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Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Make these simple and delicious Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes for dinner! With just a few minutes of prep, you can walk away for the day and come back to this delicious meal!

So do you say crockpot or slow cooker? I actually didn’t realize until the past few years that people even used the term slow cooker…I’d never even heard it. I was surprised when I asked this same question on my Facebook page, that the answer was split pretty evenly between the two terms. For me, it’s always been crockpot, and I’m not sure why. I didn’t even grow up with many crockpot meals, and in fact, I didn’t start using my own crockpot until I had kids. I got ours as a wedding gift and it pretty much sat in our cupboard until the kids got older and life got busier, when meal time got hectic, and now I use it all the time.

Slow Cooker / Crockpot Sloppy Joes

Slow Cookers make dinners so easy!

Slow cookers are such a time saver. I take a few minutes in the morning to prep all the ingredients, then walk away for the rest of the day. It’s such a relief to know that come the dinner hour, you don’t really have to do much except set the table and serve up. It’s the best.

Crockpot Sloppy Joes 3{A Pretty Life}

A great family meal!

Homemade Sloppy Joes are a fun family meal. Kids love the informal nature of sloppy drippy sloppy joe sandwiches. But they’re not just for kids…adults love them too!  In fact, this recipe would be great for feeding a party crowd (and you can easily double it)!

Crockpot Sloppy Joes 4{A Pretty Life}

Sloppy Joe Recipe Tips:

  • GROUND BEEF: I prefer to cook the ground beef before it goes into the slow cooker. This is for a couple of reasons: I like to drain the beef of excess grease before I add it to the slow cooker, and I’m not comfortable with adding raw beef.
  • TOMATO SAUCE: Use plain tomato sauce (no spices, not pasta sauce).
  • TOMATO PASTE: You can use ketchup instead if you wish.
  • BELL PEPPER: You can use red, green, yellow or orange bell peppers.
  • BUNS: You can use hamburger buns, homemade buns or any of your favourites.
  • QUICK VERSION: If you want to make a quick version of this recipe, you can have it ready in about 1 hour. The flavours aren’t as rich as the slow cooker version, but in a pinch a 1-hour recipe is great! Just simmer the ingredients in a large skillet on the stove at low/medium heat for about 45 minutes, until the sauce is nice and thick.
  • LEFTOVERS: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • FREEZING: Sloppy Joe mixture freezes well. Store in an airtight freezer bag or airtight container and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just thaw and reheat on the stove top or in the microwave.
  • OPTION: You can use ground turkey instead of beef, or a mixture of both.

What to serve with Sloppy Joes:

Here are some recipe ideas for your Sloppy Joe night! You can also serve them with coleslaw, beans, pickles, potato chips, corn on the cob and more! Sloppy Joe mixture is also really good scooped over a baked potato.

Dinner Rolls

Potato Salad

Glazed Carrots


Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

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4.8 from 4 reviews

Make these simple and delicious Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes for dinner! With just a few minutes of prep, you can walk away for the day and come back to this delicious meal!

  • Author: Jo-Anna Rooney
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Slow Cooker


Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (chopped)
  • 1 (680 mL) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar (apple cider vinegar works too)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 fresh ground black pepper


  1. In a skillet on medium heat brown the ground beef with the onion, garlic, red pepper and carrot. Cook until the beef is no longer pink.
  2. Strain the beef to remove excess grease if necessary, then transfer the cooked beef mixture to the slow cooker.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker, and mix well.
  4. Cover and cook in the slow cooker for 6 hours on low, or 3 hours on high.
  5. If you can, give the mixture a stir during cooking.
  6. Serve over buns.

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Welcome back to Crockpot (or Slow Cooker) Week!  

This week I teamed up with Tara at Suburble to bring you 6 delicious crockpot recipes. On Monday I shared a Crockpot Roast Beef and Gravy recipe, then I shared these Creamy Slow Cooker Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats, and Tara shared a Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce, Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup and a recipe for these Maple Glazed Slow Cooker Ribs. Yum!

PIN IT to make later!

Sloppy Joes

Looking for more crockpot recipes?  Follow my Crock Pot Pinterest Board!

Have a delicious day! 

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  1. Crock-Pot is a brand name of slow cooker. I think people have come to use “crockpot” as a generic term for slow cooker, in the same way people say “kleenex” for tissue, even though Kleenex is a brand name. Also, Band-Aid, etc.

    Thanks for the recipe — looks great!

  2. May I ask why you decide to brown your meat before putting it in the slow cooker? Is there a specific reason to it or can this step be skipped? I wonder because I even see people putting whole chicken breasts and what not fully raw in their slow cooker recipes for just as many hours as you mention for this recipe. I’m just beginning on my slow cooker journey and have LOTS to learn! I have already decided after a few hours of looking at recipes that this will be the first to be made in my new pot 😀 Thank you!

    1. Hi Jami! The only reason really, is that it makes me more comfortable to brown it because it is ground beef. I know a lot of people like to just add it raw to the crockpot, but I’m just not comfortable with it. Also, I like to be able to drain the beef before it goes in. Hope that helps!

  3. This looks delicious! When I leave in the morning, it’s usually about 8 hours before I can get home. Would it be ok to cook on low for that long, and then on “keep warm” for another two? Or would it be better to do the three hours on high?

    1. Hi Paige! I think it would be just fine to cook on low for 6, then keep on warm until you get home. I’ve never tried it so I’m not 100% sure. The only thing I would worry about is the meat burning, but a warming setting shouldn’t get too hot. Good luck!

  4. Hi! Just found this recipe and will be trying later this week. Wanted to ask you if by “Red Pepper” you mean bell pepper? Or a spicy red pepper? Thanks!