I think I might be the only person in America who, as a kid, did not eat Sloppy Joes on regular basis. For some reason, this was just not a meal my mom made – maybe with 4 kids she was not about to willingly put forth a sandwich that is guaranteed to make a mess. Looking back, I have to say I don’t blame her. Now that I think about it maybe this is why, up until now, I never made Sloppy Joes.
I decided to give Sloppy Joes a try because, to be quite honest, I got sick of eating tacos. We eat ground beef once, maybe twice, a week and it is almost always tacos. I needed a change so Sloppy Joes it was – yes very adventurous I know.
Who knew there is like a kabillion recipes for Sloppy Joes – not me. After the long search I decided on a Sloppy Joe recipe found in my Slow Cooker Revolution cookbook. This cookbook has not failed me yet!
It certainly did not fail me with this recipe either – these Sloppy Joes were delicious! And I must say it was not very sloppy at all. The meat came out just saucy enough where it made the texture moist and tender but it stayed put perfectly in the bun. Speaking of the bun I have to say that a kaiser roll is a must for Sloppy Joes. I thought about using one of the 100 calorie thin rolls but I dont think it can hold up to this. The kaiser roll I used was only 126 calories so it was worth it to me.
This recipe take a little work prior to heading into the slow cooker – it is not a “dump and turn on the slow cooker” type of recipe. However, from what I have learned about slow cooking not many recipes have success with the dump, turn on, and let cook all day method. There needs to be a little TLC to get meals just right using a slow cooker. No fretting because this recipe can very easily be prepped ahead of time as a slow cooker freezer kit. Then when you are ready to make dump it in the slow cooker and turn on. I will give those instructions later on.
Serve this Sloppy Joe sandwich with a fresh salad or if you are looking for a real comfort food experience pair it with whole wheat baked macaroni and cheese. i opted for a salad 🙂
- 2 slices of 100% whole wheat bread
- ¼ cup 1% milk
- 2 pounds lean ground beef I used Wegmans 93/7 Grass Fed Organic Beef
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 small to medium yellow onion minced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon hot sauce
- 10 kaiser rolls
- Using a fork, mash together bread and milk in a medium bowl. Then use your hands to mix the beef into the bread mixture until combined. Have fun with it! This little trick keeps the beef very moist as it cooks in the slow cooker. Set aside for a moment.
- In a large skillet heat up the olive oil to medium high heat and cook the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and chili powder and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add the beef mixture into the pan. As it cooks break up into small pieces. Cook until beef is no longer pink.
- Transfer beef mixture to the slow cooker and stir in tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, and hot sauce.
- Cover and set the slow cooker to cook on low for 5-7 hours, or until beef is tender. This recipe only took 5 hours to cook in my slow cooker. You cooking time may vary. Serve on a kaiser roll
Slow Cooker Freezer Kit Instructions
This recipe can easily be made ahead of time into a slow cooker freezer kit. Complete steps 1-4 but instead of placing in the slow cooker stir the rest of ingredients into the pan. Let cool and place into freezer bag or container, then freeze. The day you want to make it, take the sloppy joe mix out of the freezer container, and place in the slow cooker. You do not need to thaw the mix before it goes into the slow cooker – just place the container or bag under hot water and it will slip right out. Then set your slow cooker to cook on low for about 7-8 hours. The longer cooking time is only if it is frozen. If you thaw first then follow the 5-7 hour cooking time.
Freezer Cooking Instructions
This recipe can also be made completely ahead of time and frozen for future meals. Follow steps 1 -5, let cool, place in freezer bags or containers, then freeze. Warm up on stove or in microwave (using microwave safe containers).