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Instant Pot Sloppy Joes

Sweet, savory, and tender, these Instant Pot Sloppy Joes are always a crowd-pleaser! Like so many of our favorite Instant Pot meals, they’re great for busy weeknights.

finished instant pot sloppy joes on buns with sides.
Instant Pot Sloppy Joes are so simple and delicious: perfect for crazy weeknights and picky eaters.

Why This Recipe Stands Out

These Instant Pot Sloppy Joes are the easier, quicker version of our classic Sloppy Joes Recipe. It’s a life-saver for crazy weeknights. Here’s some more reasons why we love this recipe:

  • Quick and Easy: These Sloppy Joes are one of our many delicious 30-minute meals, meaning you can keep this in your recipe arsenal for the days when you just don’t have time to cook.
  • Flavorful: Thanks to the Instant Pot and some key spices and condiments, these Sloppy Joes are bursting with sweet, tangy, and savory flavors.
  • Versatile: Sloppy Joes are so versatile. There’s dozens of ways you can adjust them to your preferences.
  • Family-Friendly: This is a classic family meal, because most everyone (including picky eaters) loves it.
  • Make-Ahead: Sloppy Joes keep really well making them a perfect meal-prep dinner.

Key Recipe Ingredients

instant pot sloppy joes ingredients.
  • Ground Beef – We use 93% lean ground beef for this recipe, but you can also totally use a higher fat percentage.
  • Green Bell Pepper – Green bell pepper adds a pop of color and freshness to these sloppy joes.
  • Tomato Paste – One of the main ingredients in sloppy joes, tomato paste thickens the mixture and helps bring all the flavors together nicely.
  • Ketchup – We add some ketchup in addition to the tomato paste to bring even more sweet tomato flavor.
  • Brown Sugar – We love the sweet, molasses flavor that brown sugar brings to this dish.
  • Mustard – The sharp, tangy flavor of mustard balances the sweeter ingredients perfectly.

Substitutions And Variations

We love how versatile this warm, comforting dinner can be. Check out some of our favorite variations for Sloppy Joes:

  • Swap the Meat: You can always swap the ground beef in this recipe for ground chicken or turkey. If you really want to get creative, try using half beef or turkey and half sausage for an added burst of flavor.
  • Switch or Omit Veggies: If you aren’t a fan of green bell peppers, feel free to omit them or swap them with another veggie. We think celery, carrots, and colored bell peppers would all be great options!
  • Play with the Flavors: Try adding cumin, paprika, and fresh jalapeños to make Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes. You could also play around with adding fresh ginger, soy sauce, and sesame seeds for an Asian spin on this recipe.

Step-By-Step Recipe Instructions

  1. Turn Instant Pot to sauté mode. Add ground beef, 1 tsp kosher salt, and black pepper. Cook until browned. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  2. Continuing in sauté mode, heat oil until very hot. Add onions, garlic, green peppers, and remaining 1 tsp kosher salt. Cook 2-3 minutes. Add the browned beef back into the pot.
  1. Stir in the ketchup, tomato paste, brown sugar, and mustard to combine well. Cover tightly and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Let pressure cooker “natural release” for 12 minutes. Manually release the remaining pressure.
  2. Stir and serve warm on hamburger buns, brioche buns, or pasta. Enjoy!

For full list of ingredients and instructions, see recipe card below.

How To Prep Ahead

Instant Pot Sloppy Joes keep wonderfully. Here’s how to meal prep:

  • Refrigerate: Sloppy Joes will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. So, feel free to make this recipe in advance (or double it) and have it as an easy lunch or dinner throughout the week!
  • Freeze: This recipe also freezes really well. Just let the mixture cool completely and throw it in the freezer for up to a month. You can either thaw it in the microwave or on the stovetop when you’re ready to eat.
  • Veggies and Aromatics: As always, to make this recipe super quick, you can always chop up the bell pepper, onions, and garlic in advance and store them in the fridge for a few days.
instant pot sloppy joes in buns with sides.

What To Serve With Sloppy Joes

Breads and Rice

Vegetables

Desserts

Commonly Asked Questions

How long do instant pot sloppy joes keep?

Store sloppy joes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. You can also freeze it, and it’ll keep really well for a month.

Do you have to brown the beef?

You don’t have to brown the ground beef for this recipe, but we highly recommend it. It brings out really nice flavors that you won’t get otherwise. Especially if you’re using a higher fat beef, it’s a good idea to brown it first so you can strain some of the excess fat.

Can I make these sloppy joes without an instant pot?

Yes! For an amazing stovetop sloppy joe recipe, check out our recipe for Easy, Hearty Sloppy Joes.

What do I do if my instant pot gives me the “burn” notice?

If you end up getting the burn notice from your instant pot, try mixing up to 1/2 cup of water or broth and give everything a stir, making sure nothing is sticking to the bottom. If you need to thicken the Sloppy Joes due to the extra liquids you can always add a bit of cornstarch dissolved in water to the mix.

Are instant pot sloppy joes gluten-free?

Yes! The actual Sloppy Joe mixture is completely gluten and dairy free. So, get yourself some gluten-free buns and you’ll be all set!

Did you make this?

Please give us a rating and comment below. We love hearing from you!

instant pot sloppy joes served on buns with sides.

Instant Pot Sloppy Joes

5 from 44 ratings
Sweet, savory, and tender, these Instant Pot Sloppy Joes are always a crowd-pleaser! Like so many of our favorite Instant Pot meals, they're great for busy weeknights.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Pressure Release Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 27 minutes
Servings: 8
Author: Amy Dong

Ingredients  

Instructions

  • Turn Instant Pot to sauté mode. Add ground beef, 1 tsp kosher salt, and black pepper. Cook until browned. Drain if desired. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  • Continuing in sauté mode, heat oil until very hot. Add onions, garlic, green peppers, and remaining 1 tsp kosher salt. Cook until onions are soft, 2-3 minutes. Add the browned beef back into the pot. Turn sauté mode off.
  • Stir in the ketchup, tomato paste, brown sugar, and mustard to combine well. Cover tightly and pressure cook on high for 5 minutes. Let pressure cooker "natural release" for 12 minutes. Manually release the remaining pressure and carefully open lid. Stir and serve warm, with desired garnishes.

Equipment

Notes

  • Sloppy joes are perfect for meal prep; make a large batch at the beginning of the week and serve it for several days. 
  • Sloppy joes are delicious over hamburger buns, brioche buns, and even over cooked macaroni noodles. 
  • Cooked and cooled sloppy joes can be frozen in airtight containers for up to a month. 
If you enjoyed this recipe, please come back and give it a rating. We ❤️ hearing from you! 
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Nutrition (per serving)

Calories: 266kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 848mg | Potassium: 680mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 403IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Low Lactose
Method: Instant Pot

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Recipe Rating




16 comments

    • Moop Brown
    • 5 stars

    Sloppy joes are such a classic and I like that this recipe allows them to be made in the instant pot which is perfect for busier nights.

    • Hayley Dhanecha
    • 5 stars

    Instant Pot Sloppy Joes are a game-changer! The Instant Pot transforms the cooking process into a quick and hassle-free experience, while still infusing the dish with all the savory, hearty flavors we love in classic Sloppy Joes.

    • Tammy
    • 5 stars

    I absolutely love how easy this is to make. I’ve not made sloppy Joe’s in a long time but I’m inspired now…great recipe for game day!

    • Laura Arteaga
    • 5 stars

    Never made Sloppy joes in the instant pot before, and now I regret not doing it before. This recipe was easy to follow, and the flavor was fantastic. Thank you!

    • Anna
    • 5 stars

    Delicious and simple recipe! It’s such a perfect meal to serve any day of the week, especially if you’re short on time! My whole family really enjoyed these sloppy Joe’s!

    • Cathleen
    • 5 stars

    I love these sloppy joes so much!! I am all about using my Instant Pot now that I have one, and this one is such a great recipe. Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    • Linda
    • 5 stars

    I love sloppy joes. And this version is not just delicious and filling, but also easy to follow. Plus, who doesn’t want a 30-minute meal?

      • Amy Dong

      Thank you, Linda! 🙂

    • Lauren Vavala Harris
    • 5 stars

    My kids had been asking for sloppy joes for awhile now. This IP version was a hit! It was easy to make and tasted great – we all enjoyed it!

      • Amy Dong

      Yay, Lauren! 🙂

    • veenaazmanov
    • 5 stars

    My kids to love it. Perfect for any meal option. Delicious and perfect flavors.

      • Amy Dong

      That’s awesome!

    • Marta
    • 5 stars

    These sloppy joes took me back to my favorite day of the week in the lunchroom. Making it in the instant pot made things so much easier.

      • Amy Dong

      Glad you loved it, Marta 🙂

    • Jan

    This looks and sounds so good.
    I don’t have an Instant Pot.
    Can this be made on the stove top?
    If so, how to proceed with step 3.

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