Ground Turkey and Pinto Bean Sloppy Joes

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We’ve eaten Sloppy Joes many times, but only recently have we strayed away from the ground beef and tomato combination for something with a bit more spunk.

These Joes are made with ground turkey. Why? Because I said so!

Sorry, I get a little defensive about ground turkey. I get that it’s not the same flavor as beef. Duh, it’s not beef. The texture is the same, but ground turkey needs more seasoning than ground beef to keep it from being bland.

Here, I use hoisin sauce to add an Asian flavor to the traditional tomato-based Sloppy Joe. I’m no newbie to hoisin sauce, but I can’t claim this invention myself. I got the idea from Tracy’s Culinary Adventures, but there were other things about her recipe that I wanted to tweak. Adding pinto beans gives another level of flavor and texture while also making the Joes more filling. We didn’t eat a side with these sandwiches, but we didn’t need one – these are a meal themselves.

I also didn’t have fresh ginger on hand, but I had ground ginger. Seemed to work just fine.

Hoisin sauce really elevates the flavor and gives the ground turkey the spunk it deserves. Don’t skip it! If you need ideas of what to do with hoisin sauce (although you’ll use almost half a small jar with this recipe), check out my Baked Potatoes with Spicy Beef and Caramelized Onions, my Beer-Braised Chicken with Sriracha or my Spicy Ground Pork and Green Beans recipe.

Ground Turkey and Pinto Bean Sloppy Joes

Ground Turkey and Pinto Bean Sloppy Joes

Makes filling for 4 sandwiches


  • Splash of olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup pinto beans
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • Buns or rolls of your choice

Heat a skillet over medium high heat with a splash of olive oil.

Add the diced onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until onions are soft. Add the garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper and cook for one minute more, stirring the whole time.

Add the ground turkey and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring to break up the turkey into smaller pieces.

Stir in the tomato sauce, hoisin sauce, salt and pinto beans. Turn heat down to medium and let cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the fresh cilantro and lime juice. We ate these on onion rolls, but the flavor is so good that any white bread will do.


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  • John

    These sloppy joes were awesome with turkey! The leftovers reheat well as I just had them for my lunch today. I will definitely be asking Sara to make this meal again!

    • solidgoldeats