Instant Pot Pot Roast (Pressure Cooker Recipe)
See my guide on how to use an Instant Pot.
Instant Pot Pot Roast with tender beef, perfectly cooked potatoes and carrots, and a flavorful gravy. This simple pot roast recipe is so easy to make in your pressure cooker! It’s the perfect family-friendly meal for Sunday dinner.
Comfort food doesn’t get much better than this Instant Pot Pot Roast. With fork-tender beef and a flavorful gravy that cooks right in the Instant Pot, this is the last pot roast recipe you’ll need!
Pot roast used to be reserved just for weekends, when you had hours to slow cook a roast on the stove. As it has done for so many other classic recipes, the Instant Pot makes cooking a pot roast so much quicker than cooking a roast on the stove. What’s even better is that the pressure cooking process intensifies the flavor of the ingredients and makes the meat unbelievably tender.
I would still consider Instant Pot pot roast to be a weekend meal, as it takes just over two hours of total time to make. Most of that time is inactive, so don’t worry that you will spend all afternoon in the kitchen. I don’t have time for that, and I know you don’t either. If you want to make pot roast on a weekday, try my Slow Cooker Pot Roast, which you can prep in the morning and then cook all day in your crock pot. And if you’re looking for a slightly faster Instant Pot beef recipe, try my easy Instant Pot Beef Stew.
You can make this pot roast in an Instant Pot or any other brand of pressure cooker. If you are just getting started with cooking in an electric pressure cooker, be sure to read my quick-start Instant Pot manual.
Why Pot Roast is one of my Favorite Pressure Cooker Recipes
- You can make the most unbelievably tender and flavorful pot roast in a fraction of the time.
- You’ll only need one pot – your Instant Pot (or other pressure cooker) to make this meal.
- The leftovers reheat wonderfully. Read more about how to reheat pot roast below.
How to Make Instant Pot Pot Roast
First, you might be wondering what kind of roast to use for pot roast. I recommend using a boneless beef chuck roast for this recipe. The marbling in a chuck roast will make your pot roast extra tender and juicy.
Season and Sear the Beef: To make this Instant Pot pot roast, you’ll start by cutting your chuck roast in half. Then you’ll season all sides both sides of the beef with salt and pepper. Be generous with your seasoning.
Next you will sear the beef using your Instant Pot’s sauté setting. Browning the beef adds so much flavor. You’ll heat a little bit of olive oil in the pot and add the meat once the pot is hot. While the beef sears, you can chop your onion.
Sauté the Onion and Garlic: Once you have browned the roast on both sides, transfer it to a clean plate and set it aside for a few minutes. Add the onion to the pot and sauté until the onion softens and begins to brown. You can use a spatula or wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Stir in some minced garlic and turn off the Instant Pot.
Deglaze the Pot: Now you are going to add tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and beef broth to the pot. Stir everything together and make sure that there are no browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. This step of deglazing the pan will ensure that you do not get a burn warning during the pressure cooking process.
Pressure Cook the Roast: Add the beef back to the pot, along with a few sprigs of fresh thyme. If you do not have fresh thyme you can substitute dried thyme. Close the Instant Pot lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position. Set the cook time to 60 minutes at high pressure.
The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to reach pressure and then the cook time will begin counting down. Once the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes and then do a quick release to release any remaining pressure. When the float valve drops down, carefully remove the lid.
Add the Potatoes and Carrots: Now you are going to add your potatoes and carrots. While it may be tempting to add them at the very beginning to save a step, don’t. If you pressure cook your potatoes and carrots for an hour they are going to be really, really mushy.
Add the vegetables to the pot now, on top of the beef. Close the lid and turn the steam valve back to sealing. Pressure cook at high pressure for 10 minutes, followed by a 10 minute natural release.
Thicken the Gravy: Thickening the gravy is optional in this recipe. You can serve your pot roast with the juices in the pot as is, or you can make a quick cornstarch slurry to thicken the gravy. It takes about 5 minutes.
To make the gravy, you’ll first need to remove the roast, potatoes and carrots from the Instant Pot. Turn on sauté mode on your Instant Pot. Stir together a mixture of cornstarch and water and stir that into the juices in the pressure cooker. Simmer for about 3 minutes, until the gravy has thickened.
What to Serve with Pot Roast: Serve your pot roast with the gravy. I also like to serve some crusty bread on the side for soaking up extra gravy. A green salad is a nice, fresh addition to this one pot meal.
Cooking a roast from frozen in an Instant Pot
I recommend thawing your pot roast if possible, since you won’t be able to brown a frozen roast and will miss out on the flavor that searing adds to the pot roast. If you don’t have time to thaw, you can cook a frozen roast in your pressure cooker. You will just have to increase the pressure cooking time and skip the step of browning the meat.
Pressure cook a frozen 3 pound beef chuck roast for 90 minutes, followed by a 10 minute natural pressure release. Then add your potatoes and carrots and pressure cook for 10 minutes more. If your roast is larger than 3 pounds, add 10 minutes per pound to the pressure cooking time.
Cooking Tips for this Pressure Cooker Pot Roast Recipe
- Be sure to follow the recipe directions to pressure cook the chuck roast on its own first before adding the potatoes and carrots. If you add the potatoes and carrots from the beginning they will become too soft and possibly mushy.
- Pressure cook a fresh 3 pound roast for 60 minutes at high pressure before adding the vegetables. If your roast is larger, add 10 minutes per pound to the cook time.
- The best way to reheat leftover pot roast is to heat it in a pot on the stove, covered, over medium heat, adding a little broth or water as needed to thin the gravy. You can also reheat pot roast in your pressure cooker using the sauté setting.
More Easy Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot Beef Stroganoff
- Instant Pot Pork Tenderloin with Honey Garlic Sauce
- Easy Instant Pot Chicken Thighs
- Instant Pot Spaghetti
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
Instant Pot Pot Roast
- 3 pound beef chuck roast
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 cups low sodium beef broth
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 6 medium carrots cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1.5 pounds whole baby potatoes
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Cut the beef chuck roast in half.
- Sprinkle the salt, pepper and 1 teaspoon dried thyme (if not using fresh thyme) on all sides of the beef. (If using fresh thyme sprigs you will add them later.)
- Heat the olive oil in the Instant Pot using the saute setting until hot.
- Place the seasoned beef in the pot and brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Do not move the beef until you are ready to turn it; once it has seared it should easily release from the bottom of the pot. After browning the beef on both sides transfer it to a clean plate.
- With the Instant Pot still on saute mode, add the onion to the pot. Cook until softened and lightly browned, stirring often and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, about 4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and press cancel to turn off the Instant Pot.
- Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and beef broth. Stir and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
- Place the beef back in the pot. If using fresh thyme sprigs add them now.
- Close the Instant Pot lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position. Cook on Manual/Pressure Cook, high pressure, for 60 minutes. When the cook time ends, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes and then quick release any remaining pressure by turning the valve to the venting position.
- Open the Instant Pot and add the carrots and potatoes on top of the beef. Close the lid and pressure cook for 10 minutes more on high pressure using the Manual/Pressure Cook function. When the cook time ends allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes.
- Remove the beef and vegetables from the Instant Pot. Discard the thyme stems. Use two forks to shred the roast into chunks.
- Thicken the juices in the Instant Pot (optional): Turn the Instant Pot on saute mode. Stir together 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water in a small bowl and pour into the liquid in the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until gravy has thickened slightly.
- Serve pot roast with the gravy.
- If your roast is larger than 3 pounds, add 10 minutes per pound to the pressure cook time.
- To cook pot roast from frozen, skip the step of browning the meat. Pressure cook a frozen 3 pound beef chuck roast for 90 minutes, followed by a 10 minute natural pressure release. Then add your potatoes and carrots and pressure cook for 10 minutes more.
- Reheat leftover pot roast in a pot on the stove, covered, over medium heat, adding a little broth or water as needed to thin the gravy. You can also reheat pot roast in your pressure cooker using the sauté setting.
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