Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes are a comforting and easy-to-prepare dish that will become a go-to weeknight meal. This recipe works its magic by transforming humble ground beef into a saucy, slightly spicy, and subtly sweet sandwich filling. With our step-by-step guide, you'll master this dish in no time, letting your crockpot do most of the work and slowly simmer the ingredients to absolute perfection.
Crockpot sloppy joes are the perfect comfort food.
With just 10 minutes of hands-on time, you and your family will be enjoying a sandwich filled with a tangy, rich, and saucy mixture that's been slowly simmered for hours.
If you're all set to whip up a meal that even the fussiest eaters can't resist, let's jump right in to this recipe for slow cooker sloppy joes.
- Oil: Use avocado oil or your favorite high-heat oil.
- Onion: I used a yellow onion, but white onion works as well for sloppy joes in the slow cooker.
- Celery: Make sure to dice is small if you have small children that hunt for veggies.
- Garlic: Freshly minced garlic is best, but jarred minced garlic or frozen garlic are fabulous time-saving options.
- Ground Beef: If you use higher fat ground beef, you can drain the exess fat if you like. You could use ground turkey to make these homemade sloppy joes if you like.
- Ketchup: I used store-bought ketchup but feel free to use homemade if you have some on hand.
- Tomato Sauce: Use one 15-ounce can of tomato sauce for this recipe.
- Worcestershire Sauce: This adds a great depth of flavor to the sloppy joes.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: This cuts through the sweetness and adds a nice acidity to the sauce.
- Yellow Mustard: Adds some tangy flavor.
- Light Brown Sugar: A little bit of sugar balances out the flavors in this recipe. If you are sugar-free, use a brown sugar substitute like Swerve, or omit the sugar.
- Chili Powder: A touch of chili powder adds subtle heat to the dish.
- Sea Salt: A sprinkle of sea salt brings out all of the flavors in this recipe.
Step by Step
For the full recipe with measurements, see the recipe card at the end of the post.
Tips & Tricks
- Don't forget the buns: Toasted buns add a nice contrast to the juicy filling of this sloppy joe recipe for the slow cooker. Plus, they hold up better!
- Top it off: Consider adding extras like pickles, cheese, or coleslaw right before serving for added crunch and flavor.
- Leftovers are your friend: If you have any leftovers, they reheat well and can make for a quick and tasty meal the next day.
Can I make dump and go sloppy joes without browning the meat?
Yes, you can make dump-and-go slow cooker sloppy joes without browning the meat.
Just add all of the ingredients to your slow cooker and cook as directed. The flavor won’t be as developed, as dump and go recipes tend to lack vivid flavors, but it is still good.
Can I freeze sloppy joe filling?
Yes, you can freeze this slow cooker sloppy joe recipe for up to 3 months. If you are freezing leftovers, let them cool completely before transferring to an airtight container and placing in the freezer. To reheat, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and warm over low heat on the stove top or in a slow cooker set to “low” until heated through.
What other toppings can I add?
Feel free to get creative with your toppings. Some ideas include shredded cheese, diced red onion, pickles, or even a dollop of sour cream. You can also serve the sloppy joes on toasted buns with lettuce and tomato slices for an added crunch. The possibilities are endless!
As an amazon associate, I earn from qualifying sales.
- Slow Cooker - Use a multi-cooker like the Instant Pot Dutch Oven or Ninja Possible Cooker, or a CrockPot.
- Skillet - You'll need a skillet if you aren't using a multi-cooker with a saute function
More Slow Cooker Recipes to Try
- If you're a fan of the slow cooker, this Crockpot BBQ Chicken recipe is a must-try, offering tender chicken slathered in a smoky, sweet barbecue sauce that's perfect for any day of the week.
- Experience the flavors of an Italian classic in a comforting bowl with our Crockpot Lasagna Soup, a dish that combines all your favorite lasagna ingredients in a rich, hearty soup.
- For a meaty, melt-in-your-mouth main, look no further than these Slow Cooker Short Ribs. They're slow-cooked to perfection, resulting in a dish that's incredibly tender and packed with flavor.
- Slow Cooker Brisket recipe is a game-changer. Slowly cooked until it's fall-apart tender, this brisket is a surefire hit at family dinners or your next BBQ.
Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or other oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 stalks celery diced
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon Chili powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet, or in a slow cooker that has a sauté function.
- Add the onion and celery and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add the ground beef, and cook, stirring to break the meat up with a spoon, for about 10 minutes, or until the meat is no longer pink. Drain excess fat if desired.
- Transfer the browned meat and vegetables to your slow cooker if you are using a skillet.
- Stir in the ketchup, tomato sauce, Worcestershire, vinegar, mustard, sugar, chili powder and salt.
- Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.
- Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. Serve with buns.