Easy Mexican Meals: Part 2 – Sloppy Joses over Polenta

Posted by on July 10, 2009 | 26 Comments

(Part 1: Easy Mexican Meals: Homemade Taco Seasoning)

By most people’s standards, my grandpa was a very difficult man. He was often labeled as stubborn, tough,  and bull-headed, but to me he was a loving grandfather with so much wisdom from life. He dropped out of school in the 8th grade. He built his first fortune from scratch in his twenties. He lost it all. He built his second fortune. And once again, he lost it all. He built his third fortune (no, this man was not a quitter!), but this time he held onto it, invested wisely, and lived a comfortable and long retirement.

Of course, my fondest childhood memories of my grandpa revolved around food. He loved my grandma’s loganberry jam and pies; OH how he clamored for those pies! But he always took a minute away from his dessert cravings to make sure my grandma put out an antipasto platter filled with black olives when we were coming for dinner. Within minutes of our arrival I would find my way to the olives, popping one on each finger and nibbling them away one by one until dinnertime. It always made my grandpa smile and laugh.

My grandpa passed away last month, but he fought his way to the wonderful age of 91. Though I miss him greatly, I think he would be happy to know that I am still playing with my olives …

Turkey Sloppy Joses Over Polenta

Turkey Sloppy Joses over Polenta
This recipe is Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Low-Fat, and Sugar-Free (depending on your tomato sauce)

This version is served over polenta, but you can use rice or a hamburger bun (with some lettuce of course!) as your base if you prefer. My husband convinced me long ago that Worcestershire sauce adds a “meaty” flavor to ground turkey that it seems to be lacking, so I frequently use it in dishes such as this one.

  • 2 Teaspoons Grapeseed or Olive Oil
  • 1 Medium Onion, Diced
  • 1 20-ounce Package Lean Ground Turkey
  • 2 to 3 Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce (optional)
  • 1 8-ounce Can Tomato Sauce (like Hunt’s or a generic)
  • 2 Medium Tomatoes (around 3/4 to 1 lb), diced
  • 1 Batch Alisa’s Homemade Taco Seasoning, black pepper omitted (can sub 1 packet of premade taco seasoning, but if you ask me, mine’s better)
  • 1 Cup Frozen Corn*
  • 1 Chub Prepared Polenta*
  • About 1 Dozen Black Olives, sliced

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, and sauté for two minutes. Add the turkey, and sprinkle with the Worcestershire if using. Sauté, breaking up the turkey as you go, until it is cooked through (no pink!). Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, taco seasoning, and corn. Stir until everything is well combined. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and allow it to simmer for a few minutes or longer if you prefer.

While that  is simmering, slice the polenta into 1/2-inch thick slices, and heat it in a lightly oiled skillet over medium heat, flipping once.  Divide the polenta between four plates, and top with the turkey mixture. Sprinkle with olives and serve.

*Since corn is a top GMO product in the U.S., I always purchase organic corn products. Organic frozen corn shouldn’t set you back more than an extra quarter or two depending on where you shop. Most chub polenta that I see is organic, so it shouldn’t be hard to find by default. Do not purchase the polenta at a local grocer unless on sale, they tend to charge way too much. You should be able to find it for around $2.00 to $2.50.

Yields 4 sloppy servings

Turkey Sloppy Joses over Polenta

Blog Events:




5 Good Things Since My Last Post (oops, I almost forgot!)

  1. I emailed with a good foodie friend whom I hadn’t heard from in a very long while.
  2. When picking up some weights we happened across a clearance sale at a sporting goods store. While looking through the shoes my husband handed me a pair that were in the wrong section and said “these belong in the 6’s.” Me, not listening, thought he handed them to me to try on. So I put them on and they fit great! Up until that point only Asics fit my narrow heel and wider forefoot, but the Renegade Brooks fit like a glove and were on sale for a steal! I should not listen to him more often!
  3. I made fresh-squeezed lemonade, yum!
  4. Today I finished 3 big to-do items from my list. Yes, I am a list freak.
  5. I was honored with some personal tips from the blogger guru, Zesty, so you may see a facelift on this blog soon!

Comments (26)


  1. allison says:

    This looks lovely! I am bookmarking it to try it out. I just love finding something wonderful and comfortable on sale!

  2. I love the story about your grandfather 🙂 made me smile. Looks like a great recipe, thanks for joining in TT again this week! 🙂

  3. VeggieGirl says:

    Mmm, polenta!!

    Love the 5 good things!! 😀

  4. Nowheymama says:

    Ooh–lots of fun new links to check out!

  5. veggievixen says:

    i have never thought to put sloppy joes over polenta. hello, holy meeting of cultures in one dish! so great. your ‘5 good things’ section always reminds me of my blessings-thanks 🙂

  6. Andrea says:

    I’m sorry to hear of the loss of your grandfather but it’s great that you have such wonderful memories to keep in your heart.

    Polenta is one of my favorite foods.

  7. Christina says:

    I loved the story about your grandpa, and am sorry to hear about your loss! I’m an olive lover too!

    That’s funny about the shoes and I’m a list freak, too!

  8. Sarena says:

    I have made that taco seasoning mix and it is great! Would you believe that I have never had polenta. I need to try it out. I am a true southern girl and grew up on grits, so I never really gave polenta a try. Your dish looks great!

  9. that dinner looks wonderful! love the idea of using polenta, i havent had that in ages!!

  10. pam says:

    This looks good! Yay for you on checking some things off the to-do list. I start every day with a fresh list for that day. I get such satisfaction from that scratch off.

  11. Divya Vikram says:

    I have been paired with you for Taste and Create. Looking forward to try your delicious recipes.

  12. Alison says:

    I love the tribute to your grandpa. Sounds like a very interesting man.
    I love your sloppy joes.

  13. Rebeca says:

    Your grandpa sounds great! What a beautiful tribute!

    I used to do that with olives… okay, I lied, I still do.

  14. ttfn300 says:

    this looks great,! i love olive hands 🙂 hehe, can’t remember the last time i did that… good snag on the shoes!

  15. Joanne says:

    I really love this. I try to use turkey instead of beef a lot of the time and black olives are up there on my lists of favorites. Thanks for the tip about the Worcestershire!

  16. Sophia says:

    Wow, this looks GOOD! I never thought tohave sloppy joes over polenta, both one of my fav foods! I’m sure your grandpa is beaming from above!

  17. I’m sorry for your loss. It sounds like you have a lot of wonderful memories of your grandfather, which I’ve found to be helpful in dealing with my own loss and grief.

    The Sloppy Joses are a wonderful idea! Way to go! Serving them on polenta is an interesting choice.

  18. I, too, learned so much about cooking and food from both my father and my grandma. My dad passed away nearly 3 years ago which was a huge loss. When I make certain things I feel so connected to him. My grandma is still alive and cooking at 95 – and I’m still learning from her.

    We love polenta – I’ve never tried it with sloppy joes but I’m sure it’s incredible. We have yet to find anything that we can’t eat with it.

  19. […] Sloppy Joses over Polenta from One Frugal Foodie. […]

  20. So sorry to hear about your grandfather. It sounds like the two of you had a great relationship. Thank you for sharing that. Food can be such a great part of families. It’s a shame too many people grab to go boxes and don’t cook together or eat together like they used to. Your recipe sounds really good. Thank you for sharing it on Friday Foodie Fix.

  21. angie says:

    this sounds great

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  23. […] Joes over Polenta Posted on August 6, 2010 by Erin Okay, so this recipe I got here. I’ve put in bold any changes I made or general […]

  24. Ben says:

    Wow! Thanks for this delicious recipe. This is the first time I’ve ever cooked with polenta (I used a pre-made tube of quinoa polenta). I fried the polenta in small batches so I could try and improve my cooking technique with each batch. Next time I make this dish I’m going to try grilling the polenta because I think it came out a tad oily this time around. Also, I’m doubling the recipe for lunch leftovers — it was that good.

    I’m so glad I found your site. I’m going to pick-up your book this weekend!

  25. […] your own!), Creamy Thai Tomato Soup (a “failed” lettuce wraps recipe became amazing soup), and Sloppy Jose’s over Polenta (this older post is worth it not just for the recipe, but also for Alisa’s fond memories of her […]

  26. […] 2. Sloppy Joe’s over Polenta […]

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