Slow Cooker Foodie

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.

This is a delicious and hearty dinner the entire family can enjoy. A quick, no-fuss meal, just like my Crockpot Sausage and Peppers and Slow Cooker Chili. This is 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 beef – Until no longer pink.
  2. Drain fat– Because it prevents the meal from getting too greasy.
  3. Add ingredients to slow cooker – This includes browned ground beef, tomato sauce, ketchup, garlic, brown sugar, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, mustard.
  4. Mix- Until combined.
  5. Cover and cook – Until meat is very tender.
  6. Enjoy – Fill it in hamburger buns with toppings of your choice and dig in.

What is a sloppy joe? How did it get its name?

It’s a hearty sandwich consisting of ground beef, onions, tomatoes and various other seasonings, served on a hamburger bun. It’s supposed to have originated in the United States during the early 20th century.

Can you put raw ground been in slow cooker?

Yes. However, cooking and browning the beef beforehand in a skillet or multi-functional slow cooker, allows for a lot more flavor to be added. Also, it allows you to drain excess fat.

Are Manwich and sloppy joe recipe the same thing?

Manwich is the marketed canned version of today’s recipe. It’s just the sweet and tangy tomato-based sauce and ground meat needs to be added to it to complete the dish.

Whats to serve with homemade sloppy joes recipe?

Potatoes are always a great side idea. Options like potato chips and French fries are a definite yes. However, some others would be roasted potatoes or sweet potatoes. You can even serve alongside Slow Cooker Candied Sweet Potatoes, Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes, or Slow cooker Mashed Sweet Potatoes.

You could also do a vegetable side like roasted vegetables or even coleslaw and even Slow Cooker Creamed Corn.

Salads are awesome. Try a simple green salad without any over-powering vinaigrettes and dressings.

It’s also delicious with pasta and this Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese is never a regret.

Serve it alongside various classic sandwich toppings like mayo, ketchup, mustard, sliced pickles, sliced cheese, pickles (especially pickles jalapenos), olives, onion rings, cooked bacon slices.

Easy Sloppy Joes in Black Slow Cooker

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 soy meat substitute.

Make it spicy – The paprika will add a bit of spice, but you can always add in crushed red peppers for even more of a kick.

Use lentils – You can either add 1/2 a cup of cooked lentils or swap out the ground beef entirely for about 1 cup of lentils. More water or broth will need to be added to cook the lentils fully.

Use turkey – Use the same amount of ground turkey in place of the ground beef. Another option is to prepare the seasoned tomato sauce and mix in leftover shredded Thanksgiving turkey.

Add liquid smoke – Liquid smoke is great for recipes with sauce like this. It doesn’t take much, no more than 1-2 teaspoon. It adds a bold smoky flavor.

Use chicken – Use the same amount of ground chicken in place of the ground beef. You can also prepare the sauce and mix in leftover shredded chicken.

Add vegetables- Such as green beans, celery, bell peppers, spinach. It adds an extra bit of nutrient and flair.

Use other sweeteners- Such as honey or granulated sugar or maple syrup.

Add seasoning blends– Such as Italian seasoning, Mexican taco seasoning e.t.c. This will alter the overall flavor obviously.


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

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

Reheat – In the microwave or stovetop until heated through.

Stack of Sloppy Joes Burgers on White Plate

Tips and Techniques

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

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

How to thicken sauce? Let the sauce cook uncovered for a bit to evaporate excess liquid. I really don’t recommend mixing in a cornstarch slurry because it adds an awful chalky after-taste.

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

Drain fat- Because it prevents the dish from getting too oily and greasy.

Adjust seasonings- Add more or less of whatever you like or dislike.

Brown beef- This is crucial because it enhances the overall flavor and texture.

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes
The best, easy sloppy joes recipe, homemade with simple ingredients in slow cooker. Loaded with tender ground beef, tomatoes, garlic and simple seasonings.
Yield: 6 People



  • 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. 


Calories: 436kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 31g, Saturated Fat: 12g, Trans Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 107mg, Sodium: 623mg, Potassium: 756mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 547IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 52mg, Iron: 4mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Calories: 436
Author: Abeer Rizvi

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