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Slow Cooker (or not) Turkey Sloppy Joe Zucchini Boats
with mixed greens salad

Active: 40 Total: 280

We went for a bit of nostalgia tonight with saucy slow cooker Sloppy Joes. For a paleo-friendly twist, we're using ground turkey as the base and serving the saucy meat in zucchini boats.
Cooking methods: This recipe includes instructions for using the slow cooker or stovetop. Select your preferred method.

Tags

Ingredients

Metric
Servings:
4
Turkey Sloppy Joe Zucchini Boats:
  • Onions, medium - 1, diced
  • Bell peppers, green - 1, diced
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
  • Tomato paste - 1/3 cup
  • Stock, any type - 1/2 cup
  • Bragg's / coconut aminos - 1 Tbsp
  • Vinegar, apple cider - 1 Tbsp
  • Mustard, Dijon - 2 tsp
  • Honey - 1 tsp
  • Zucchini, medium - 4 (~½ lb / 227 g per zucchini)
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Turkey, ground - 1 lb
  • Italian seasoning - 1 tsp
Mixed Greens Salad:
  • Vinegar, apple cider - 1 Tbsp
  • Mustard, Dijon - 1 tsp
  • Honey - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil, olive - 2 Tbsp
  • Mixed greens - 6 oz (sub any salad greens)
  • Pepitas / pumpkin seeds - 1/4 cup

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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Choose Cooking Method

Prep

  1. Onions / Bell peppers / Garlic - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  2. Make sauce - Combine tomato paste, stock, aminos, vinegar (portion for turkey), mustard (portion for turkey), and honey (portion for turkey). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  3. Make vinaigrette - Whisk together vinegar (portion for salad), mustard (portion for salad), and honey (portion for salad). Add olive oil while whisking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  4. Zucchini - Slice in half lengthwise and then use a spoon to scoop out the center of each zucchini half, leaving ~1/2” / 1.25 cm thick shell on all sides (discard the center you scoop out or save it for another purpose). Check out this video. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)

  5. 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)

  6. 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.

  2. Brush a sheet pan with some cooking oil. Place zucchini halves on pan, cut-side facing up. Sprinkle zucchini with Italian seasoning and some salt and pepper.

  3. Transfer pan to heated oven and bake until zucchini halves are tender, 18 to 22 minutes.

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

  5. Toss mixed greens and pepitas / pumpkin seeds in vinaigrette until dressed to your liking.

  6. Fill zucchini boats with turkey. Serve with salad on the side. Enjoy!

Prep

  1. Onions / Bell peppers / Garlic - Prep as directed and combine. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  2. Make sauce - Combine tomato paste, stock, aminos, vinegar (portion for turkey), mustard (portion for turkey), and honey (portion for turkey). (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  3. Make vinaigrette - Whisk together vinegar (portion for salad), mustard (portion for salad), and honey (portion for salad). Add olive oil while whisking. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  4. Zucchini - Slice in half lengthwise and then use a spoon to scoop out the center of each zucchini half, leaving ~1/2” / 1.25 cm thick shell on all sides (discard the center you scoop out or save it for another purpose). Check out this video. (Can be done up to 4 days ahead)

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Learn More

Make

  1. Heat oven to 400F / 204C.

  2. Brush a sheet pan with some cooking oil. Place zucchini halves on pan, cut-side facing up. Sprinkle zucchini with Italian seasoning and some salt and pepper.

  3. Transfer pan to heated oven and bake until zucchini halves are tender, 18 to 22 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. Toss mixed greens and pepitas / pumpkin seeds in vinaigrette until dressed to your liking.

  8. Fill zucchini boats with turkey. Serve with salad 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 (57)
Gluten-free (7)
Paleo (3)
Vegetarian (9)

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

41 reviews

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

Loved the idea, my zucchini was grilled on the BBQ. After all the ‘too sweet’ reviews I went off recipe and combined a handful of different recipes. Tomato paste, ketchup, BBQ sauce, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic, cocoa, cayenne. It was great.

By: Teresa
Posted: Oct 06, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

This was pretty tasty! The sauce was a little sweet for my taste, but it grew on me when I had leftovers the next day (or maybe the flavors had melded more). I made the stovetop version and had to simmer for longer than the recipe called for to get the sauce to thicken.

By: Melissa
Posted: Sep 27, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

this was super delicious!! with the lentils i was interested to see how this would turn out and even my kiddo liked it. really great and will definitely make it again.

By: Laura
Posted: Sep 27, 2021
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

Easy and delicious - prepped the night before.

By: Namrita
Posted: Sep 23, 2021
Diet: Paleo
0 Helpful