CROCK POT SLOPPY JOES are the answer to your busy weeknights! Tender beef in a sweet and tangy sauce that you can set and forget in the slow cooker! Our whole family loves this simple recipe.
It’s no secret that I looooove a good sloppy joe. I mean, that sauce is to die for.
The stuff in the can is fine. I certainly won’t turn my nose up at it.But homemade sloppy joes will just always be better and trust me, they aren’t all that difficult to make! Especially if you prepare them in advance and then let it cook all day in your crockpot. Makes dinner time so easy and I know we all love that!
Before I share the recipe, I just have to answer a question…
What is a sloppy joe?!
Okay, okay. My guess is that the vast majority of you grew up eating sloppy joes and know exactly what they are.
However, we lived in WI for a bit and it seemed that no one knew what a sloppy joe was. Instead, they called these BBQ! So we’d get excited and expect pulled pork and out would come a sloppy joe. So funny!
Anyway, a sloppy joe is basically a loose meat sandwich that has tomato sauce added to it. That tomato sauce is usually doctored up to be a bit sweet and tangy.
They’re messy to eat, but so much fun!
Sloppy Joe Sauce:
Sloppy Joes start with a tomato base. You’ll need both tomato sauce and ketchup for a robust flavor.
We’ll season the sauce with brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper.
That’s it! The sauce just gets stirred into the meat and the crockpot does the work from there.
Slow cooker sloppy joes:
The meat and vegetables will need to be browned on the stove, but then things get REALLY easy!
Drain the grease from the meat and add it to your crockpot.
Pour in all of the sauce ingredients and give it all a big stir to combine.
That’s it! Cook this on low for at least an hour, preferably 3 or 4.
The longer this cooks, the more tender and flavorful the meat becomes.
Sloppy Joes are traditionally made with beef, but my family also likes them with ground turkey or chicken. Whatever you have on hand will work just fine!
Once you’ve browned your meat, the recipe calls for adding in some onion and bell pepper. Feel free to adjust the amounts up or down, depending on your family’s preferences.
Picky Kid Tip: Buzz the onions in a food processor or blender for 20 seconds or so to form a puree. You’ll still get the flavor but none of the texture, which seems to be where the problem lays for most people.
More sloppy joe recipes:
Don’t want to use your crockpot? My homemade sloppy joes are ready in less than 30 minutes.
Crock Pot Sloppy Joes
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- ½ sweet onion, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- ½ cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 4 sandwich rolls, for serving
- Brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat, breaking it up as it cooks.
- When beef is partially cooked through, add the onion, pepper, and garlic to the pan and continue cooking and stirring until meat is fully cooked and vegetables have softened. Drain grease.
- Pour the beef mixture into a crockpot and add all of the remaining ingredients aside from the sandwich rolls. Stir well to combine.
- Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.
- To serve, spoon meat evenly between the sandwich rolls.