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Instant Pot Sloppy Joes

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The BEST Instant Pot Sloppy Joes Recipe coming at ya!! Rich and smoky sloppy joe sauce full of tender ground beef, all piled up on buttered buns. Now that’s a kid-friendly dinner!

Sloppy joe on a toasted bun. The sloppy joe filling has browned ground beef and chopped red bell peppers in a thick sauce. There is an instant pot sitting behind the sloppy joe.

Sloppy Joes Sandwiches … in the Instant Pot! 

The kids have been out of school for what feels like forever, but this flavor will heal your crazy feelings! Seriously, what month is it? I’ve loved being together, but I’ve kind of hit that point of, ok, this is plenty of face time! Momma needs just an afternoon to get some things done. 

As you might know, our homemade sloppy joes recipe is one of our most popular posts on the blog and in our cookbook. People who have hated sloppy joes in the past are even in love now, and that includes me. 

When I first taught you how to make sloppy joes, I thought for sure no one was going to care. 

Holy cow, I’ve never been so wrong!!!

After all this time, I figured we needed to bust out an Instant Pot recipe so that things could get done even faster.

Two Instant Pot sloppy joes on toasted buns. The browned ground beef has chunks of red bell pepper and a thick sauce. There are french fries next to the sandwiches and sliced onions and sauce in the background.

An Instant Pot sloppy joe recipe will change things a little bit versus being on the stove. On the stove, flavors slowly meld together and evaporation thickens things up. Because of this, a recipe for sloppy joes in an Instant Pot can have a little more liquid. 

If you find that you want to add a little less liquid, please be my guest. 

Instant Pot Sloppy Joes are just as flavorful though — a little smoky sweetness, lots of flavor from spices and peppers, and then that perfectly juicy ground beef. 

Keep reading to learn how to make sloppy joes in an Instant Pot. 

Ingredients to make instant pot sloppy joes. There is ground beef, dijon mustard, ketchup, butter, brown sugar, onions, chopped red bell peppers, Worcestershire sauce in small containers.

Ingredients in Instant Pot Sloppy Joes

Alright, all you need are basic pantry and fridge staples:  

  • Ground Beef 
  • Butter
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Brown Sugar
  • Liquid Smoke
  • Bell Pepper
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Chili Powder
  • Ketchup
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Brioche Buns

An instant pot containing browned ground beef.

How to Make Sloppy Joes in an Instant Pot

The homemade sloppy joe sauce and sandwiches comes together in no time! This is such a simple recipe, but I think you’ll love it! Here are the basic steps to making sloppy joes in an Instant Pot: 

  1. Heat up your pressure cooker over medium high heat; press sauté button 
  2. Add ground beef.
  3. Drain and discard the liquids.
  4. Allow ground beef to continue browning. 
  5. Add diced veggies and cook for 2 minutes or until soft.
  6. Add remaining ingredients
  7. Place lid on.
  8. Cook on high pressure for 5-8 minutes, allow a 10 minute natural release.
  9. Toast buns and brush with a little melted butter on top
  10. Turn the pot back to sauté for 3-7 minutes on high if it’s too runny.

An instant pot with browned hamburger, chunks of red bell pepper, ketchup, dijon mustard and brown sugar.

Our Favorite Sloppy Joe Sides

Not sure what to serve with sloppy joes? Here are a few of our favorite side dishes to help you out: 

An instant pot with cooked sloppy joe filling in it. You can see the browned hamburger with chunks of red bell pepper and a thick sauce.

How Long Will Sloppy Joes Last?

Sloppy Joes will keep for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. Cover well and store in the refrigerator.

Can You Freeze Sloppy Joes?

Sloppy Joes can be frozen for 4-6 months. Cool completely in the refrigerator and place in an air tight container or in a freezer bag.

Sloppy joe on a toasted bun. The sloppy joe has browned hamburger and chopped red bell peppers and is thick and saucy. Another sloppy joe and a small bowl of sliced onions is in the background.

Can I Prep This Recipe in Advance? 

Yes! These Instant Pot sloppy joes from scratch reheat beautifully, making them a great make-ahead meal for busy weeks or when you have company coming over. You can reheat large portions in the slow cooker or on the stove. 

Do I Have to Use Liquid Smoke? 

Technically no, but it makes a huge difference in how the sauce tastes! Liquid smoke can be found at most major grocery stores and online. We use it in all kinds of mains, sauces, and dressings, it’s a great investment! 

Two sloppy joe sandwiches on toasted buns. there are chunks of red bell peppers in the browned ground beef. French fries and sliced onions are on the table with the sloppy joes.

Which Buns are Best for Homemade Sloppy Joes? 

You can use any bun you’d like, but our favorite is a thick Brioche Bun. Once you go Brioche you’ll never go back.  A close second? Potato Buns.

Can I Use Ground Turkey?

You sure the heck can!! It’s absolutely delicious with ground turkey and no one can even tell the difference. I like to keep both ground beef and ground turkey in my freezer at all times. 

A toasted bun overflowing with sloppy joe filling. The browned hamburger has chunks of red bell pepper and a thick sauce. An instant pot is in the background.

Are Sloppy Joes and Manwich the Same Thing?

They are the same kind of sandwich. Manwich is the sloppy joe sauce you can buy in the store. A sloppy joe is ground beef sautéed in a sweet, tangy tomato based sauce.

How to Thicken Sloppy Joe Sauce

Sloppy Joes will thicken as you simmer them. If they are too liquidy, simmer uncovered until they are the consistency you desire. Or, you can add cornstarch and water to the boiling sloppy joes to thicken them.

A toasted bun filled with sloppy joes filling. there is a bowl of sloppy joe, a bowl of sliced red onions, some french fries and an instant pot in the background.

Tips for Making the Best Sloppy Joes 

Toast the buns: You should always lay the buns down on a hot, buttered skillet and toast the insides. I even like to brush the outsides with a little butter as well. That texture and buttery goodness will change your life. 

Ground beef: I like to buy 80/20 ground beef or 85/15 for more flavor, but you’ll have more grease to drain.

Apple cider vinegar: Not that this recipe calls for apple cider vinegar, not regular apple cider. The vinegar is crucial, as it makes the sauce tangy and balances out the sweet-smoky flavors.  

A sloppy joe sandwich on a toasted bun. The browned hamburger has chunks of red bell peppers and is held together with a thick sauce. French fries and a bowl of sliced red onions are in the background.

More Instant Pot Dinner Recipes:

All of our Instant Pot Recipes! And here’s our Instant Pot Cheat Sheet — so handy to have when making anything in the Instant Pot! 

Raised in the Kitchen - Carrian Cheney
185 days

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Sloppy joe on a toasted bun. The sloppy joe filling has browned ground beef and chopped red bell peppers in a thick sauce. There is an instant pot sitting behind the sloppy joe.

Instant Pot Sloppy Joes

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
The BEST Instant Pot Sloppy Joes! Rich and smoky sloppy joe sauce full of tender ground beef, all piled up on buttered buns.

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound Ground Beef (we use 80% lean)
  • 1/2 Cup Onion , diced fine
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Garlic , minced
  • 2 1/2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar (dark or light)
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 3/4 teaspoon  Liquid Smoke
  • 1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon  Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Cup Ketchup
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper , to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • Buns , for serving

Instructions

  • Heat up your pressure cooker over medium high heat (Instant Pot): press Sauté button 
  • Add ground beef in pressure cooker. The ground beef will begin to release moisture. At the 5-minute mark, drain & discard the ground beef juice.
  • Allow ground beef to brown. 
  • Add diced veggies for 2 minutes or until soft.
  • Add remaining ingredients and the lid with the valve on seal.
  • Cook on high pressure for 5-8 minutes, allow a 10 minute natural release.
  • Toast buns and brush with a little melted butter on top
  • Turn the pot back to sauté for 3-7  minutes on high if it’s too runny

Notes

Sloppy Joes can be frozen for up to 6 months.
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Sloppy Joes
Amount Per Serving (1 g)
Calories 499 Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Fat 32g49%
Saturated Fat 14g88%
Cholesterol 103mg34%
Sodium 903mg39%
Potassium 726mg21%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 24g27%
Protein 22g44%
Vitamin A 2341IU47%
Vitamin C 43mg52%
Calcium 63mg6%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Sloppy joe on a toasted bun. The sloppy joe filling has browned ground beef and chopped red bell peppers in a thick sauce. There is an instant pot sitting behind the sloppy joe.

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About the authors

carrian feik cheney oh sweet basil

Cade and Carrian have three children and love to spend time together whether it’s vacationing or snuggled up on the couch for a good movie.

And this family especially loves to eat.

They love everything from the keep you fit and healthy to the get out your sweat pants indulgent and everything in between.

But most of all, they love the memories made, shared and treasured and it’s all thanks to a meal shared together with loved ones.

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2 comments

  • These were amazing! However I wasn’t sure where the butter fit in…I didn’t use any. ☺️

    • Reply
    • Thank you so much Gina! The butter is just for brushing on to the buns before toasting them…totally optional! Thank you so much for taking time to leave a comment!

      • Reply

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