Every time I hear "Sloppy Joes," in my head I see Chris Farley dancing as the lunch lady and Adam Sandler singing, "Sloppy Joe...sla...sloppy Joe!" I just can't help it. I love that those two put a memorable song to something most of us middle agers grew up with. Our kids cringe when my husband and I start singing it, but hey, it's good stuff! So are these Instant Pot Sloppy Joes. My husband's a classic American food kind of guy at heart, even though he appreciates more gourmet food as well. We have varying tastes on some comfort food classics, but this is one we both agree on! Our kids took a while to enjoy sloppy joes, (It might be because of school lunches) until this recipe. I don't know what took them so long to enjoy these sloppy sandwiches.
Where did Sloppy Joes come from?
There are varying stories out there as to how sloppy joes originated. One story is that a Spanish bartender named Jose who was nicknamed "Sloppy Joe" opened up his own bar in Havana, Cuba. He got the nickname from his American friends who always commented on how messy his establishment was. Here's a great article from Chow Hound on "Who Really Invented Sloppy Joes?" The thought is that the name came from a mix of 2 of his Cuban classics, ropa vieja which is shredded beef with tomato and picadillo which is ground beef with spices. This bar was apparently frequented by Ernest Hemingway and was a popular stomping ground for Americans.
Later on, in Florida, after Prohibition, a bar was renamed after the Havana hotspot per Hemingway's suggestion. To this day "Sloppy Joe's Bar" serves these sloppy shirt-staining sandwiches every day.
Sloppy Joes Ingredients
- Ground Beef- I prefer using organic or grass fed ground beef. Most of it is 85/15. I have used the Kirkland Organic Ground Beef sometimes for this recipe which comes in 1.34 lb. packets which is fine for this recipe as well since it's just shy of 1.5 lbs.
- Onion- I like to use a sweet onion for this recipe since the end flavor is slightly sweet in sloppy joes.
- Bell Pepper- sweet bell peppers are a standard ingredient for sloppy joes. They just help add a little texture and sweetness to the sandwich as well.
How & What to serve with Sloppy Joes
- Buns- Toast the buns! I think this is a must for sloppy joes. Since they are juicy and messy sandwiches, it helps the sloppy joes from getting soggy too quickly which is ideal! No one likes a super soggy sandwich. Sloppy, yes, but soggy...not ideal.
- Pickles- Sandwich sliced or pickle chips are great with sloppy joes if you're a pickle fan of course. We really like Grillo's Pickles for these that we get at Costco.
- Onions- Sliced rounds of sweet or red onion is a great addition as well. Not necessary, but gives it a nice crunch if you love onion.
- Jalapeños- Sliced raw or pickled jalapenos are fabulous on these if you like to add a little heat to your sweet and savory sloppy joes.
- Cheese- A couple of my kids like a little monterey jack cheese sprinkled on them or a slice of cheese.
- Slider Option- My kids also sometimes like them served on slider or sweet Hawaiian rolls, served as sliders. You can toast these mini buns just the same, but they toast much faster since they're sweeter.
I hope you give these Instant Pot Sloppy Joes a try! You should not be disappointed. Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media!
Happy Sloppy Cooking! =)Print