Who knew there’d be so many versions of Sloppy Joes out there! I naively thought this was a relatively simple recipe, which it is, but there are a number of ways to season it. Mine is a low sugar version, but still oh-so decadent. The Instant Pot tenderizes the ground beef very well and infuses a ton of flavour. Instant Pot sloppy joes come together in 20 minutes. Are you ready to read about how to make them?

sloppy joes on a teal dish being held by a hand

The Ingredients

A typical sloppy joe recipe involves using a ton of ketchup and sugar to create a rich and tangy sauce. Definitely have some extra ketchup on hand if you’re one of those people who love an extra rich sloppy joe, but you don’t need it for the base of this recipe. I used a tomato in combination with ketchup, sriracha and some seasonings. I also used gluten free hamburger buns. I’m lucky enough to have easy access to them, but use regular buns if you want. I’d suggest soft potato buns. If you know you know.

  • olive oil
  • celery
  • onion
  • ground beef
  • salt
  • pepper
  • chicken broth
  • tomato
  • ketchup
  • sriracha
  • brown sugar
  • vinegar
  • worcestershire sauce
  • paprika
  • thyme
  • green onion
  • burger buns

ingredients for sloppy joes, including beef, buns, seasonings and more all laid on a white surface

Pressure Cooking the Filling

First thing you do when making these homemade sloppy joes is you turn your Instant Pot sauté setting on. Cook down the celery, onion and ground beef in olive oil (or any vegetable oil) and season with salt and pepper until everything is cooked. I deglazed the bottom of the Instant Pot with broth. After you’ve scraped up the browned bits on the bottom, stir in all of your seasoning ingredients and pressure cook! That’s it! No waiting around for the liquid to reduce or anything.

beef, ketchup, seasonings and more inside of an instant pot being cooked

ingredients for sloppy joes, including meat inside a clear dish, toasted buns on a teal plate, and sliced green onions in a clear dish

Assemble Your Sandwich

I like to add fresh slices of green onions or chives to cut through the richness of the beef here. You can also set aside the filling and reheat it if you want future Sloppy Joes but in the mean time, remove the beef from the Instant Pot and toast your buns. The toasting is key here so that the filling doesn’t make your bread too soggy. Add a hefty amount of filling (these are meant to be sloppy, right?) on the bottom bun and top with green onions and the top bun. Enjoy!

a sloppy joe sandwich on a teal plate

Sloppy Joes in the Instant Pot

Eva Bee
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner, Sandwich
Cuisine American
Servings 6 sandwiches


  • Instant Pot


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 stick celery minced
  • 1 small onion peeled and chopped
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • 1 small chopped tomato deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp ketchup plus more for serving
  • 1 tbsp sriracha or more ketchup
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp vinegar I used apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 sprig thyme or 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 sprig green onion tips trimmed and minced
  • 6 burger buns toasted right before serving


  • Turn Instant pot onto saute setting over medium heat.
  • Swirl in olive oil and add onion and celery. Saute until soft, about 3 minutes.
  • Add in ground beef and cook, breaking it up with a spoon. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until well browned, about 7 minutes.
  • Add in broth, scraping up any stuck on bits with a flat bottomed spoon.
  • Stir in chopped tomato, ketchup, sriracha, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika and thyme. Cover and pressure cook for 10 minutes.
  • Quick release pressure. Remove thyme and stir. Taste for seasoning adjusting by adding more ketchup if you want it saucier. Optionally turn on the saute setting on medium heat to thicken it further.
  • Stir in green onions and serve on toasted buns.

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Enjoy your sloppy joes with some Pasta Salad or if you want to go a little more savory, try out some crunchy Roasted Potatoes.

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