Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

I think my mom makes the best sloppy joes around. Her secret? Tomato juice that she has canned herself, preserving fresh sweet summer tomatoes. While I’ve never canned tomatoes myself, I always wish I had a few jars waiting for me in the pantry whenever I’m hungry for awesome just-like-Mom’s sloppy joes.

My sloppy joes have never been any kind of consistent. I’ve always thrown in a bit of this and a bit of that until it comes together, all the while wishing I had a recipe written down. Since we bought this multi-cooker/slow cooker last fall, following a recommendation from my sister Jessica, I’ve been playing around with perfecting a sloppy joes recipe of my own. I love that I can brown the meat right in the multi-cooker, then add all the other ingredients, switch the setting to slow cook, and let it finish on its own. And the multi-cooker is a cinch to clean up. {love!}

So this is it. This is my Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes recipe, the one I now turn to when I’m craving that classic American messy sandwich. The recipe makes a nice big amount, perfect for inviting some friends over for a casual meal, or for just making ahead for a few meals during the upcoming week. Because sloppy joes leftovers are some of the best leftovers around. They make me hugely happy. Grab some chips and enjoy!

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Yield: 15 to 20 servings


  • 3 lbs. lean ground beef (I also do a combination of ground beef and turkey, usually 2 lbs. beef & 1 lb. turkey)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1-1/2 c. finely chopped celery
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14.5-oz. can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 c. chili sauce
  • 1/2 c. ketchup
  • 1/3 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2 T. prepared mustard
  • 1 T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 T. dry mustard
  • 1 T. medium chili powder
  • 1 T. cumin
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • additional salt, to taste


In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown ground beef and onion together until beef is cooked. (If using a slow cooker like I own - the Cuisinart Cook Central Multi-Cooker - simply brown right in the cooker.) Drain off fat and transfer to slow cooker. Add all remaining ingredients and stir well. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. Serve on buns - I like to use whole wheat dinner rolls - with pickles and potato chips. If you have the time and initiative, butter the buns and toast on a hot griddle - this adds great flavor to the sandwich!


from a farmgirl's dabbles