The Instant Pot may not necessarily mean your Sloppy Joes are on the table quicker, but it definitely makes the recipe easier to prepare. Plus, pressure cooking keeps the ground beef moist and tender!
What makes sense to cook in an electric pressure cooker, and what doesn’t?
Usually, I’m very opinionated when it comes to this topic. And ground beef recipes hardly qualify for this list. It’s not a tough cut that needs a long cooking time to tenderize, after all.
Also, Sloppy Joes are ready on the stove so quickly, using the Instant Pot almost seems like a ridiculous notion? But busy moms, hear me out:
Using the pressure cooker makes them so, so easy and convenient. No stirring, no checking on the sauce. You basically have a blissful 15 minutes of pressure cooking time to yell at the kids to set the table already.
Oh, and get any sides you want to serve ready – because somehow, those sides always end up as a stressful afterthought while you’re trying to keep the beef mixture from burning through the skillet.
The Instant Pot definitely de-stressed my family’s favorite Sloppy Joe recipe for me – and I never dread making them anymore. Definitely a keeper!
How to Make Sloppy Joes in the Instant Pot:
Do you have to brown the meat first?
In a word: No. If you’re seriously short on time, you can skip the step of browning the onion, pepper and ground beef.
You’ll lose some of the flavors that come with the browning, but the dish will still be perfectly delicious. The pressure cooker is known for infusing everything with delicious flavors, after all.
And you’ll gain about 5-10 minutes of time, which may not seem like a lot if you’re a big-picture thinker… But then again it really is on a busy Thursday night.
How do you thicken Sloppy Joes?
If you’re the kind of person who loves sauces super-thick (or you simply let a little too much water slip into the pot), you may want to thicken your Sloppy Joe filling once the pressure cooking time is up.
If your filling seems too thin once you open the Instant Pot, stir in a slurry of 1 teaspoon cornstarch and 1-2 tablespoons cold water.
Set the Instant Pot to sauté and simmer for around 1 minute (while stirring constantly!) until the sauce has thickened.
What side dishes go with Sloppy Joes?
Obviously, you’ll want to serve the sauce on toasted buns. I mean, duh, does anyone ever NOT serve buns with Sloppy Joes? But even then, they are not quite a well-rounded meal by themselves, which is why I always serve something on the side.
Fans of all things crispy will love a pile of chips. Potato or corn? Truthfully, we love ’em both and will never turn down either option.
To brighten up the meal, I love adding a side of pickles and I also pile on the coleslaw.
My favorite recipe for that? My Creamy No-Mayo Coleslaw – it’s the perfect addition here.
And if I don’t have any coleslaw mix in the house, I also love a crunchy green salad on the side.
Comforting and oh-so-easy to make, these Instant Pot Sloppy Joes are a weeknight staple that’s going to carry you through those exciting summer months.
After all, who wants to spend extra time in the kitchen when there’s endless pool days and outdoor adventures to be tackled?! That’s right, nobody 😉
Instant Pot Sloppy Joes
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 small green bell pepper chopped
- 2 pounds lean ground beef
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 1/2 cup water
- salt & pepper to taste
- Toasted buns, coleslaw, pickles, cheese…
- Brown meat: Set the instant pot to "sauté". Add the oil and cook the onion and bell pepper until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the beef and garlic and cook until browned.
- Add remaining ingredients: Stir in all remaining ingredients (except for the buns and toppings!). Close the lid and set the valve to "sealing".
- Cook: Select "pressure cook" on the "high" setting for 5 minutes. Once the cooking time is up, do a quick pressure release. Serve over toasted buns with your favorite toppings.