Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes are the easy weeknight happy meal the whole family enjoys. These slightly sweet and a little bit tangy fall-apart-in-your-hands sandwiches are a classic dinner.
Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes
If there’s one meal that takes me back to 1980-something it’s sloppy joes, and not necessarily because I consumed them in abundance. Somehow this savory sandwich that crumbles in your hands with each bite is forever solidified as a childhood food.
Perhaps we had them in the school lunchroom or maybe we ate them for dinner, but somehow nostalgia sneaks in whenever I prepare them. The recipe itself hasn’t changed much over the years and this slow cooker version is one you can easily set up and let simmer throughout the day.
Sloppy Joe Seasoning
The spices in this slow cooker recipe are simple, but can easily be changed. Try some of these combinations below instead of what’s in my recipe here.
- The Standard: Onion Powder, Smoked Paprika, Cumin, Garlic Powder, Salt
- Old Fashioned: Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Salt, Dry Mustard, Celery Seed, Chili Powder
- Southern: Swap the ketchup for barbecue sauce, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, thyme, onion powder
How to Make Stovetop Sloppy Joes
This easy recipe can also be made on the stovetop too. In order to prepare the mixture heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and saute the ground beef, breaking it apart as it cooks.
As the meat browns add in the onions and garlic, let cook along with the beef until soft and translucent. Add the remaining ingredients and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken.
Sweet Coleslaw Topping
Even though the sloppy joe hasn’t evolved much since the ’30s my tastebuds have and so I like to add some extra flavor. Topping the delicious sandwich with some sweet coleslaw is one way to create an explosion of flavor on a simple sandwich. Here’s my favorite sweet coleslaw recipe to make.
What to Serve with Sloppy Joes
Sloppy Joe Filling
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1½ lbs Ground Beef
- 1/2 cup White Onion diced
- 2 cloves Garlic minced
- 2 8-ounce Tomato Sauce Cans
- 1/2 cup Ketchup
- 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 1 tablespoons Worchestershire Sauce
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
- 6 Hamburger Buns
- 1 cup Sweet Coleslaw optional, see notes for recipe link
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the ground beef. Break beef apart using a spatula and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until the meat starts to brown. Add the onion and minced garlic and continue to cook until onions are soft and meat has browned.
- Place the beef mixture into a slow cooker and add the tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, and spice. Set to high for 3 hours or low for 6 hours.
- If making the sweet coleslaw prepare just before arranging the sandwiches. Using a slotted spoon, scoop the meat onto the hamburger buns and top with coleslaw.