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Freekeh-Turkey Sloppy Joes

Hands-on time 13 mins
Total time 54 mins

Serves 6 (serving size: 1 sandwich)

Here’s a great way to incorporate more whole grains into your family’s diet while inconspicuously reducing your meat consumption. Hearty freekeh replaces much of the ground meat in a typical sloppy Joe mix, and its texture is completely satisfying. For taco night, try this variation: Remove the sugar and add a teaspoon of ground cumin; stuff the filling into warm corn tortillas with the usual taco toppers.


  • 1/2 cup uncooked cracked freekeh
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 Bibb lettuce leaves (optional)
  • 6 (1 1/2-ounce) whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted
  • 6 (1/8-inch-thick) slices red onion

Nutrition Information

  • calories 309
  • fat 10.2 g
  • satfat 1.5 g
  • monofat 4.7 g
  • polyfat 3.3 g
  • protein 15 g
  • carbohydrate 44 g
  • fiber 7 g
  • sugars 11 g
  • Est. Added Sugars 2 g
  • cholesterol 26 mg
  • iron 4 mg
  • sodium 589 mg
  • calcium 105 mg

How to Make It

  1. Cook freekeh according to package directions.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add turkey to pan; sprinkle with chili powder, sugar, and pepper. Cook 6 minutes or until turkey is done, stirring to crumble. Add cooked freekeh and tomatoes; reduce heat to medium, and cook 10 minutes or until mixture thickens. Stir in salt. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes.

  3. Place 1 lettuce leaf on bottom half of each bun, if desired. Spoon about 2/3 cup freekeh mixture over lettuce. Top each sandwich with 1 onion slice and top half of bun.

Cook's Notes

Executive Editor at Cooking Light, Ann Pittman, explores whole grain's all-around awesomeness in her new book, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice. This complete guide to healthy, hearty, and incredibly versatile whole grains includes something for everyone and offers innovative new techniques to ensure the most flavorful results. From simple, delicious sides to satisfying mains and sublime desserts, this James Beard Award-winning author educates, inspires and does not disappoint. Discover a whole new way of looking at whole grains, how they are prepared, and how they can be incorporated into a healthy diet at every meal.

Also appeared in: Oxmoor House, March, 2016, Everyday Whole Grains: 175 Recipes from Amaranth to Wild Rice;