THIS CROCK POT SLOPPY JOE RECIPE IS SUPER EASY, MAKE AHEAD, GREAT FOR CROWDS, AND FREEZER FRIENDLY all smothered in the best SLoppy Joe sauce!
This Crock Pot Sloppy Joe recipe is perfect to feed a crowd or just your hungry family because the slow cooker does all the work! Simply brown the pork, toss it in the slow cooker with your zesty sauce, and let it slow roast while you go about your day. It’s another recipe for your back pocket when you need an easy, stress free, make ahead dinner that’s deeply satisfying and everyone loves. This Sloppy Joe recipe can also be made in advance and kept warm in the crockpot or made up to 24 hours in advance and simply rewarmed in the crockpot (instructions included). These Crockpot Sloppy Joes also freeze beautifully for a scrumptious instant dinner any night of the week.
EASY SLOPPY JOE RECIPE
Savory, sweet and tangy Sloppy Joes are summer comfort food at its most drool worthy. Growing up, my mom always whipped up a big batch of homemade Sloppy Joes for casual big get togethers. Her sweet and zesty barbecue-like sauce was so addicting, I would eat any leftovers for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
This easy Sloppy Joe Recipe is packed with the same lip-smacking goodness – and even easier. No browning onion, meat, etc., simply throw all the ingredients into the crockpot while you go about your day, not having to babysit the stove, heat up the house or worry about “what’s for dinner?” Because tender, juicy homemade Sloppy Joes are for dinner.
If you are planning a party or serving a large crowd, this easy Sloppy Joe recipe is the answer -again. It is virtually hands-off, you can have the meal all prepped and ready ahead of time (YAY for stress free!) you can keep the meat warm in the crockpot, guests can assemble their own sandwiches with their favorite toppings, and everyone loves them!
When I’m entertaining, I dump all the homemade Sloppy Joe ingredients into the crockpot in the morning and don’t have to think about it again for hours. When the guests arrive – it’s chow time without all the last-minute hustle and bustle.
HOMEMADE SLOPPY JOES
Just when you thought this Sloppy Joe recipe couldn’t’ get any better – I’ve saved the best for last. Sloppy Joes are only as good as the sauce and this from scratch sloppy joe sauce is sensational! It is zesty, tangy barbecue-like goodness is easy to make with ketchup, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar and seasonings. And best of all, you don’t have to worry about what you’re feeding your family. So, please forever skip the Manwich!
These Homemade Sloppy Joes with their flavor exploding, melt-in-your-mouth pulled pork get piled on cheesy toasted buns with crunchy, light coleslaw. I added provolone cheese to the buns and then broiled them, because everything is better with toasty, gooey, cheesy buns, and then topped the pork with light coleslaw which adds the perfect crunch to the Crock Pot Sloppy Joes.
That being said, these homemade Sloppy Joes are completely customizable with YOUR favorite toppings or none at all. All you really need is the finger-lickin’ good pork – literally – and you will love this Sloppy Joe recipe forever and ever.
Sloppy Joe Sauce Ingredients:
Homemade Sloppy Joe Sauce is made with pantry friendly ingredients with the ability to customize the sauce to make it perfect for YOU. Want it sweeter? – add more sugar. Want it tangier? – add more vinegar. Want it more tomato-y? – add more ketchup. Want it spicier? – add more hot sauce. That being said, we love it as written. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Worcestershire sauce
- yellow mustard
- brown sugar
- white vinegar
- seasonings: chili powder, dried thyme, salt, pepper
- hot sauce
How to Make Sloppy Joes
- Brown pork: this step is optional but highly recommended. Browning the pork only takes minutes and creates the Maillard reaction resulting in deep, complex, rich flavor that can’t be achieved any other way. It also insulates the pork and keeps it from drying out when cooking for an extended period of time.
- Add ingredients to crock pot: add pork and sloppy Joe sauce to the slow cooker.
- Cook until tender. Cook on high 3-4 hours or on low 6-8 hours. If the pork isn’t tender, it just needs more time, so cook on!
- Shred pork: When tender, shred pork and allow to cook an additional 30 minutes. This additional thirty minutes allows the pork to soak up all the flavor.
- Make coleslaw: Add ingredients to a large bowl and mix until well combined. Taste and add additional sugar, vinegar, salt to taste.
- Melt cheese on buns: When ready to serve, lay bottom of buns in a single layer on a baking sheet. Top with sliced provolone and broil until melted, approximately, 1-2 minutes.
- Assemble: Top provolone buns with shredded pork followed by coleslaw and serve nice and warm!
BEST CHEESE FOR HOMEMADE SLOPPY JOES
Cheese isn’t always served with homemade Sloppy Joes, but I love adding cheese because it makes everything better. I like to use sharp white cheddar or pepper Jack but even more subtle cheeses would be delish. Here are a few ideas:
- sharp white cheddar
- sharp cheddar
- Pepper Jack
- Monterrey Jack
They key to melting cheese on these Crock Pot Sloppy Joe recipe, or any other sandwiches like brisket sandwich, Philly cheese steak, is to melt the cheese right when you are ready to serve otherwise you will cold, hard cheese instead of ooey, gooey cheese.
Instead, assemble the buns with the cheese on them but wait to actually melt the cheese until you are ready to assemble the sandwiches. Also, you want a healthy dose of cheese otherwise the cheesiness will just get lost. And you can never go wrong with more cheese!
SLOPPY JOE CONDIMENTS
Sloppy Joes can be be served plain just with the juicy filling or you can serve it with my sensational coleslaw. The coleslaw is made with:
- 16 oz. angel hair coleslaw
- 1-2 shredded carrots
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise (I use fat free)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar or more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoons celery seeds
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
To make, simply add all the ingredients to a large bowl and mix until well combined. Taste and add additional sugar, vinegar, salt to taste.
If coleslaw isn’t your thing, you can dress your Crock Pot Sloppy Joes up with other condiments and even create a topping bar so your eaters can customize their own sandwiches. Here are a few ideas:
- pickled vegetables
- red onions
- onion jam
- onion rings
- horseradish sauce
- hot sauce
WHAT SIDES GO WITH CROCK POT SLOPPY JOES?
These Crock Pot Sloppy Joes are already tantalizing and don’t need a lot to turn the hearty sweet and savory sandwich into a complete meal. You can serve them with a simple green salad, chips and watermelon and call it a day or you can serve with any of these sublime sides:
- Million Dollar Macaroni and Cheese
- Baked Beans with Brown Sugar and Bacon
- Award Winning Sweet Moist Cornbread
- Kicked Up Classy Creamy Potato Salad
- Company Mashed Potatoes
- Slow Cooker Hawaiian Baked Beans
- Baked Parmesan Fingerling Potato Fries
- Cheesy Pull Apart Pesto Bread
- Slow Cooker Creamed Corn
- Greek Pasta Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Feta Pesto
- Wedge Salad with Blue Cheese Ranch
HOW DO I STORE Crock Pot Sloppy Joes?
To store, you can either transfer Sloppy Joe meat to an airtight container or back into the slow cooker. To store in the slow cooker, cooled to room temperature, remove the pot from the slow cooker and put the whole insert (lid on) in the refrigerator. Store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
HOW DO I REHEAT SLOPPY JOE RECIPE?
Slow cooker: To reheat your Crock Pot Sloppy Joes from the refrigerator, place the ceramic insert back into your slow cooker and heat on low for 1-2 hours.
Stove: Alternatively, you can reheat large batches on the stove over medium low heat, stirring occasionally until the meat is heated through to 165 degrees F.
Microwave: For smaller batches or individual servings, you can use the microwave. Transfer sloppy Joe meat to a microwave-safe dish, cover with a microwave-safe lid or paper towel. Microwave for 1 minutes, stir, then continue to microwave for 30-second intervals, if needed.
Can I make Crock Pot Sloppy Joe Recipe in advance?
Yes! These Crock Pot Sloppy Joes can be made completely in advance for an easy make ahead dinner: simply make the sloppy Joe meat, including shredding it but do not cook the additional 30 minutes after shredding. You can reheat your meat on LOW in the slow cooker, stove or oven according to above directions.
CAN I FREEZE Sloppy Joes?
I don’t recommend freezing assembled Sloppy Joes because the buns will get soggy but you can absolutely freeze Sloppy Joe meat:
- Cool: Allow meat to cool completely before freezing to preserve the integrity of the ingredients.
- Package: Transfer meat an airtight freezer safe container or freezer bag. You can even use sandwich size plastic bags for individual portions. Squeeze out any excess air to prevent freezer burn and label
- Freeze. Freeze for up to 3 months.
- Defrost/Reheat. When ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator then reheat in the microwave, crockpot or stove according to aforementioned instructions.
Looking for more Pork Recipes?
- Slow Cooker Asian Caramel Pulled Pork
- Chipotle Sweet Pulled Pork
- Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
- Sheet Pan Chili Dijon Pork Tenderloin with Green Beans and Potatoes
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