Sloppy Joes are typically a messy and meaty meal. Half the fun is the messy part, and it can still be fun when you toss in a few veggies, disguised between the sauce and meat. While we’re at it, why not switch up the traditional sloppy joe recipe by subbing out the beef for some lean ground turkey? Sounds like this comfort food favourite just shot up one or two notches on the nutrition scale!
I made these a few nights ago for my family, despite my brother’s protests. I’m not sure when he’ll learn that just because it’s “healthier” doesn’t mean it will taste worse. And of course I was right. He ate not one, but two pita pockets full! 1 point for me, null for him.
I love how filling this meal is and how many veggies you can pack into it. If you are more of a beef lover, feel free to use ground beef instead. Or if you’re interested in trying it out with some ground soy, I would LOVE to hear how it turns out. Unfortunately, I was unable to find that in my grocery store, but turkey filled in quite nicely.
Turkey and Ratatouille Sloppy Joes Recipe
Stuffs 8 half pita pockets
1 tsp grapeseed oil
1 lb extra-lean ground turkey (I also considered using ground soy but didn’t have any luck at the grocery store. Let me know if you test that option out).
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
2 tsp chili powder
3/4 tsp mustard powder
1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 sweet red bell pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 small eggplant diced
1 1/2 cups Marinara Sauce (I used Classico’s Tomato Basil Sauce)
2 tsp Sucanat (or honey)
sea salt and ground pepper to taste
4 pita pockets cut in half
First heat the grapeseed oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the turkey, garlic, onion. Cook for 5-8 minutes, being sure to break up the meat while cooking until the meat is browned and no liquid remains. Add in the chili powder, mustard powder and cayenne pepper and continue to cook for about a minute more. Pour the mixture into a separate bowl to set-aside.
Over medium-high heat add the red bell pepper, zucchini and eggplant to the pan. Saute the vegetables for 4 minutes. Add the turkey mixture and reduce heat to medium. Continue to cook for 10 more minutes. Be sure to stir the mixture often to ensure all vegetables are cooked.
Add in the marinara sauce with the Sucanat and ground pepper to taste. Stir until vegetables and turkey are covered in sauce. Once the sauce has been heated thoroughly (watch for bubbles to know when!). Serve by scooping the mixture into your pita pockets. It may be a bit sloppy (ha ha!), so get your napkin ready! Enjoy.