by Olena

Instant Pot Beef Stew

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Olena Osipov
4.9 from 173 votes

Instant Pot Beef Stew is a one pot dinner with fall apart beef and lots of vegetables cooked in delicious gravy sauce. Like my Ukrainian grandma used to make. Her 2 secret ingredients at the end make this stew the best!

Our other meat favorites are Instant Pot beef barley soup and Instant Pot pot roast recipe.

Instant Pot Beef Stew

Pressure Cooker Beef Stew

This Instant Pot beef stew will blow your mind with its easy instructions and simple ingredients. Nothing is sautéed, no fancy ingredients, no “burn” message. The best pressure cooker stew recipe on the net. I mean it. Go Google yourself and I will see you back in 5…Welcome back!

We just love easy because we are busy! But at same time flavor is key and Instant Pot delivers in that department – food cooked under pressure comes out more flavorful! So family meals like Instant Pot beef chili, Instant Pot goulash and Instant Pot chicken and rice are a breeze to whip up any day of the week.

So, this Instant Pot beef stew recipe convinced my husband, Alex, that Instant Pot is the thing. It was his turn to cook. He pulled out a huge chunk of frozen deer meat, cut it up and it was enough for 4 stews.

Since then we have perfected this recipe over 20 times. Beef stew in the Instant Pot comes out neither thick nor soupy, packs a lot of flavour and even if you hate cooking, you will want to make it. Hearty, comforting and healthy. 🙂

Need more help meal planning? Check out iFOODreal healthy meal plans. We do have Instant Pot meal plans as well.

Instant Pot Beef Stew served in a bowl

Ingredients for Instant Pot Beef Stew

No paprika, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, apple cider vinegar, red wine etc. Save your money and time, seriously.

  • Beef stew meat: Affordable roast like chuck, rump or any other cheap roast turns into tender beef in Instant Pot. Just cut it into 1 inch pieces and you are good to go.instant pot beef stew frozen meat in a package
  • Potatoes: Yellow or red potatoes or baby potatoes will keep their shape better. Russet potatoes are good if you like fall apart potatoes in a stew.
  • Other veggies: Onion, celery, carrot and frozen peas at the end.
  • Tomato paste and stock: I used both low sodium. If yours are not, add less salt.
  • Spices: Oregano, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt and pepper
  • Fresh dill and garlic (do not skip!): These are 2 secret ingredients. You can use less dill but try.
onion, carrots, celery, potatoes, peas, stew meat, tomato paste and dill ingredients for instant pot stew

If you are looking for non-beef stew recipes, check out my ground turkey stew and chickpea stew with chicken.

How to Make Instant Pot Beef Stew

Theres is detailed recipe card below.

  • Add ingredients in this order: Vegetables, meat, tomato paste, spices and broth. This particular order prevents the dreaded Burn.
  • Do not stir. No need to stir before cooking most Instant Pot recipes. Again, to avoid dreaded “burn” message.
  • Cook for 30-35 minutes on high pressure. Those 5 minutes do not make or break the deal. But the longer any stew cooks/sits, more flavourful it becomes.
  • Release pressure with natural or quick release. Doesn’t matter much as stew just gets better with time. I use quick release and vent outside. how to make Beef Stew in instant pot step by step
  • Add frozen peas: They will help cool stew nicely. Peas in a stew is Canadian addition in many homes and I also love to add it to quinoa stew. But you can skip, no problem.
  • Add 2 secret flavour boosters: Fresh garlic and dill. It is one thing to cook garlic. And it is completely different experience to eat a dish with freshly grated garlic. And fresh dill. Try and you will be blown away, pinky promise! It works like a charm in stovetop chicken stew and Instant Pot chicken stew as well. Rave reviews!
  • How to thicken Instant Pot beef stew (optional): Switch electric pressure cooker to Saute. In a small bowl, whisk 1/4 cup cold (!) water with 4 tbsp cornstarch, add to the pot, stir  and cook for a few minutes until thickened.
frozen peas, dill and garlic added to pressure cooker beef stew

Can I Use Frozen Cubed Meat?

Yes. Just make sure not more than 2-3 pieces are together. As for cooking time, I show you in the video how I added some frozen meat along with fresh and it cooked perfectly all at same time. Thaw frozen meat a bit in water or on a counter (if have time) and separate.

How Long to Cook Instant Pot Beef Stew?

I like to cook beef stew for 30-35 minutes for maximum flavor. However, technically beef stew meat and potatoes are cooked after 15 minutes. If you particularly like more intact and whole potatoes, you can saute meat and veggies in batches, and then pressure cook for 15 minutes.

More FAQs

Do I have to brown the meat?

No because food cooked under pressure comes out more flavourful than using a stovetop method. The whole point of using Instant Pot is to save time and not hover over the stove.

What size Instant Pot can I use?

In recipe card below, you will find instructions for most popular 6 quart and 8 quart. If you have 3 quart, cut 6 quart ingredients in half but use same cooking time.

How much liquid to add?

This Instant Pot beef stew recipe calls for 2 cups if cooking in 6 quart and 3 cups in 8 quart Instant Pot respectively. If you would like less gravy and broth, you can use 1 cup in either size. It’s the minimum requirement.

Why is my beef stew meat tough?

Usually in order to achieve tender and fall apart meat with tougher cuts of beef like for a beef stew is either to cook it in a slow cooker or Instant Pot. Even the toughest cut of meat that is cubed and cooked under pressure for 30 minutes should and will come out tender. Because no moisture escapes, meat should come out juicy and tender.

More Recipe Tips

  • Dried dill weed: I don’t recommend to use dried dill. If you are not a fan of dill or don’t have any on hand, add fresh parsley or skip.
  • Game meat: I have used cubed venison and moose many times. Delish!
  • Venting outside: I vent outside to avoid cleaning countertops and house smelling like stew for days.
  • More Instant Pot help: If you are new to pressure cooking, check out my Instant Pot guide. It explains what happens, why and how to avoid failures. If you don’t have an Instant Pot yet but are thinking about buying one, I explain which Instant Pot to buy in my humble opinion.
instant pot Beef Stew recipe

What Are Some Side Dishes to Cook for Beef Stew?

A simple salad with few ingredients without overpowering flavors would go well with beef stew. I recommend this arugula salad or simple cucumber tomato salad recipe.

Also you can quickly throw some veggies on a baking sheet and roast them in the oven, I would do it at same time as you turn on the stew in Instant Pot. Roasted brussels sprouts or roasted cauliflower would pair so well.

How to Store and Reheat Beef Stew

Fridge: Refrigerate stew leftovers for up to 5 days in an airtight container. Or in inner Instant Pot pot with a fitting glass or silicone lid. We absolutely love the second storage method because it makes stew easy to reheat on the stove right in the same pot.

Do not freeze: I am not a fan of freezing beef stew because it contains potatoes. Freezing puts a lot of strain on low in fiber potatoes when water expands and forms ice crystals. If this recipe is too much, cut ingredients in half and keep same cooking time.

Reheat: Reheat in Instant Pot’s inner pot right on the stove or in pressure cooker on Saute mode, stirring a few times. Also can do the same in a small pot on the stove by simmering on low. Always reheat only what you are going to eat to make stew stay fresh.

More Favorite Instant Pot Recipes

Did you know we have entire Youtube channel dedicated to Instant Pot recipes and tips? My goal is to help you become confident with your Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Beef Stew in a bowl with spoon and fork
Instant Pot Beef Stew

Instant Pot Beef Stew {2 Secret Ingredients}

Instant Pot Beef Stew is a one pot dinner with fall apart beef and lots of vegetables cooked in delicious gravy sauce. Like my Ukrainian grandma used to make. Her 2 secret ingredients at the end make this stew the best!
4.89 from 173 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Soup and Stew
Cuisine: Ukrainian
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 7 (6 Qt.), 11 (8 Qt.) servings
Calories: 334kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

6 Quart Instant Pot

  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 large carrots chopped
  • 2 small celery stalks chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves grated & divided
  • 2 lbs potatoes cubed
  • 1.5 lbs chuck or any cheap roast beef cubed into 1″ pieces
  • 3 oz tomato paste low sodium
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp oregano dried
  • 1 tsp thyme dried
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup fresh dill finely chopped

8 Quart Instant Pot

  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 large carrots chopped
  • 4 small celery stalks chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves grated & divided
  • 3 lbs potatoes cubed
  • 2 lbs chuck or any cheap roast beef cubed into 1″ pieces
  • 6 oz can tomato paste low sodium
  • 2 bouillon cubes
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano dried
  • 1 1/2 tsp thyme dried
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 7 peppercorns
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 cup fresh dill finely chopped

Slurry

  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2-4 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder (6 and 8 quart correspondingly)

Instructions

  • In Instant Pot, add onion, carrot, celery, 2 garlic cloves, potatoes and beef as you are cutting them. Then add tomato paste, bouillon + water or stock, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, bay leaves and peppercorns. No need to stir, just flatten tomato paste with a spoon.
  • Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High for 30 minutes. Display will say ON, Instant Pot will take about 20 minutes to come to pressure, you will see a bit of steam coming out from a valve, then float valve will rise and countdown from 30 minutes will begin.
  • When display says OFF, stew is ready. Now your Instant Pot needs to bring pressure down before you can open it, which will be indicated by a dropped down float valve. You can let it do it on its own which will take about 15-20 minutes – Natural Release. OR you can do Quick Release by turning pressure valve to Venting position, which takes 2-3 minutes. I recommend doing so outside to avoid countertop mess and house smelling like stew for days.
  • Open the lid, add peas, remaining 2 cloves of garlic and dill. Stir.
  • To thicken beef stew: Switch electric pressure cooker to Saute. In a small bowl, whisk cold water with cornstarch, add to the pot and stir gently. Cook for a few minutes until thickened.
  • Serve hot.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container or inner Instant Pot pot with a fitting glass lid for up to 5 days.

    Freeze: I have not tried to freeze the stew as there are never leftovers and I question how well potatoes would thaw.

      Video

      Notes

      • You can use frozen cubed meat. Thaw it a bit in water or on a counter (if have time) and separate into blobs of 2-3 pieces. Add 10 minutes to cooking time.
      • Replace bouillon cubes + water with any stock. I just like to keep dry cubes instead of open carton going bad in the fridge.
      • If you made a slurry beforehand, make sure to stir it right before adding to the pot. Cornstarch settles fast.
      • I don’t recommend to use dried dill. If you are not a fan of dill or don’t have any on hand, add fresh parsley.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 67mg | Sodium: 507mg | Potassium: 1065mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 3730IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 4mg
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      olena osipov in the studio

      Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

      My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

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