Now that school's back in session and after school activities are in full-swing, our evenings just got really busy, really fast. So I'm always on the lookout for dinners that are healthy, quick and easy, and appealing to the whole family.
I was a vegetarian growing up, so I didn't eat a lot of Sloppy Joes. And to be honest, even once I ate meat again, they didn't really seem all that appealing. But after having these… boy have I been missing out! Ground turkey, a great blend of sweet and savory seasonings, tomato sauce, and finally, just enough root beer to lend a subtle caramel finish. Good stuff, these sandwiches.
Even better, they fit the bill for my dinner trifecta: healthy, fast, and kid-approved. I served these with zucchini tots and fresh fruit, and it was a really great dinner. The turkey mixture is also one of those great foods that tastes even better the next day, so I had some pretty great lunches over the course of the week as well.
Do you have any strategies for quick and easy weeknight meals? This will be an upcoming topic for my "Feeding my Family" series, so I'd love to have some reader-advice to include!
Root Beer Sloppy Joes
adapted from Cooking Light, September 2014
- 2 tsp canola oil
- 3/4 cup chopped white onion
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp dry mustard powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 3/4 cup tomato sauce
- 1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp hot sauce
- 1/4 cup root beer
- 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 hamburger buns, toasted
Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook 3 minutes, or until it's just beginning to soften. Stir in the ground turkey, breaking up the meat as you stir and cook. Cook 4 minutes, or until the meat is just beginning to brown.
Add the garlic, mustard, chili powder, tomato paste, and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is fragrant. Stir in the tomato sauce, vinegar, hot sauce, root beer, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer and cook 5 to 7 minutes, or until the mixture is slightly thickened.
Divide the mixture among the bottom halves of the buns, top with the top halves, and serve.