Healthy Instant Pot Sloppy Joes

Healthy Instant Pot Sloppy Joes

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Right off the bat, I have to clarify that I don’t enjoy calling a recipe healthy. It’s such an ambiguous term that means something different to every individual. That said, it’s the easiest way classifying a recipe as a lower calorie and in this case, higher protein, than its alternatives. Like all of my recipes, I’ve made these healthy Instant Pot sloppy joes with the active person and fitness enthusiast in mind.

I must admit my research was limited, but I feel confident in dubbing this recipe one of the healthiest recipes for sloppy joes on the web. Now, that doesn’t mean I’ve stripped all the flavor and sloppy goodness away from them. Using lower calorie substitutions and a unique ingredient lineup, I feel I’ve made it even tastier than your traditional sloppy joe.

A simple, healthy Instant Pot sloppy joes recipe with a high protein, low calorie twist. You'll love the sweet and spicy flavor combinations of these healthy sloppy joes!

Oh, and don’t worry, I made ’em extra sloppy for ya.

What’s so special about these Instant Pot sloppy joes? 

Well, other than being one of the few food bloggers dropping Billy Madison references, I specialize in making high protein and low calorie recipes. Whether a food is part of a low carb, high carb, ketogenic, plant-based, or any other type of diet, my primary focus is on swapping ingredients for lower calorie and higher protein options.

That’s exactly what I’ve done with this Instant Pot sloppy joes recipe. Even with a plain and simple hamburger bun, you’re only looking at a 260-calorie sloppy joe with 28 grams of protein.

As for ingredients, there are a few obvious substitutions like reduced sugar ketchup and a lean approach to seasoning the recipe. But there are also a few not so obvious additions, such as a calorie-free sweetener to balance some of the spice in this recipe. Let’s take a look at the swaps and other ingredient notes.

healthy instant pot sloppy joes recipe

If you want an extra protein boost, I originally published this recipe with a scoop of unflavored protein powder in the sauce mixture. 

Is there a big difference between reduced sugar ketchup and regular ketchup? 

Ya. On a dipping your french fries level, maybe not so much. But when we’re talking about 3/4 cup of ketchup, it really adds up fast. As in, 180 calories and 48 grams of sugar saved by using the reduced sugar version.

Making swaps like this is a key to making healthier recipes. Another ingredient in this recipe, the Walden Farms Pancake Syrup, is also a great example of this. Using an ingredient like this instead of a sticky sweetener like honey or maple syrup saves more than 200 calories and almost 50 grams of sugar. Low calorie food swaps for the win!

healthy instant pot sloppy joes recipe

Making this recipe without an Instant Pot

Most Instant Pot or pressure cooker recipes are best left untweaked as it’s difficult to replicate the cooking method without one. The last thing you want is undercooked food, after all. The beauty of this Instant Pot sloppy joes recipe is that it’s one that carries over quite well. Since you’ll be using the saute function before sealing the Instant Pot, the meat is technically cooked without pressure.

So, as long as you’re careful not to burn the sauce, and you’re okay with a slightly longer cook time, a skillet will work fine for this recipe. I’ve left notes at the bottom of the recipe below for instructions on cooking without an Instant Pot.

healthy instant pot sloppy joes recipe 4

Final Notes for These Instant Pot Sloppy Joes

Check out the video below if you’d like to see this recipe in action. It’s crazy easy to make.

And one last thing before you get sloppy. I’d love to see what you come up with. Snap a pic of your creation and tag me on Instagram @mason_woodruff or join my free Facebook group and share it with the group.

healthy instant pot sloppy joes recipe
4.86 from 7 votes

Healthy Instant Pot Sloppy Joes

A simple, tasty way to make sloppy joes in an Instant Pot or on the stove. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword instant pot, sloppy joes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 9 servings
Calories 143 kcal
Author Mason Woodruff


  • 2 lbs Lean Ground Beef, Turkey, Chicken macros with 96/4 beef
  • 2 Tbsp (30g) Minced Garlic
  • 1/4 C White Onion diced (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp Salt and Pepper to taste

Sloppy Joe Sauce

  • 3/4 C (204g) Reduced Sugar Ketchup
  • 1/4 C (60g) Mustard
  • 2 Tbsp (30mL) Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 C (60mL) Walden Farms Pancake Syrup or a sugar free syrup or sticky sweetener
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1/2-1 tsp Cayenne Pepper to your spice preference


  1. Set the Instant Pot to its saute function and wait for the "hot" notification. Spray the pot with nonstick cooking spray before add the minced garlic, onion, salt/pepper, and ground meat.

  2. While the meat cooks, mix remaining sauce ingredients together in a bowl. 

  3. After your meat has browned, give it one last stir before adding your sauce to the top. DO NOT stir. Leave the sauce on the top, close the Instant Pot, and cook on manual for 10 minutes with a quick release.

  4. The sauce should look thick and still be on top of your meat mixture, almost like the top of a meatloaf. Using a rubber spatula, fold the sauce into the meat, mixing well. It should lose its thickness and blend well. 

    healthy instant pot sloppy joes recipe
  5. Serve on your choice of bun or for a lower carb option, a bed of cauli rice or with roasted vegetables. 

Recipe Notes

  • Each 1/2 C (150g) serving is for the sloppy joes only, without a bun.
  • If you're using the stovetop instead of an Instant Pot, prepare the meat using a large skillet. Instead of pressure cooking the sauce on top, reduce the heat to low before mixing the sauce in and covering. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring often. 
Nutrition Facts
Healthy Instant Pot Sloppy Joes
Amount Per Serving (150 g (1/2 C))
Calories 143 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 6%
Total Carbohydrates 2.4g 1%
Protein 21.3g 43%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

More Instant Pot Recipes You Might Like

If you’re looking for other Instant Pot sandwich ideas, check out my pulled pork sandwiches and high protein southwest slaw recipes.

Pulled pork and BBQ sandwiches have never been easier or faster than now. This Instant Pot pulled pork recipe has four ingredients and unbelieve macros with roughly 16 grams of protein in a 136 calorie serving. This recipe is also crock pot friendly!

And if you’re looking for another flexible recipe, check out my Instant Pot cheesesteak with chipotle cheddar sauce. You can make sandwiches, fries, or all kinds of recipes with this cheesesteak.

instant pot cheesesteak recipe

P.S. If you’re looking for dessert ideas, check out my free high protein cookbook for chocolate lovers. You can check it out here or simply enter your info below and I’ll send it your way.

Quick and easy Instant Pot sloppy joes with a high protein, low calorie twist and recipes for high protein cauliflower buns, waffle fries, and other healthy options. You'll love the sweet and spicy flavor combinations of these healthy sloppy joes!
Quick and easy Instant Pot sloppy joes with a high protein, low calorie twist and recipes for high protein cauliflower buns, waffle fries, and other healthy options. You'll love the sweet and spicy flavor combinations of these healthy sloppy joes!

2 thoughts on “Healthy Instant Pot Sloppy Joes”

  • This was a great dish. I made a huge batch to take to a party and was hoping for leftovers for lunch the next day, but I brought it home empty. It was a huge hit!

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