Instant Pot Beef Stew is a mouthwatering one pot dinner with fall-apart beef and tons of chunky hearty vegetables cooked in a delicious gravy-like broth. It’s just like my Ukrainian grandma used to make and I’m even sharing her 2 secret ingredients at the end.
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This soul-warming Instant Pot beef stew is ready in fraction of the time of traditional beef stew. And is the easiest and best comfort meal that will carry you through the winter season!
Food cooked under pressure tastes so much better, so that’s the reason enough to make a delicious beef stew in Instant Pot! Fall apart beef, tender veggies, and broth that has so much flavor is comfort food you can easily have on your dinner table in under one hour.
Our other meaty favorites to make in the Instant Pot are Instant Pot beef barley soup and Instant Pot pot roast recipe. But it was this, the best beef stew recipe I ever made, that convinced my husband, Alex, that Instant Pot recipes are worth celebrating.
Ingredients You Will Need
This is easy Instant Pot beef stew recipe with no paprika, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar etc. It’s also budget-friendly because there are no fancy ingredients.
I use wholesome, simple ingredients but below I have included a few variations for your personal taste. It’s up to you!
- Beef stew meat: An affordable roast like beef chuck roast, rump roast, or any other cheap roast turns into tender beef in the Instant Pot. You can use any cut of beef for this Instant Pot stew as pressure cooking will tenderize it. Just cut it into 1-inch pieces. Or by all means, use pre-cut stew meat.
- Potatoes: Yellow potatoes, yukon gold potatoes, red potatoes or baby potatoes will keep their shape better because they are waxier than they are starchy. Russet potatoes are good if you like more of a hearty stew. You can use sweet potatoes, just cut in larger sizes so they don’t get overcooked.
- Other veggies: Onion, celery, carrot, and peas.
- Tomato paste and stock: I used both low sodium. If yours are not, add less salt. Any broth like chicken broth, vegetable broth or beef broth works. Of course, beef stock is ideal and will result in more of a classic beef stew taste.
- Spices: Dried oregano, dried thyme, bay leaf, whole peppercorns, salt, and pepper are a magical blend of seasonings that adds so much flavor.
- Fresh dill and fresh garlic (do not skip!): These are 2 secret ingredients. You can use less dill than I do, but give it a try.
- Water and cornstarch (optional): To thicken the stew at the end. Thicken it using arrowroot starch instead of cornstarch if you prefer.
Optional Add-Ins and Variations
- A splash of red wine is a classic ingredient in some stews. It cooks off much of the alcohol but leaves a nice depth of flavor.
- Worcestershire sauce would add a nice umami flavor. Add 2-3 teaspoons to taste.
- Replace tomato paste with no-salt ketchup for a less intense tomato flavor.
- Omit the peas if you’re not a fan!
How to Make Beef Stew in Instant Pot
With easy-to-follow instructions and simple classic ingredients, this hearty Instant Pot beef stew is the soup you’ll want to sip on all winter long.
There is no need to saute anything, it’s just a dump and set easy recipe that is hands-off and effortless, perfect for Instant Pot beginners and novices alike.
- Add ingredients in this order: To the bottom of the pot, add vegetables, meat, tomato paste, spices, and broth. This particular order prevents the dreaded burn notice, which happens when there is not enough liquid and whatever ingredients at the bottom have absorbed it all. Keep the order and do not stir. Again, to avoid the dreaded “burn” message.
- Cook for 30-35 minutes on high pressure. Those 5 minutes are not a “make it or break it” bit of time, but the longer any stew cooks, the more flavorful it becomes. It will take about 20 minutes to come to pressure before the cooking time starts.
- Release pressure with natural pressure release or quick release. Doesn’t matter much as stew just gets better with time. I use quick release and vent remaining pressure outside. It’s faster but it’s also messier!
- Add frozen peas: They will help cool the Instant Pot beef stew nicely. I also love to add it to quinoa stew. But you can skip them, no problem.
- Add 2 secret flavor boosters: Fresh garlic and fresh dill. It is one thing to cook garlic and it is a completely different experience to eat a dish with freshly grated garlic along with fresh dill. Try it, I promise you’ll be blown away. It works like a charm in stovetop chicken stew and Instant Pot chicken stew as well. Rave reviews!
If you like thicker stew, add a cornstarch slurry. To do this, press sauté button on the Instant Pot. In a small bowl, whisk together 4 tablespoons cornstarch and 1/4 cup cold water. Add to the pot, stir with a wooden spoon and cook for a few minutes until stew thickens up.
Make sure to add the slurry while the soup is still hot. Waiting for it to cool down won’t have the same results. It also won’t blend as nicely and you’ll find chunks of cornstarch in your stew.
How Long to Cook Beef Stew in Instant Pot?
I like to cook the beef stew in Instant Pot for 30-35 minutes for maximum flavor and most tender chunks of beef. However, technically beef and potatoes are cooked after 15 minutes.
If you like more intact and whole potatoes, you can saute meat and veggies in batches, and then pressure cook for 15 minutes.
Tips for Best Results
- Browning of the meat: This Instant Pot beef stew recipe is amazing as is, but if you do want to take that extra step to sear your meat, go ahead. If you’re looking for that crusty brown exterior, your best bet is to use a skillet on the stovetop. Otherwise, keep it simple and brown on sauté function right in the pressure cooker.
- Skip 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 it altogether.
- Game meat: I have used cubed venison and moose many times. Delish!
- Venting outside: I vent outside to avoid cleaning countertops and the house smelling like stew for days. It’s just my personal preference.
What to Serve Instant Pot Beef Stew With?
Instant Pot beef stew comes out neither thick nor soupy, packs a lot of flavor, and makes enough to serve a crowd. It’s hearty, comforting, and very healthy!
Having a basket of crusty bread, either sliced or a loaf to rip off as you go is perfect for sopping up any remaining gravy. Also a side of classic Caesar salad would be a great accompaniment.
How to Store and Reheat
Store: Refrigerate stew leftovers for up to 5 days in an airtight container. A cost-effective way to eat throughout the week.
You can also store leftovers in the inner liner of the Instant Pot with a fitting glass lid or silicone lid. We love the second storage method because it makes stew easy to transfer from the fridge to the stove to reheat right in the same pot.
Freeze: I am not a fan of freezing beef stew because it contains potatoes. Freezing puts a lot of strain on potatoes that are low in fiber. The water expands and forms ice crystals which makes potatoes mushy upon thawed.
If this Instant Pot beef stew recipe is too much, cut the ingredients in half and keep the same cooking time. But I do know some people are OK with freezing stew. Then keep it in airtight container for up to 3 months in a freezer.
Reheat: Reheat in the Instant Pot’s inner pot right on the stove or in the Instant Pot pressure cooker on Sauté mode, stirring a few times.
You can also reheat it in a small pot on the stove by simmering on low. Always reheat only what you are going to eat to keep the remaining beef stew fresh for as long as possible.
No, you don’t. Food cooked under pressure comes out more flavorful than using a stovetop method. The whole point of using the Instant Pot is to save time and not hover over the stove. Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t use browned meat with this Instant Pot beef stew recipe, but you don’t have to.
Usually, to achieve tender and fall apart meat with tougher cuts of beef, you need to cook it either in a slow cooker or a pressure cooker. Even the toughest cuts of meat should come out tender once they are cubed and cooked under pressure for 30 minutes.
This happens because the moisture is trapped, and the fibres in the meat get tenderized. The meat should come out juicy and tender, but if yours is still tough it’s most likely a matter of not leaving it in long enough.
Yes. Just make sure no more than 2-3 pieces are clumped together. As for the cooking time, I show you in the video how I added some frozen meat along with fresh and it cooked perfectly all at the same time. If you’re unsure and would prefer to thaw it first, do that by placing the meat in a bit of water or on the counter. Then separate the pieces.
More Favorite Instant Pot Recipes
Easy Instant Pot Beef Stew
6 Quart Instant Pot
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 2 large carrots chopped
- 2 small celery stalks chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves grated & divided
- 2 pounds potatoes cubed
- 1.5 pounds chuck roast or any cheap roast beef cubed into 1″ pieces
- 3 ounces tomato paste low sodium
- 2 cups beef broth low sodium
- 1 teaspoon oregano dried
- 1 teaspoon thyme dried
- 3/4 teaspoon 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 pounds potatoes cubed
- 2 pounds chuck roast or any cheap roast beef cubed into 1″ pieces
- 6 ounces can tomato paste low sodium
- 3 cups beef broth low sodium
- 1 1/2 teaspoons oregano dried
- 1 1/2 teaspoons thyme dried
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 4 bay leaves
- 7 peppercorns
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 1 cup fresh dill finely chopped
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 2-4 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder (6 and 8 quart correspondingly)
- In Instant Pot, add onion, carrot, celery, 2 garlic cloves, potatoes and beef as you are cutting them. Then add tomato paste, beef 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.
- 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.
- 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.