Sloppy Toms

Sloppy Toms
I love playing with retro 'kid' food--the stuff that I grew up eating, but that just needs a makeover to reflect my changes in taste, which usually means move flavor, especially, more fire power.

Sloppy Joe's were a favorite dish in our house. My mom usually served them with Tater Tots™(which need no makeover) and corn. She'd toast the buns just perfectly, add a slice or two of cheese and then pile on the meat.

I still love a good Sloppy Joe, but the other day as I was sorting through the deep freeze, I uncovered a few packs of ground turkey that I needed to use up, so I decided to take an old school favorite and give it a new school feel. I still toast those buns and add the cheese, but the meat mixture includes lots of hot pepper, a spoon of dark brown sugar and for the secret, make the dish ingredient--pure maple syrup. This sandwich makes for a tasty, man-pleasing dinner, especially served alongside an ice cold beer.

Sloppy Toms

1 20 ounce package of ground turkey
1 small onion, finely minced
1 toe of garlic, finely minced
1/2 medium red bell pepper, finely minced
2 small jalapeño peppers, finely minced
6 ounces of tomato paste
1/3 cup of ketchup
1/4 cup yellow mustard
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin

toasted buns
sliced cheddar cheese

1. Brown turkey and onions over medium heat. Add garlic, red bell pepper and jalapeño peppers and continue to cook until peppers are soft.
2. Add cayenne pepper, paprika, chili powder and cumin.
3. Add tomato paste, ketchup and mustard; cook, adding water to thin if necessary.
4. Add Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and maple syrup; cook until mixture is very hot and the sauce clings to the meat.
5. Add salt to taste; adjust any seasonings as necessary.
6. Spoon onto toasted buns; top with cheese.


  1. I never liked manwich growing up because it was too sweet - I prefer a spicy sloppy joe! I think I'll give this a try next week with the hubs, sans the maple syrup, but I'll keep in the brown sugar.

    Of course, I'll only add jalapeno to mine, the hubs can't handle the heat like me!

  2. My mom always made her own, so I'm not familiar with the canned sauces. I like mine fiery hot, but sweet enough to distract me from all the pain. Sad, but true.


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