Pressure Cooker Sloppy Joes

Pressure Cooker Sloppy Joes
Make these healthified Sloppy Joes from scratch and cut down their simmering time to 10 minutes of completely hands-off pressure cooking – during which you can make coleslaw.

Vito and his Sloppy JoeA Sloppy Joe is a runny American hamburger sandwich commonly served in public school cafeterias or made at home with a ready-sauce from a can, a packet or following a recipe that requires the use of ketchup.   I can personally confirm that, even in San Francisco, public schools in the 1980’s served these droopy piles of deliciousness with a side of ‘tater tots (potato croquettes) – a perk of growing up in America.

I make  ketchup on the fly with tomato paste, vinegar and spices. No sugar is added to the mix- the carrot sweetens things up naturally. Rolled oats add thickening power, bulk and extra fiber, too!

This particular recipe is made with frozen ground beef to illustrate how easy it is to make dinner in a pinch using  frozen meat.  Of course, you can make these Sloppy Joes with “fresh” ground meat – just break it up during the browning step instead of after pressure cooking.

Pressure Cooker Accessories Pr. Cook Time Pr. Level Open
3 L or larger none 10 min. High(2) Slow Normal

4.3 from 14 reviews
Skinny Sloppy Joes with Tangy Slaw (pressure cooker recipe)
Nutritional Information
(per serving)
  • Serves: Serves 6-8
  • Serving size: ¾ cup slop + ¾ cup slaw (no buns)
  • Calories: 179.8
  • TOTAL Fat: 5.9g
  • TOTAL Carbs: 18g
  • Sugar Carbs: 5.3g
  • Sodium: 649mg
  • Fiber Carbs: 3.5g
  • Protein: 15g
  • Cholesterol: 32.5mg
Recipe type: pressure cooker
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Make this with your favorite ground meat without changing anything. If not using frozen meat, as illustrated in this recipe, break-up the ground meat before pressure cooking during the browning phase. While the Sloppy Joes are pressure cooking, make the coleslaw.
Sloppy Joes:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound (500g) extra lean ground beef - fresh or frozen
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce - optional
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup (250ml) chopped tomatoes - canned or fresh with their juice
  • 4 tablespoons (80g) tomato paste
  • 1 cup (250ml) water
  • ½ cup (45g) rolled oats
Tangy Coleslaw:
  • 1 tablespoon grainy dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ head of cabbage, quartered and thinly sliced (about 5 cups)
  • 2 carrots, grated (about 1 cup)
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  1. To the heated pressure cooker add olive oil and slab of frozen ground beef.
  2. Brown the slab on both sides (about 8 minutes per side).
  3. Push beef aside and add onions, peppers, carrots, salt and garlic powder and saute' until the veggies are soft (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, water and mix well. If the frozen slab of meat has softened, break it up into chunks and lift-up any brown bits of meat from the base of the cooker into the mixture.
  5. When the contents of the cooker come to boil sprinkle the oats on top of the mixture and do not stir.
  6. Close and lock the lid of the pressure cooker.
  7. For electric pressure cookers: Cook for 10 minutes at high pressure.
    For stove top pressure cookers: Turn the heat up to high and when the cooker indicates it has reached high pressure, lower to the heat to maintain it and begin counting 10 minutes pressure cooking time.
  8. When time is up, open the cooker by releasing the pressure very slowly. If the pressure release speed cannot be regulated by your cooker's valve, simply release pressure in short bursts. If anything other than steam comes out of the valve, stop and count to 10 before releasing the pressure slowly (or in small bursts), again.
  9. Raise the heat and reduce the contents, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes - mix and break-up the ground meat.
  10. Let stand for an additional 5 minutes to thicken before serving.
for coleslaw:
  1. Combine the mustard, vinegar and honey in the base of a large bowl and whisk together.
  2. Mix-in the cabbage, carrots and onions.

Brevile Fast Slow Pro

Sloppy Joes in the PRESSURE COOKER!

Bun-free Pressure Cooker Sloppy Joes
Bun-free Pressure Cooker Sloppy Joe serving suggestion –  in a cabbage leaf cup.
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  1. Just made this in the instant pot. It has a good flavor. I added a pinch of pepper flakes. I added the whole can of tomatoes, so a little over the recommended amount. However, I left out the vinegar. Mine turned out to have too much liquid, but I’m sure the extra tomatoes caused that. Mine doesn’t look as saucy as what you made though. I’m tempted to reduce it more on the stove, but kind of defeats using the instant pot imho. ;)

    1. Hi Lyndy, the quantities are calculated exactly to get you a nice “thick” not-too-runny sloppy joe. However, if you do this again next time and you still want to use the entire can, you can experiment by adding more oatmeal to thicken and absorb the extra liquid.

      Keep in mind, that part of this recipe involves uncovered “standing” before serving. When made with the proper quantities, the “slop” will thicken and evaporate further during this standing time without an extra cooking or fussing.



  2. I used a can of whole peeled tomatoes (without the saucy bits) and chopped them up before tossing them into the pot. It’s not tomato season here and the whole canned ones are actually pretty great. Otherwise, the only thing I did “different” was use fresh (not frozen, anyways) ground beef (85% lean): sauteed, then added the veggies and just cooked it all together. It was just fine.

    The sloppy joes are probably some of the best I’ve had. I love that they’re not sweet. Love, love, love.

    I wish I read the comments about sprinkling the oats on top. “Tossing” isn’t quite the same to me. After pressure cooking, I had some oats remaining that hadn’t absorbed anything. I just dumped the oats in, probably in a little hill of oats. Next time I’ll try to spread them a bit more evenly, but not so they’re on the sides.

    WHY AREN’T MORE PEOPLE TALKING ABOUT THE COLE SLAW?! It’s sooooooooooo good. I don’t like creamy cole slaw dressing, and have always preferred vinegary types. I used 1 tsp dijon and 1 tsp whole grain mustard instead of 1 tbsp grainy dijon because that’s what I had, and it was so dang lovely. I always prefer my cole slaw at least an hour after it was made, something about flavors blending or something, so I think next time I’ll make this ahead of time. Oh, I added a little bit of kosher salt too, maybe a pinch, and I don’t think it had a negative effect. Maybe I’ll do the salt thing with the cabbage next time. I loved the dressing though, so so much.

    1. Angela, thanks so much for the feedback – I have updated the recipe to have you sprinkle instead of tossing your oats. ; ) So glad to read you enjoyed it and the slaw, too!



  3. We made it just now for dinner: delicious! Only we didn’t manage much eating clean.(it is the first time we eat sloppy joes). We are tempted to try it over basmati rice or in a wrap. Excuse for my English, we live in Italy. Thank you Laura!

    1. Michela, you’re meant to make a mess when eating it. ; )



  4. Could you omit the oats?

  5. This recipe looks so awesome I’ll definately try it soon,I looove coleslaw.

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