Instant Pot Beef Stew
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
This Instant Pot Beef Stew is filled with tender pieces of beef, potatoes and carrots in a rich and flavorful broth. This pressure cooker beef stew is a quick and easy twist on the classic recipe!
When you’re craving a warm, hearty meal, there’s nothing like a comforting bowl of beef stew. Once you try making beef stew in your Instant Pot, you’re not going to want to make it any other way!
The Instant Pot develops rich flavors in a fraction of the time. With a busy schedule, it can be hard to find the time to cook the classic recipes that you crave. Instant Pot recipes change all that because you can make a wholesome, satisfying meal without devoting a whole afternoon to cooking. My Instant Pot Beef Chili, Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff, Instant Pot Ribs and my one pot Instant Pot Pasta are more delicious examples of hearty meals made easy in the Instant Pot.
This Instant Pot stew tastes as if it simmered for hours on the stove. The beef is melt in your mouth tender and the broth is thick and flavorful. It reminds me a bit of one of my other favorite Instant Pot beef recipes, Instant Pot Pot Roast. The difference is that this beef stew cooks more quickly and has a thick, brothy base surrounding the meat and vegetables.
If you’re new to Instant Pot cooking, my Instant Pot guide will tell you everything you need to know to get started today. If you don’t have an Instant Pot but want one, I can help you decide which Instant Pot to buy.
For a delicious slow cooker version of this recipe, try my Slow Cooker Beef Stew.
How to Make the Best Instant Pot Beef Stew
Making beef stew in your Instant Pot is easy! My simple tips will help you to make the best beef stew.
1. Brown the Beef: I’m always tempted to skip this step because it does take more time. But browning your meat until it has a golden crust is so worth it. This simple step adds so much flavor to the finished dish.
You’ll brown the beef right in the Instant Pot, in some olive oil. Sauté mode is one of my favorite features of the Instant Pot! Season the beef with salt and pepper for another layer of flavor. After the meat is browned, transfer it to a clean bowl so that you can sauté the onion and garlic in the Instant Pot.
2. Deglaze the Pot: This step is important to make sure you don’t get that infamous Instant Pot burn message. When you brown the meat, some small bits may get stuck to the bottom of the pot. You’ll pour in some broth and use a spoon or spatula to scrape up those bits. They’ll come up easily if you deglaze while the pot is still warm. Those browned bits are going to add so much flavor to your beef stew!
3. Cut your Veggies into Big Chunks: You’ll want to cut the carrots into 1-inch pieces on the diagonal, and the potatoes into approximately 1 1/2-inch chunks. If you cut the veggies too small, they may overcook and turn to mush while the stew pressure cooks.
4. Use a Natural Pressure Release: After the pressure cook time ends, allow for the Instant Pot to release naturally for 10 minutes. This natural release will make the beef more tender. There will probably still be some steam and pressure to be released after 10 minutes, so you’ll use a quick release to finish releasing the pressure.
5. Thicken the Broth: This is optional, but I like to use a cornstarch slurry to thicken the broth on sauté mode. You’ll whisk together 2 tablespoons each of cornstarch and water and stir this mixture into the stew. You can either remove some of the meat and vegetables to make it easier to stir, or just stir gently so that the veggies don’t break down. The broth will thicken quickly – mine took just 2 or 3 minutes.
Serve your Instant Pot beef stew with some crusty bread and a green salad for a complete, warm-you-from-the-inside-out meal.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about making this Instant Pot beef stew recipe:
What kind of beef to use for stew?
You can make beef stew with either a boneless chuck roast or beef stew meat. If you use a chuck roast, cut it into 1 1/2 to 2-inch cubes. Beef stew meat is sold already cut into chunks and is notorious for being tough, but I’ve found that the Instant Pot works wonders for turning it tender. If you have time to cut up the beef yourself, a boneless chuck roast may be your best option. If time is limited, already cut stew meat will save you a few minutes.
What kind of potatoes should I use for stew?
Yukon gold potatoes are a hearty potato that will withstand 35 minutes of pressure cooking without turning to mush. I recommend using Yukon golds, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. You don’t need to peel the potatoes. Small creamer potatoes or baby potatoes are more tender and may become too soft. Russet potatoes are less firm and may fall apart.
How long will it take to make beef stew in an Instant Pot?
From start to finish, this pressure cooker beef stew takes about 1 hour and 25 minutes to make. This may sound like a long time – not really “instant,” right? Compared to using a slow cooker or simmering your stew on the stove, the Instant Pot is faster. Most of the time is inactive time, when you can be making a salad, playing with your kids, or reading a book. Here’s how the time breaks down:
- Prep ingredients and brown the beef: 20 minutes
- Instant Pot pressurizes: 15 minutes
- Cook time: 35 minutes
- Natural pressure release: 10 minutes
- Thicken the stew: 5 minutes
Should I use the Instant Pot stew program?
You can, but there’s no need to. Using the Meat/Stew setting will set the pressure cook time to 35 minutes if you choose the “Normal” setting. You’ll get the same result as if you were to press the Manual/Pressure Cook button and set the cook time to 35 minutes.
How to freeze beef stew
This stew freezes well for a quick meal later on. Let it cool completely and then freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Try to use a container that has just enough room for the stew plus a little extra room for it to expand as it freezes. You want to minimize exposure of the food to air to prevent freezer burn.
Cooking Tips for Pressure Cooker Beef Stew
- Brown the beef using your Instant Pot’s sauté mode for maximum flavor. Let the beef brown, without moving the pieces, for about 4 minutes per side. You’ll know that the beef has developed the perfect golden crust and is ready to flip when it releases easily from the bottom of the pot. I use these kitchen tongs to easily turn the pieces of meat.
- You can save prep time by peeling and chopping the carrots while the beef browns. Scrub and chop your potatoes while you sauté the onion.
- Try adding other veggies, such as sweet potato, parsnips or peas to your stew. Sweet potato and parsnips should be cut into large chunks and added before pressure cooking. Stir peas in after pressure cooking, when you thicken the broth.
Instant Pot Beef Stew
- 2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, or beef stew meat
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 cups unsalted beef stock, or low sodium beef broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces on the diagonal
- 1.5 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, about 4 medium, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons water
- If using chuck roast and not already cut stew meat, cut the beef into 1 1/2 to 2 inch cubes.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the Instant Pot using saute mode. When the pot is hot, add half of the beef in a single layer. Sprinkle the beef with half of the salt and pepper.
- Brown the beef on the first side, without moving it, for 4 minutes or until it is browned and releases easily from the bottom of the pot. Flip the beef pieces and brown on the second side for about 4 minutes more. Remove the beef to a clean bowl.
- Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pot. Brown the second half of the beef, seasoning with the remaining salt and pepper, about 4 minutes per side. Remove the browned beef to the bowl with the first half of the beef.
- Add the onion to the Instant Pot and saute for 2-3 minutes, until it begins to soften. Add the garlic to the pot, press cancel to turn off the heat, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
- While the Instant Pot is hot, deglaze the pot by pouring in 1 cup of the beef broth and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Pour in the remaining 2 cups of broth.
- Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, Italian seasoning, thyme and bay leaf and stir to combine. Add the beef back to the pot, along with any juices from the bowl. Place the carrots and potatoes on top of the beef. Do not stir.
- Close the Instant Pot lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position. Press the Manual/Pressure Cook button and set the cook time to 35 minutes at high pressure. The Instant Pot will take 10-15 minutes to reach pressure and then the cook time will begin counting down. When the cook time ends, allow the pot to naturally release for 10 minutes by leaving the Instant Pot alone. Then quick release any remaining pressure by carefully turning the steam release valve to the venting position using the handle of a long spoon.
- Open the Instant Pot lid. Remove the bay leaf.
- Thicken the stew by stirring together 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl. Pour this mixture into the Instant Pot and turn on saute mode. Allow the stew to simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. Be careful to not break up the vegetables as you stir.
If I want to add frozen green beans to this, when should I do it? It seems like they may overcook if added initially.
I would add them after pressure cooking. You may want to cook the green beans on the stove and then stir them in to the finished beef stew.
I made this the other night and loved it. The meat came out so tender. It is a definite keeper!
Made this last night, and while I had to improvise with a few of the ingredients (red wine as I didn’t have enough beef stock, a combination of balsamic-ketchup, soy sauce and a touch of vinegar as substitution of Worcestershire sauce, and was missing Italian seasoning but I threw together what smelled like a suitable replacement), it turned out excellent. Even my somewhat finicky 16 yr old loved it. This will go into the recipe rotation, and thank you for posting this. Sub’d.
I have never left a review on recipes before, but had to do it this time. This was the best beef stew I’ve ever had! So flavorful and the meat was so tender. My husband said it was a bit salty because I salted the meat and my broth was salted, but I thought that made it even tastier!
I can not have beef, chicken or vegetable broth because of a histamine disease I have so can I substitute it with water and would I change anything else?
You can substitute water but may want to increase the salt and/or other seasonings because you will lose some flavor that the broth provides.
The “better than” brand also has onion and garlic broth bases as well. As another option if you are able to have that. They come in short glass jars near the other broth bases.
So delicious! thanks for sharing and love your site
When would you add frozen corn to this recipe?
I would add it at the end, along with the cornstarch slurry. The corn will cook as the stew simmers and thickens. Enjoy!
It is cooking now, so I won’t rate it until we eat it tomorrow. But I have a quick question: I want to add fresh mushrooms. They cook quickly, so I assume (oops) that I can put them in when I add frozen peas at the end, when I add the slurry. Does that sound right?
I find that mushrooms always benefit from some sauteing. You can add them at the end with the slurry, but I would recommend sauteing them on the stove first. I would probably opt to add them in step 5 with the onion and let them pressure cook along with everything else. I hope you enjoyed the stew!
Wow. Just WOW.
Let me preface this by saying that my culinary skills are “challenged” at the best of times. ?
This stew turned out perfectly! All the meat and veggies were tender, the thickness was awesome – yum, yum, yum! I’m going to name my Instant Pot: The Magic Pot.
Thanks so much for this recipe ?
This was my first time making a beef stew in my Instant Pot. I was really impressed! My only disappointment was the amount of thyme. It seemed to overpower everything. Afterwards, I looked at the Italian seasoning I used. Mine is by Spice Islands. Thyme is listed as the 3rd ingredient. So, with the thyme in it, and then adding the extra it was just way too overpowering. Next time I will completely leave the thyme out. I also used red potatoes instead of Yukon Gold. They also held up just fine under the pressure. I added 1 cup extra broth and a half cup pearled barley like you suggested in an earlier question. With the barley I did not need to thicken it with corn starch. It was plenty thick for us. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I will be making it again.
Thank you so much for having a recipe with so many detailed instructions. A lot of Instant Pot recipes leave out key directions and this was very easy to follow without feeling like maybe I missed something. The stew turned out perfectly during the ice storm of 2022 in Massachusetts. Easy to assemble and quick to cook. Perfect for a winter day and I will definitely try some of your other recipes. Thanks again!
I cut the recipe in half and it came out delish. My other half doesn’t really like leftovers, ridiculous right!!! ? I was raised on leftovers lol. Next time gonna make sure I have some leftover wine ? is that a thing.
I forgot not to mix the vegetables in with the meat. But will that mess up my stew
Hi Courtney, Most likely it will turn out just fine. 🙂 Enjoy!
I’ve been using this recipe for about a year now and it’s amazing. I can even make it with my eyes closed! I sometimes make my own tweaks for different flavors but the original recipe is perfect on it’s own. We have beef stew every Saturday now and if I don’t make it, my bf is always disappointed. Thanks for this amazing recipe!
I’ve now made this recipe 4 times and love how detailed your instructions are, as well as the ease of the steps. My partner asked after the first try that I find some additional ingredients to make the end result of the beef stew more flavorful for HIS taste…I personally enjoy it the way you created it. Since I am not a natural born cook and less likely to just experiment, I would appreciate some suggestions for increasing the robustness. I have since added more salt and garlic, more Worcestershire sauce as well as additional tomato paste and baby bella mushrooms. Possibly another addition I have not thought of. Thank you.
The additions that you have made are what I would suggest. You could also add 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar. Add it when you add the garlic and cook for about a minute. I’m so glad that you are enjoying the recipe!
Hello! I only have small red potatoes on hand, would it be fine to use them? If so should I keep them whole? Thankyou!
Yes, those should work well and you should keep them whole. Enjoy!
Delicious and easy to make! I love a good stew, the spices were spot on and the thickening made it a great texture. I subbed out the potatoes for small red potatoes because it’s what I had and they worked well. I considered throwing in some mushrooms, but forgot, maybe next time, I will make this again 🙂
I made this tonight, delicious. Will make again! Thank you.
What size instant pot do you use?
If I only have a 3 qt should I half this recipe?
I have both a 6 quart and 8 quart instant pot. Yes, I think halving the recipe for a 3 quart will work well.
Thank you for this recipe. Your site is my “go to” for dinner recipes.
I rarely leave comments about recipes, however, this recipe is top notch! I just bought a Pioneer Woman 6 qt Instant Pot and this was my first recipe cooked in it and OMG sooooo good! I did deglaze with a cup of merlot and reduced the bone broth by 1 cup and added peas at the end. I might reduce the merlot to 1/2 cup next time but this recipe is an Instant favorite! Thanks so much for working out a superb recipe and sharing it with us culinary newbs. I can see this instant pot becoming my favorite way to cook and look forward to discovering some of your other recipes! I already have a few bookmarked!
Love this recipe. I use just a pinch of tyme because i feel like it over powers it. I also cook my meat for 20mins and then add my veggies in for 15. Comes out great!
This was one of the best beef stews I have ever made. Thank you for publishing an Instant Pot Recipe as well. I will be looking for more sensational recipes on this website.