Apple Is The Secret Ingredient That Upgrades Turkey Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes on white plate
Sloppy Joes on white plate - Christina Musgrave/Mashed

While standard sloppy Joes are familiar elementary school cafeteria fare, they're also something that many people may stop eating once they hit middle school and have other options available. Part of the reason may be that they're kind of, well, sloppy (although you can avoid spillage to some extent by using hot dog buns to hold the filling), but it may also be that canned sloppy Joe sauce is a bit too basic for some adult palates. If you go the homemade sloppy Joe route, though, you can play with the recipe to make for a much more exciting creation, which is what developer Christina Musgrave is doing here with her turkey and apple sloppy Joe recipe.

While adding fruit to a sloppy Joe sandwich may seem like an unconventional choice, according to Musgrave, "The apple brings a bit of sweetness as well as added texture to the sloppy Joe." Her choice of turkey instead of beef works well with this addition because turkey's milder flavor allows the apple flavor to be more pronounced. As an added benefit, this meat is less fatty than beef, and the apple provides some dietary fiber (particularly if you don't peel it).

Read more: 6 Canned Meats You Should Buy And 6 You Shouldn't

Here Are Some Ideas For Using Up Leftovers

meat and apples in pan
meat and apples in pan - Christina Musgrave/Mashed

While sloppy Joes that have been made into sandwiches make lousy leftovers since the buns get soggy, this turkey-apple sloppy Joe mix will be fine in the refrigerator for up to four days and can also be frozen. You can then just nuke the filling or heat it up on the stove, although Christina Musgrave suggests that you might want to add a bit of liquid if it looks dry. As for what to do with leftover turkey-apple sloppy Joe mix, you could simply slap it on a bun and make the same sandwiches again. However, there are other options that would work well with this recipe.

For one thing, the combo of ground turkey and chopped apple would make an interesting pizza topping, particularly if paired with barbecue sauce to double down on the sweetness. You could also use it on chicken-apple sausages to make something akin to chili dogs or use it to top a salad along with chopped apples, candied walnuts, feta crumbles, and apple cider vinaigrette. To round out the list, how about a turkey-apple sweet potato casserole? Just bake or boil the sweet potatoes, then chop them into chunks and smother them with sloppy Joe mix. Finish up with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, then bake the casserole at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes or so until it's hot. (As all of the components are cooked, you don't need to stress over whether it's done.)

Read the original article on Mashed.