Slow Cooker Ground Beef Sloppy Joes

We all have ground beef in the freezer. Whether you’re saving it for burgers on the grill, easy taco filling for your next Taco Tuesday fiesta, or a homemade meat sauce, it’s always good to have on-hand. If you need another ground beef recipe, add these slow cooker sloppy joes to your recipe rotation.

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Slow Cooker Ground Beef Sloppy Joes
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Yield: 24 sandwiches or 48 sliders


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 5 pounds lean ground beef
  • 3 cups ketchup
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon hamburger seasoning blend
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Sandwich or slider buns
  • Toppings: cheese, bacon, French fried onions, banana peppers, pickles


  1. In a large skillet over medium-high, heat oil until shimmering. Add onion and cook until tender.
  2. Remove onion to a small bowl. Add ground beef. Stirring occasionally, cook until browned.
  3. Combine onion and beef in slow cooker crock.
  4. In a medium bowl, combine ketchup, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, seasoning
  5. and salt.
  6. Pour over beef in crock. Stir to thoroughly coat beef with sauce.
  7. Cover slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 1 to 2 hours or LOW for 3 to 4 hours. Turn to WARM for
  8. serving.
  9. Serve meat on sandwich buns or slider rolls. Top with desired toppings.


Test Kitchen Tip: Use a multi-cooker with sear function or a stove-top safe slow cooker pot to sauté the onion and brown the ground beef if available.

Slow Cooker Ground Beef Sloppy Joes

Ground beef sloppy joes are an easy slow cooker recipe you can make for a busy weeknight dinner, gameday watch party, or neighborhood potluck. They’re always a crowd pleaser (and kid favorite) no matter what the occasion.

Slow Cooker Ground Beef Sloppy Joes

Heat a little oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until they’re translucent and tender. Remove the onions then add five pounds of lean ground beef (we’re feeding a party, after all). Cook until browned then add the beef and onion to the slow cooker crock.

In a medium bowl, combine ketchup, sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, hamburger seasoning and salt. Pour over the ground beef in the slow cooker and stir until the beef is fully coated with the tasty sauce.

Slow Cooker Ground Beef Sloppy Joes

Cover the slow cooker and cook on HIGH for 1 to 2 hours or LOW for 3 to 4 hours.

If you’re planning on serving these sloppy joes at a tailgate or potluck, switch the slow cooker to WARM and set up a build-your-own sandwich buffet for your guests. Put out slider rolls and toppings like sweet peppers, cheese, and crispy bacon, pickles, and mustard.

Slow Cooker Ground Beef Sloppy Joes

These sloppy joes are a little sweet, a little salty, and a just the right kind of messy. They’re the perfect go-to sandwich for anytime of year. So the next time you find a few pounds of ground beef in the freezer, plug in your slow cooker and make a sloppy supper.

Looking for other sloppy joe recipes? Try another tasty recipe from the Test Kitchen.

Other Test Kitchen recipes to try: 

Breakfast Sandwich Maker Taco Cups

Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches

Slow Cooker Ground Beef Slopy Joes



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