Instant Pot Sloppy Joes

sloppy joe sandwiches with pickles and tater tots on a plate
Diana Rattray
  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Pressure Build/Release: 15 mins
  • Yield: Serves 8

Instant Pot sloppy Joes are a snap to prepare and they're ready in less than 45 minutes. The recipe is easily scaled up, making it an excellent party food. If you need ideas for a special get-together, this is an excellent option. It's easy, too. Just brown the ground beef, then throw everything together in the Instant Pot.

While the origins are uncertain, the term "sloppy Joe" was first referenced in print around 1940. A Sioux City, Iowa cook named Joe, creator of "loose meat sandwiches" in the 1930s, is often given credit for the first sloppy joe sandwiches.

For a game day celebration or party, make a sloppy Joe bar with pickles, chips, salads, and toasted buns. Keep the sloppy Joe mixture in the Instant Pot on the warm setting and let your friends and family prepare their own sandwiches.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds ground beef (85/15 or leaner)
  • 1 1/2 cups onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup green bell pepper (chopped)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 8 sandwich buns

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients for instant pot sloppy joes
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  2. Select the Instant Pot's sauté setting and add the oil. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the ground beef. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring constantly.

    ground beef is browned in the instant pot
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  3. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic to the beef and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer, stirring frequently.

    onion and peppers added to the ground beef
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  4. Add the water to the pot and stir, scraping the bottom of the pot to loosen any stuck-on browned bits.

    water is added
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  5. In a bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and mustard. Add the mixture to the Instant Pot; do not stir.

    ketchup and remaining ingredients added
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  6. Lock the lid in place and turn the steam release knob to the sealing position. Choose the pressure cook or manual setting (high pressure) and set the timer for 10 minutes. When the time is up, let the pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes and then carefully do a quick release following the manufacturer's instructions.

    instant pot steam knob venting position
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  7. Cancel the pressure cook function and choose the sauté button. Continue cooking the sloppy joe mixture for 2 to 3 minutes, or until reduced and thickened.

    instant pot sloppy joes sauce reduction
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray
  8. Spoon the sloppy joe sauce over toasted buns and serve with chips, fries, or tater tots.

    sloppy joe sandwich with tater tots
    The Spruce / Diana Rattray

Recipe Variations

  • Tex-Mex Sloppy Joes: Replace the bell peppers with chopped green chilies and add 2 teaspoons of chili powder and 1 teaspoon of ground cumin to the ketchup mixture. Garnish with cheddar jack cheese, if desired.
  • Barbecue Sloppy Joes: Replace half of the ketchup with your favorite barbecue sauce.

Tip

  • The sloppy Joe sauce freezes beautifully. Spoon the sauce mixture into family-size or small freezer bags and freeze for up to 3 months.