In the spirit of the warm, cozy vibes, I have a comforting hug of a recipe for you: Instant Pot Beef Stew. It has the cozy richness you expect from the stick-to-your-ribs classic, made faster and easier in the pressure cooker.
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Beef stew is one of my absolute favorite recipes to make on a chilly, cloudy day (same with this Crockpot Vegetable Beef Soup).
I love it when I can prep the beef stew early in the day, then take pleasure in allowing the meat to cook low and slow for hours until it is so fall-apart tender, it slices with a spoon.
Time, however, is not always on my side.
This recipe for Instant Pot beef stew is that recipe’s taste twin, but on warp speed.
The pressure cooker makes that all-day flavor attainable in a fraction of the time.
The veggies and beef pieces become perfectly tender and flavorful in a scrumptious, cozy-to-your-core broth.
Every time I take a bite of this tasty 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?
Or try Beef Bourguignon for a French-inspired version.
Ultimately, location doesn’t matter when you tuck into this hearty stew as long as you’re snug and the stew is hot and ready.
5 Star Review
“I’ve made this recipe twice recently and it is great. It is so easy to make and the taste is so rich and delicious.”— Kathy —
Tips for the Best Beef Stew in an Instant Pot
- 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 adds richness to the stew and ensures you don’t receive the dreaded Instant Pot “burn” warning.
- Use wine if you like. I wrote the recipe for deglazing the stew with beef broth to keep it simple, but you could certainly do an Instant Pot beef stew red wine and deglaze with that instead.
- Pile on the veg. Forget Instant Pot beef stew with few ingredients! I loaded this soup with lots of healthy vegetables, so it’s incredibly flavorful and truly can hold its own as an all-in-one meal.
- Size matters. The Instant Pot can turn finely chopped veggies into mush pretty easily. For best results, cut the potatoes and other vegetables roughly into larger pieces. They will hold up better during the cooking process.
How to Make Instant Pot Beef Stew
If you love cozy, hearty, and nutritious recipes that will please everyone at your table, then this dairy-free Instant Pot beef stew recipe is the best thing to cook in an Instant Pot!
- Boneless Chuck Roast. Beef chuck roast is the perfect for beef stew (and Beef Barley Soup). It’s tender, protein-packed, flavorful, and won’t dry out during cooking.
- How to make beef stew meat tender. 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 the process along. Because no moisture escapes, it locks tenderness into every bite of the beef.
- Onion + Garlic + Carrots. Staples that help build the stew’s flavors and add nutrition. If you love celery, you could also add some to this easy Instant Pot beef stew recipe.
- Russet Potato. Russet potatoes hold up well during cooking (save the Yukon gold potatoes for Scalloped Potatoes), making them the perfect variety to use in beef stew. Make sure your potato chunks are similar in size so that they will cook in the same amount of time.
- Worcestershire Sauce. A dash of this umami ingredient will make the flavors pop.
- Bayleaf + Dried Thyme. For a more complex broth with that extra somethin’ somethin’.
- Tomato Sauce. Instead of making Instant Pot beef stew with tomato paste, the tomato sauce helps give the stew liquid and balances out all the other flavors. (Plus, unless it is 100% necessary, I hate opening a can only to use a few tablespoons tomato paste!)
- Cornstarch + Water. You can add water to your beef stew with a little cornstarch (instead of flour) to thicken it up.
- Peas. Fresh or frozen will work here.
- Brown the beef in the Instant Pot in batches so that all sides develop color.
- Sauté the onion and garlic. Stir in the beef broth, and scrape the bottom of the pot to deglaze it with a wooden spoon.
- Add the remaining ingredients. Do NOT stir! This helps avoid the burn warning.
- Cook Instant Pot beef stew on HIGH for 35 minutes, then let the pressure release naturally. Discard the bay leaf.
- Prepare a cornstarch slurry, and stir it into the Instant Pot. Add the peas. ENJOY!
- How long to 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 Instant Pot beef stew time is right for you too.
- What about the meat/stew button? The meat stew setting is a one-click approach to cooking larger pieces of meat (like those in this recipe) in the Instant Pot. The meat stew setting on the Instant Pot is 35 minutes long, so it should work, but I haven’t experimented with the setting myself. I recommend making the recipe as directed.
Instant Pot beef stew and red wine are a delicious combo! Try this stew with a full-bodied Merlot, Malbec, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, or Bordeaux. You can use some of the wine to deglaze the pan, then enjoy the rest.
- To Store. Refrigerate stew in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- To Reheat. Rewarm leftovers in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat or gently in the microwave.
- To Freeze. Freeze stew in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
Chop the vegetables up to 1 day in advance, storing them in separate airtight storage containers in the refrigerator.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Instant Pot. This is the one I own and love!
- Ladle. The ideal tool for serving soups and stews.
- Extra Large Cutting Board. For recipes with lots of ingredients, this cutting board is perfect.
The Best Instant Pot
Check out these Healthy Instant Pot Recipes for other ideas of what you could make if you have one.
Instant Pot beef stew, I’m ready for a big bowl of your cozy, delicious comfort!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, for those with dietary concerns, this Instant Pot beef stew is Whole30 and Paleo-friendly. Swap arrowroot for the cornstarch, and omit the Worcestershire (you can splash in some coconut aminos for extra flavor instead if you like).
Yes, this beef stew is naturally gluten-free…though we couldn’t resist dipping ours with hunks of crusty bread.
Yes, you can overcook stew meat in the Instant Pot if you’re not careful. While beef stew does get more tender the longer it cooks, there’s a fine line between tender and overdone. Make sure to slice your meat cubes to the recommended size in the recipe instructions and follow the cook times closely.
The cut of meat you select for stew plays a big role in its tenderness once cooked. Beef chuck roast, I find, is the best cut of meat for beef stew recipes. Be sure to also let your pressure release naturally. If you release it immediately, you can cause the meat to seize.
Instant Pot Beef Stew
- 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* (see note)
- 1 can low-sodium beef broth (14.5-ounces)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce**
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 can no salt added tomato sauce (8 ounces)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch** (see note)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas no need to thaw
- Fresh parsley or fresh rosemary, 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 of 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 of olive oil and the onion to the Instant Pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften and brown, 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 the steam valve 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.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate leftover stew in an airtight storage container for up to 4 days.
- TO REHEAT: Rewarm leftovers in a Dutch oven on the stovetop over medium-low heat or in the microwave.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze stew in an airtight, freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- *I do not recommend using Yukon gold potatoes, which are too starchy and will not hold their shape when boiled in stew.
- **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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