Zesty Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes Recipe

In honor of the 2013 National Nutrition Month theme of “Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day,” I wanted to feature a recipe that balances taste and nutrition. Enter my wholesome sloppy joes bursting with flavor!

I originally created this recipe for Mazola, and it’s great as sloppy joes on a wheat bun, or on it’s own as a hearty chili (if you are bunless). Sloppy Joes might not be a dish you typically think of as “healthy” but in the spirit of “eating right, my way”, my version has lean meat, 6 colorful veggies, nutrient-rich beans, and spices that add flavor without added sodium.

To make it vegetarian either just omit the meat altogether, or substitute with soy crumbles. Have your older kids help in the kitchen by having them chop the vegetables, while younger kids can help measure the spices. Making dinner together helps you bond as a family, but it also helps introduce kids to cooking early which is a skill to last the rest of their lives.

sloppy joes

Zesty Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Kid friendly, delicious and nutritious – this recipe provides a full serving of vegetables in every serving.  Black beans and  ground turkey provide fiber and lean protein.  Customize the heat level with the amount of chipotle pepper you choose to add!

Yield: 12 servings // Prep Time: 15 minutes // Slow Cooker Time: 4 hours (on High) or 8 hours (on LOW)


  • 3 tablespoons Mazola Corn Oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded OR chopped carrots
  • 1 cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each), no salt added tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons no added salt tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • To taste, Spice Islands Medium Grind Black Pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 chipotle in adobo sauce (use 1/2 for mild, or 1 for spicy), optional
  • 1 pound 98% lean ground turkey breast
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 12 whole wheat hamburger buns


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic, onion, bell pepper, carrots, mushrooms and corn.  Saute for 5 minutes until vegetables are slightly tender and onions are translucent.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Stir together tomato sauce, tomato paste, cumin, mustard, vinegar, molasses, Whrcestershire sauce, black pepper and chipotle if desired, in a large bowl.
  3. Add ground turkey to slow cooker, breaking up into smaller pieces with a large spoon or spatula.  Add sauteed vegetables, tomato mixutre and black beans; stir to combine.
  4. Cover and cook 4 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW.
  5. To serve, scoop a 1/2 cup portion on to a sliced bun.

What are some of your favorite slow cooker recipes????

Leave a comment below to share your favorite go-to slow cooker recipes. Maybe I’ll feature it in my newsletter next month! Don’t forget to “like” my page on Facebook, and “follow” me on Twitter and Pinterest to get other great recipe and wellness ideas.

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