A Paleo comfort food recipe that’s perfect for a busy night dinners, Instant Pot Sloppy Joes is a family favorite recipe! This pressure cooker recipe generally uses a pre-made sauce, but here we use all real food ingredients to make a delightful sauce that comes together while cooking in the Instant Pot. And bonus – I explain how to make it a freezer recipe, too!
It’s that time again, friends. Whether you fall on the HALLELUJAH, it’s here!! side, or the crying in your car side – it’s time to send those kiddos back to school. This also means busier schedules, a little confusion (at least on my part) as you adapt to new routines, and the need for easy weeknight meals. Enter Instant Pot Sloppy Joes.
About the Instant Pot
It’s been a little while since I have shared an Instant Pot recipe. Don’t get me wrong – it’s still one of my favorite kitchen appliances, I just have been tooling around with baking and trying out my new air fryer, too. But the 7-in-one device that can make yogurt, rice, act as a slow cooker, browning pan, steamer, and in this case, pressure cooker, is seriously a must have for kitchens in my opinion. I bought mine 3 years ago and am so thankful that I did!
How to make sloppy joes in an Instant Pot
I actually had a recipe that I made in the slow cooker years ago, but you have to brown the meat prior to – and I’m all about minimal cleanup. The fact that you can brown the meat right in the Instant Pot here makes it super duper easy. One pot to cook in, one pot to wash. WIN! You can also totally make this a freezer meal and have it prepped ahead of time to make.
- You first sauté the ground beef and chopped vegetables (love adding these in for a little texture and also benefit for the kiddos – and us!) with the sauté function in your Instant Pot. Drain the fat off (this will help in protecting your hands,) and use a pasta drainer to assist as well.
- Add in seasonings and let your Instant Pot go to work.
- Cook for 10 minutes, let rest for 10 minutes afterwards, and then manually release the pressure. Unlock the lid, and give it a good few stirs … voila – you will have yummy, tasty sloppy joes! Did I mention that these have all real ingredients, not like making them straight from a can with the mix? Feel good about the ingredients AND the ease of this recipe!
A Paleo comfort food recipe that's perfect for a busy night dinners, Instant Pot Sloppy Joes is a family favorite recipe! This pressure cooker recipe generally uses a pre-made sauce, but here we use all real food ingredients to make a delightful sauce that comes together while cooking in the Instant Pot. And bonus - I explain how to make it a freezer recipe, too!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 lbs. ground beef (organic preferred)
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, cut into small pieces
- 3 stalks celery, cut into small pieces
- 1/2 yellow, orange or red pepper cut into small pieces
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can + 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp paprika
- 4 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups water
Add oil to Instant Pot and press the Saute button. Add onion, carrot, celery, pepper garlic and beef and saute for 4-5 minutes. Press cancel button and drain extra fat. Be sure to use a hot pad as pot will be hot.
Add remaining ingredients, place lid securely on top, and have valve set to "sealing" and press the Manual button. Adjust time to 10 minutes.
After the cook time of 10 minutes, let it sit for 10 more minutes before manually releasing pressure. Remove lid and stir. Sauce will thicken more with time.
How to make this a freezer meal
I have been a longtime fan of Once a Month Meals, a resource that gives you everything you need to shop, prep and cook your monthly freezer meals in just one day — and freeze those meals for later. The idea is genius for those of us who don’t want to cook every day, want to have something prepared ahead of time, or who don’t want to succumb to grabbing take out because we didn’t have time to cook. I also love Once a Month Meals, because they have recipes that cater to numerous diets, including:
- Instant Pot
- Real Food
- Gluten Free/Dairy Free
- Allergy Friendly, and more!
Being a member of Once a Month Meals provides you with your choice of the above meal plans, and coordinating recipe cards, shopping list, labels, prep instructions and thaw sheets. It’s a wonderful way to simplify your life if you are busy – hellooo! Many of my meals, including this one, are featured on Once a Month Meals along with hundreds and hundreds more. Check them out and let me know if it doesn’t simplify your life, too!
Ways to serve Instant Pot Sloppy Joes
Sure you can serve this meat mixture atop a lightly toasted bun, but how about trying it in one of these ways?
- Serve sloppy joe mix over cooked spaghetti squash for an all-in-one paleo meal.
- We’ve tried it over a roasted sweet potato, which was delicious, too. Oh yeah, it’s gluten- and grain-free to boot.
- Spice up your salad by putting the meat atop some greens.
- My meat-loving husband has been known to eat this plain. Yep, as is. And he loves it!
Some other Instant Pot recipes that you might enjoy:
- Instant Pot Chicken & Rice
- Carrot Soup in the Instant Pot
- Saag (Cooked Indian Spinach Dish)
- Vegetarian Split Pea Soup with Kale made in the Instant Pot
Do you have an Instant Pot already? And if so, what’s your favorite thing to cook with it? Tell us about it in the comments below! Oh yeah, and good luck with the back to school time … I’m a combo of happy and sad at the same time. I am craving more of a routine, but time goes so fast; it makes me sad when my kids aren’t home. Bittersweet, for sure.
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