These Instant Pot Sloppy Joes are quick and easy to make, ready in only 30 minutes and a hit with everyone in the family. This classic is made healthier by swapping in ground turkey for beef.
Weeknight family dinners can get cray cray, am I right?! Well, in our house they do and I adore this quick and easy Instant Pot Sloppy Joes Recipe for all those hectic evenings. The sandwiches are ready in only 30 minutes, and a house household favorite so I know everyone will be in the clean plate club.
This dinner classic is made with ground turkey instead of ground beef for a healthier take on the sloppy joe. No Instant Pot? No problem! I have included directions for other cooking methods so everyone can get in on these.
Ground Turkey: I like to use ground turkey in my sloppy joe recipe to keep them a bit healthy than the classic. You can of course use ground beef, ground pork or even ground chicken in place of the ground turkey if you wish, I have made them with all four and they work great each way. For a healthier sloppy joe stick with ground turkey or ground chicken.
Chili Sauce: I like the flavor chili sauce brings, and think it adds more flavor and dimension than just plain ketchup. If you cannot find chili sauce alternatives would be ketchup or a mild BBQ sauce. I find chili sauce in the condiment aisle of my local grocery store, but you can also purchase it online. I am not talking about the Asian chili sauce, but the Heinz Chili Sauce.
Honey Mustard: Honey mustard is my favorite mustard, so I like to add this in to my Instant Pot Sloppy Joes. Yellow mustard or Dijon mustard can be swapped in if you wish.
Buns: A good bun can make a break a sloppy joe sandwich. Personally, I like to use Brioche buns, pretzel buns or King's Hawaiian Buns. See my tip below for toasting the buns for the perfect sloppy joe!
Why You'll Love Them
Quick & Easy: These Joe's are Ready in Only 30 Minutes
Crowd Pleaser: These are a hit with family members big and small
Healthier Take on a Classic: Ground Turkey all the Way
Step by Step
Sautéing the Meat & Veggies
Start by pressing the SAUTE button on your Instant Pot then add in your ground turkey. Break the meat apart using a wooden spoon and stir occasionally until all the meat is browned, about 5 minutes. Remove the meat from the pressure cooker and strain the grease.
Add in the finely chopped onion and green pepper along with a the butter. Continue to cook on SAUTE mode for 3-5 minutes until veggies are soft. Add the minced garlic in the last minute and cook until fragrant.
Remove the cooked veggies from the Instant Pot carefully and set aside. Use a damp wade of paper towels to wipe out the Instant Pot. This is optional, but I find it makes cleaning easier later.
Add the cooked ground turkey, veggies and all the remaining ingredients (except ketchup) to your Instant Pot and stir to combine. The mix should be thick, saucy and NOT super watery.
Top the sloppy joe mix with a few squirts of ketchup (optional, but I think it helps keep the meat from drying out) then close the lid and SEAL it.
PRESSURE COOK on HIGH PRESSURE for 5 minutes then let it natural release for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes QUICK RELEASE the lid by turning the nozzle on the top (careful steam will come out).
Once the pressure is released, stir the mixture and serve warm on toasted buns. If you feel the sauce is too watery, you can return the lid to the pressure cooker and cook on HIGH PRESSURE an additional 2 minutes. Be careful not to cook the sloppy joes for too long of they can dry out.
Pressure Cooker Note
These instructions are specific to the Instant Pot and your pressure cooker buttons may differ slightly. Most pressure cookers have similar settings and features, but the cook time could vary depending on the model you have. I have made these in both my Instant Pot and Ninja Foodi and they have taken the same about of time.
Toasting the Buns
While the sloppy joes are cooking in the Instant Pot, I recommend you toast your buns. This is optional, but I reallyyyyy this they make these sloppy joes that much more yummy, and hold together better with all the meat loaded on.
To toast the buns, heat a large skillet over medium heat then add 2 tbsp of butter. Let the butter heat for about a minute until melted and beginning to bubble then add the buns face down. Cook for 1-2 minutes until golden brown and toasted.
See, super quick and easy and add a big impact to the sandwich.
How to Store Leftovers
Store leftover sloppy joe meat in a large airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. For best results add a bit of ketchup to the meat before rewarming it to help the ground turkey not dry out.
Don't Overcook: The worst thing ever is a dried out sloppy joe sandwich. That is why these only need 5 minutes in the pressure cooker for the perfect sticky, sauce that will hold the ground turkey meat together. If after 5 minutes the sauce is too watery cook an additional 2-3 minutes then check the meat again.
Toast the Buns: Toast those buns people! Really though, taking the extra 5 minutes to toast your bun of choice in some butter adds more flavor and makes the perfect, crispy addition to the Sloppy Joes.
Twist Up the Sloppy Joe: Not wanting sloppy joes two nights in a row and need some ideas for leftover sloppy joe meat? Try adding this sloppy joe meat into a grilled cheese, in macaroni and cheese, over top of a cheeseburger, over top of some toast and eggs for some breakfast joes, or over French fries with some cheese for tasty cheese fry appetizer. Or, you could just stick with the classic bun, up to you!
Fun Fact: What's in a Name
Did you know there are actually TONS of different names for Sloppy Joes? Some of the most common include Manwich, Yum Yums, Loose Meat Burgers, a Tavern Sandwich and Dynamite Burger. What does your family call this famous sandwich?!
To keep with a healthier side I would pair these turkey Instant Pot sloppy joes with a side salad, roasted veggies, or a small cup of fruit. To keep with a most classic side option, you could pair with French fries, sweet potato fries, chips, or a baked potato.
Manwich is a premade sauce that is sold in stores to add to ground beef to make sloppy joes. I have never tried this sauce, because making them from scratch is soooo easy and I like that I can add the spices and flavors I want to, to make them perfect for my family.
Yes, you can freeze the cooked sloppy joe meat in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, let thaw in the fridge overnight then rewarm in the microwave, oven, crockpot or pressure cooker. I recommend adding some more chili sauce or ketchup to the mix to help the meat dry out.
Sure! Just brown the ground turkey meat, along with the onions and green pepper according to the recipe instructions in a large skillet. Next, add the meat and veggies along with all the remaining ingredients to a large crockpot and cook on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours. This is great if you aren't in a rush or do not own an Instant Pot/pressure cooker.
Shop this Recipe
These are some of my FAVORITE kitchen gadgets I own. Great for every family and each one makes weeknight dinners a little less stressful.
My Favorite All in One: Ninja Foodi
My Go-To Pressure Cooker: Instant Pot
Kid Proof Plates: Unbreakable Kids Plates
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Instant Pot Sloppy Joes with Ground Turkey
- 1 lb Ground Turkey
- 1 Small Green Pepper Ribs and Seeds Removed then Diced
- ½ Small White Onion Diced
- 1 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 2 Cloves Garlic Minced
- 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- ⅔ Cup Chili Sauce
- 2 Tbsp Ketchup Optional
- ⅓ Cup Water
- 2 Tsp Brown Sugar
- 2 Tsp Honey Mustard
- ¾ Tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tsp Chili Powder
- ½ Tsp Paprika
- ¼ Tsp Sea Salt
- ½ Tsp Ground Black Pepper
- 6 Buns Brioche Work Great!
- 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter For Toasting the Buns-Optional
- Press the SAUTE button on your Instant Pot and add in the ground turkey. Break up the ground turkey with a large cooking spoon and stir occasionally. Cook until no pink remains, about 5 minutes. Once cooked through remove from pot and strain grease.
- Add the butter, diced onion and green pepper to the Instant Pot and continue to SAUTE for 3-5 minutes, until soft. Add the minced garlic in the last minute and cook and additional minute until fragrant.
- Turn off SAUTE mode and add the ground turkey and all remaining ingredients (except the ketchup) and stir to combine. Top the mix with the ketchup then place the lid on and turn the nozzle to SEAL.
- Cook the sloppy joes on HIGH PRESSURE for 5 minutes then natural release for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes QUICK RELEASE by turning the nozzle and releasing the remaining pressure.
- Once pressure is released, remove the lid and stir to combine everything. Serve warm with toasted buns and enjoy!
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once heated, add the butter. Once the butter is melted and beginning to bubble, add the buns facedown. Cook for 1-3 minutes until toasted and golden brown.
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