Healthier Crockpot Sloppy Joes

Healthier Sloppy Joes

Well, I don’t know about you crazy kids, but I am THRILLED to have this winter break over and done with. It was a long and unfortunate holiday {read: cranky, whiny, exhausted kids….and large, pregnant, uncomfortable self} that I am thrilled to have survived.

Yeah yeah yeah, Christmas and New Years were awesome, blah blah blah, but I hate not having a routine and my kids seriously can’t handle it either.

Oh, and did I mention we had to pay for a brand new roof too? That was a fun little $%^#$%*@ unexpected expense.

You guys. Paying thousands of dollars for things I don’t use or see daily is like the worst kind of thing to HAVE to pay for. Obviously having a functional roof over our heads is a necessity, but buying one of everything at Nordstrom is so much more fun, riiiight? Or groceries. 

I seriously contemplated just selling our house so we could have avoided the whole thing all together…because that’s the logical thing to do. But then my husband reminded me that just because the previous sellers of our house screwed us over with their “new roof” shpeal doesn’t mean we were going to do that to the next homebuyers of our house {….not that we’re selling right now anyways.}

UGH. WHYYYYYYY are we such honest people? Good grief.

But lemme tell you–>banging noises, headaches and zeroed out bank accounts is not my idea of a fun Christmas vacation.

So here’s to 2016!

May it be filled with less money traps, more cash in our pockets and happy wonderful children who never poop, whine or talk back.



It was a nice thought though wasn’t it?

Healthier Sloppy Joes 2

In other news, I’m still large and pregnant which means no healthy eating/dieting resolutions/exercise goals to reach until I have this baby. That’s 24 days away, incase you’re wondering.

All of you worried folk who email me about my unhealthy diet, lack of vegetables and diabetes warnings can all take a breath. I eat relatively healthy and sugar makes me feel sick to my stomach {thanks to this baby in my every present womb}.

This meal I’m posting today is a pretty typical dinner that we eat over at the Lauren’s Latest household. It looks and sounds unhealthy, but it packed with tons of veggies {hello zucchini, carrot and squash} and lean beef. Plus, I took it a step further and served these on whole wheat buns. Oh, and it makes for an awesome crockpot meal too! Once you cook and drain the beef & veggies, the rest is a cake walk. And the longer it cooks, the yummier it gets, as is the case with most crockpot meals. My family gobbled this up and we even had leftovers. Seriously so good!

Anyways, printable recipe below. Enjoy, friends!! May your 2016 be less eventful than our 2015.


Healthier Crockpot Sloppy Joes

Yield: 8 servings

Prep Time:

Cook Time:

Total Time:


  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef {I used 90/10}
  • 1 large onion
  • 2/3 cup baby carrots
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 2 small yellow squash
  • sloppy joe sauce:
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried mustard
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 6-8 whole wheat kaiser or hamburger buns
  • optional toppings: dill pickles, cheddar cheese


  1. Turn crockpot to high and set aside. In a large, nonstick skillet, brown ground beef over medium high heat. While meat is browning, grate onion, carrot, zucchini and yellow squash using a food processor {or you can do it by hand}. Drain well and spoon meat into warmed crockpot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  2. Replace pan to the heat.
  3. Place vegetables into hot pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Saute until the water from the veggies has evaporated and vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes. Pour over meat in crockpot.
  4. Replace pan back on heat. Pour in all ingredients for sauce and whisk until smooth. Simmer gently 5 minutes, then pour over ingredients in crockpot. Stir to coat everything evenly. Cover and cook 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve over tightly toasted whole wheat hamburger or kaiser buns.

Loosely based off of the Pioneer Woman's sloppy joe recipe.


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  1. You know, I’ve never been a huge sloppy joe fan, but I think these actually sound great. Plus I think my picky boys might actually eat them. And sneaking in vegetables?! Super mom win!

    Sorry about the new roof–we’re going to have to do that soon, too. (As in, we probably should have done it already, but we aren’t quite ready to lay down $5-6k.) Sometimes adulthood is the pits, right!?

    Hope these next couple weeks go by easily for you!

    • Oh my heavens! I wish my roof only costed $5-6k!! They found mold under the sheeting and on the trusses of our roof, so we had to do this whole mold removal and get brand new everything!! A serious nightmare to have to deal with over Christmas. But in like 3 months, I won’t even be thinking about this, right?! I keep telling myself that over and over again. Ha!!

  2. Ugh…I had a baby last New Year’s Eve…I feel your pain, with being pregnant. Not the roof thing (which SUCKS!) These look AMAZING! I’m running out of crock pot ideas, so these are great!

  3. Been there and done that before. We had to replace a wood shingle roof that did not have the any backing under it, so the roof was open while they replaced it and tons of debris filled my attic space and of course it was twice the cost of a regular roof replacement. I also really glad that we can go back to the normal routine at my house too. 🙂 Happy New Year.

  4. Remember you wont have to do it again for another 20 years. I had to replace 2 air cond. 6k and re paint our house which is 3 stories and really hard to paint if you don’t have the equipment to reach the sky. 7k later and it looks great but I wont be buying any new shoes for awhile. I was glad for the air, Christmas was hot. 84. 2016 WILL be better.. We all demand it. Cant wait to hear about your progress.

  5. My husband loves Sloppy Joes and this will be right down his alley. As for me, I love anything with zucchini…I will certainly enjoy making this. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes!

  6. Lauren,
    I Love The Recipe!! As For All The Housing Repair Woes Of Being An Adult…I Am So VERY SORRY! 🙁 I Have Learned One Very IMPORTANT Lesson In Buying A House, Car, Or Any MAJOR Purchase Of Great Value…NEVER Buy Those Kinds Of Things Based On Someone’s Word!! ALWAYS Get Written Statements, Receipts Etc From The Person Who Completed The Said Repair…Such As A Roof, Car/Engine/Transmission Repairs…Because MOST Of The Time There Is A Warranty That Comes With Those Repairs.
    ALWAYS GET An Inspection When You Buy A House, Car, Trailer, Boat Etc!!! ALWAYS!! That Way There Is NOTHING Left To The Wind. It Is Not About Hurting Someone’s Feelings By Having An Inspection. It Is All About “PROTECTING” You And Your Beautiful Family!
    Can’t Wait To See Pics Of Your New Arrival In A Few Weeks!! Praying ALL Goes AMAZING With Your Delivery! Blessings To You And Your Beautiful Family This New Yr!! 🙂

  7. Thank you for the recipe! Do you think this would taste as good if cooked on the stovetop and if so, how long do you think it should simmer. Thanks!

  8. Converted this to pressure cooker and used ground turkey and added a thing of mushroom. It turned out AMAZING! The meat was sauted and I only pressure cooked for 7 mins. Dinner was served. Thank you for this delicious recipe. I’ve already shared it twice and only made it two days ago.

  9. Please have the calorie and fat content

  10. Sloppy joes are a family favorite and I am looking to make some healthier recipes so these sloppy joes will be perfect!

  11. I love the way these are above and beyond with all the veggies. Substance. Are we able to pin your recipes? I don’t see the pin…

  12. Just stumbled across your blog tonight. I am a teacher trying to make it through the last week of school. I made this and it was incredible. I will easily be making myself come home for dinner. Thank you for a great recipe that made me feel like a kid again. You can’t even taste the veggies.

  13. This looks yummy! I have never thought about making sloppy joes with vegetables. Thank you for this recipe and all your other ones.

  14. I would like to make this as a freezer meal. Would you recommend cooking before freezing, or putting all the uncooked ingredients in a freezer bag then pouring together in the crockpot?



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