Slow Cooker Italian Sloppy Joes Recipe

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These tasty sloppy joes with plenty of mass appeal are perfect for a gathering. If you're taking them to an event later in the day, simplify your morning by cooking the beef mixture and stirring in other ingredients the night before. Cool the meat sauce in shallow bowls in the fridge, then cover and refrigerate them overnight. The next day, transfer the meat mixture to the slow cooker to keep it warm for the party. —Hope Wasylenki, Gahanna, OH
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 4 hours
MAKES:36 servings
Diabetic Exchange Test Kitchen Approved
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 30 min. Cook: 4 hours
MAKES: 36 servings


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 2 pounds bulk Italian sausage
  • 2 medium green peppers, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 36 hamburger buns, split

Nutritional Facts

1 sandwich equals 246 calories, 9 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 29 mg cholesterol, 522 mg sodium, 27 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 13 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 lean meat


  1. Cook the beef, sausage, peppers and onion in a Dutch oven over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Transfer to a 6-qt. slow cooker. Stir in the spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, mushrooms, tomato paste, garlic and bay leaves.
  2. Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or until flavors are blended. Discard bay leaves. Serve on buns, 1/2 cup on each.
    Freeze option: Freeze cooled meat mixture in freezer containers. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a saucepan, stirring occasionally and adding a little broth or water if necessary.
    Yield: 36 servings.
Originally published as Slow Cooker Italian Sloppy Joes in Simple & Delicious April/May 2013, p56

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Reviewed May. 7, 2013

"I have made this recipe twice so far...It is great! There are 7 of us with big appetites and I don't have to worry about not having enough and it is very easy to put together...will be making this again and again...Thanks for posting:)"

Reviewed Mar. 28, 2013

"I made this to feed the youth group. It was so nice to find a recipe to feed a crowd. The only problem I had was the the sauce was too thin- not great for going on a bun. I drained some of the liquid from the tomatoes before adding them. I ended up putting in a second can of tomato paste, and that really helped. This may just be a variation as to how different crock pots cook.

I had some leftover, so we used it to fill calzones, along with pepperoni and cheese."

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