This back-to-school season, I will be posting new One-Bowl-Wonders recipes.  Recipes in this series are simple, quick, and can be made with just one bowl.  They are designed to be ready to eat in under an hour without wrecking your whole kitchen!  Easy recipes. Easy clean-up. Big reward! ….Perfect for back to school!

I have been going through a phase… probably later than some.  This period of my life can forever be known as the Chipotle Turkey Sloppy Joe phase.  As I write this post, it is 6am and I still would take one of these big ole sloppy joes!

Growing up, we weren’t ever the sloppy joe house.  I still can’t figure out why.  My mom was always looking for ways to use ground meat.  But I do know that when I had the canned version at friends’ houses growing up, I was not a fan – too sweet, overly salted, and a blah texture.  So now that I’m older and I would like to think at least a bit wiser, I know what flavors I like and I also knew what I don’t.

Turkey meat makes these lighter and leaner!  Chipotle peppers and a spoonful or two of their the adobo sauce give these an amazing smoky and spicy depth of flavor.  Apple cider vinegar lends a little tang.  And a hint of brown sugar adds just a touch of sweet!  For a busy week night or a last minute dinner party, these are something that EVERYONE will gobble up. (Please, pardon the turkey pun…I couldn’t help myself.)

Smoky, spicy, tangy, and a hint of sweet make this lightened up classic one of the biggest dinner hits!  So, aside from the fact that they taste fan-flipping-tastic, these sloppy-joes also can be made in 1 pot and are ready in about 20 minutes.  Yup.  20 minutes and dinner is DONE.

What are some of your favorite ways to make back-to-school season go more smoothly?

Back to School: Chipotle Turkey Sloppy Joes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
  • 4oz. can green mild chiles
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 1 lb. ground turkey (I recommend a combination of light and dark meat)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c. ketchup
  • 2 tbsp. adobo sauce from chipotle chiles (or less for less spice)
  • 1 tsp, salt, plus more to taste
  • For serving:
  • Burger or Slider Buns
  • Mayonnaise
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Serrano pepper, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Cilantro leaves

To make sloppy joes, heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook covered for about a minute until beginning to turn tender.  Add green chiles and chipotle peppers and give it a stir to combine.  Add turkey meat, cumin, chili powder, paprika, black pepper, brown sugar, and salt.  Cook uncovered until meat begins to brown.  Stir and cook until meat is no longer pink (about 3-5 minutes).  Reduce heat to medium low.  Add apple cider vinegar, adobo sauce, and ketchup.  Give it a stir.  Then cook covered until mixture begins to thicken.  Season with additional salt as desired.

To serve, scoop onto slider or full-sized buns and top with your choice of toppings.  I suggest cilantro and avocado!