Getcha SLOPPY JOES here! This classic scoop of cuisine de Americana is essentially a sweeter, thickened chili and gets its name from being a deliciously perfect hot mess while eating them. It’s almost like baked beans except the beans are swapped out for ground beef.
They go perfectly in buns, on hot dogs, in tacos (Sloppy Josés!) over pasta, fried, nachos and just about anything you can imagine. You can even just eat it in a bowl on its own.
And my Instant Pot version breaks all the rules. Grab a bunch of napkins because this is a time when everyone’s going to welcome some sloppy seconds!
Here’s How I Made It! (scroll to the bottom for the fully-written recipe):
Take an onion…
…and dice it up.
Then add some olive oil to the pot and heat it up.
Once heated, add in the onion…
…and sauté for a bit.
Add some garlic…
…and sauté a moment longer.
Add in some ground beef…
…and break it apart.
As the meat begins to crumble and release its juices (which we won’t drain as it adds flavor and liquid for pressure-building later), deglaze/scrape the bottom of the pot.
Time to season that beef up! Add in some Worcestershire sauce…
…some liquid smoke…
…a can of diced tomatoes…
…and beef broth.
Give everything a stir until combined and let simmer for a few moments. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
When done, don’t worry if it appears a bit soupy. This is FLAVOR and how it should appear and it will all soon change!
And now to make these Joes sloppy! Add in some barbecue sauce…
…and dijon mustard.
Give everything a stir until well-combined.
Now to thicken and create some serious flavor balance or Sloppy Joes. Add in a bunch of tomato paste…
…and stir until fully melded into the meat.
Additionally, you can up the flavor even more by adding in some sweet relish…
Give it all a final stir and let rest for a few minutes to thicken and meld.
When ready to serve, grab a bun…
…and slop on the Joe!
Feel free to top however you wish…
…and voila! The perfect Sloppy Joe!
But we don’t have to limit this to a bun! You can put it in a taco and make it Sloppy José! You can also place in a tortilla, lettuce wrap, on fries, nachos, hot dogs, over pasta or just on it’s own! ANY way you want, THAT’S the way you eat it!
Grab that SCHLOPPY JOE!
Sink your teeth into that masterpiece mess of a sandwich.
Or have it a fiesta in a taco as a Sloppy José (ole!)
No matter how you choose to eat these, just make sure its a hot mess of fun!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves (1 tablespoon) garlic, minced or pressed
- 2 pounds ground beef (the less lean, the better)
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional, for a slightly smoky flavor. Feel free to add more at the end to taste but go easy – a little goes a long way)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt
- 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, with their juices
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (optional, but adds wonderful flavor – even if you hate mustard)
- Two 6-ounce cans tomato paste (this may seem like a lot but trust me – it’s the perfect amount to not only cut the flavor evenly but to also provide the proper thickness to the Sloppy Joes)
- 1/2 cup sweet relish (optional)
- 1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon Chili Better Than Bouillon (optional and add to taste)
- Buns, tacos, wraps and any desired toppings (cheese, lettuce, black olives, etc.)
- Add the olive oil to the Instant Pot, hit Sauté and Adjust so it’s on the More or High setting. After 3 minutes of heating, add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Then, add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute longer.
- Now, add in the ground beef and break it up so it begins to crumble. As this happens, it will release its juices. Use them to deglaze/scrape the bottom of the pot so it’s totally free of any browned bits.
- Once the beef is crumbled and beginning to brown, about 4 minutes, add the Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke (if using), seasoned salt, diced tomatoes and beef broth. Stir well and let simmer for another 2-3 minutes. (NOTE: Do NOT drain the beef after browning – we want the juices in there for more flavor and to help bring the pot to pressure.)
- Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, hit Keep Warm/Cancel and then hit Manual or Pressure Cook at high pressure for 6 minutes. Quick release when done. (NOTE: When the lid comes off, it may look a bit liquidy – but have no fear as that’s what we want! It’ll thicken in the coming steps.)
- Give everything a stir and then add in the barbecue sauce, ketchup, hoisin sauce, and mustard (if using). Stir until well combined.
- Finish by stirring in the tomato paste, relish (if using) and the Chili Better Than Bouillon (if using). Stir until fully melded into the Sloppy Joes. Let rest for 5-10 minutes and it will thicken nicely.
- Serve on buns, in tacos, tortillas, lettuce wraps, over nachos, fries, pasta, on hot dogs or simply in a bowl on its own! Feel free to top with shredded cheese or any other toppings of your choice.
Like my award-winning Blue Ribbon Chili, this is even better the next day after the flavors meld together in the fridge!
Want to use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef? Have at it! Everything else remains the same.
Want it spicy? I like your style. Add either a diced jalapeño pepper while sautéing the onion and garlic in Step 1 or hot sauce while adding the other condiments in Step 5. Or add both!