Sloppy Joes have always been a comfort food for me. This 30 Minute Sloppy Joes Recipe is a keeper. It’s almost as comforting as the recipe I’ve grown to love, which is the one my Mom makes and of course, can’t be replicated. She just throws ingredients together, then tastes it, and it is magically perfect!
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My recipe is very, very similar to hers, and uses the ingredients that she does, with a few added herbs and spices. It was very easy to make, and even though the recipe ingredient list looks long, most of the ingredients are spices.
It excludes the garlic and green/red pepper that many Sloppy Joe recipes use, so the only chopping is an onion. This not only keeps the flavor simple but keeps the preparation simple, too! It really is a breeze to mix together for a quick, filling, comforting family dinner.
I’ve been collecting easy recipes for the slow cooker that my whole family will love and eat. These Slow Cooker Meatloaf Meatballs & Sauce fit the bill and then some. They are delicious, inexpensive, quick & easy, made in the slow cooker, and everyone loves them!
They taste like delicious little meatloaves. The binder to hold them together is cooked rice. My Mom used to make something similar called Porcupine Meatballs, but they remind me of a meatloaf recipe I’ve made that also uses rice, so I named them Meatloaf Meatballs. They have definitely become one of our family’s favorite meals!
I’m trying to get into the habit of making a slow cooker meal on Sundays. It is a busy day for our family, as my girls are involved in church and youth group activities, and it seems like everyone needs to be somewhere at different times, and arrive home at different times– hungry & wanting food!
Why Our Family Needs Slow Cooker Sunday
My 16-year-old Teagan teaches Sunday School for 5-year-old’s during the first service, my Colsie & Avery attend youth group first service, and Todd and I sit attend church & listen to the sermon during the first service. Then Todd takes the younger two home, & I have been attending a teen parenting class during the second service while my Teagan sits in church with her friends to hear the sermon during the second service.
Some Sunday afternoons Teagan has youth leadership team meetings and every Sunday evening my 2 high school girls attend youth group. Whew! I told you Sundays are crazy! I am so thankful for our church and all that we learn there as a family, and I’m so thankful my 3 girls all love being there.
Slow Cooker Sundays
Can you see why I need to utilize my slow cooker on Sundays? I love coming home from church to a house that smells delicious & food that is ready to eat.
These meatballs are a snap to put together, but if you would rather not be handling raw ground beef first thing in the morning, this can be thrown together the evening before, and kept in the refrigerator until morning.
A key step in keeping this recipe easy is to have rice that is already cooked. Rice freezes beautifully in jars, so I always make extra when using my favorite rice maker. Sometimes I get lazy and just buy Trader Joes frozen rice. They have a rice blend that uses a few different types of grains & adds extra fiber to this meal.
Do you have any favorite slow cooker recipes you love? If so, please share in the comments!
This recipe is from How Jen Does It. Click to watch her make this recipe on YouTube. I add some onion powder & top them with ketchup for some added flavor and zing, which I thought was much needed. Otherwise, I follow her recipe.
Slow Cooker Meatloaf Meatballs & Sauce
1 lb ground beef (preferably grass-fed & organic)
1 1/2 cups cooked rice
2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
salt & pepper
1/4 cup or so of ketchup
Spray slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray or wipe with oil. Pour one can of tomato sauce in the bottom of the slow cooker.
Mix ground beef, egg, rice, onion powder, salt & pepper. Form into 1 1/2 inch balls.
Place on top of tomato sauce & pour 2nd can of tomato sauce on top of meatballs.
Top with ketchup (I just eyeball this and squirt it directly from the ketchup bottle, topping each meatball and adding the nice acidic tang that ketchup has.)
Cook on high 3 1/2 – 4 hours or low 7-8 hours.
Do not stir. These are tender and can fall apart easily.
Use good quality ground beef with lower fat content.