Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes
This Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes recipe is super flavorful, easy to make in a Crock-Pot, and great for feeding a crowd. Serve on soft buns with toppings like pickled onions for a crowd favorite meal any time. I guarantee you’ll get asked for the recipe!
Easy Crock Pot Sloppy Joes
These Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes are super flavorful and incredibly easy to make. This recipe is a favorite with our family and friends and I often hear, “Hey Brenda, I just made your sloppy joes again!”
This is the best homemade sloppy joe recipe, for several reasons:
- Easy prep. This recipe takes very little time to prepare. Once the beef has browned, simply “dump and go” – toss everything in the slow cooker then come back 4-6 hours later and dinner is ready!
- Great flavor. With the perfect combination of ingredients and flavorings, this sloppy joes recipe always gets lots of compliments. I share this recipe a LOT!
- Feeds a crowd. The recipe is a large one, which is wonderful for feeding a large group of people.
- Freezer friendly. If you’re not feeding a crowd, stash half of it away in the freezer for an easy meal down the road. Homemade sloppy joes make the BEST leftovers!!
What You’ll Need
Sloppy joe ingredients include ground meat, aromatics like onion and garlic, canned tomatoes, and spices. See the recipe card below for the full measurements.
- Ground beef – You can also use a combination of ground beef and turkey.
- Veggies – Onion, garlic, and celery add fresh flavor & texture.
- Tomatoes – A combination of canned fire roasted diced tomatoes, chili sauce (affiliate link), and a bit of ketchup provides the perfect combination of rich, tangy tomato flavor for the sloppy joes “sauce”.
- Brown sugar – Adds a touch of sweetness and softens the tomato acidity. Feel free to use more or less.
- Mustard – Both prepared mustard and dry mustard add flavor.
- Worcestershire sauce – Adds a rich savory flavor that pairs well with beef.
- Spices – Chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, salt & pepper round out the flavor profile of this sloppy joe recipe.
How to Make Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes
Here’s how to make these easy crock pot sloppy joes.
- Cook the beef & onion. Cook the ground beef and onion until the beef is cooked through, breaking it up with a spatula. Drain off any excess fat before transferring it to the slow cooker. Or, if you have a multi-use slow cooker (affiliate link) like mine, you can brown it right in the crockpot.
- Cook in the slow cooker. Dump the remaining ingredients in the slow cooker with the cooked ground beef. Stir well to combine and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. Note that the longer cook time will give you deeper, richer flavor – if you have the time, it’s worth it!
- Enjoy! Serve on buns with your favorite toppings, plus some potato chips.
Can I Double This Recipe?
Absolutely! I like to double this easy sloppy joes recipe when we need to feed a crowd.
Even though this recipe for sloppy joes yields a good amount of servings, I can still make a double batch using this large capacity multi-cooker (affiliate link).
This also works great if you like to make freezer meals, as this recipe freezes great. Just stash half of it in the freezer – and you have a delicious and super easy homemade meal in the future!
What To Serve with Sloppy Joes
Sloppy joes are the classic messy sandwich, total comfort food!
Serve the sloppy joes mixture on large or small buns, with potato chips and a few different kinds of pickled things.
Pickles: I like to serve dill pickle spears or chips, my mom’s refrigerator sweet pickles, and pickled red onions.
Chips: As far as potato chips go, I recommend thick rippled potato chips. I oftentimes don’t even utilize buns myself, and simply scoop up the sloppy joe meat with potato chips. Do whatever makes you happy. It’s ALL good!
Side dishes: Here are some options to round out your meal. Coleslaw is always a winning choice, whether it’s a creamy coleslaw or my mom’s sweet onion coleslaw. I also really like a good cucumber salad – here are my two favorites – creamy cucumber salad and this cucumber salad with tangy vinegar dressing.
German Potato Salad, with a tangy vinegar/mustard dressing, would also be great.
And fried pickles would be so super fun!
How to Store Leftover Crock Pot Sloppy Joes
One of my favorite parts about this slow cooker sloppy joe recipe is the leftovers. Because they’re even better and more flavorful the next day!
Store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
You can reheat in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop. Just be sure to store any toppings separately and assemble the sandwiches just before enjoying.
Can I Freeze This?
Yes, these crock pot sloppy joes freeze well. I often make a double batch just to have leftovers to freeze.
Allow the mixture to cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat on the stovetop until warmed through.
More Easy Slow Cooker Recipes:
- The Best Slow Cooker Chili
- Italian Beef Sandwiches
- Crockpot Italian Beef Stew
- Slow Cooker Island Pulled Pork
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Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes
This Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes recipe is super flavorful, easy to make in a Crock-Pot, and great for feeding a crowd. Serve on soft buns with toppings like pickled onions for a crowd favorite meal any time. I guarantee you'll get asked for the recipe!
- 3 pounds lean ground beef (I also do a combination of ground beef and turkey, usually 2 lbs. beef & 1 lb. turkey)
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1½ cups finely chopped celery
- 6 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chili sauce
- ½ cup ketchup
- ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tablespoon dry mustard
- 1 tablespoon medium chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon 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, breaking up beef with a spatula. Drain off fat and transfer to a slow cooker. Or just use a multi-cooker - brown the beef and onion right in the cooker, and drain off fat.
- Add all remaining ingredients to slow cooker and stir well. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. The longer cook time will give a deeper flavor.
To serve: Serve sloppy joes on soft buns - I like to offer regular size buns and smaller dinner roll size buns. Pickles are a must - dill pickle spears or chips, refrigerator sweet pickles, and pickled red onions are all great choices. And we always include some thick ripple potato chips - I personally like to eat sloppy joes without buns, using sturdy potato chips as my "scoops"!
Calories do not include buns, chips, or condiments.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 233Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 76mgSodium: 248mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 1gSugar: 6gProtein: 25g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.
This post was originally published in 2012 and updated in 2023.
You say you like to double the recipe. 6lbs of ground beef in the crockpot fits ok
I have a very large slow cooker!
A fantastic dinner recipe for an easy weeknight. This one is surely a keeper.
Our family has picky eaters but everyone loved this!
So comforting and delicious!
These were such an awesome dinner! Definitely saving this recipe.
You mention your mom using her home canned tomato juice. Since I have quite a bit input up, how would you alter the recipe to use it? Thanks in advance for the advice!
look so yummy!
Talk about comfort food! Pinning this one to try on one of our busy weeknights.
Sloppy Joes just never get old in our household. Thanks, Melanie!
Hi Brenda. I’ve never used chili sauce.