Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes


Your young kids and teens will love hot, hearty Sloppy Joes. This classic Sloppy Joe recipe can be made on the stove or in the crock pot.

Best of all, the yummy mixture can do double duty in one of our favorite make ahead dinner hacks — cook a big batch of Sloppy Joes and reserve half of the meat mixture for slow cooker stuffed peppers or as a topping for baked potatoes later in the week. In fact, the recipe below is already doubled with this in mind — if you only want to make 6 sandwiches, then simply cut this recipe in half and cook it in a smaller slow cooker.

Crock pot Sloppy Joes are great make-ahead meal for a crowd. They also fall under the heading of a no-recipe recipe — meaning a dish that really doesn’t require a list of ingredients or steps — although we’ve provided a recipe! Improvise and adjust the seasonings to match your family’s tastes or to what you have on hand. Enjoy!

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes Recipe


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 large onion, finely diced

  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 6-oz. can tomato paste

  • 1 15-oz can + 1 8-oz can tomato sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire

  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard

  • 3-4 tablespoons packed brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

  • S&P

  • 12 buns or rolls (or serve 6 and reserve 1/2 the meat mixture for stuffed peppers)

  • Pickles (optional)


  1. If your slow cooker has a sauté feature, brown the beef in the slow cooker, otherwise use a skillet over medium heat. When well browned, place the meat in a colander in sink to drain grease.

  2. Heat 1 Tb. olive oil in the same pot used to brown the beef. Add onion and bell pepper to pot and sauté until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and tomato paste, and sauté for 30 seconds.

  3. Add beef, tomato sauce, and all other ingredients to the pot. Stir until blended. Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours, or on HIGH for 2-3 hours. If needed, open the slow cooker to cook down the sauce until it is thick enough to spread on a sandwich. Alternatively, add a little water or broth if too thick.

  4. Serve on lightly toasted or warmed rolls. Top with pickles if desired.


Note: Sloppy Joes can also be made on the stove top. Just simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes, or until flavors combine and thick enough to spread on a sandwich.


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