Monday, September 17, 2012

Crock Pot Sloppy Joes

Welcome fall.  The season that ushers in comfort food in every form.  Breakfasts get heartier, lunch boxes become fuller to sustain long afternoons of activity and dinners make you feel warm and cozy.  And sometimes those dinners might take you back a few years as you remember sharing those meals with your family.  I don't think we had sloppy joes that often growing up, but I remember thinking how cool it was when we did.  A sandwich...for dinner!  sandwiches were such a quintessential lunch food that the crossover was almost as exciting as breakfast for dinner (brinner, of course, winning every time, but still exciting none the less).  And what could be easier than tossing everything in a crock pot and having everything ready at dinner time?  Some assembly required, but cooking complete.

It's been a while since I've professed my love for Stephanie from Crock Pot 365.  She puts together the best crock pot dishes and I love that this one, like so many others, is adaptable.  You can make these with traditional beef or if you want to healthify your sloppy joes, make them with ground turkey or ground chicken, or a combination.  I also love that Stephanie gave the ingredients for an awesome seasoning mix (since the one she usually uses has gluten).  I love a homemade mix!  For this batch, I doubled the recipe (doubled version listed below), to be sure we would have plenty of leftovers.  This freezes well, so it can be stored and defrosted for those times when even getting the crock pot together is a challenge.  Or just have it for leftover lunches the next day.  Either way, this comfort food will make you want to pull on the sweats, snuggle on the couch and watch movies (or football) all fall long.

Crock Pot Sloppy Joes


2 Tablespoons onion flakes
2 Tablespoons paprika
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 pounds lean ground beef, thawed
12 ounces tomato paste
2 cups water

In a small bowl mix together onion flakes, paprika, brown sugar, cumin, salt, corn starch, garlic powder, ground mustard, celery seed and pepper.

Place meat in the bottom of a 4-5 quart crock pot.  Add tomato paste and seasonings.  Add water and stir to combine.

Cover and cook on low for 6-7 hours.

Serve on lightly toasted buns with a sprinkling of cheddar cheese (optional).

Makes about 16 sandwiches.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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