Instant Pot Beef Stew
First, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your kind, enthusiastic words about my big cookbook announcement! I can’t overstate how encouraged and joyful it makes me feel to know how excited you are for the book. I’m working so hard on the recipes, and I know you are going to love them too. In the spirit of the warm, cozy vibes going around, I have an equally comforting hug of a recipe to share with you: Instant Pot Beef Stew. It has the cozy richness you expect from the stick-to-your-ribs classic, made faster in the pressure cooker.
This recipe is an adaptation of my Crock Pot Beef Stew, which is one of my absolute favorite recipes to make on a chilly, cloudy Sunday when I can prep the beef stew earlier in the day, then take pleasure in allowing the meat cook low and slow until it is so fall apart tender, it slices with a spoon.
This recipe for Instant Pot Beef Stew is that recipe’s flavor twin, on fast forward. (For those still in the market, this is the Instant Pot that I own. It’s actually on sale today too!)
How to Make the Best Instant Pot Beef Stew
Below, I have a handy guide for how to make an Instant Pot Beef Stew that will warm you from the tips of your ears to your toes.
The ingredient prep and first steps for Instant Pot Beef Stew is much the same as its crock pot counterpart:
- Brown the beef so that it gets that delectable crust. Crust = FLAVOR, so don’t skip this step. It takes a little bit of patience but will be well worth your time.
- Deglaze the pot and scrape up every brown bit. Deglazing both adds richness to the stew and ensures that you don’t receive the dreaded Instant Pot “burn” warning. I wrote the recipe for deglazing with beef broth to keep it simple, but you could certainly do an Instant Pot Beef Stew red wine deglaze instead.
- Sauté the veg. I loaded this soup with lots of healthy vegetables, so it truly can hold its own as an all-in-one meal.
- Everybody in the Instant Pot! Add all of the ingredients to the Instant Pot, seal, then set the timer and let the pressure build.
For those with dietary concerns, this Instant Pot Beef Stew is Paleo friendly (swap the white potatoes for sweet potatoes or a different root veggie, such as parsnips) and Whole30 friendly (omit the peas.)
This beef stew is also naturally dairy free and gluten free…though we couldn’t resist dipping ours with hunks of crusty bread.
How Long Do You Pressure Cook Beef Stew?
- 35 minutes of high pressure (the manual setting), plus 10 minutes of natural release, yielded pieces of stew meat that tasted as if they’d been cooking for hours instead of minutes.
- Be sure you cut the meat to the size directed in the recipe to ensure this cooking time is right for you too.
How Long Does It Take to Make Beef Stew in the Instant Pot?
- Start to finish, this recipe was on our table in an hour and a half. As discussed above, 45 minutes of that was the cooking and natural release. You’ll also need about 10 minutes for the pressure to build before the timer begins, as well as some time to brown the meat in batches prior to cooking the stew. Again, I promise it will be worth it!
- While that 90 minutes might not be *as* instant as a recipe name like “Instant Pot Beef Stew” suggests, in comparison to stovetop and slow cooker versions that take hours, the pressure cooker is still a fantastic shortcut.
How Do You Make Beef Stew Meat Tender?
- Thank you Instant Pot! Normally, the only way to achieve a melt-in-your-mouth texture with tougher cuts of beef (like the beef used for beef stew) is hours of low and slow cooking. The Instant Pot speeds that along. Because no moisture escapes, it locks tenderness into every bite of the beef.
Every time I take a bite of this Instant Pot Beef Stew, I feel transported to a snug room beside a roaring fire in some windswept, drizzly, fairytale part of the world. The coast of Ireland perhaps?
I can sense the heat of a fire and envision myself wearing a sweater (thick, woolly, and with a stereotypically charming Fair Isle pattern, of course).
Instant Pot Beef Stew feels like the meal for that kind of night, when the rain taps on the window, but you needn’t worry. You are snug and the stew is hot and ready.
Recommended Tools to Make This Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipe
- This is the Instant Pot I use (and it’s on sale today!)
- 2 pounds boneless chuck roast
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper divided
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 pound carrots about 6 medium
- 1 large russet potato
- 1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium beef broth
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce*
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 can (8-ounce) no salt added tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch*
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas no need to thaw
- Fresh parsley optional for serving
Cut the chuck roast into 1 1/2-inch cubes, removing any large, tough pieces of fat or gristle.
Turn the Instant Pot to SAUTE. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Once the oil is hot and shimmering (a drop of water should sizzle if added to the surface of the pot), add half of the beef, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. The cubes should be in a single layer and not too crowded so that they brown nicely. Let the cubes of beef cook undisturbed for 4 to 5 minutes (resist the urge to peek!), until the bottom of the cubes develop a dark-brown crust and come away from the pan easily. Turn and continue searing until dark and brown all over, about 4 additional minutes. Transfer the seared meat to a clean plate or bowl. Add another 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pot. Once hot, add the remaining beef and remaining 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Sear the remaining beef. If the pan gets too dry, add a bit more oil as needed.
While the meat browns, dice the yellow onion. Mince the garlic. Peel the carrots and cut them into 1/2-inch-thick diagonal slices.
Remove the second batch of browned beef to the plate with the first batch. Add the remaining tablespoon olive oil and the onion to the Instant Pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften and browns, about 6 minutes.
While the onion cooks, scrub and peel the potato and cut it into 3/4-inch chunks. If you haven’t finished cutting the carrots, do so now.
Add the garlic to the Instant Pot. Cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beef broth and use a spoon to scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Make sure you remove every last bit of stuck-on food so that you don’t receive a “burn” warning.
Stir in the carrots, potatoes, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaf, thyme, and the browned beef, along with any meat juices that have collected on the plate. Pour the tomato sauce on top. Do not stir again.
Close and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes, then allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Vent to release any remaining pressure, then carefully open the lid. Remove and discard the bay leaf.
In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water to create a slurry. Add to the Instant Pot and stir until the stew thickens. Add the peas and stir to warm through. Serve hot, sprinkled with fresh parsley.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
- To make the recipe Whole30/Paleo compliant, swap arrowroot for the cornstarch and omit the Worcestershire (you can splash in some coconut aminos for extra flavor instead if you like).
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