Cozy and comforting Instant Pot beef stew is a hearty, stick-to-your-ribs dinner, made quickly and easily in the pressure cooker.
Why you’ll love it: Instant Pot beef stew is a quick and hearty one-pot meal filled with fall-apart-tender beef, healthy veggies, and potatoes.
How long it takes: just 15 minutes of hands-on prep, and your Instant Pot does the rest.
Equipment you’ll need: Instant Pot or pressure cooker, and a bowl
Easy Instant Pot Beef Stew
Instant Pot beef stew is full of juicy beef, veggies, and potatoes, and it’s so quick to make. This pressure cooker recipe achieves all the tenderness and richness that comes with hours of cooking in a fraction of the time. I love using my Instant Pot to cook everything from short ribs to pulled pork, and now this flavorful beef stew. It’s fast becoming a family favorite.
This cozy one-pot recipe is truly a meal in one, made for chilly days. The beef is fall-apart tender, soft enough to come apart with a fork, and the flavors of the broth are rich and soul-warming.
Why You’ll Love This Instant Pot Stew Recipe
- One pot. Everything is cooked from start to finish in the Instant Pot, for the best-tasting stew. Brown the beef using the sauté function, dump in the rest of the ingredients and go.
- Rich, hearty flavor. Weeknight (or any night) comfort food doesn’t get cozier than this Instant Pot beef stew. The flavors of the beef roast and veggies mingle together, wrapped up in savory warm broth. It gives “wrapped up by a crackling fire under a blanket” vibes. The best!
- Quick. With your Instant Pot, there’s no need to cook your stew for hours over low and slow heat in order to achieve all that flavor and tender beef. It speeds up the process, and it’s mostly hands-free.
Ingredients You’ll Need
I’ll get you started on the recipe here and give you some extra tips. Scroll to the recipe card below the post with ingredient amounts, instructions, and nutrition information.
- Beef Chuck Roast – Chuck roast is my cut of choice for beef stew (see below). You can buy pre-chopped stew meat although I find chuck roast is more economical and it’s easy enough to cut into 1-inch cubes at home. Remember to trim some of the excess fat away.
- Stew Seasoning – I toss the meat with my homemade beef stew seasoning blend. It’s an easy, savory blend of dried herbs and seasonings, plus flour to help the beef sear. Alternatively, you can use a combination of onion powder, paprika, garlic powder, celery seed, dried rosemary, and salt and pepper (amounts are included in the recipe card).
- Olive Oil – For browning the beef. I recommend olive oil. However, you can substitute another type of oil with a high smoke point.
- Stock or Broth – Low-sodium beef broth or stock, or stock without added salt is best. This way you can season your stew to taste without it becoming too salty.
- Onions, Carrots, Celery – This veggie combination adds flavor and nutrition to the stew. I use frozen pearl onions for their size and sweetness, and they also come already peeled (bonus!). Feel free to substitute chopped yellow onions, if you prefer.
- Potatoes – I make this stew with halved baby potatoes because they hold their shape well when cooked. Another option is quartered russet potatoes, though avoid extra starchy potatoes, like Yukon Gold, as they tend to crumble once cooked. If you’d prefer to make stew without potatoes, use sweet potatoes or parsnips instead.
- Diced Tomatoes – Canned diced tomatoes make the stew hearty and the broth deliciously tangy, while bringing extra liquid to the pot.
- Peas – Fresh or frozen will work. You’ll add the peas right at the end so that they retain their bright green color. If you dislike peas, feel free to skip them.
- Herbs – There’s nothing like the flavor of fresh herbs. Bay leaf, fresh thyme, and fresh rosemary sprigs deepen the flavors of the beef stew, with fresh parsley sprinkled in at the end. If you need to replace fresh herbs with dried herbs, use one third as much (dried herbs are more potent).
- Cornstarch – If needed, a slurry of cornstarch and water stirred into the stew at the end helps to thicken the beefy broth into a gravy.
What’s the Best Cut of Beef to Use?
Beef chuck roast is the best for beef stew. It’s easy to find in most grocery stores and it’s a relatively inexpensive cut of meat. Normally, chuck roast calls for hours of low and slow cooking to become tender (making it a great choice for pot roast recipes). The Instant Pot speeds up the tenderizing process! The pressure cooker locks in the moisture and cooks the beef quickly, for tender, perfectly cooked stew meat.
If you’re looking for another comforting recipe to make with chuck roast, try beef barley soup.
How to Make Instant Pot Beef Stew
This comforting beef stew is perfect to make in the colder months, without the commitment of simmering for hours on the stovetop. Here’s how to make a hearty stew in the pressure cooker:
Season and sear the beef. First, toss the beef chunks in stew seasoning to coat, then set the Instant Pot to Sauté. Working in batches, brown the beef on all sides with a bit of oil.
Deglaze. Afterward, remove the beef and deglaze the pot with a ¼ cup of broth. Use a rubber or wooden spatula to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
Combine and cook. Next, add the beef back to the pot along with additional broth, chopped veggies, potatoes, diced tomatoes, and a bay leaf. Stir everything together and seal the lid, then set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on high for 35 minutes. Afterward, leave the pot to natural release for 10 minutes before manually venting the rest. Be mindful of the hot steam!
Finish and serve. Open the lid and pluck out the bay leaf, then stir in the frozen (or fresh) peas. Switch the pot back to Sauté. Finally, stir in a slurry of cornstarch and water, and simmer lightly until the broth thickens. Season to taste, sprinkle in fresh parsley, and serve!
How Long Should I Pressure Cook Beef Stew?
To tenderize the 1-inch cubes of beef in this recipe, you’ll need to cook the stew for 35 minutes on manual, or high pressure, followed by a 10-minute natural release. Note that the Instant Pot takes an additional 17 to 20 minutes to come to pressure before the cooking time starts. The result is flavorful, juicy beef and veggies that taste as though they’ve cooked for hours!
Tips for Success
Below are some final tips for the best beef stew:
- Brown the beef. Searing the beef before pressure cooking is essential. It creates a delectable crust that locks in all that juicy flavor and brings richness to the stew. It’s 100% worth the extra effort, so don’t skip it.
- Deglaze the pot. You can deglaze the Instant Pot with broth, or wine if you prefer. Make sure that you scrape up all of the stuck-on bits on the bottom of the pot (using a non-metal spoon or spatula). That’s where all the flavor is!
- Cut the meat and veggies into uniform pieces. Make sure that you aren’t cutting your beef and vegetables too small. Very small pieces will get overcooked.
- Check the ingredients for doneness. After the cooking time has elapsed, check the beef cubes with a fork to see if the meat is fall-apart tender. If it’s still tough, continue to simmer the stew on the lowest Sauté function until the meat is suitably tender.
Beef chuck roast is a tough cut of meat, so it’s important to cut it into even-sized chunks before you cook it. Stew meat can also become tough if it’s cooked too quickly, so make sure that you budget enough time for the IP to come to pressure, cook, and then naturally release afterward.
Yes, even though technically chuck roast becomes more tender the longer it cooks, it is possible to overcook meat in the Instant Pot. You want beef that’s flavorful and juicy, not overdone! Follow the recipe and cooking times as directed for meat that’s perfectly cooked and fall-apart tender.
Absolutely. If you would rather slow-cook your beef stew, try my recipe for crockpot beef stew instead. It’s an easy, hands-free method also.
Make This Stew Recipe Your Own
Like many of my recipes, this Instant Pot beef stew is completely adaptable to different diets and tastes. It’s delicious as is, but you can easily tweak the seasonings and ingredients to make this stew your own:
- Add more stewing vegetables such as leeks, mushrooms, spinach, or cabbage.
- Adapt the herbs and seasonings to your liking. Add garlic powder or minced garlic, or a dash of Worcestershire sauce for more flavor.
- Deglaze with wine. Deglaze the pan with a half-cup of dry red wine, like a Cab Sauv, or white wine, like Pinot Grigio. Or, use beer. I make my stovetop beef stew using a few generous glugs of beer to deglaze the pot, which works great.
- Make this stew Whole30 by omitting the flour in the seasoning mix, and using arrowroot powder in place of cornstarch as a thickener.
What to Serve With Beef Stew
Ultra-cozy beef stew calls for crusty Dutch oven bread or beer bread for sopping up all that savory gravy-like broth. It’s a meal in itself, but sometimes we add a side of crunchy Brussels sprouts salad or tangy citrus salad. Cornbread muffins flavored with cheddar and herbs are another family favorite!
Get a head start on this recipe by prepping the celery, carrots, onions, and herbs a day ahead. Chop and refrigerate the veggies in an airtight container, and store the chopped herbs separately until you’re ready to use them. You can prepare the beef stew seasoning blend ahead of time, too, and seal it in a jar. It keeps in the pantry for months.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
- Fridge: Once the stew has cooled, refrigerate leftovers in a covered container for up to 4 to 5 days. Reheat stew in the microwave in increments, or on the stovetop until warmed through.
- Freezer: Freeze leftover stew for up to 6 months in a freezer-safe container or freezer bag. Note that the potatoes tend to get a bit mushy, and the gravy may separate once thawed. Defrost the stew overnight in the fridge before reheating.
- 2 pounds beef chuck roast, fat trimmed, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon celery seed
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth or stock
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion (or 1 cup frozen pearl onions)
- 3 stalks celery, cut into ¼-inch slices (about 1 ½ heaping cups)
- 4 carrots, cut into ¼-inch slices (about 2 cups)
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 cups (heaping) halved small potatoes (or quartered, about 1-inch pieces)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- In a large bowl, combine flour, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, celery seed, and dried rosemary (see note). Toss cubed beef with seasoned flour until all pieces are coated.
- Heat Instant Pot to Sauté. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, and about half of the seasoned meat. Brown on all sides (3 to 5 minutes total), and remove to a plate or bowl. Repeat with remaining oil and beef. Remove beef to plate.
- Deglaze the inside of the pot by adding ¼ to ½ cup of broth. Using a plastic or wooden utensil, scrape all the brown bits off the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Add the beef back to the Instant Pot along with the rest of the broth, onions, celery, carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, and bay leaf. Stir to combine.
- Secure lid of Instant Pot and turn valve to Seal. Set for 35 minutes on Pressure Cook (or Manual, High Pressure). Instant Pot will take 17 to 20 minutes to come to pressure. After cooking, let pressure release naturally (in other words, just leave it alone) for 10 minutes. Carefully release any remaining pressure after 10 minutes by turning valve to Vent. It may splatter so cover it lightly with a towel.
- Remove bay leaf. Add frozen peas and stir to combine.
- Turn Instant Pot to Sauté. In a small bowl, mix 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with ¼ cup of water until no clumps remain. Slowly stir into stew and cook until thickened.
- Stir in parsley. Taste and season with more salt and pepper as desired before serving.
- Makes about 12 cups.
- If desired, substitute 4 ½ tablespoons of my beef stew seasoning mix for the flour, onion powder, salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, celery seed, and dried rosemary.
- Whole30: Omit the flour. Brown the meat as directed in the recipe. When the stew is finished cooking, thicken as desired with arrowroot powder instead of cornstarch.
- Storage & Reheating: Cool and refrigerate leftover beef stew in a covered container. It will keep for four to five days. To reheat stew, microwave individual portions in 30 second increments until heated through. Reheat larger portions on the stove in a saucepan or skillet over medium heat.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.