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BBQ Turkey Sloppy Joes with Jalapeño Relish and Pineapple Slaw

Serves 4

This recipe was tested by thousands of school students from coast to coast as part of a collaboration between Yum-o! and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Originally created to be served in schools, we’ve adapted the recipe here for you to try at home.

Would you like to see this recipe on your school lunch menu? Visit the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s website to learn how!


For the jalapeño relish:

  • 1 small dill pickle, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeño peppers
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

 For the pineapple slaw:

  • 1/2 cup Greek-style plain yogurt, regular or low fat (optional)
  • 1 1-inch piece of fresh ginger root, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 bag store-bought cole slaw mix (14 ounces) or 1 small head white cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple, freshly processed or canned, no sugar added, lightly drained

 For the sloppy turkey:

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 2 pounds ground all-white-meat turkey breast
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grill seasoning, such as McCormick brand Montreal Steak Seasoning
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can tomato sauce (14 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce
  • 8 crusty whole grain rolls, split and toasted


  1. Combine all the relish ingredients together and stir to combine.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, whisk the yogurt, ginger, salt and pepper, vinegar and oil. Place the cole slaw mix and pineapple in a medium size mixing bowl and pour the dressing over top. Toss to coat. Adjust the seasonings and serve.
  3. To make the sloppy turkey, heat the EVOO, one turn of the pan, in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey and use the back of a wooden spoon or spatula to break up the turkey into crumbles so that it can brown evenly. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the grill seasoning. Once the turkey begins to brown, 3-4 minutes, add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 5-6 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften. In a bowl, combine the vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce and hot sauce. Stir the barbecue sauce into the turkey mixture. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the mixture bubble for another 5 minutes.
  4. Using a large spoon or ice cream scoop, pile the sloppy turkey onto the toasted bun bottoms, then top with the jalapeño relish and the bun tops. Serve alongside the pineapple slaw.

Photo credit: Burcu Avsar