Instant Pot Sloppy Joes

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These Instant Pot Sloppy Joes are an incredibly easy family dinner that cooks mostly hands-off. Serve in your favorite buns for the ultimate busy weeknight meal!


Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 220kcal


  • 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
  • 2/3 cup water
  • salt & pepper to taste

To Serve:

  • 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.


Nutrition is for the filling only, without buns or toppings.

Ingredient notes

  • Green pepper: Ever since a reader told me she enjoys diced green pepper in home-style ground beef dishes… I’ve been hooked! But I understand d not everybody is into green pepper, to feel free to either leave it out or use a stick of diced celery instead.
  • Ground beef: I prefer lean ground beef in this recipe, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand. If you have a fattier ground beef, you may want to drain off the fat after browning. For a lean version, try using ground turkey!
  • Brown sugar: Sloppy joes definitely have that salty/sweet taste, so I do like to add the brown sugar here. Feel free to skip it, but it will alter the taste.
  • Worcestershire sauce: This is a must in the recipe for me, just adds some depth and flavor. Soy sauce can be used as a substitute.
  • Ketchup: Try using barbecue sauce in place of the ketchup for a fun twist on the recipe!

Recipe tips

  • 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.
  • To avoid the burn warning:
  • Make sure to measure out the ingredients correctly and use enough water in the mixture.
  • Scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pot when you stir in the broth, anything stuck on the bottom can quickly trigger the “burn” warning.
  • Finally, make sure to stir well to have an even mix.
  • Sometimes, an Instant Pot can just be extremely fickle with the burn warning. If you keep getting it, open the lid and stir in another ¼ – ½ cup water. Thicken the sloppy joes with a cornstarch slurry after pressure cooking like described in the next paragraphs.
  • 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.


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 220kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 310mg | Potassium: 532mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 295IU | Vitamin C: 14.4mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 3mg

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