This is a super-fast easy Sloppy Joe recipe to make in your Instant Pot that starts with frozen ground beef and a surprising shortcut ingredient. Add a bun, and you’ve got a delicious weeknight dinner!
❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe: These easy sloppy joes are as fast and flavorful as it gets. The sandwiches are super juicy with just the right amount of spice, and you can easily customize the sauce and protein with what you have on hand.
Sloppy joes are a family favorite at our house, and we’ve tried them dozens of different ways. My favorite recipe is our from-scratch homemade sloppy joes, but my kids prefer this shortcut recipe. Which is nice because it comes together so quickly!
(And if you’re looking for some dinner-making entertainment, I can’t ever make this recipe without thinking about the SNL Sloppy Joe song. 😂)
Sloppy Joes are one of our favorite Instant Pot Ground Beef Recipes.
Our first recipe was Sweet-and-Spicy Sloppy Joes in the Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbook.
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED
Grab these ingredients to make this easy Sloppy Joe recipe:
- Ground beef. You can use frozen beef for this recipe, no need to defrost!
- Beef broth. If you prefer, chicken or vegetable broth will also work.
- Dehydrated minced onions. These are also sometimes called onion flakes.
- Condensed Chicken Gumbo Soup. We use Campbell’s.
- Yellow mustard. You can use Dijon as well.
- Ketchup for that classic tomato flavor.
- Red wine vinegar. Keep this on hand if you need to add extra acid at the end.
- Cornstarch. To thicken up the sauce.
How to Make Easy Sloppy Joes in an Instant Pot
Add the beef broth and onion to the pressure cooking pot, then add the frozen ground beef. Next, add the chicken gumbo soup, ketchup, and mustard in that order. Without stirring, lock the lid in place.
Cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
When the pressure cooking is done, turn off the Instant Pot and let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then finish with a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
Stir everything well and break up the beef. The ground beef will not be cooked through at this point. Stir in the vinegar, then select Sauté and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and cold water until smooth. Add the cornstarch slurry to the pressure cooking pot, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens, about 1 minute. Season with additional salt, sugar, and vinegar to taste.
If you want to make smaller beef crumbles, use a potato masher to mash the beef mixture until it is fine-textured, about 1 minute. When you’re ready to serve, place a heaping spoonful on a toasted sandwich bun and dig in!
Important Tips for Cooking with Ground Beef
- If your ground beef comes in larger packages, weigh out 1-pound portions and freeze them flat in quart-size Ziploc bags. We do this for all Instant Pot ground beef recipes like this one.
(If you’re worried about it fitting, you can press it flat in the ziplock in the bottom of the pressure cooker to make sure it’ll fit, especially if you’re making it in a 3-quart.)
- You’ll have the best results with beef that is frozen completely flat. A rounded or misshapen frozen piece of meat won’t cook evenly.
- If you’re using fresh ground beef, subtract 2 minutes of cook time.
- You can use the same cook times if using fresh or frozen ground turkey.
Frequently Asked Questions about Instant Pot Sloppy Joes
We love recipes like this one that don’t require you to defrost anything. To make the perfect size portions of frozen ground beef, we buy in bulk, then divide the beef into 1-pound portions in Ziploc bags and freeze them flat. Then we can grab a portion and make it for dinner.
Store leftover sloppy joe beef in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. You can reheat in the microwave to serve.
Yes, this ground beef mixture freezes great. Simply store the fully cooled sloppy joe filling in a freezer-safe container for up to six months. You can defrost overnight in the fridge or in the Instant Pot to serve.
To add some heat, you can add cayenne pepper, chili powder, or your favorite hot sauce to these sloppy joes.
If you want to add toppings to serve these sandwiches, try pickle chips, coleslaw, and potato chips.
MORE Instant Pot Ground Beef Recipes
Try these other simple weeknight ground beef recipes in your Instant Pot / Pressure Cooker next:
- Easy Instant Pot Ground Beef Tacos are great for Taco Tuesday with kids.
- No-Grill Instant Pot Hamburgers are perfect for BBQ flavors indoors.
- Instant Pot Greek Beef Tacos have Mediterranean flavors and a creamy tzatziki sauce.
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- 1 pound frozen ground beef*
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1 tablespoon dehydrated minced onions
- 1 can (10.75 ounces) Condensed Chicken Gumbo Soup (we used Campbell’s)
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, plus extra for seasoning
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 6 hamburger buns, toasted
- In the pressure cooking pot, combine the beef broth and onion. Add the frozen ground beef. Carefully layer on the chicken gumbo soup, ketchup, and mustard. Lock the lid in place.
- Select High Pressure and set the cook time for 5 minutes.
- When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 5 minutes, then use a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
- Give everything a good stir to break up the beef. (Note that the ground beef will not be cooked through at this point.) Stir in the vinegar. Select Sauté and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk the 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.
- For extra uniform beef crumbles, use a potato masher to mash the beef until it is fine-textured, about 1 minute. (Optional)
- To serve, place a heaping spoonful on a toasted sandwich bun.
If cooking from frozen, the beef must be frozen flat, about an inch thick. If it’s frozen in a log or a sphere, the cook time will increase quite a bit.
If cooking from refrigerated beef, reduce the pressure cook time by 2 minutes.
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