Buffalo Sloppy Joe is an easy and healthy 30-minute dinner that is big on flavor. Serve the meat the traditional way - on a bun - or alternatively, over a baked sweet potato, salad, in a taco or on a bed of cauliflower rice.
Sloppy Joe originated in the mid-20th century as a sandwich containing ground beef seasoned with a tomato-based sauce. Here, I've used ground turkey to lighten up this classic and given it a buffalo twist with a good amount of hot sauce to produce a Buffalo Sloppy Joe has just a touch of spice but is still mild enough that all of my kids enjoy it.
Serve this Buffalo Joe with Roasted Mini Potatoes, raw vegetables and dip or Creamy Cucumber and Onion Salad for a complete meal. Looking for other spicy crowd-pleasing recipes? Try this Takis Chicken.
Here's what you need to make Buffalo Sloppy Joe:
- ground turkey
- olive oil
- brown sugar
- hot sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- tomato sauce
- apple cider vinegar
- garlic powder
See recipe card for quantities.
Here's how to make Buffalo Sloppy Joe:
Add the olive oil and ground turkey to a pan over medium heat.
Cook the turkey, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until the meat is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain off the extra fat.
Add the tomato sauce, hot sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and garlic powder to the pan.
Give everything a good stir and simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes to let the flavors combine. Serve meat on a bun, or your desired method.
Hint: I like Frank's hot sauce best for this recipe as it produces a classic buffalo flavor.
Want to substitute an ingredient for Buffalo Sloppy Joe? Here's how:
- Ground turkey - use an equal amount of ground chicken in place of the ground turkey.
- Brown sugar - use an equal amount of a sugar alternative such as honey or coconut sugar in place of the brown sugar.
- Olive oil - use an equal amount of a different mild oil such as canola oil or avocado oil in place of the olive oil.
- Apple cider vinegar - use an equal amount of red wine vinegar or white vinegar in place of the apple cider vinegar.
- Worcestershire - use an equal amount of soy sauce or tamari in place of the Worcestershire sauce.
Try one of these variations of Buffalo Sloppy Joe:
- Spicy - increase the hot sauce to ⅓-1/2 cup to add more heat to this recipe.
- Deluxe - top the sandwich with lettuce and a drizzle of ranch or blue cheese dressing for extra flavor.
- Vegan - replace the ground turkey with an equal amount of a plant-based burger to make this vegan. You will also need to use soy sauce or tamari in place of the Worcestershire sauce.
- Gluten-free - use gluten-free buns instead of white bread buns to make this gluten-free or serve the meat over a salad or baked sweet potato. Make sure that your soy sauce and hot sauce are both gluten-free.
This equipment comes in handy to make Buffalo Sloppy Joe:
Store leftover cooked Buffalo Sloppy Joe in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. (Check out this article for more details on how to properly freeze and thaw cooked meat.)
Buffalo Sloppy Joe sauce is made of a combinations of tomato sauce, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and garlic powder.
Looking for other turkey recipes like this? Try these:
Serve one of these side dishes with Buffalo Sloppy Joe:
Buffalo Sloppy Joe
- Add the olive oil and ground turkey to a pan over medium heat. Cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until the meat is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain off the extra fat.
- Add the tomato sauce, hot sauce, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and garlic powder to the pan. Give everything a good stir and simmer 5-10 additional minutes to let the flavors combine.
- Serve meat on a bun, or your desired method.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended