Made with ground turkey, flavorful homemade sauce, and packed with 3 veggies (carrot, zucchini, and spinach) these healthy Turkey Sloppy Joes are easy to make and are sure to be a crowd-pleasing meal.

Veggie-loaded turkey sloppy joes on a bun on a cutting board.

This one is for you, my beloved TNNers.

Delicious, veggie-loaded, healthy dinner recipes are what you crave and what we love to make happen. After trying our veggie-loaded makeovers of classic comfort dishes, like Healthier Hamburger Helper and Veggie-Loaded Tater Tot Casserole, the requests for recipe remixes came pouring in from you all…and Veggie-Loaded Sloppy Joes were high on many of your lists!

This Turkey Sloppy Joe recipe is a veggie-loaded and lightened up twist on a classic dinner many of us grew up eating. Made in one pot and done cooking in about 20 minutes, the grated carrots, zucchini and spinach basically melt into this satisfying dinner as it cooks and is perfect by adding in some veggies on a busy weeknight. The delicious homemade sauce is made from ingredients you likely already have in your kitchen and is truly the flavor hero of this easy dinner recipe. Making between 4-6 servings, you can make the filling for these sloppy joes up to 2 days ahead of time, so you can enjoy leftovers for lunch or reheat and eat after an extra hectic day. Easily made gluten free when you use gluten free Worcestershire sauce and gluten free tamari in the sauce.

Ingredients for veggie-loaded turkey sloppy joes spread out on a white marble table in bowls.

Want to make sure you always have spinach on hand for these Veggie-Loaded Turkey Sloppy Joes? Check out my tips & tricks for keeping spinach fresh all week!

Suggested Adaptations

  • Instead of ground turkey, you can use ground chicken or lean ground beef.
  • Don’t want to grate the carrot and zucchini? You can finely chop them by hand or pulse them in a food processor until finely chopped.
  • Instead of buns, the sloppy joe mixture is great served on top of rice or quinoa.
  • Make it ahead of time! The meat mixture can be made 2 days ahead and reheated in a pan with a splash of water to add back some moisture that may have been lost.
  • Add a little extra water towards the end of cooking for a thinner consistency.
  • Amp up the flavors. Taste your turkey sloppy joes at the end of cooking and adjust the flavors to fit your personal taste. Add a little more brown sugar/honey or Worcestershire sauce to the sauce if desired.
  • Make them gluten free by using gluten free Worcestershire sauce and gluten free tamari in the sauce and serving the filling over your favorite gluten free buns, rice or quinoa.

How to store or freeze leftover Turkey Sloppy Joes

The filling for these healthy sloppy joes can be made ahead of time or leftovers can be stored in an air-tight container for up to 2 days. To reheat, pour the filling into a pan and add a little water. Stir together and heat until warmed through. Or you can reheat it in a microwave.

You can also freeze these Turkey Sloppy Joes. Place cooked and cooled sloppy joe filling in a freezer safe container and freeze to enjoy for up to 2 months. Defrost in fridge overnight before following reheating directions above.

Other amazing veggie-loaded dinner recipes to add into the rotation…

Wondering how to store your carrots so they stay fresh as long as possible? Check out my post on How to Keep Cut Carrots Fresh and get the most out of your produce buck!

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Veggie-Loaded turkey sloppy joe mixture in a skillet with a wooden spoon after being cooked.
Veggie-Loaded Turkey Sloppy Joes served on a board
4.96 from 22 votes

Veggie-Loaded Turkey Sloppy Joes

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cuisine: American
Course: Main Course
Made with ground turkey, flavorful homemade sauce, and packed with 3 veggies (carrot, zucchini, and spinach) these healthy turkey sloppy joes are easy to make and are sure to be a crowd-pleasing meal.

Ingredients
 

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ¾ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1 small zucchini, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar, or honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce or tamari
  • cup water
  • 6 whole wheat hamburger buns , or other sandwich rolls of your choice, toasted

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in the large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and soft, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the carrot and zucchini and cook to release most of the moisture, 3 to 4 minutes. Once the vegetables are soft and cooked down, stir in the garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook an additional minute.
    The shredded veggies for veggie-loaded sloppy joes in a skillet with garlic and seasoning. There is a wooden spoon in the skillet and a gray napkin next to it
  • Add the ground turkey to the pan and cook, breaking it up with a spoon as it browns. Cook until browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
    Ground turkey and grated veggies in a skillet with a wooden spoon
  • While the meat is cooking, make the sauce:  Stir the tomato paste, sugar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and water together in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup.
    Sauce for sloppy joes in a measuring cup with a whisk
  • Once the meat is cooked and well crumbled, stir in the spinach and pour in the sauce. Stir and cook on medium-low until the sauce coats the meat and the flavors combine, about 2 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper as needed.
    Turkey sloppy joes in a skillet with chopped spinach and sauce on top, waiting to be stirred in. There is a wooden spoon in the skillet.
  • Scoop about a ¾ cup of the warm sloppy joe mixture onto each of the toasted buns and enjoy.
    Veggie-Loaded turkey sloppy joes portioned onto buns laid on a cuttingboard

Notes

  • Instead of ground turkey, you can use ground chicken or lean ground beef.
  • Don’t want to grate the carrot and zucchini? You can finely chop them by hand or pulse them in a food processor until finely chopped.
  • Instead of buns, the sloppy joe mixture is great served on top of rice or quinoa.
  • The meat mixture can be made 2 days ahead and reheated in a pan with a splash of water to add back some moisture that may have been lost.
Serving: 1sloppy joe, Calories: 291kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 56mg, Sodium: 785mg, Potassium: 549mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 3165IU, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 94mg, Iron: 4mg