Instant Pot Sloppy Joes are so easy and so much better than the stuff you buy in a can! Make it in your IP or stovetop!
Not that making sloppy joes on your stove takes a lot of time but making Instant pot sloppy joes gives you extra sloppy sauce and the meat is very tender.
Why should you make this recipe?
- A dinner everyone in the family will enjoy in less than 30 minutes.
- One pot meal so easy cleanup
- Economical, only $1.25 per serving
- Can be made on the stove or in a crockpot
- Slightly sweet
- Easy place to hide vegetables from those fussy kids
What you need
- ground beef
- tomato sauce
- sugar or honey
- worcestershire sauce
- dry mustard
- salt and pepper
How to make sloppy joes (stovetop)
You can customize the flavor to your families liking. A little sweet, or sweeter. Trying to stay away from refined sugars? Honey is a great substitute because it gets all caramelized in the sauce.
- Brown ground beef over high heat in two batches. Set aside.
- Sauté onion, celery and garlic in same pan with a splash of olive oil.
- Add remaining ingredients back to pan. Simmer on low heat 10-15 minutes.
How to make Instant pot sloppy joes
- Set Instant pot to sauté mode.
- Brown ground beef in two batches. Set aside.
- Sauté onion, celery and garlic after beef with a splash of olive oil.
- Just soften vegetables.
- Add remaining ingredients and beef back to pot. Affix lid to pot. Turn vent to sealing. Cook on pressure cook setting, high for 10 minutes.
Let Instant pot naturally vent for 5 minutes. (Leave it alone.) Turn venting knob to vent. Let the remainder of the pressure release until valve drops into the top of the pot. Open lid away from your face to avoid burns.
Serve on toasted buns.
What to serve with them
We like to serve these sandwiches with a lot of carrot and celery sticks. They add extra crunch and vitamins. Other things we serve them with are;
- French fries
- Sweet potato fries
- Onion rings
- Air fryer beet chips
- Air fryer tortilla chips
- BLT pasta salad
- Make them spicy by adding fresh hot peppers. (Sauté them with the onions and celery.) Or add chili powder.
- Add a slice of mozzarella or American or cheddar cheese for a cheesy version.
- Try adding additional vegetables like carrots or corn.
- Add cumin, chili powder and Mexican oregano with corn for a Mexican flair.
What else can you do with leftover meat?
- Use as a topping for fries. Melt cheese for a yummy appetizer or side dish.
- Add to grilled cheese sandwiches
- Use it for a filling for tacos or topper for nachos
- Use it as a pizza sauce
- Top mac and cheese with leftover meat
- Great burger topping
- Use as a filling for hot pockets or appetizers like these Lobster pastries
Pro tips for your success
- Brown meat over high heat to get a nice crust on meat and not overcook.
- Use 80% beef. Don’t use very lean beef.
- Make this recipe a bit healthier by substituting ground turkey or ground venison
- Don’t cook the sauce down too much. You want your sandwiches to be “sloppy”
- If sauce becomes too dry, or to heat up leftovers, add a bit of water to thin the sauce down.
- Reheat sauce by adding a bit of water and warming in microwave or in small pan on stovetop until hot.
- Leftovers can be stored in refrigerator for 3 days.
- Leftovers can be frozen up to 3 months.
- Use any bell pepper you like, green, red, yellow or orange.
- Toast your buns. The bun will become too soggy too quickly if it’s not toasted.
- Add cheese if desired. Melt.
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Homemade Sloppy Joes
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 1 clove garlic
- 3-4 baby bell peppers, any color, diced optional
- 2 15 oz can tomato sauce
- ½ cup water eliminate for slow cooker
- 4 heaping tablespoons dry mustard
- 3 tsp worchestershire sauce
- 1 tsp Pepper
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2-3 tbsp sugar or honey, to taste
- 8 sandwich buns
For Instant pot
- Set IP to sauté mode. Break up ground beef and add to pot (brown meat in two batches.).
- Brown beef, turn and brown the other side. Remove from pot and brown remaining meat. Remove from pot.
- Add a splash of olive oil to pot. Add vegetables. (I do my peppers in strips so that people who are intolerant can easily take them out.)
- Just sauté them briefly. Scrape the bottom of the instant pot to remove any stuck bits, to avoid a burn notice.
- Add remaining ingredients. (eliminate water if using slow cooker.) Set Instant pot to pressure cook, manual, high pressure for 10 minutes. Let pressure naturally release (leave it alone) for 5 minutes. Then manually release the rest of the pressure by turning the venting knob. Let the float valve drops back into pot, release remaining pressure by opening the lid away from your face.
- Place beef in hot, heavy bottom pan. Brown beef in two batches. Breaking up beef as it browns. Set aside.
- Once beef is browned add onions, garlic, celery and peppers, if using, to the same pan over low heat to soften.
- Add the remaining ingredients. Turn heat to medium and heat through. Can be simmered on low for a long time, if desired. Add water if sauce becomes too thick, and then cook some of the water out of it.
- Serve on toasted buns.