Hawaiian Sloppy Joes from Our Best BitesI love me a good sloppy joe. I have only the fondest memories of sloppy joes served up at childhood birthday parties, Halloween carnivals, and in the Wilson Elementary School cafeteria. No, I’m not kidding. Yes, I do remember all the other kids moaning and groaning about their sloppy joes and how freaking excited I was that it was sloppy joe day. I am Kate and I am a completely unapologetic lover of the sloppy joe.

Since my kids also harbor a deep and abiding love of sloppy joes, we eat them quite often around our house and sometimes, just sometimes I think, “We should mix this up a little.” And then I banish the treasonous, cheating thoughts, until it comes creeping in again. Hawaiian style.

I’m pretty sure there’s no such thing as a Hawaiian sloppy joe, or a Hawaiian-style sloppy joe, but this is my take on sloppy joes with a few little tropical twists. I’m using ground turkey and bacon (yep) instead of ground beef, although if ground turkey just isn’t your thing, ground beef would be equally delicious.

Hawaiian Sloppy Joes! Ground turkey, bacon, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, and pineapple. Super quick and easy!

Preheat oven to 425. Lay each slice of bacon flat on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes or until the bacon is crisp. Remove from the oven and drain the bacon on a paper towel-lined plate,

Hawaiian Sloppy Joes! Ground turkey, bacon, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, and pineapple. Super quick and easy!

reserving 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings.

To make the sloppy joes, you’ll need an onion, a bell pepper, garlic, ginger, pineapple juice, ketchup, brown sugar, cider vinegar, liquid smoke, and soy sauce.

Hawaiian Sloppy Joes! Ground turkey, bacon, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, and pineapple. Super quick and easy!

Chop the onion, garlic, ginger, and bell pepper…

Hawaiian Sloppy Joes! Ground turkey, bacon, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, and pineapple. Super quick and easy!

Place the reserved bacon drippings in a large skillet and heat the skillet to medium heat. Add the ground turkey or beef, onion, and pepper and cook until the meat is about halfway cooked. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until the meat is completely cooked.

While the meat is cooking, whisk the ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, liquid smoke, and soy sauce together in a small bowl. Add the sauce to the browned meat and add the pineapple juice to the mixture, keeping in mind that the sauce will thicken. Bring to a simmer, then cover and reduce the heat to low and cook for 30 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

When the mixture is done simmering, crumble the cooked bacon and add it to the sloppy joe mixture. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve on sweet Hawaiian rolls with a slice of pineapple, a slice of red onion, and, if desired, a few banana pepper rings. Makes 6 servings.

Slow Cooker Instructions: 

Brown the ground turkey or beef with the onion, green pepper, garlic, and ginger. Transfer to the slow cooker and add the sauce and combine well. Before serving, add the bacon and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook on low for 3-4 hours and serve as directed.

Freezer Instructions:

Brown the meat and onion, green pepper, garlic, and ginger. Transfer to a heavy-duty Ziploc bag or freezer container. Add the sauce and crumbled bacon and freeze. When ready to cook, transfer to a slow cooker and cook on low for 3-5 hours. Serve as directed.

Hawaiian Sloppy Joes! Ground turkey, bacon, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, and pineapple. Super quick and easy!



  1. I am going to give these a try. I think this would be really good with chicken breast too – Just cut your chicken into bite size pieces and serve on a bun or over rice. Yummy.

    It seems like we tend to prefer the kind of Sloppy Joe that we grew up with. For some that was Manwich, for me it was made with ketchup, a tiny amount of mustard and some brown sugar. Now that I think about it, with the sugar in the ketchup and brown sugar, it was pretty much candied ground beef on a bun! lol

  2. I am a former Wilson Wildcat too! I was good citizen of the year in the 5th grade ya know. I know I’m pretty awesome right? ;)Recipe looks great! Did u make those yummy looking chips too? Are they sweet potato chips?

  3. Wilson Elementary is where my nieces go to school! My boys are Ellis Eagles! I love Logan, especially now at fall time! These Hawaiian sloppy joes look yummy, I’m excited to try them!

  4. That bacon picture is not a very nice thing to do to a person who’s trying to watch what she eats. I’m not sure I can make it through this day without a big old slice of nice, hot, crispy bacon. Do you know a good way to clean drool off my keyboard?

    1. HA! So yeah, I totally buy those packages of pre-cooked Hormel bacon that have 35 calories for each slice or something ridiculously awesome. #justifyingmybaconaddiction #usinghashtagsheredoesnothing

  5. Would that be Wilson Elementary School just down the road from the Island Market? If so, my mom went to that elementary school 50+ years ago, and every time I visit my grandparents in Logan I drive right past that school. I’m sure that school has seen many wonderful people pass through its doors! This recipe looks WONDERFUL!

  6. Yum sounds good! We use turkey instead of beef in a lot of things. We just had your meatballs last night but made them using turkey and hot Italian turkey sausage and it was so good (I’ve made it with beef too, both ways are great!) Thanks for the great recipes!

  7. Hi Kate! I’m Rita and I love sloppy joes too:) This recipe looks great and I love that I can put it in the crockpot! You rock!
    PS I think I just crossed an item off my bucket list- first to comment!:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.