."

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water, or as needed
  • 6 hamburger buns, split
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese
  1. Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir until onion starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and black.
  2. Mix ground turkey and 1/2 cup cold water into onions. Cook and stir, breaking up the meat, until it begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add ketchup, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Cook and stir until liquid is reduced, about 5 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and cocoa powder. Cook, stirring frequently and adding up to 1 cup water if needed, until meat is cooked through and liquid is reduced and thick, 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven's broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source. Toast hamburger buns until golden, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Remove turkey mixture from the heat and mix in green onions and Cheddar cheese. Serve on toasted hamburger buns.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup water, or as needed
  • 6 hamburger buns, split
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup shredded white Cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir until onion starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and black.
  2. Mix ground turkey and 1/2 cup cold water into onions. Cook and stir, breaking up the meat, until it begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Add ketchup, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper. Cook and stir until liquid is reduced, about 5 minutes. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and cocoa powder. Cook, stirring frequently and adding up to 1 cup water if needed, until meat is cooked through and liquid is reduced and thick, 20 to 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven's broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source. Toast hamburger buns until golden, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Remove turkey mixture from the heat and mix in green onions and Cheddar cheese. Serve on toasted hamburger buns.