Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes are prepared with ground beef and a juicy and tasty tomato-based sauce. They are super easy to make in a slow cooker!

We love a good homemade sloppy joe with fries and Caramelized Onion Dipor a fresh and creamy Instant Potato Salad.

Slow cooker sloppy joe with cheese slice on white plate

These super easy sloppy joes are one of the BEST summer dinners! No need to heat the house with the oven!

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

The best thing about sloppy joes is that they are so quick to make and the sauce is really easy to make.

The ground beef and onion go in a skillet for a quick fry with the spices then in the slow cooker it goes with the sauce!

Ingredients for sloppy joes on a wooden cutting board.

Ingredients needed

Here are the ingredients you need for homemade sloppy joe sauce. As always, you can always find the measurements in the recipe card below.

  • Ground beef – lean ground beef works well.
  • yellow oniona sweet or white variety works best.
  • Tomato sauce
  • Ketchup
  • White vinegardistilled
  • brown sugar
  • Salt pepper
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • hamburger bunswith or without sesame seeds.
  • cheddar cheese

How to Make Slow Cooker Sloppy Joe Sauce

COOK GROUND BEEF in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring to break it up into small pieces. Cook until no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes. Add the diced onion and sauté another 2-3 minutes until the onions are soft.

Raw ground beef and onion in a cast iron skillet.

ADD SEASONING after cooking the ground beef and onion, you may need to drain any excess fat from the ground beef before incorporating the seasonings.

PRO TIP: Do not pour grease down the sink! Make a foil cup and pour excess grease into it for easy cleanup that won’t clog your plumbing.

Pouring a red bowl of spice into a black frying pan of cooked ground beef.

TRANSFER IN THE MIJOUSE and add tomato sauce, vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. Cook on high heat for 3 hours or on low heat for 4 to 5 hours.

This cooks the spices and flavors into the sloppy joe sauce to make it even more delicious, and the beef becomes super tender!

Pour a white bowl of tomato sauce into a slow cooker with ground beef.

ASSEMBLE THE SLOPPY JOES by placing a slice of cheddar cheese inside the hamburger bun, then pouring the filling over the bun.

What’s the difference between a Sloppy Joe and a Hamburger?

Burgers are traditionally a sandwich made with minced meat and dry seasonings, which is then shaped into round patties and fried or grilled.

Sloppy Joes are a sandwich also made with minced meat (usually beef)but then cooked with a tomato-based sauce and other spices.

Both are traditionally served on a hamburger bun.

Sloppy Joe cooked in a black slow cooker with a spoon. Variations of Sloppy Joe

It’s so easy to customize sloppy joes!

  • Spice dicing a fresh jalepeño and putting it in the slow cooker with everything else.
  • Add pinto beans or kidney beans to add protein and fiber.
  • More vegetables? Dice the red pepper and add it to the pan with the ground beef and onion.
  • Cheese or no cheese, it’s delicious! You can use a different variety like Gouda, Gruyere, or Havarti for a delicious cheesy twist.

Getting Ahead Sloppy Joes?

Yes, you can make these sloppy joes ahead of time. Follow the recipe as directed (without buns or cheese)so cool freeze the sauce in an airtight container for up to 3 months before thawing, heating and serving.

Red pastry brush brushing hamburger bun with sesame seeds and butter.

More ground beef dinner recipes

Need more ground beef dinner ideas? Here are a few to try…

Hope you love slow cooker sloppy joes as much as we do!

Slow cooker sloppy joe with cheese slice on white plate

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Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes are made with ground beef, a juicy and flavorful tomato-based sauce, and are super easy to make in a slow cooker!

Preparation time5 minutes

Cooking time3 hours

Total time3 hours 5 minutes

Course: Having dinner

Kitchen: American

Servings: 8 people

calories: 350 calories

Author: Sarah Smith


  • 2 kg Ground beef
  • 2 cups onion, diced
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 16 oz. tomato sauce
  • ½ Chopped off ketchup
  • ¼ Chopped off White vinegar
  • 2 Soup spoons brown sugar
  • 2 Soup spoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 8 hamburger buns
  • 8 slices of cheddar cheese


  • In a large skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat, stirring to break it up into small pieces. Cook until no longer pink, about 5-7 minutes.

  • Add the diced onion and sauté for another 2-3 minutes until the onions are soft, then stir in the garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper.

  • Transfer the ground beef mixture to the slow cooker and add the tomato sauce, ketchup, white vinegar, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce.

  • cook on down for 5 hours or high during 3 hours. Stir the mixture and serve the beef by the spoonful on hamburger buns with a slice of cheddar cheese.


You can make these sloppy joes ahead of time by baking and freezing them (once cooled) in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw completely and reheat before serving.


calories: 350calories | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 21g | Big: 23g | Saturated fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated fats: 1g | Monounsaturated fat: teng | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 684mg | Potassium: 618mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: teng | Vitamin A: 327UI | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 48mg | The iron: 3mg

Key words: Sloppy Joe Recipe, Sloppy Joe Sauce, Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

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Sloppy Joe with cheddar cheese on a white plate with text overlay.