Turkey Sloppy Joes on Whole Wheat Cornbread Waffles

Recipe is adapted from Ambitious Kitchen -- one of the best food bloggers ever! Love her and all her fun and healthy meal, snack, and dessert ideas! 

I thought this recipe was SPOT ON. It's a tiny spin on the American comfort food, sloppy joes (or as some call it "maid-rites" if I'm correct -- I heard my roommates call it that, so apparently it's a thing) with the addition of a cornbread waffle, which was just darn right delicious and the perfect pairing to regular sloppy Joes. The turkey meat makes them a lot leaner than the typical ground beef version, but if you're anti-ground turkey then just look for the leanest ground beef to keep the dish lower in fat.

This recipe serves 4, and since I was just cooking for myself on this particular night, there was a lot leftover meat which I stored in the fridge and an extra waffle and a half which I just stuck in the freezer to be taken out and toasted when I want to enjoy the meal all over again. 

Serves 4 (1/4 meat mixture, 1/2 Belgium waffle)


For the sloppy joes:

  • 1-2 teaspoons avocado oil (can sub olive oil)
  • 1 pound 99% lean ground turkey
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Optional: sprinkle red pepper flakes
  • 1 (14oz) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon tamari (gluten free soy-sauce...can sub regular soy sauce...use lower sodium)
  • Splash of Worcestershire sauce 

For the cornbread waffles:

  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour 
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons avocado oil (can sub olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (can sub any milk)


  1. Heat a large pot/dutch oven/skillet with a lid over medium heat. Add in olive oil, turkey, onion, peppers and garlic. Stir frequently, breaking up the turkey. Cook until turkey is no longer pink and onions are soft and somewhat translucent.
  2. Add in chili powder, cumin, onion powder and red pepper flakes (if desired); stir for 30 seconds to allow spices to cook. 
  3. Stir in tomato sauce, ketchup, mustard, tamari, and Worcestershire sauce. Cover with lid and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.
  4. While the sloppy joes are simmering, Preheat your waffle iron.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. In a separate medium bowl, mix together egg, maple syrup, oil, applesauce and almond milk until well combined. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  6. Spray waffle iron lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Add about 1/2 of batter to waffle iron and cook according to manufacturer's directions. Once waffle is cooked, place in 200°F oven to keep warm (or you can just toast them up later if they get cold). Repeat with remaining batter. Should make 2 large Belgian waffles.
  7. To serve, place two waffle quarters on plate and top with 1/4th of the sloppy joe meat. 
  8. Top with cheese if desired.