Italian Sloppy Joes are an easy to make, family-friendly dinner that will be on the table in 30 minutes! Serve these saucy sandwiches topped with melted mozzarella cheese and toasted garlic buns.
Remember when there was only one basic recipe for sloppy Joes? The classic ones made with ground beef, onion, bell pepper and a slightly sweet tomato, ketchup spiced sauce. That was the version I grew up on, basic, but delicious.
These days, there’s hundreds of different sloppy Joe recipes out there. I have several different ones on my blog and am adding these Italian Sloppy Joes to the mix. They’re easy to make, as all sloppy Joes should be, and perfect for the Italian food lovers!
What Do I Need To Make Italian Sloppy Joes?
- Ground turkey or ground chicken
- Yellow onion
- Red bell pepper
- Dried basil and oregano
- Balsamic vinegar, I always use one that’s aged. It’s sweeter and more syrupy.
- Marinara sauce, I highly recommend the Rao’s brand.
- Flat leaf parsley
- Shredded mozzarella, provolone or fontina cheese
To make the sloppy Joes, start by sautéing the onion, bell pepper and garlic. Once the vegetables soften, add in the ground turkey and continue to cook and crumble the meat until it’s cooked through. The marinara sauce, balsamic vinegar and water go into the mix and everything gets stirred together. The meat mixture needs to simmer for about 15 minutes so the flavors come together and the sauce thickens.
While the meat mixture is simmering, brush the inside of the buns with olive oil and sprinkle with a little garlic powder and salt. Put the buns under the broiler and let them get toasted and golden brown.
When the meat is done cooking stir in the chopped parsley and they’re ready to serve. I like to add shredded mozzarella, provolone or fontina cheese to these sloppy Joes, but it’s optional.
- Ground turkey can be substituted with ground chicken, ground beef, or even Italian turkey or pork sausage.
- Any color bell pepper can be used.
- Buns can be substituted with French bread or some type of crusty artisan bread.
- Balsamic vinegar can be omitted if you don’t have any.
- Flat leaf parsley can be replaced with dried parsley. Use a teaspoon and add it in with the other dried herbs.
The traditional way to serve sloppy Joes is between a bun. However, for those of you who prefer less carbs, you can serve them open faced, or skip the bun and serve on top of roasted spaghetti squash or cauliflower rice. To make this recipe gluten free all you need to do is make sure your marinara sauce is gluten free and serve on gluten free buns.
More Sloppy Joe Recipes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 clove of garlic, grated or minced
- 1 pound lean ground turkey or ground chicken
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 6 buns
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Swirl to coat the bottom and then add in the onion, red bell pepper and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the ground turkey to the vegetable and crumble it with a wooden spoon. Add in the basil, oregano, red pepper flakes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until the turkey is cooked through.
- Pour the marinara sauce, water and balsamic vinegar into the skillet and stir everything until combined. Bring to a simmer and then lower the heat to medium-low and let it simmer and reduce for another 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- While the meat mixture is cooking, brush the inside of the buns with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder and salt. Toast or broil until golden brown.
- When the meat sauce has thickened stir in the parsley. Taste for seasoning then serve on the toasted buns topped with mozzarella cheese.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 331Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 721mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 3gSugar: 9gProtein: 33g