Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

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Bursting with tomato flavor and seasonings, who can say no to juicy and tender slow cooker sloppy joes? Not me and my family!

Slow cooker sloppy joes

Homemade sloppy joes were one of my Mama’s favorite weeknight suppers for busy days and I’ve always loved them. I have my skillet sloppy joe recipe on here already (click here) but this slow cooker sloppy joes recipe is what I use on those days when I don’t have time to brown my beef so I just throw it all in the slow cooker. Yup, you don’t even have to cook the beef (as long as you use lean ground chuck). Toss it in and turn it on. Supper is ready when you are.

Another thing I love about this easy crock pot sloppy joes recipe is that it’s so simple to customize. If you want to add a wee little kick (like me), drop in a tablespoon of diced jalapeno peppers. If your family is anti-mustard, don’t add it. On the other hand, if you want to add chopped onion and some minced garlic for added flavor, go right ahead. Make these sloppy joes your own.

The end result will always be the same: juicy, tender, and saucy sloppy joes bursting with tomato flavor. Pop the meat on buns and dinner will be ready in a flash! If you love classic comfort food, you’re going to love this main dish.

Now, let’s make some slow cooker sloppy joes!

Ingredients for Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Diced tomatoes
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard (maybe)
  • BBQ sauce
  • Sweet relish
  • Lean ground chuck
  • Buns for serving

How to Make Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Add all ingredients to the slow cooker.

Okay, so the beauty of this is that you can put your ground beef in the slow cooker uncooked.

Add ground chuck to the slow cooker and chop it up a bit.

Add all of your remaining ingredients on top of your beef. 

Stir that up good.

Put the lid on and place this on low for 6-7 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

Slow cooker sloppy joes



  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave.
  • You can also store leftovers in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating in the microwave.

Recipe Notes

  • Using lean ground chuck is crucial in this recipe because your meat will be terribly greasy cooking it this way if you use regular ground beef. However, if all you have is regular ground beef, simply brown it in a skillet ahead of time, add it to the slow cooker with all the other ingredients, and cut the cooking time in half.
  • You can substitute the lean ground beef for lean ground turkey or ground chicken if you like.
  • Customize your crock pot sloppy joes to suit you and your family:
    • Add vegetables, like 1 red or green bell pepper, 1 celery stalk, and/or 1 diced yellow onion.
    • Add heat via a tablespoon of sriracha, diced jalapeno peppers, or chili powder.
    • For more flavor, add 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, onion powder, minced garlic, and/or Worcestershire sauce.
    • If you like more sweet than savory, add 1 tablespoon of brown sugar to your sloppy joe sauce.

Recipe FAQs

How do you serve slow cooker sloppy joes?

The classic way to serve sloppy joes is on a toasted hamburger bun with toppings like pickles, cheddar cheese slices, and onion. Popular sides include fries, coleslaw, potato salad, and mac and cheese.

Can I double this sloppy joes recipe?

Yes, it’s so easy to double this sloppy joes recipe, especially if you have a large crockpot. Double the ingredients and the cooking instructions remain the same. It’s a great recipe for when you need to feed a crowd!

Can I put raw ground beef in the slow cooker?

Yes, I promise you can put raw ground beef in the slow cooker to make sloppy joes!

Check out these other slow cooker supper ideas:

How to Make Beef Stew in the Slow Cooker

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

Easy Crock Pot Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Crock Pot Chili Recipe

Crockpot Fiesta Chicken and Rice

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Bursting with tomato flavor and seasonings, this slow cooker sloppy joes recipe is an easy-to-make supper the whole family will love.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beef
Servings: 6
Calories: 376kcal


  • 2 pounds pounds lean ground chuck*
  • 1 can diced tomatoes undrained
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mustard optional
  • 1-2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
  • 1 tablespoon diced jalapeno peppers optional
  • 8 hamburger buns for serving


  • Place the raw* beef in the slow cooker and break it up with a beef chopper or large spoon. Pour all the other ingredients over the beef. Stir well to combine.
    2 pounds pounds lean ground chuck*, 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 cup ketchup, 3/4 cup barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon mustard, 1-2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish, 1 tablespoon diced jalapeno peppers
  • Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-7 hours.
  • Scoop out with a slotted spoon onto hamburger buns. Serve hot and enjoy!
    8 hamburger buns


*Using lean ground chuck is crucial in this recipe because your meat will be terribly greasy cooking it this way if you use regular ground beef. However, if all you have is regular ground beef, simply brown it in a skillet ahead of time, add it to the slow cooker with all other ingredients, and cut the cooking time in half.


Calories: 376kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!


“A pessimist sees only the dark side of the clouds, and mopes; a philosopher sees both sides, and shrugs; an optimist doesn’t see the clouds at all — he’s walking on them.”

~Leonard Louis Levinson

Submitted by Bonny (thanks, Bonny!)

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  1. I love your story! I grew up in Huntsville and we lived close to an empty lot which, for us, was the neighborhood playground. We played everything there and built forts, and dams and all sorts of things. We played for hours and it didn’t matter if you were a boy or a girl. Neighbors would give us fresh cookies or fried pies. There was, also, the “little woods” behind the lot where we built a tree house. We would all get on our bikes and head home when the first porch light came on or someone’s Mama would call. And, yes, right down to catching lightning bugs in the evening. I loved to go to sleep with the lightning bugs in the jar next to my bed. Thank you for sharing. Going to try the Sloppy Joe recipe tonight.

  2. Girl – this is all kinds of delicious!! I’ve made this twice. The second time, however, I added a little more jalapenos, a finely minced red bell pepper and substituted the mustard with a 1/4 cup of packed dark brown sugar (my husband like sweet sauces like this). Love your blog and your authentic southern recipes! I’m a northeast Mississippi girl myself.

  3. Hello!
    These look delicious! Can you substitute either tomato sauce or tomato purée for the diced tomatoes? And if so, how much? Same proportions?

  4. Christy I come for the recipes and I stay for the childhood stories! So familiar – aren’t we BLESSED in the South? Love from your Arkansas friend Becky.

  5. Hi pls help, i didnt not read probably and put ground lean minced beef in crockpot and mixed with remaining ingredients, i didnt cook it first. Is it ruined or will it be ok to cook like that x

  6. One of my favorite things my mom used to make when we all came home to visit. Wish I could visit her now.

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