Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes: This homemade sloppy joes recipe is super flavorful and cooks up easy in the Crock-Pot. I guarantee you’ll get asked for the recipe!

sloppy joes sandwich and potato chips

Homemade Sloppy Joes

I think my mom makes the best homemade sloppy joes around.

And do you want to know her secret?

It’s all about the tomato juice. Mom cans it herself, preserving all the sweetness of her garden’s fresh tomatoes.

While I’ve never canned my own tomatoes, I have to say that this recipe for Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes is dang good. It has become a favorite meal amongst our family and friends. I often hear, “Hey Brenda, I just made your sloppy joes again!” And no wonder. These homemade sloppy joes are super flavorful, can feed a crowd, and are easy to make in a Crock-Pot!

a barbecue beef sandwich

sloppy joes to feed a crowd

Since we bought this multi-cooker/slow cooker many years ago, following a recommendation from my sister Jessica, I started playing around with perfecting a crock pot sloppy joes recipe for our family. 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!

Another thing I love about this kitchen appliance is its large capacity. Even though this recipe for sloppy joes yields a good amount of servings, I can still make a double batch using this multi-cooker.

I like to double this easy sloppy joes recipe when we need to feed a crowd. We made these sandwiches for our daughter Hatti’s confirmation party and for many other casual gatherings over the years. I also like to double the recipe and simply stash half of it away in the freezer. It’s hardly any more work, and gifts you an easy homemade meal down the road.

sloppy joes sandwich with potato chips and pickles

What to serve with sloppy joes

Sloppy joes are the classic messy sandwich, total comfort food.

And one of its best attributes is that it makes for some of the most wonderful leftovers. Which makes me hugely happy.

Serve the sloppy joes mixture on large or small buns, with a few different kinds of pickled things (I like to serve dill pickle chips, Pickled Red Onions, and Mom’s Refrigerator Sweet Pickles) and some thick rippled potato chips. I oftentimes don’t even utilize buns myself, and simply scoop up the sloppy joes mixture with potato chips.

Do whatever makes you happy. It’s ALL good!

And if you’re wondering about a couple side dishes to serve with these sloppy joes… How about an easy coleslaw salad using my mom’s Sweet Onion Coleslaw Dressing? Or this German Potato Salad, with a tangy vinegar/mustard dressing? Both, so good!

pinterest image of classic sloppy joes sandwich with a tall glass of milk

Here are a few more slow cooker sandwich recipes you might enjoy: Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches from Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts, Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan Sandwiches from Melanie Makes, and Slow Cooker Shredded Barbecue Beef Sandwiches from Boulder Locavore.

sloppy joes sandwich with potato chips and pickles

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 40 minutes

These classic messy sandwiches are super flavorful and cook up easy in the slow cooker. They're great for feeding a crowd. Be prepared to 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


  1. 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.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients to slow cooker and stir well. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. A longer cook time will give a deeper flavor.

Serve sloppy joes on buns. I like to offer regular size buns and smaller dinner roll size buns. Pickles are a must (I recommend these easy refrigerator pickles), as well as thick ripple potato chips. I personally like to eat sloppy joes without buns, using sturdy potato chips as my "scoops". Pickled red onions are also great with this meal!


Calories do not include buns, chips, or condiments.

from a farmgirl's dabbles

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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.

Did you make this recipe?

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This post was originally published September 2012 and has been a popular reader favorite. Photographs and some of the text were updated November 2017.