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Slow-Cooker Italian Sloppy Joes

These tasty sloppy joes have plenty of mass appeal and 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 finish cooking, and then keep it warm for the party. —Hope Wasylenki, Gahanna, OH
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Cook: 4 hours
  • Makes
    36 servings

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  • Cook the beef, sausage, peppers and onion in a Dutch oven over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; crumble meat; drain. Transfer to a 6-qt. slow cooker. Stir in the spaghetti sauce, tomatoes, mushrooms, tomato paste, garlic and bay leaves.
  • Cover and cook on high until flavors are blended, 4-5 hours. 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; add broth or water if necessary.
Nutrition Facts
1 sandwich: 246 calories, 9g fat (3g saturated fat), 29mg cholesterol, 522mg sodium, 27g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 2g fiber), 13g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 2 lean meat.

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