Lighter Classic Sloppy Joes
This lighter version of classic Sloppy Joes has all the rich, savory, full-bodied flavor you’re craving!
Servings: 12 servings
Sloppy Joes Sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3-4 stalks celery finely chopped
- 1 - 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey or ground chicken
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 3/4 cup ketchup [We use Portland Ketchup!)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar see NOTES
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 medium carrots coarsely grated
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup water or as needed
- 1/8 - 1/4 cup old-fashioned or quick oats coarsely ground or chopped
- Chopped green onions
- Toasted burger buns
- Cheese sliced or grated [Optional; see NOTES]
In a small bowl, mix together ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, cocoa powder, salt, Sriracha, basil, oregano, fennel seeds, and paprika. Set aside.
Melt butter in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Increase heat to medium-high and add chopped onions and celery. Stir intermittently until the onions just begin to brown.
Add 1/2 cup water and ground meat to skillet with the onions and celery. Season with Break meat apart and cook until no pink remains and water has evaporated.
Add contents of small bowl to skillet mixture and stir to combine thoroughly.
Reduce heat to Low, cover skillet, and simmer 5 - 10 minutes.
If mix is too thick: Add up to a cup of water before simmering (Don't go crazy, though!)
To thicken the mixture, add 2 -4 tablespoons of quick or old-fashioned oats. This works best if you run them through a food mill or small blender first. Be careful though - you don't want to turn it into oat flour - you just want to break the oats up a little.
SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS: Do steps 1 - 4 as outlined, then dump everything into the slow cooker, and cook on low for 1-2 hours.
- BROWN SUGAR: If you prefer your Joes a little less sweet, reduce or omit the brown sugar according to your tastes. Also, pay attention to the amount of sugar in your ketchup - if it is a very sweet variety, you will want to cut back on the brown sugar.
- CHEESE: I usually use cheddar, or a blend of cheddar and jack. Just use whatever sounds good to you.