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These Homemade Sloppy Joes are made in the Instant Pot and always impress, thanks to a flavorful sauce made with dried spices, tomatoes, and Worcestershire sauce to cover tender ground beef.
❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe: This is the recipe perfect to feed a crowd. The flavors are elevated and deeper than traditional sloppy joes, but it couldn’t be easier to make!
If you’re looking for a great recipe for a family gathering, community event, or church party, this is the perfect place to start. It’s always a crowd pleaser and you don’t have to spend any time babysitting your stove!
I’ve always been picky about sloppy joes, and this is the first sloppy joe recipe that I really, really like. It’s not too sweet, but not like spaghetti sauce on a bun either. A perfect snack!
This is one of our go-to Instant Pot ground beef recipes. It’s perfect for entertaining or meal prep, and all you need are hamburger buns. Or, if you feel like going the extra mile, homemade buns!
Our all-from-scratch Sweet-and-Spicy Sloppy Joes this spring Cookbook for electric pressure cooker was created over five years ago! Since then we’ve learned some new tips and tricks, so we decided to update that recipe with this new and improved version.
Fancy Sloppy Joe Ingredients
Here’s what you’ll need for this quick Sloppy Joe recipe:
- Minced meat. I use 85% lean ground beef, but any kind will work.
- brown sugar. You can use light or dark brown sugar.
- Spices. The sloppy joe sauce is flavored with paprika, chili powder, dry mustard, coriander and red pepper flakes.
- Tomatoes. Use crushed, canned tomatoes and be sure to include those salty juices.
- Ketchup. This adds an extra touch of sweetness.
- Tomato paste. For extra umami taste.
- Aromatics. The sauce has a base of flavor from chopped onion and chopped fresh garlic.
- Beef broth. Use low-sodium canned goods or homemade beef broth.
- RED wine vinegar. This gives a bright, tangy finish to the dish. You can also use apple cider vinegar.
- Cornstarch. To thicken the sauce so that it is spoonable.
How to Make Homemade Sloppy Joes in an Instant Pot
This simple recipe works in any brand of electric pressure cooker, including the Instant Pot, Ninja Foodi, or Power Pressure Cooker XL.
Start by discarding the beef with 2 tablespoons of water, salt and baking powder. Let it sit for about 30 minutes.
Select Sauté to preheat your Instant Pot. When hot, add 1 tbsp oil. Add the chopped onion and remaining baking powder and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
Next add the beef. Cook until the meat is browned and crumbled. Add the spice mixture and stir until the spices are well combined, about one minute.
Add the beef broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Make sure the minced meat is distributed evenly on the bottom of the pot. Pour in the tomato mixture and do not touch. Lock the lid in place. Choose High pressure with a 20 minute cooking time.
When the cooking time is up, turn off the pressure cooker. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then end the pressure with a quick release. When the valve falls, carefully remove the cap.
Stir in the red wine vinegarr. Then use a potato masher to mash the beef into small pieces, about 1 minute. Select Sauté again and cook the sauce for about 5 minutes, stirring often, to reduce it slightly.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and colduntil smooth. Add the cornstarch slurry to the pot, stirring constantly, until the Sloppy Joe mixture thickens, about 1 minute. Season to taste with additional salt, sugar and vinegar.
When ready to serve, scoop heaping spoonfuls onto toasted sandwich buns. Top with pickles, if desired, and serve immediately.
Important tips for making smooth sloppy joe sauce
Toss the beef with baking soda before you start cooking helps keep the beef tender and juicy when cooked under pressure. You will also add baking soda to the skillet with the onion as it begins to cook. This helps the onion to break down so that the flavor permeates the entire dish.
If you decide to use 90% lean ground beef, expect it to be a little less tender.
Remember that the mixture will thicken as it cools!
Frequently Asked Questions about Homemade Sloppy Joes
Yes, you can skip the baking powder. But you’ll probably need to brown the meat in batches and render off the fat, so it might not save as much time as you’d hope.
Store leftover filling in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. Heat on the stove or in the microwave to serve.
To freeze leftovers, let the Sloppy Joe filling cool completely. Then transfer it to a freezer safe container and freeze for up to six months. Reheat from frozen or thaw overnight in the fridge.
yes! You don’t need to change anything about the cooking times if you substitute ground turkey for the beef.
I honestly can’t eat or even talk about Sloppy Joes without singing the Adam Sandler sketch from SNL. “Sloppy joes, sloppy, sloppy joes…”
MORE Instant Ground Beef Recipes
You’ll love these other easy pressure cooker ground beef recipes:
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2 pounds 85% lean ground beef
2 tablespoons of water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon baking powder, divided
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
2 tsp paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 can (15 oz) crushed tomatoes in puree
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup tomato puree
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more as needed
1 cup finely chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped or pressed
3/4 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, plus extra for seasoning
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tbsp cold water
10 to 12 hamburger buns, toasted
- In a large bowl, combine beef, 2 tablespoons water, salt, and 3/4 teaspoon baking powder. Mix until well combined and then let sit for 20 minutes.
- In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, paprika, chili powder, dry mustard, cilantro, and red pepper flakes. In a separate small bowl, stir together crushed tomatoes, ketchup, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. Set aside.
- Select Sauté to preheat the pressure cooker. When hot, add 1 tbsp oil. Add the onion and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, about 30 seconds.
- Place the beef in the pan and cook until the beef is browned and crumbled. Add the spice mixture and stir until the spices are well incorporated, about 1 minute. Do not let the bottom of the pot burn.
- Add the beef stock and scrape the bottom of the pan well to remove any browned bits. Make sure the minced meat is distributed evenly on the bottom of the pot. Pour the tomato mixture over the minced meat in the pan. DO NOT stir. Lock the lid in place. Select High pressure and 20 minutes cooking time.
- When the cooking time is up, turn off the pressure cooker. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then finish with a quick release. When the valve falls, carefully remove the cap.
- Stir in the vinegar. Use a potato masher to mash the beef until finely textured, about 1 minute. Choose Sauté and cook, let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes, stirring often.
- In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Add the slurry to the pot, stirring constantly, until the Sloppy Joe mixture thickens, about 1 minute. Season with additional salt, sugar and vinegar to taste.
- To serve, place a heaping spoonful on a toasted sandwich bun. Serve immediately.
Keep in mind that the sloppy joe will continue to thicken as it cools, so don’t over-thicken.
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