This easy recipe for Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes can be made in just a few simple steps, and it's perfect for feeding a crowd. Serve these hearty sandwiches with your favorite side dishes for a filling and satisfying dinner or lunch!
If you haven't had the pleasure of eating this delicious classic sandwich, you're truly missing out!
Sloppy joes are a type of sandwich that is usually made with ground beef, onions, tomato sauce or ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings. The mixture is then cooked until it is nice and thick and served on a bun. The origins of the sloppy joe sandwich are a bit disputed, but most believe that it was created in the early 1900s.
The beef mixture has a beefy umami flavor along with the perfect amount of acidity and sweetness that leaves you coming back for more.
This simple sandwich filling can be made easier with the help of your slow cooker! Add Crock Pot sloppy joes to some warm hamburger buns or serve it over a bed of rice for a full meal that everyone will enjoy!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- The beef is slowly simmered in a variety of different flavors that all come together perfectly.
- You can serve it on a bun, over rice, or even on some toasted bread for a delicious and easy meal.
- It's a great way to feed a crowd a satisfying meal.
- The beef mixture tastes even better the next day making it great for lunches or meal prep!
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Ground Beef - The main ingredient, this protein adds a rich beefy flavor that complements the various flavors in the dish.
- Green Pepper - Helps add a pop of green color and fresh garden taste.
- Yellow Onion - Adds a complimentary onion flavor that pairs well with the beef and peppers.
Sloppy Joe Sauce
- Tomato Sauce & Ketchup - These two ingredients add thickness, tomato flavor, acidity, and sweetness to the sauce.
- Brown Sugar - Enhances and balances the flavor of the tomatoes and boosts the overall sweetness with a light molasses flavor.
- Yellow Mustard - Adds a great tangy flavor to the beef.
- Chili Powder - Adds a touch of smoky flavor to the beef mixture.
- Worchestershire Sauce - Gives the mixture a salty umami flavor that rounds out all of the flavors.
- Onion Powder - Further enhances the onion flavor in the mixture.
- Salt & Pepper - Used to balance the beef mixture and can be adjusted to taste.
How To Make Homemade Sloppy Joes In The Crock Pot
Cook the ground beef: Add a skillet to the stovetop and turn the heat to medium-high. Once the pan is hot, add the ground beef and break it up with a spatula. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until the beef is browned.
Cook the vegetables: To the skillet with the beef, add the diced peppers and onions, and saute for 6-8 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Remove the excess oil from the mixture, then add it to the bottom of the slow cooker.
Add the sauce: On top of the beef and vegetables, add the tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, yellow mustard, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, salt, onion powder, and paprika. Stir until everything is fully combined.
Slow cook the sloppy joes: Cover and cook on HIGH for 2½-3 hours or on LOW for 6-7 hours.
Adjust and serve: Stir the mixture and give it a taste. Adjust salt and pepper if necessary, then add it to warm hamburger buns and enjoy with your favorite side dishes!
- The ground beef and vegetables need to be cooked ahead of time so that they can develop their texture and flavor properly.
- Drain the beef mixture of excess oil in order to prevent the sloppy joes from being too greasy.
- If you want a spicier dish, add more chili powder or paprika.
- For more sweetness, add a bit more brown sugar.
- If you want a thinner sauce, add ¼ cup of water or beef broth to the mixture.
What To Serve With Crock Pot Sloppy Joes
There are a variety of different side dishes that go great with sloppy joes! Try serving them with:
- French Fries
- Potato chips
- Green Salad
- Corn On The Cob
- Roasted Vegetables
- Potato Salad
- Macaroni Salad
- Baked Beans
Not feeling a sandwich? Serve over a bed of rice, pasta, mashed potatoes, cauliflower rice, or a baked potato!
Storing & Freezing
Storing: These easy slow cooker sloppy joes can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to four days. Make sure the mixture is cooled before storing.
Freezing: Place the mixture in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to three months. When ready to eat, thaw overnight in the fridge then reheat on the stove or in the microwave until warmed through.
Yes! If you want to lighten up the recipe, you can substitute the ground beef for ground turkey. Just be aware that the flavor and thickness will change.
No, if you don’t have a slow cooker you can make this on the stovetop. Simply cook the beef and vegetables in a large skillet then add the sauce ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
If you don’t have Worcestershire sauce, you can use soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos as a substitute. Just make sure to add the sauce a little at a time and taste to adjust.
More Slow Cooker Beef Recipes
- Crock Pot Goulash
- Crock-Pot Meatloaf with Brown Sugar Glaze
- Crock-Pot Taco Soup
- The Best Grape Jelly & Chili Sauce Crockpot Meatballs
- Original Mississippi Chuck Roast (Slow Cooker Recipe!)
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Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes
- 1 lb ground beef
- ⅓ cup green pepper (seeded and diced)
- ½ cup yellow onion (diced)
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the ground beef to the skillet. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until browned, breaking up the ground beef with a spatula.
- Add onions and green peppers and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes or until they become soft.
- Drain off excess grease and add the meat to the slow cooker.
- Add tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, yellow mustard, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, black pepper, salt, onion powder, and paprika to the slow cooker. Stir everything together.
- Cover and cook on high for 2½-3 hours or on low for 6-7 hours.
- Serve hot on hamburger buns and enjoy!