Turkey Sloppy Joes

8 sandwich servings (photo is doubled recipe)

Tip: Double or triple this recipe and freeze serving size packages that you can pull out for a quick weeknight dinner. Pick up sandwich buns or serve over pasta or rice; add a salad or green vegetable and dinner is served in minutes.

2 Tbsp olive oil for turkey and sauce
1 1/2 lb lean ground turkey
1 large carrot
1/2 medium yellow onion
1 small stalk celery
6 oz can of 100% pineapple juice
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup ketchup
15 oz can tomato sauce
1 Tbsp yellow or Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup finely shredded Colby-Jack Cheese
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

8 sandwich or burger buns
Hamburger dill slices or bread & butter pickles

Wash and dry all vegetables.
Peel, then grate carrot.
Dice the half-onion.
Remove tough strings of celery stalk, then dice.
Have all ingredients, measuring cups and spoons ready near your cooking station.

Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown and crumble the turkey until it is completely cooked with no sign of pink meat. Remove the turkey and hold in a bowl while you make the sauce.

Add the other 1 Tbsp oil to the skillet. Sauté the carrot, onion and celery, stirring frequently until they begin to soften. Season lightly with salt & pepper. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes to “soften the flavor” in the sauce. Add pineapple juice, chicken stock, ketchup, tomato sauce, mustard, Worcestershire and vinegar. Bring sauce to a boil; reduce heat to simmer the sauce until it is thickened and reduced by about one third in volume. This should take about 20 minutes. Stir frequently and watch to be sure it isn’t boiling heavily or sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Return the cooked turkey to the pan; stir to combine, then stir in shredded cheese. Taste for seasoning and add salt & pepper as needed. Warm through until the mixture is ready to serve.

Serve a hearty scoopful on a bun topped with pickles…plus a wet washcloth on the side. 😉 These are great served with yesterday’s recipe post: Chickpea Salad with Quinoa. Add chips and cookies for an indoor picnic!

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