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Slow Cooker (or not) Turkey Sloppy Joes
with parmesan zucchini spears

Active: 40 Total: 280

We went for a bit of nostalgia tonight with saucy slow cooker Sloppy Joes, but you know we had to give these messy sandwiches a Cook Smarts twist. We lightened things up with ground turkey as the base and served roasted parmesan zucchini spears on the side.
Cooking methods: This recipe includes instructions for using the slow cooker or stovetop. Select your preferred method.

Tags
Proteins
Cuisines

Ingredients

Metric
Servings:
4
Turkey Sloppy Joes:
  • Onions, medium - 1, diced
  • Bell peppers, green - 1, diced
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
  • Ketchup - 3/4 cup
  • Stock, any type - 1/2 cup
  • Worcestershire sauce - 1 Tbsp
  • Vinegar, apple cider - 1 Tbsp
  • Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
  • Brown sugar - 1 tsp
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Turkey, ground - 1 lb
  • Hamburger buns - 4
Parmesan Zucchini Spears:
  • Zucchini - 1 lb, spears
  • Cheese, parmesan - 1/3 cup, grated
  • Oil, olive - 2 Tbsp
  • Italian seasoning - 1/2 tsp

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
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Choose Cooking Method

Prep

  1. Zucchini / Cheese / Onions / Bell peppers / Garlic - Prep as directed. Store zucchini and cheese in their own containers. Combine onions, bell peppers, and garlic in another container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  2. Make sauce - Combine ketchup, stock, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, mustard, and brown sugar. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  3. Pre-cook turkey - Heat a skillet over medium-high heat with cooking oil. Add turkey and saute until cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. Add onions, bell peppers, and garlic and saute until translucent. Season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  4. Slow cook turkey - In the bowl of a slow cooker, combine cooked turkey and sauce. Stir well. Cook on low for 4 hours. (We do not recommend cooking this on high because the tomato-based sauce may burn.)

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Make

  1. Heat oven to 400F / 204C. Lightly brush a sheet pan with some cooking oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Toss zucchini with olive oil, Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, and some salt and pepper. Spread out on sheet pan.

  3. Bake zucchini until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

  4. When zucchini is nearly finished cooking, give turkey a stir. Season with some salt and pepper if needed.

  5. Toast hamburger buns.

  6. Divide turkey between hamburger buns. Serve with zucchini on the side. Enjoy!

Prep

  1. Zucchini / Cheese / Onions / Bell peppers / Garlic - Prep as directed. Store zucchini and cheese in their own containers. Combine onions, bell peppers, and garlic in another container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  2. Make sauce - Combine ketchup, stock, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, mustard, and brown sugar. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

Unlock this meal along with hundreds of smart meal plans and never stress about "What's for dinner?" again

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Learn More

Make

  1. Heat oven to 400F / 204C. Lightly brush a sheet pan with some cooking oil or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Toss zucchini with olive oil, Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese, and some salt and pepper. Spread out on sheet pan.

  3. Bake zucchini until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

  4. While zucchini bakes, heat a skillet over medium-high heat with cooking oil. Add turkey with some salt and saute until cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes.

  5. To turkey, add onions, bell peppers, and garlic and saute until translucent.

  6. Pour sauce over turkey and continue cooking until sauce reduces and thickens, 5 to 8 minutes more. Remove turkey from heat. Taste and season with some salt and pepper if needed.

  7. Toast hamburger buns.

  8. Divide turkey between hamburger buns. Serve with zucchini on the side. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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Increase your nutrition smarts


Reviews

Ratings

Original (65)
Gluten-free (7)
Paleo (3)
Vegetarian (11)

Most Helpful

Made it in the slow cooker. Sauce was too sweet - I will try with a mix of tomato paste next time. Substituted red peppers for green. Made a salad instead of the zucchini. Super quick for a weeknight meal.

By: Jan-Marie
Posted: Sep 16, 2021
Diet: Original
2 Helpful

45 reviews

Even though I simmered it quite a bit longer than suggested, I couldn't get this sauce to thicken, so it was EXTRA sloppy. However, the flavor was great. My family gobbled it up!

By: Ruth
Posted: Aug 17, 2022
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

I didn’t make the zucchini but the sloppy Joe’s were good. I cut back a little on the ketchup based on reviews and the sauce was just right.

By: Margaret
Posted: Mar 14, 2022
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

More well received than expected. Added cabbage and carrot salad from another recipe because only had one zucchini. Served open faced topped with cheese which helped hold it together.

By: Shawn
Posted: Feb 03, 2022
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

Zucchini was super greasy. Filling for sloppy joes was ok.

By: Julie
Posted: Nov 07, 2021
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

Pretty good. Not sure I will make it again, but it was nice to try something new

By: Kimberly
Posted: Oct 21, 2021
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

Made it in the slow cooker. It came together really easily but the sauce was too ketchup-y.

By: Carli
Posted: Oct 13, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful