by Olena

Instant Pot Beef Stew (Video)

by Olena

4.8 from 22 reviews

Instant Pot Beef Stew is one pot dinner with fall apart beef and lots of veggies cooked in delicious gravy sauce. Like my Ukrainian grandma used to make. Her 2 secret ingredients at the end make this stew the best! Serve with simple lettuce salad and whole grain bread.

As a true Ukrainian, I love my stew. Check out my Instant Pot chicken and potatoes. It’s similar and is to die for! And if potatoes are not your thing, try quinoa beef stew.

Instant Pot Beef Stew

Pressure Cooker Beef Stew

Easy instructions and simple ingredients will blow your mind in this most flavorful pressure cooker beef stew recipe on the web. No browning the meat.

This Instant Pot stew was the recipe that 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.:)

Looking for more dinner ideas? Check out my most popular collection of 30 healthy Instant Pot recipes.

What Are Instant Pot Stew Ingredients?

My simple Instant Pot beef stew recipe has minimum ingredients and maximum flavor. The way I remember my grandma cooked in Ukraine 30 years ago. I met you, my American and Canadian friends, in the middle and added your stew’s staple, peas, at the end.

  • Beef stew meat
  • Onion, celery, carrots and potatoes
  • Tomato paste and stock
  • Oregano, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt and pepper
  • Fresh dill and garlic (do not skip!)

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

onion, carrots, celery, potatoes, peas, stew meat, tomato paste and dill ingredients for instant pot stew

What Is the Best Beef Stew Meat?

Beef is expensive. I use chuck roast or any other cheap roast. Affordable roast turns into tender beef in Instant Pot. Just slice it into 1 inch pieces and you are good to go. Organic or grass fed is a bonus but as you can tell doesn’t happen here always.

Game meat. I have used cubed venison and moose many times. Delish! Same cooking time. My mom hunts.

Do I Have to Brown The Meat?

I do not brown meat when pressure cooking. Simply because food cooked under high pressure is more flavorful than using a stovetop method. The whole point of using Instant Pot is to save time and not hover over the stove. I also feel like stainless steel pot with high walls doesn’t exactly brown the meat. It steams it more. There is no that brown char.

Tip: But hey, if you got time and think you should brown meat – go ahead. You will make Instant Pot stew only better.:)

instant pot beef stew frozen meat

Can I Use Frozen Meat?

You can use frozen cubed meat. Just make sure pieces are not more than 2-3 stuck 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. When cooking frozen meat in Instant Pot, it just takes longer to build up pressure as liquid is cooler. Cooking time is the same as with fresh meat. And while I am 99% confident in that, I will say that you can add 10 minutes to cooking time when making Instant Pot beef stew with frozen meat.

Tip: Thaw frozen meat a bit in water or on a counter (if have time) and separate.

What Are Best Potatoes to Use?

  • Yellow potatoes, yellow flesh or red potatoes cut into 2″ pieces.
  • I like to use baby potatoes because a) pre-washed b) Costco always has them c) barely any cutting.
  • Russet potatoes if you like fall apart potatoes in a stew.

Tip: According to Organic Facts, potatoes contain a lot of potassium especially in the skin and right underneath it. For this reason, I do not peel potatoes, only Russet.

How Long to Cook Beef Stew in Instant Pot?

30-35 minutes on high pressure. Those 5 minutes do not make or break the deal. But the longer any stew or soup cooks or sits (especially under pressure and steam), the more flavor it develops.

Nothing is sauteed, no unnecessary ingredients, no “burn” message. The best pressure cooker stew recipe on the net. I mean it. Go Google yourself and I will see you in 5, you’ll be back.

…Welcome back!

how to make Beef Stew in instant pot step by step

Do I Have to Stir the Stew?

No need to stir before cooking most Instant Pot recipes. The reason is because heating element is located at the bottom, some ingredients like canned tomato products, ground turkey or lack of water can cause dreaded “burn” message. Just add ingredients in the order listed in the recipe: vegetables, meat, tomato paste, spices and broth. Don’t stir and you are good to go.

My Instant Pot stew will never give you a “burn” message.

Instant Pot Stew

Natural or Quick Release?

Doesn’t matter much.

With kids sports, business, house renos I am always running everywhere. I do not have time to wait for Instant Pot to bring pressure down naturally. I need to feed everyone and go. I use natural release and vent outside…

Venting pressure right after Instant Pot has finished cooking is a very messy process. Liquids are still bubbling because of high pressure. So, to avoid cleaning countertops and house smelling like stew for days, it’s much easier to vent outside.

Easy Instant Pot Beef Stew venting outside

What Makes This The Best Beef Stew?

After venting pressure out, open the lid and “oh, yeah, baby!”. Add frozen peas and my 2 secret flavor 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. You have never tried dill in a stew? Try and you will be blown away, pinky promise!

Tip: 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.

pressure cooker beef stew

How to Thicken Instant Pot Beef Stew

If you like thick gravy beef stew, you can make a slurry and thicken the stew. Switch electric pressure cooker to Saute. In a small bowl, whisk 1/4 cup cold (!!!) water + 4 tbsp cornstarch, add to the pot and stir gently. Cook for a few minutes until thickened.

Tip: If you made a slurry beforehand, make sure to stir it right before adding to the pot. Cornstarch settles fast. 

instant pot Beef Stew recipe

What Instant Pot Size Can I Use?

I have included Instant Pot beef stew recipes for 2 sizes: 6 quart Instant Pot (the most popular) and 8 quart. If you have 3 quart one, cut 6 quart ingredients in half but use same cooking time.

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.

More Healthy One Pot Instant Pot Dinners

Now, did I make you open that box finally?! Good! Go try my other Instant Pot recipes and keep being blown away how easy it is to cook healthy and delicious meals:

Watch Olena Make Beef Stew in Instant Pot

And don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube Channel for weekly cooking videos!

It’s my Ukrainian heritage recipe that is neither thick nor soupy, and packs so much flavour, even if you hate cooking, you will want to cook this easy Instant Pot stewing beef recipe. I still have a few tricks under my belt.

Print

Instant Pot Beef Stew

4.8 from 22 reviews

Instant Pot Beef Stew is one pot dinner with fall apart beef and lots of veggies cooked in delicious gravy sauce. Like my Ukrainian grandma used to make. No Burn message too. Pinky promise, you will love it!

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 7 (6 Qt.), 11 (8 Qt.) servings 1x
  • Category: Soup and Stew
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Ukrainian
Scale

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
  • 6 oz can 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
  • 1/23/4 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
  • 4 tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot powder

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Open the lid, add peas, remaining 2 cloves of garlic and dill. Stir.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

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.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

65 comments on “Instant Pot Beef Stew (Video)

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  1. This Instapot Beef Stew was awesome! Fast and easy to prepare. One of the best flavored stews I’ve ever had! Thank you.

  2. Hello Olena,
    I’m of Russian decent.
    Great grandparents and grandparents were from Tbilisi, near the Black Sea
    But my mom and dad were born in Canada, so was I and
    My sister.
    Trying your beef Instant pot recipe first time , today
    I love garlic and dill😄

    1. Hello, Pauline. Yes that’s in Georgia. Hope you like it.:) Please don’t be shy to leave me a comment with a star review once you make any recipe. Have a great week!

  3. DH loved this! We live in the arctic, so could not source fresh dill (which I adore), so I subbed lots of green onion. Thank you for such a clear and easy to understand recipe for an Instant Pot neophyte, I now have a lot better idea of how to use this marvellous device. I started with frozen meat and it turned out fantastic. DH is a pepper fan so I put in a lot more peppercorns, and we were both delighted by how they became soft and delicious. This will become a go-to recipe for us, and the base for a lot of experiments.

    1. Perfect! I love pepper too. My mom always added a lot. And my husband grew up without pepper. He just got adjusted after 18 years together haha.
      Where in the arctic do you live and is it cold right now?

  4. Delicious. Easy to make just as described here.
    I had three parsnips on hand so I added them with the other veggies. They softened so much, the sauce thickened with no further additions.
    I like dill, so I’d use it again next time. It brightened the flavour.

  5. This is a five star! I have been on the fence about purchasing an Instant Pot but was so intrigued by the stew recipe where you do not brown the meat that I went out and got one. This did not disappoint! I fell short of the needed fresh dill but doubled the garlic by mistake. It is the best beef stew I have ever made or eaten. Thank you Olena.

  6. This recipe is very delicious. The whole family loved it! Very flavourful and best of all very quick and easy!! Thanks again Olena!

  7. I will never make it any other way ever again – delicious and healthy – thank you SO much! Love love love it.

  8. This recipe sounds delicious. I had one question about the peppercorns. I’ve never worked with peppercorns in a pressure cooker. Do they dissolve under the pressure or are they still hard and you have to fish them out? Thank you

    1. They stay hard and whole. They add flavor. Just don’t eat it when you find one in your bowl. They are not overly spicy after cooking in IP either.

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