My Favorite Ways to Thicken a Sauce & Turkey Sloppy Joes with Avocado & a Fried Egg….YUM!

Posted on Sep 20, 2013 in Breakfast, Brunch, Healthy Eats, Main Dishes | 0 comments

My Favorite Ways to Thicken a Sauce & Turkey Sloppy Joes with Avocado & a Fried Egg….YUM!

I don’t think I had my first Sloppy Joe until I was probably 25….sad. I grew up in a Asian household so typical meals for me, besides the frequent Burger King, Popeye’s, Boston Market & Taco Bell was chicken feet & rice porridge.  Although delicious, they were no Sloppy Joes!

The one thing that can destroy even the most flavorful Sloppy Joes is a watery & runny meat sauce.  So here are my 3 favorite ways to thicken any sauce.

Ground Turkey Sloppy Joes

1.) The Cornstarch Method – Most important thing to know when using corn starch is that you NEVER just put it directly into your sauce.  It will clump up and you’ll have awful balls on cornstarch you definitely don’t want. Traditionally used more in sweet sauces I actually use this in both sweet & savory dishes, probably because I’m Asian and most dishes are always flavored with corn starch. 🙂


  • Generally for each cup of liquid you want to thicken, start with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.  Use an equal amount of water and combine it in a separate bowl with a spoon or whisk until it creates a smooth paste.
  • Whisk the slurry into the simmering liquid you are thickening.  Bring it to a boil and reduce back to a simmer until the starchy taste is cooked away.
  • One tip I never knew until recently, is that you want to do this at the very end of your dishes, because after you bring it back down to a simmer you don’t want it to cook any longer.  If you do, the starch may break down and the liquid will think out again.

2.) The Flour or Roux Method -Basically the same method as using Corn Starch, however the flour has a much stronger taste which is why it is always combined with a fat.  You can use butter, oil, bacon fat or any other kind of fat you want to flavor your dish with.

  • Generally you will use 2 tablespoons of flour for every cup of sauce you want to thicken and an equal amount of fat. An ounce of butter will absorb an equal amount of flour.
  • Melt your butter or fat in a pan over medium heat.  Gradually whisk in your flour continuing to whisk as you go.
  • Continue to whisk until the desired level of browness is achieved for the type of sauce you are making.  Make sure you don’t burn or see black specks in your roux.  If you do, start over!
  • Whisk the roux into the sauce you are thickening.

3.) Vegetable Purees – Did you know you can use almost any starchy vegetable to thicken soups and sauces? Probably since people have been doing it in soup for ever, but I never really thought about how well it truly does thicken. It’s also a great use to make dishes healthier.  Just make sure the vegetable you are using adds the right flavor to the dish you are creating.  Some examples of great thickeners are tomato paste, butternut squash, mashed potatoes, pureed cauliflower, sweet blended corn, pureed carrots, smashed pumpkins, roasted and pureed parsnips….seriously…try it!

Ground Turkey Sloppy Joes

The Ground Turkey Sloppy Joes w/ Avocado in this recipe actually uses corn starch and tomato paste as thickeners so there are fo sho no wateryness in my Sloppy Joes! Especially this sloppy joe because with the avocado and a sunny side fried egg with the runny yolk,  this is one delicious dish!


Ground Turkey Sloppy Joes w/ Avocado & a Fried Egg


  • 4 Whole Wheat Hamburger Buns
  • 1 1/4lb Ground Turkey Meat
  • 1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Sweet Onion Diced
  • 6 Strips Turkey Bacon Diced
  • 1 Medium Roasted Red Pepper
  • 3 heaped tablespoons Ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne
  • 1 tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 heaped tablespoon Dijon Mustard

Corn Starch Slurry

  • 3 tablespoons Corn Starch
  • 3 tablespoons Water


  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Ripe Avocado


Step 1
In a large pan, render down the turkey bacon. Add olive oil to the pan since the turkey bacon doesn't render out a ton of fat. Add the ground turkey and brown.
Step 2
Add the diced onions and diced roasted peppers to the pan. Let cook for a couple minutes for the onions to soften a little. Season with salt.
Step 3
Add the Worcestershire sauce, cayenne, chili powder & smoked paprika to the pan. Stir to combine. Cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add the canned tomato, tomato paste & dijon mustard. Bring to a boil and simmer.
Step 4
In a small bowl make your cornstarch slurry. Add cornstarch and water to form a smooth paste. Add the slurry to the pan. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. After it simmers turn off the stove.
Step 5
In a separate pan, prepare a sunny side up fried egg.
Step 6
Toast the hamburger buns and assemble your Sloppy Joe. Slice the avocado. Sprinkle a little lemon juice over the avocado to keep it from browning. Season the avocado and egg with salt & pepper. On the Hamburger bun, add meat, avocado and a fried egg on top and serve!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Facebook IconTwitter IconFollow our Pinterest BoardsFollow our Pinterest BoardsFollow our Pinterest Boards