Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

The best, easy sloppy joes recipe, homemade with simple ingredients in slow cooker. Loaded with tender ground beef, tomatoes, garlic and simple seasonings.

A delicious and hearty dinner the entire family can enjoy. A quick, no-fuss meal, like my Crockpot Sausage and Peppers and Slow Cooker Chili. Perfect for any night of the week with little to no planning needed in advance.

Homemade Sloppy Joes in Hamburger Bun With Pickle Topping

How to make best sloppy joes from scratch in slow cooker?

  1. Cook and drain beef – In a skillet over medium/high heat.
  2. Combine – Add all the ingredients, including the meat, to the crockpot. Mix to combine.
  3. Cover and cook – On high for 3-4 hours.
  4. Serve – On hamburger buns with the toppings of your choice. Enjoy!

Can you put raw ground been in slow cooker?

You can definitely put raw ground beef in a slow cooker. However, cooking the beef beforehand in a skillet or multi-functional slow cooker, allows for a lot more flavor due to the browning.

Are Manwich and sloppy joe recipe the same thing?

There are many various recipes for sloppy joes. Each person has their own unique version. However, Manwich is a canned version of sloppy joes. So, yes, it’s essentially the same thing, it’s just its own recipe.

Whats to serve with homemade sloppy joes?

Sloppy joes are like eating a classic sandwich or burger. This means that the sides you would serve with those two classics, would pair with this recipe just as well.

Potatoes are always a great side idea. Options like potato chips and French fries are a definite yes. However, some others would be slow cooker candied sweet potatoes, slow cooker mashed potatoes, or slow cooker mashed sweet potatoes.

You could also do a vegetable side or pasta side. Two of the best are coleslaw or slow cooker creamed corn. Slow cooker mac and cheese is never a regret either.

You can also serve it with toppings for the sandwich such as sliced pickles, sliced cheese, pickles, olives, spinach, etc.

Variations for crockpot sloppy joes

Vegetarian/Vegan sloppy joes – Simply swap out the ground beef for a vegan ground beef option such as jack fruit or a meat substitute.

Spicy sloppy joes – The paprika will add a bit of spice, but you can always add in crushed red peppers for even more of a kick.

Lentil sloppy joes – You can either add 1/2 a cup of lentils with a bit of extra water to the pot or swap out the ground beef entirely for about a cup of lentils.

Turkey sloppy joes – Use the same amount of ground turkey in place of the ground beef.

Chicken sloppy joes – Use the same amount of ground chicken in place of the ground beef.


Refrigerate– In an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Freeze – In a sealed container for up to 2 months.

Reheat – In the microwave or stovetop until heated through.

Tips and Techniques

Homemade sloppy joe sauce – This recipes makes its own sauce, but you can always use canned sloppy joe sauce and skip the tomato sauce and ketchup.

Use any type of onion – There’s no rule that says you have to use one onion or another with this recipe. Use whatever you have on hand.

Add diced bell peppers – Add the diced peppers when you add the other ingredients. Adds an extra bit if nutrients and flair.

Add liquid smoke – Liquid smoke is great for recipes with sauce like this. It doesn’t take much, no more than a tablespoon will do. Adds a bolder flavor.

How to thin out sloppy joes? Add more ketchup or a bit of broth to the mixture.

How to thicken – Let the recipe cooked uncovered for a bit to evaporate excess liquid.

Cut the peppers and onions small – You want them to really mold in with the sandwich rather than stand out and be in the way.

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

The best, easy sloppy joes recipe, homemade with simple ingredients in slow cooker. Loaded with tender ground beef, tomatoes, garlic and simple seasonings.


  • 2 pounds Ground beef
  • 1/2 cup Onions, Finely chopped
  • 2 cups Tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp Ketchup
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Finely minced
  • 2 tbsp Brown sugar
  • Salt, To taste
  • Pepper, To taste
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard


  • Heat a nonstick pot or pan over medium high heat.
  • Add ground beef and cook and crumble it until it’s no longer pink.
  • Note: Use a multifunctional slow cooker that allows you to saute the beef the in the slow cooker. This way, you won’t have to make another pot or pan dirty.
  • Drain fat.
  • Add it to a crockpot (6 quart of bigger), along with tomato sauce, ketchup, garlic, brown sugar, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, mustard.
  • Mix until combined.
  • Cover and cook on Low heat for 3-4 hours or until meat is super tender. A longer cooking time deepens the flavor.
  • Serve in hamburger buns with toppings of your choice. Enjoy!


  • Read all my tips above.
  • Leftovers can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days and reheated in the microwave. 
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