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This paleo mango turkey sloppy joe recipe is full of sweet and tangy flavor, and is a fun twist on classic sloppy joes! Plus eating sloppy joes as a salad makes it a little less sloppy and a little more healthy.

whole30 mango turkey sloppy joe salad bowl on wooden table

There is a Costco located right across from where Mike works and he’s discovered the joy that is shopping there. (No joke.)

Some bargains are just too good to pass up. But the thing is, when you buy waaaaay more than you need of something, when does a bargain stop being a bargain? (Like how on earth do two people, one of whom doesn’t really eat bread, need a box of 12 super-sized croissants? He wouldn’t be dissuaded from that one though.)

Mike came home with two (three-pound) packs of ground turkey two weeks in a row. Between the two of us, I’m the only one who likes ground turkey, but at least it’s something that can be frozen. When a sweet neighbor dropped off a huge box of mangoes knowing that they’re my favorite, I decided to get creative and this recipe came about.

The average sloppy joes I remember as a kid (which were still great to me!) are given a major upgrade with the addition of fresh mango puree. If you’re doing Whole30, there are just a couple easy adjustments you’ll need to make this meal compliant: omit the honey (and so you may want to reduce the vinegar by half or so), omit the Dijon, and add 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder.

I served this turkey sloppy joe recipe up as salads, but of course you can go the traditional route and use buns if you prefer. Or to keep them paleo, use paleo sandwich bread or paleo flatbread!

close up view of sloppy joe salad bowls with mango and red onion

Ingredients

Ingredients Explained

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas where applicable. For the full recipe (including the ingredient amounts), see the recipe card below.

Turkey Sloppy Joe Meat with Mango and Chili Powder

  • Olive oil – Turkey is lean, so we cook it in a little bit of olive oil.
  • Ground turkey – You can also use ground chicken or 90% lean ground beef (or leaner).
  • Onion and garlic – For savory depth of flavor.
  • Mango puree – To make fresh mango puree, peel the fruit and remove the seed in the center. Puree until smooth in a blender or food processor. (You will need 1 to 2 mangoes to get 3/4 cup of puree for this recipe.)
  • Apple cider vinegar – Don’t skip the vinegar here, it helps create the balanced sweet and tangy flavor profile of classic sloppy joes. If you prefer, you can use red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar instead.
  • Coconut aminos – Or tamari sauce or soy sauce if not doing paleo/Whole30.
  • Tomato paste – Tomato paste helps thicken the sauce and lends another layer of flavor. (Regular sloppy joes contain ketchup, which we’re omitting because of the sugar content, so tomato paste helps us get the right flavor while keeping this recipe paleo.)
  • Honey – Along with the fresh mango puree, honey helps bring the sweet element to this dish. Another paleo friendly sweetener option is coconut sugar.
  • Dijon mustard – For depth of flavor. To keep this recipe paleo, use paleo friendly dijon mustard.
  • Chili powder – This is an ingredient in traditional sloppy joes. In this recipe, spicy chili powder marries beautifully with the fruity flavor of mango!
  • Salt and black pepper – These pantry-staple seasonings make sure our meat isn’t bland.

Optional Ingredients to Serve it as a Salad

  • Fresh salad greens – Or any leafy greens you like.
  • Red onion – Or go with milder scallion or chives.
  • Avocado – This lends rich, creamy texture to our sloppy joe salad bowls.
  • Fresh mango – Sliced up fresh mango echoes the flavor of mango in the ground meat mixture.

Instructions

  1. To brown the meat, add the oil to a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the turkey, onion, and garlic and cook (uncovered) until the meat is browned, about 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. To bring the flavor, stir in the mango puree, vinegar, coconut aminos, tomato paste, honey, Dijon, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Bring up to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool slightly.
  3. To assemble the salads, arrange the greens in the bottom of 4 large bowls. Place 1/4 of the meat mixture on top of each, and divide the red onion, avocado, and sliced mango between each salad. Serve immediately.
skillet of turkey sloppy joe meat on wooden table

Storage

You can make the meat mixture up to 4 days in advance and store it covered in the fridge until serving.

Cook’s Tips

  • If you have leftover mango puree, you can use it as a topping for yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes, or ice cream. Or mix it with lemon juice and sweetener to make mango lemonade!
  • Instead of mango, you can use fresh ripe peaches. If your peaches are super sweet, add more vinegar to taste.
  • You don’t have to go the salad bowl route. This is also absolutely delicious served on a toasted bun or bread of your choosing! Or if you prefer, serve it along with rice, couscous, or quinoa.

More Quick and Easy Paleo Weeknight Dinner Recipes

sloppy joe bowls with turkey and mango

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Mango Turkey Sloppy Joe Recipe (Served as Salad Bowls)

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
This paleo mango turkey sloppy joe recipe is full of sweet and tangy flavor, and is a fun twist on classic sloppy joes! Plus eating sloppy joes as a salad makes it a little less sloppy and a little more healthy.

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Ingredients
 

Mango Turkey Sloppy Joe Meat:

Optional Ingredients to Serve it as a Salad:

  • 8 cups fresh salad greens
  • 1/2 medium-large red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado quartered
  • 1 mango peeled and thinly sliced

Instructions
 

  • To brown the meat, add the oil to a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Add the turkey, onion, and garlic and cook (uncovered) until the meat is browned, about 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • To bring the flavor, stir in the mango puree, vinegar, coconut aminos, tomato paste, honey, Dijon, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Bring up to a simmer and cook until thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool slightly.
  • To assemble the salads, arrange the greens in the bottom of 4 large bowls. Place 1/4 of the meat mixture on top of each, and divide the red onion, avocado, and sliced mango between each salad. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • To Make Fresh Mango Puree: To make fresh mango puree, peel the fruit and remove the seed in the center. Puree until smooth in a blender or food processor. (You will need 1 to 2 mangoes to get 3/4 cup of puree for this recipe.) If you have leftover mango puree, you can use it as a topping for yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes, or ice cream. Or mix it with lemon juice and sweetener to make mango lemonade!
  • Dijon Mustard: To keep this recipe paleo, use paleo friendly dijon mustard.
  • Nutrition Information: The nutritional information for this recipe was calculated for the sloppy joe meat only, without the optional ingredients to serve it as a salad.
  • To Make Ahead: You can make the meat mixture up to 4 days in advance and store it covered in the fridge until serving.
  • Whole30-Friendly: To make this recipe Whole30-compliant, omit the honey (and so you may want to reduce the vinegar by half or so), omit the Dijon, and add 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder.

Nutrition

Calories: 266kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 488mg | Potassium: 567mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 820IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Paleo Sloppy Joes, Sloppy Joe Bowls, Sloppy Joe Salad, Turkey Sloppy Joe Recipe, Whole30 Sloppy Joe Bowls, Whole30 Sloppy Joes

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This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on June 3, 2016 and updated on June 3, 2024.

Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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4 Comments

  1. These salad bowls are such a smart way to reinvent the sloppy joe! And I love the fresh mango, one of my favorite salad toppers!

  2. I’m cracking up that you and Kevin both reinvented the sloppy joe today. Love it!

    I absolutely love the use of mango here – such a healthful way to get that sweet tangy flavor than the traditional. And creating it as a salad is such a great idea – much better than ending up with a mess on your shirt.

    Have a wonderful weekend, beautiful friend!

  3. Well I’m just going to say that we must be on the same wavelength. Ha! This salad with that mango puree, heaven! Have a great weekend.
    Costco is a fav haunt over here as well. I have learned to have a list and stick to it or else it’s crazy. :)

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