Pressure Cooker Beef and Noodles
Each year, when the weather first begins to cool, I find myself becoming nostalgic. I stop bothering to tidy the fuzzy throws back into their baskets. I check out at Target with an undisclosed (and unplanned) amount of fall décor. In the kitchen, that tenderness carries over, and I crave recipes I remember from childhood. This Pressure Cooker Beef and Noodles is such a dish. On a chilly day soon, it will hit the spot for you.
This recipe is sponsored by Reames.
Beef and noodles is a fixture in my home state of Kansas and throughout the Midwest. It’s similar to the beef stroganoff I remember my Grandma Dorothy making on Sundays (the one that inspired my lighter Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff and its first cousin Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff), but there are a few differences between the two.
Like beef stroganoff, pressure cooker beef and noodles is hearty, comforting, and sure to feed a crowd; the differences lie in the sauce. I also upped the ante by using thick, hearty Reames Frozen Egg Noodles in place of the standard, thinner dry egg noodles.
Beef stroganoff incorporates dairy into the sauce (classically sour cream, cream cheese, or cream of who-knows-what-soup—my healthy versions use Greek yogurt). The sauce for beef and noodles is broth-based. It’s still deeply savory, but it doesn’t come across quite as rich. Mushrooms are also acceptable in beef stroganoff, but I would not add them to beef and noodles. Don’t ask me why; it’s just how we do things here in the heartland.
For today’s pressure cooker beef and noodles, I kept to the recipe’s intention—to be a cozy, affordable dish sure to warm you to the bone on a chilly evening—then, I made a few better-for-you swaps to lighten it up.
This easy beef and noodles also cooks more quickly than standard versions; thank you, pressure cooker (This Instant Pot is the pressure cooker I have owned for the last few years; it is super easy to use and clean and works just as well as the day I bought it.)
Using a pressure cooker to make beef and noodles results in fork-tender beef, speeds up the cooking process, and is hands-free.
Plus, since the entire recipe cooks in the pressure cooker itself (including the egg noodles) you’ll only have one pot to wash in the end. Classic comfort, made lighter, with easy clean up <—That’s my kind of trifecta!
How to Make Pressure Cooker Beef and Noodles
The ingredients for this lightened up pressure cooker beef and noodles have a foundation in tradition, with a nutritious twist. The pressure cooker method makes the recipe quick and easy.
- Beef. While a strictly traditional recipe might call for making pressure cooker beef and noodles with stew meat, I prefer to purchase sirloin and cube it myself so that the pieces are uniform in size. For more details, see What Kind of Beef to Use for Pressure Cooker Beef and Noodles below.
- Noodles. An often overlooked but critical ingredient in beef and noodles. For years, I’d been buying regular, dry egg noodles, and then recently a friend introduced me to Reames Homestyle Egg Noodles.
GAME CHANGER. Reames Egg Noodles are sold in the freezer section of the grocery store (not the dry pasta section) and, their hearty texture and quality far surpasses the more thin, flimsy dry egg noodles I’ve tried. They’re thick, hearty, and hold together in cooking so well that you’ll find yourself eating them with a fork.
You can cook egg noodles directly in the pressure cooker—it takes about 20 minutes. The egg noodles will absorb the flavor of the broth and help to thicken up the sauce too.
- Beef Broth. I recommend low sodium so that the beef and noodles doesn’t become overly salty without your realizing it. The amount you need will vary depending upon how brothy versus thick you like your beef and noodles. We like to leave ours pretty thick.
- Worcestershire Sauce. This bottle is a secret cooking weapon! It enriches the broth with a complex, savory umami-ness that you can’t get from anything else.
- Garlic Powder. This delicious spice cabinet essential helps save time during prep. It gives this dish the perfect amount of garlic flavor without any mincing or chopping required.
- Thyme. A flavorful and earthy herb that’s an excellent complement to beef.
- Cornstarch. Creating a cornstarch slurry helps thicken the broth into a rich, savory sauce that coats every single forkful. YUM!
- Peas. My healthy vegetable addition! Plus, my mom says peas are OK in beef and noodles, and she is a Midwestern comfort food authority.
- Grab a large bowl and add in your beef and spices. Turn your electric pressure cooker to sauté, and add the oil and butter. Once your butter has melted, add your onion and remaining salt. Cook and stir until the onion is softened.
- Add your beef. Once the meat is browned on all sides, add your Worcestershire sauce and bay leaf. Splash in part of the beef broth and stir (scrape up any bits of food stuck to the bottom; this prevents the dreaded “BURN” warning). Then, add in the rest of the broth.
- Cover and seal the pressure cooker. Cook for 10 minutes on manual (high) pressure. Once time is up, immediately vent to remove remaining pressure.
- Open the lid and carefully remove the bay leaf. Add in your egg noodles. Turn to sauté and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook until your noodles are tender, stirring every few minutes to prevent the noodles from sticking to the bottom.
- While the noodles are cooking, grab a small bowl and whisk the cornstarch and water together to create a slurry. Once the noodles are done, add the slurry to the pot and stir. Then, add in your peas. The sauce should thicken and be a little glossy.
- Serve hot, and sprinkle with fresh parsley or thyme. ENJOY each scrumptious bite!
The Best Beef for Pressure Cooker Beef and Noodles
While stew meat is popular for beef and noodles, and you can make beef and noodles with stew meat if you like, it’s not my first choice. Here’s why:
- Stew meat is a blend of different cuts of beef and the pieces vary in size. Different sizes + different types means they won’t cook as uniformly.
- Selecting a single type of beef and cubing it yourself ensures the pieces cook evenly in the same amount of time.
- I prefer sirloin in my beef and noodles recipe. Sirloin is leaner than other cuts of beef, making this recipe a little bit better for you.
- If you prefer not to purchase sirloin, you can make this beef and noodles with chuck roast or bottom round roast instead.
While you can cook frozen beef in the pressure cooker, for beef and noodles you want the meat to be thawed completely. This ensures the spices stick to the meat and that it browns nicely on the outsides.
How to Thicken Beef and Noodles
- Stirring a cornstarch slurry into the pressure cooker at the end of the beef and noodles’ cooking time is the quickest and easiest approach, as well as I how I tested this recipe. If after adding the slurry and letting the broth bubble for several minutes it is is still thinner than you’d like, add a second slurry with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of water.
- Do not add dry cornstarch directly to the beef and noodles. It will seize and create lumps.
- All-purpose flour can be used in place of cornstarch in a pinch. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of it over the sautéed onions at the end of step 2. Stir and cook it for 1 to 2 minutes until it is no longer white. Add bit of extra oil or butter if the pot becomes dry. Proceed with the recipe as directed, omitting the cornstarch slurry.
- Do not add dry flour to the beef and noodles at the end. It will impart an odd, raw taste to the dish.
What to Serve with Pressure Cooker Beef and Noodles
- Roasted Vegetables. Add more veggies to your meal by roasting them for a delicious side dish. Roasted Zucchini and Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Garlic are both great options.
- Salad. A light and big salad is the perfect complement to this hearty recipe. Try this Anytime Arugula Salad or this Caesar Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad.
How to Store and Reheat Pressure Cooker Beef and Noodles
- To Store. Store cooked and cooled beef and noodles in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Place leftovers on a microwave-safe plate and reheat gently in the microwave until warmed through. Alternatively, you can reheat it gently on the stovetop. The noodles will absorb some of the broth as the mixture sits in the refrigerator, so add additional liquid (more broth or even water) to thin it back out as needed.
- To Freeze. Store cooked and cooled beef and noodles in an airtight freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Does fall make you feel nostalgic too? Are there any childhood dishes you especially crave this time of year, the way I crave beef and noodles? I’d love to hear about them in the comments section below!
Pressure Cooker Beef and Noodles
- 2 1/2 pounds boneless sirloin steak — cut into 1 ½-inch cubes
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt — divided
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 small yellow onion — chopped
- 5 to 6 cups low sodium beef broth — divided
- 3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 24-ounce bag of Reames Frozen Egg Noodles
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 10-ounce bag frozen peas — about 2 cups
- Chopped fresh parsley or thyme
Place the beef in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, and thyme. Set aside.
Turn a 6-quart or larger electric pressure cooker to sauté. Add the oil and butter. As soon as the butter melts, add the onion and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to soften but does not brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the beef. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is browned on all sides, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the Worcestershire sauce and bay leaf. Splash in about 1/2 cup of the beef broth. Stir, scraping a wooden spoon or spatula along the bottom of the pot, to ensure you remove any stuck on bits of food (this will avoid a “burn” warning…also, those browed bits are delicious!). Add the next 4 1/2 cups broth.
Cover and seal the pressure cooker. Cook on manual (high) pressure for 10 minutes. When the time is up, immediately vent to remove any remaining pressure.
Carefully open the lid and remove the bay leaf. Then, add the egg noodles. Turn to sauté and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook until the noodles are tender, about 18 to 20 minutes. Stir the pot every few minutes, and scrape a spoon or spatula along the bottom to prevent the noodles from sticking.
While the noodles cook, in a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch and water to create a slurry. As soon as the noodles finish cooking, add the slurry and stir to combine. Stir in the peas. If the noodles are thicker than you would like, splash in additional beef broth until you reach your desired consistency. Serve hot, sprinkled with fresh parsley or thyme.
- TO STORE: Store cooked and cooled beef and noodles in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Place leftovers on a microwave-safe plate and reheat gently in the microwave until warmed through. Alternatively, you can reheat it gently on the stovetop. The noodles will absorb some of the broth as the mixture sits in the refrigerator, so add additional liquid (more broth or even water) to thin it back out as needed.
- TO FREEZE: Store cooked and cooled beef and noodles in an airtight freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Nutrition InformationAmount per serving (1 (of 6); about 2 cups) — Calories: 684, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 120mg, Sodium: 1337mg, Potassium: 1274mg, Carbohydrates: 72g, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 6g, Protein: 59g, Vitamin A: 420%, Vitamin C: 21%, Calcium: 84%, Iron: 5%
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