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Recipe for slow cooker Sloppy Joe beef quesadillas

Slow cooker Sloppy Joe beef quesadillas. So easy!

Some dishes will never win a beauty contest. These slow cooker Sloppy Joe beef quesadillas may not take the swimsuit competition, but oh, they are good. And, like real Sloppy Joes, they're sufficiently messy to eat. You can cook the meat ahead of time, in your slow cooker, and freeze it in portions to fill quesadillas, tacos or burritos, whenever you want them. Add something green -- chopped avocado, lettuce, cilantro leaves -- or serve them with nothing more than melted cheese, and a bit of salsa on top. Summer should be just that easy.

Slow cooker beef filling for Sloppy Joe quesadillas.

Slow cooker Sloppy Joe beef quesadillas

From the pantry, you'll need: canned green chile peppers, hot sauce (I use green Tabasco in this recipe), chili powder, ground cumin, Mexican oregano, kosher salt, fresh black pepper.

Inspired by this recipe on Kalyn's Kitchen. Serves 10-12.


For the meat filling:
2-1/2 lbs ground beef sirloin (5% fat)
2 oz hot sauce (I use green Tabasco; use your favorite mild hot sauce)
4-oz can chopped green chiles, drained
1 Tbsp chili powder (I like Penzeys Chili 3000)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper

For the quesadillas:
10-12 small corn or flour tortillas
6 oz grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
Store-bought or homemade tomatillo salsa

Optional add-ins: sliced avocado, chopped cilantro
Optional toppings: sour cream, guacamole


In a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker, add all ingredients for the meat filling, plus 1/4 cup water. Stir to combine.

Cook on HIGH for 1 hour. Uncover, and using a potato masher or pastry cutter, break up the meat and stir again to evenly distribute the seasoning.

Cover and cook for 1 more hour, uncover the pot and mash again.

Then, cook uncovered, on HIGH, for an additional 30-45 minutes, until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.

At this point,  you can remove the beef from the slow cooker, cool completely, pack into airtight containers, and freeze. Or, continue on to make Sloppy Joe beef quesadillas.

To make the quesadillas, heat a griddle or large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Set out the tortillas on the countertop. Sprinkle a small bit of cheese on one half of each tortilla. Top with a few spoonfuls of beef, and more cheese. (If you are adding avocado or cilantro, tuck it in there now.)

Fold each tortilla in half to make a half-moon shape. Cook on the griddle, a few minutes on each side, pressing down lightly with a spatula if needed until the cheese begins to melt. When the tortillas are lightly browned, and the cheese inside has melted, the quesadillas are done.

Serve hot, with tomatillo salsa on top, plus any additional toppings you like. The quesadillas will be messy, like real Sloppy Joes, so be sure to serve with forks.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Slow cooker sweet and smoky beef
Slow cooker Cuban style ropa vieja
Black bean and shrimp quesadilla
Turkey or chicken picadillo empanadas
Green chile cheeseburgers

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Texas fiesta bowls, from Salad in a Jar
Beef tamale skillet dinner, from $5 Dinners
Tex-Mex lasagna, from Simply Recipes
Spicy beef and black bean soft tacos with cucumber, tomato, and lime salsa, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Beef flautas, from Homesick Texan

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


I love everything about this, especially that you used a slow cooker and the tomatillo salsa. I'd love this for a slow cooker summer dinner, or any time of year.

beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I think these look beautifully delicious!
(p.s. I bet this mix would be good over corn chips with cheese on top!)

Kalyn, my slow cooker really gets a workout in the summer. Such a great way to keep the kitchen cool.

Carol, thanks! And your suggestion for nachos is making me hungry.

Fun idea Lydia! Quesadillas are such an easy lunch idea - I make them a lot for the boys during the summer. You're always so good about using your crockpot in the summer - I need to do that more often.

I love sloppy dishes! Just the thought is making ravenous!

Jeanette, I'm very late to slow cooker cooking, having only learned how to do it in the past few years. One thing I love is that I can cook big batches of beans, and fillings like this meat filling, without heating up my kitchen.

TW, I'm a big fan of sloppy dishes, too. I think that's because so many of my dishes end up being sloppy!

This is making me drool--if I hadn't spent the day in the kitchen (seriously, today's list, you'd think I hadn't cooked in days: overnight soaked whey whole grain oven pancake, 2 jars blueberry cranberry butter, 4 logs compound cranberry butter, hummus with kale and sumac, kale and black raspberry smoothies, and under the broiler now--turkey & kale Italian sausage meatballs and ricotta pesto yellow squash) I'd grab the wherewithal to throw this in the slow cooker and eat at midnight.
Perhaps I'll do that anyway. Looks sloppily delicious (say that like magically delicious!).

Kirsten, I'm moving in with you! I do love that kind of blitz cooking, but in the heat we've been having, I haven't done much cooking at all. Thank goodness for the slow cooker.

nice looks so yummy and delicious :)

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