Slow Cooker Sloppy Joes

Sunday May 3, 2015

Whether home alone, at the school lunch, or with kids around the picnic table, Sloppy Joes are a perennial lunch and suppertime American favorite — and not just among kids!  We’ve had all manner of Joes, even tofu Joes, but we like the original ones made with good ol’ hamburger best. This makes a neat-ish Joe that you can eat sandwich style. For a sloppier, knife-and-fork version, add 1 cup of tomato sauce to the beef mixture before slow-cooking. You can double or triple this recipe. Serve with ice cream cones for dessert and really be claimed to be the best cook in town!

Need a new taste treat for Meatless Mondays? Try the variation of Slow Cooker Lentil Sloppy Joe’s based on our meat Joes, even an offering on the heart-healthy McDougall diet Program. All the ingredients go into the slow cooker at once. How easy is that? There is the addition of vegetable broth, which is necessary to cook the lentils properly. The vegetarian version is amazingly good.

Overview

Cooker: Medium Round or Oval

Machine Setting and Cook Time: Low Heat: 6 to 7 hours

Serves 4

turkey sloppy joes with joy the baker's homemade buttery buns

Ingredients

1-pound lean ground beef or ground dark meat turkey

1 medium white onion, finely chopped

1/2 large red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 large stalk celery, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 6-ounce can tomato paste

2 tablespoons cider vinegar, or more if needed

2 tablespoons brown sugar, or more if needed

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2  teaspoon dry mustard

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Dash Tabasco sauce

Dash cayenne pepper

To serve: 4 to 6 hamburger buns or other soft sandwich rolls

Instructions

In a large, nonstick skillet, cook the beef with the onion, bell pepper, celery and garlic, stirring to break up the meat. When the meat is cooked through, place the meat and vegetables into the crock. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.

Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours. Taste and add more vinegar or sugar if desired. Serve the meat mixture spooned into hamburger buns or soft sandwich rolls.

Slow Cooker Lentil Sloppy Joes

Overview

Cooker: Medium Round or Oval

Machine Setting and Cook Time: Low Heat: 6 to 7 hours

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups brown lentils, rinsed (do not use red lentils as they do not hold their shape)

1 medium white onion, finely chopped

1/2 large red or green bell pepper, finely chopped

1 large stalk celery, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

One 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice

2 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 tablespoons cider vinegar, or more if needed

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon all-purpose salt-free seasoning blend

1 teaspoon smoked paprika (don’t skip this)

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (use a vegan version if desired since the real sauce contains anchovy)

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Dash Tabasco sauce

Dash cayenne pepper

To serve: 4 to 6 whole wheat buns or other soft sandwich rolls

Instructions

Add all of the ingredients into the crock in the order listed and stir to combine.

Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 7 hours, until lentils are tender. Check at 4 to 5 hours in case you like your lentils a bit firmer in texture, like for salads. Adjust the consistency with 1/4 to 1/2 cup vegetable broth if the lentils seem too dry. Serve the hot lentil mixture spooned into split toasted buns.

Excerpted from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook, by Beth Hensperger and Julie Kaufman. (c) 2005, used by permission from the Harvard Common Press.

Recipe and text copyright Beth Hensperger 2015

Please enjoy the recipe and make it your own. If you copy the recipe and text for internet use, please include my byline and link to my site.


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