Ground Turkey and Cabbage Sloppy Joes

This wholesome sloppy Joe recipe mixes ground turkey, bell peppers, and cabbage for a zesty take on the classic middle-school lunch.

A ceramic plate with a sloppy Joe sandwich next to a skillet filled with sloppy Joe meat.

I like to use ground turkey and sneak in red bell pepper and cabbage for a more wholesome take on this childhood classic. Served on a soft brioche bun, this sloppy Joe is not your average middle school lunch.

Yield: 8 servings


  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), for drizzling
  • 1 small yellow onion, 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, 1/2 inch dice
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, core removed and 1/2-inch dice
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. dark meat ground turkey
  • 15-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup yellow mustard
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. ground garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard powder
  • 8 soft brioche buns
a sloppy Joe sandwich next to a skillet filled with sloppy Joe meat.


  • Bring a 12-inch high-sided nonstick skillet up to heat over medium. Drizzle in 1 to 2 tbsp. of EVOO and add in the onion and bell pepper. Sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the cabbage and cook for 10 to 12 minutes or until wilted and golden brown, stirring often. If the pan looks too dry while cooking, add another 1 or 2 tbsp. of oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Next, add in the ground turkey and cook it for 6 to 8 minutes, breaking it up into small pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Turn the heat to low and add in the tomato sauce, yellow mustard, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, and mustard powder. Stir together.
  • Cover and simmer on low for 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt or pepper if needed.
  • Serve on brioche buns or keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Recipe and photos by Megan Mitchell.