Instant Pot Beef Stew

4.96 from 221 votes
↓ Jump to Recipe 80

This post may contain affiliate links | disclosure policy

Instant pot beef stew is the ultimate one-pot comfort food using high-pressure cooking. The meat tenderizes with a hearty mix of potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions for a delicious complete meal.

Try this stew recipe with the Slow Cooker or Stovetop for alternative cooking methods.

Bowl of Instant Pot beef stew served over mashed potatoes.

This Instant Pot beef stew recipe is the answer to any dinnertime conundrum. Tender pieces of meat simmered with nutritious vegetables in a savory and rich sauce should satisfy all cravings. It’s a simple yet flavorful dish I grew up eating and always turn to for a comforting meal.

Using the multi-cooker, you skip the hours-long process of simmering the stew on the stovetop. Electric pressure quickly elevates the meal to the right temperature making it ready to eat faster! The Instant Pot also has a saute function to create a fantastic sauce near the end of cooking that even grandma would be proud to serve.

Seasoned pieces of beef placed in a bowl.

Choosing the right  kind of meat

Avoid purchasing precut packages of “beef stew meat” from the grocery store. It seems so convenient, but it often becomes a lean cut that gets dried out quickly. Plus, you don’t know what primal cut it’s coming from. I recommend using larger subprimal cuts from the shoulder area called beef chuck roast. Cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes, then season with soy sauce, salt, and pepper to enhance the savory taste.

These beef cuts contain more connective tissue and fat. They are also labeled as:

  • Chuck eye roll (first choice!)
  • Chuck roll under the blade
  • Chuck tender steak
  • Chuck tender roast
Beef that has been sautéed in the Instant Pot.

Sear the beef

The advantage of using the Instant Pot is that you can brown the meat using the saute function. I always sear the meat before pressure cooking to encourage Maillard browning reaction on the surface for new flavor generation. Cook the pieces in hot olive oil for a few minutes until a golden crust is formed, then remove them from the pot.

The browned bits of meat and juices on the bottom of the pot are deglazed with onions, garlic, and balsamic vinegar. This ensures a more flavorful sauce and prevents the ingredients from burning on the bottom of the insert.

After browning, these cuts of meat require slow cooking or braising with moist heat cooking. This converts the collagen to gelatin for a tender and juicy product. This is where pressure cooking comes in.

Ingredients for beef stew placed inside an Instant Pot.

How to make beef stew in the instant pot

Once the beef is seared, and the pan is deglazed, it’s time to cook the stew. I use a 6-quart Instant Pot to make a large batch. To withstand the high pressure, hearty root vegetables that hold their structure are added, like celery, carrots, and potatoes. Yukon gold all-purpose potatoes are my top choice for their buttery taste and waxy texture.

Beef broth or stock is added to make the sauce and help the system pressurize. Since the electric pressure cooker requires at least 1 cup of liquid to function, the steam and moisture make the right conditions for cooking this beef stew recipe. Additional soy sauce and salt enhance the umami taste of the beef. Worcestershire sauce would be a nice addition for a more tangy taste.

Cover and lock the lid on the Instant pot. Then manually pressure cook on high pressure for 20 minutes. Natural release for 15 minutes prevents the liquid from spraying out of the pot. To thicken the braising liquid, a cornstarch slurry is simmered, which thickens in less than 2 minutes. Delicate peas are stirred in just before serving to warm the legumes.

Close up photo of beef stew served over mashed potatoes in a black bowl.

How long to pressure cook beef stew

Because multiple types of ingredients are cooking, I found that 20 minutes at high pressure, followed by releasing the steam naturally for 15 minutes, works well. This method allows the beef and vegetables to become more tender but not mushy.

The Instant Pot is a unique multi-cooker that uses pressure and heat to create superheated steam. This process cooks the food in the enclosed vessel at the high pressure setting between 239 to 248ºF (115 to 120ºC) and 10 to 12 psi (pounds per square inch). It’s amazing how it can cut the traditional stove top or oven method for making beef stew down to just 35 minutes of pressure cooking.

Serve this with

More Instant Pot recipes

Recipe Science

How to thicken the stew

Using the saute function on the Instant Pot at the end of the cooking process has been a game-changer. It rapidly brings the sauce to a boil, which is needed for the cornstarch slurry to thicken the liquid in under 2 minutes. Make sure to stir the sauce as the slurry is slowly added to allow the starch granules to disperse, absorb and swell. If there is no agitation, the starches will clump together and become lumpy.

Instant Pot Beef Stew

Save time and make Instant Pot beef stew with a hearty mix of potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions all thrown together in your electric pressure cooker.
4.96 from 221 votes
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine American

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 ½ pounds beef chuck eye roll, or chuck tender roast, 1 ½" cubes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 ½ cups red onion, 1" dice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pound yukon gold potatoes, 1 ½" dice
  • 2 cups carrots, 1" pieces
  • 1 cup celery, ½" dice
  • 3 cups unsalted beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup peas, fresh or frozen, defrosted

Instructions 

  • Season the Beef – In a medium-sized bowl, combine cubed beef, ½ teaspoon salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce.
  • Heat Instant Pot – Select "Saute" on the Instant Pot. Allow the device to heat up. It will indicate "Hot" on the display when ready.
  • Sear the Meat – Add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Once hot, add the beef and brown on one side for 2 minutes, flip and brown for another 2 minutes. Transfer to a clean plate, the meat will not be fully cooked.
  • Saute the Aromatics – Add 1 tablespoon oil and onions, and saute for 1 minute. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add balsamic vinegar to deglaze the bottom of the pot for 3 minutes, stir and scrape to remove any browned bits.
  • Add the Ingredients – Add the potatoes, carrots, celery, browned beef, beef stock, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and ½ teaspoon salt, and stir to combine.
  • Cover the Instant Pot – Press "Keep/ Warm/Cancel" on the Instant Pot. Make sure that the release valve is in the "Sealing" position. Place the lid on, turn and lock.
  • Pressure Cook – Press the "Manual" button on the Instant Pot on high pressure, and then set the timer to 20 minutes using the "+" or "-" buttons. The pot will take about 15 minutes to heat up and build pressure. You will see some steam release from the lid, and then the time will start on the display.
  • Release the Pressure – Once cook time is complete, allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes.
  • Open Lid – Use an oven mitt or towel to slowly and carefully twist the steam release handle on the lid to the "Venting" position. The initial release will spray some moisture around the pot, so be careful. Remove the lid, opening the top away from you as steam will be released.
  • Thicken the Stew – In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Select "Saute" on the Instant Pot. Once the stewing liquid begins to boil, add the cornstarch slurry. Cook and stir for 60 to 90 seconds, and turn off the heat once thickened. Add the peas and cook, for 2 to 4 minutes.
  • To Serve – Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with rice or mashed potatoes.

Equipment

Notes

  • Make it Gluten-Free: Use coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce.
  • Make it Whole-30: Substitute soy sauce with coconut aminos. Substitute cornstarch with 3 tablespoons arrowroot flour (starch/powder) Bob’s Red Mill is recommended, mixed with 6 tablespoons water to make a slurry. 
  • Storing: Cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Freeze in a resealable plastic bag for 3 months. Defrost before using. 
  • Reheating: Cover and reheat in the microwave on high setting in 30-second increments, stirring in between, until hot. Heat on the stovetop or medium heat until hot. Add more beef stock if needed. 

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 4 servings
Calories 366kcal (18%)Carbohydrates 46g (15%)Protein 11g (22%)Fat 17g (26%)Saturated Fat 2g (10%)Sodium 1192mg (50%)Potassium 1226mg (35%)Fiber 9g (36%)Sugar 9g (10%)Vitamin A 10910IU (218%)Vitamin C 33.3mg (40%)Calcium 564mg (56%)Iron 17mg (94%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

Tried this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram. I'd love to see how it turns out!

Tag @jessica_gavin

Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

Quick & Easy Meals in Under 30 Minutes!
Get 25 simple meals your whole family will love.
Jessica Gavin standing in the kitchen

You May Also Like

Reader Interactions

4.96 from 221 votes (179 ratings without comment)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




80 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Beth says

    I’d been looking for a great stew recipe since I purchased my first Instant Pot a few years ago and finally found yours! And that you don’t just provide a recipe but teach some of the “whys” is a bonus. So thank you!

    Question: My husband and I don’t like thickened gravy, and the liquid was delicious as is — they’re just a very large quantity. I remember the wonderful pressure cooker stews my mother made decades ago. They contained very little liquid at the end. It was as if there was almost a glaze on the potatoes and carrots. (Of course memory of childhood events can be faulty!) She browned the meat beforehand, removed it and sautéed the onions, like you advise.

    Since my 6-quart IP Pro needs a cup of liquid, would it be possible to reduce the three cups by 1/3 to 2/3rds? And if so, I assume I’d cut back on some of the spices. Or would you not recommend it?

    Also, I’d like the potatoes and carrots just tad firmer. (They did stay intact.) Maybe cut back the natural release time to 10 minutes plus cook time by 1 minute? Either or?

    Again, thanks. We liked this so much with a not-the-best chuck roast that my husband is on his way to an organic butcher. Plus they’ll cube the meat! And sorry this is so long!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the beef stew recipe! I would reccommend keeping the liquid level as is. The beef requires the liquid and pressure to tenderize quickly. I would instead remove the pieces of meat and vegetables once done cooking, add use the saute function of reduce the sauce level. You can reduce the natural release time if you would like the potatoes to be firmer. You can natural release right away, just cover the a towel so it doesn’t splatter.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      The brand I use just says soy sauce, but I’m assuming that since it’s lighter in color, saltier, and less thick, it’s light.

  2. Rob says

    I made this as a first try with my instapot. It was so delicious and so flavorful. The recipe was so easy to follow. This has now become my familys favorite sunday dinner.
    Thank you

  3. Jean says

    Wow was this delicious. I am relatively new to Instant Pot cooking and made one beef stew previously and the flavors were just not to my liking. I discovered this recipe and made it tonight and my family loved it. Thank you Jessica, so much. I will be following you and your recipes now!! Made pretty much exactly as written but i did double the corn starch. I also added green beans (steamed and then added them in as I wasn’t sure how long to cook them for using the instant pot) LOVE this recipe and now gaining a little more confidence in using the instant pot.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I love how adventurous you are with your new instant pot Jean! I love the idea of adding in steamed green beans and extra cornstarch for a thicker sauce.

  4. Kathy says

    I made this tonight in my 8 quart PC and because I like really tender meat I set it to 25 minutes instead of 20. My potatoes were pretty small so they pretty much melted in to the sauce when I stirred the cornstarch but the entire meal was amazing and I will definitely stick to the 20 minutes next time. Thank you for this recipe.

  5. Jovina says

    I made this for Easter Sunday with my new instant pot 6qt DUO and my huge family loved it! I lessened the amount of balsamic vinegar and the last part of soy sauce though because when my coworkers made this at work (yes at work; our boss bought an instant pot for the office kitchen) the vinegar or soy was quite strong. It was still yummy. Obviously, my family didn’t have anything to compare the stew to but they all loved it and I paired it with french bread. Tonight I’m going to make this again because my husband asked. 🙂

  6. Ruben J. Hernandez says

    Made this for the family tonight and they loved it. First time using an Instapot and you made me a hero! Thank you ?

  7. Norma says

    This recipe was absolutely amazing. My husband could not stop raving about it. I followed it almost exactly except I used the tiny golden potatoes cut in half and a white onion instead of red. I love celery so I used 2 cups. The gravy it makes is scrumptious. I served it over jasmine rice cooked in a rice steamer.
    What a hit!!

  8. ANNA MARIE DELEON says

    Hi Jessica, I have a duo mini. Will the recipe work on this? Or can I use the recipe on the crockpot? I’m really anxious to try this recipe for tomorrow family dinner.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I think it would work for a 4 quart duo but not a 3 quart. You want to leave at least 1/3 headspace. I have a slow cooker beef stew recipe on my website too!

  9. Lonnie Rott says

    I’m thinking of buying an Instant Pot.
    –Do the meat dishes make actual gravy or just a broth?
    — Would it be worth buying for two light eaters? Would I cut the ingredients in half?
    –Can any meats be used frozen?

  10. Katie says

    Delicious!! We are new to the instant pot and I appreciate that your recipe includes reminders about how to use the pot.

  11. Elaine says

    Excellent. The potatoes mostly fell apart however. I added a splash of red wine, Worcestershire sauce and dried basil and oregano. I halved the salt and used low sodium beef stock.

  12. Joel says

    20 minutes too long. Potatoes and carrots got mushy. Either cut down to 15 minutes or flip the pressure relief to stop cooking. Flavor was great.

  13. Beth says

    Just finished eating this stew! Excellent! Thank you for the detailed steps in the recipe. I am a newbie!
    Meat was so tender and veggies were perfect! My husband told me this recipe is a keeper! Thank you!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Guy- I would say to try keeping the cooking time to 20 minutes, the enclosed chamber should cook it similarly since it’s cut in cubed. Please let me know how it goes!

  14. Lonnie says

    I love anything with vinegar and can’t wait to try this! I’ll check out your cookbook too thanks to the rave reviews.

  15. Claire says

    Thanks for sharing this recipe. I wonder, though, if I did something wrong. I used a chuck roast, and my stew came out very greasy and the vegetables were too soft and actually almost mushy. In retrospect, it makes sense that veggies would not take as long as beef to cook — so how do you manage a one-pot meal when the ingredients demand such varying cooking times? And should I have trimmed all the fat off the beef before cooking?

    The flavor was great, though, and the beef was very tender. This was one of my first time using the Instant Pot, so I’m looking forward to more cooking adventures!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Claire- When cutting up a chuck roast I do trimm off any overly excess fat so it’s not as greasy. I also might try cutting the potatoes larger so it takes a longer to cook. Hopefully this can balance out the beef cooking and vegetable cooking times. Let me know how it goes:)

  16. Trish G says

    First ever meal in my new Instant Pot. Your simple directions and easy ingredient list made this a dream! Everything cooked to perfection and my husband even complemented the carrots being “done right”! Thank you! I’ll be coming back to your site for more delicious, easy, basic Instant Pot recipes.

  17. Deneen says

    So I never want to be one of those people that says, “hey awesome recipe except that I didn’t do this and I didn’t do that and I added this and I added that and I changed this and I changed that, but great recipe”… they drive me bonkers! ………… 😉
    All that being said I was actually unexpectedly out of soy sauce so I substituted Worcestershire sauce.( It was the only thing I could think of that would go well with beef and substitute in consistency for soy sauce! ) I must tell you this was also my very first time using my instant pot, and I love this recipe! Thank you thank you thank you thank you !!

  18. Jessica says

    This is a great recipe! Made this tonight and it was my first time using an instapot and it was perfect! I did not have enough beef stock so I used a can of cream of mushroom soup at the end in place of the slurry and it was amazing! Great recipe and thank you for the great instructions that made this so simple!

  19. Jennifer Simmons says

    I just received an IP for Christmas and this is the first recipe I tried. This is absolutely delicious. My family devoured it. The meat was so tender and I couldn’t believe how easy and fast this recipe is. I give it 5 stars!

  20. Trevor Chase says

    I made this tonight, and holy crow! This was super delicious and extremely easy to make in a quarter of the time of a traditional beef stew. Even my picky son ate his whole bowl!! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  21. Aleksandra says

    Hello Jessica,
    To make the mashed potatoes, did you pull them out before making the sauce or after?
    Looking forward to trying it 🙂

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi There! The mashed potatoes were a separate recipe that I added for the photos. However, you could totally separate the potatoes from the other stew ingredients after cooking and mashed them 🙂 Great idea!

  22. Helen says

    Hi Jessica, can I use my Insta por mini to try this recipe? That is 3 quarts I believe. I am really exited to try for 2 people.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Helen- You don’t want the pot to be more than 2/3 full, so I would recommend reducing all of the ingredients by half if you are going to use a 3 quart size. Let me know how it turns out!

  23. Toni says

    Just got my instant pot & this was the first recipe I tried……. OMG!
    It’s the best, we really loved it. Thank you so much for your recipe & instructions. Can’t wait to try more. Thnx.

  24. Katie says

    This recipe looks delicious and I hope to try it soon! Do you realize you have it tagged at gluten free when it isn’t? Perhaps you should include in the notes that you must specifically use gluten free sounds sauce for the recipe to meet this dietary restriction, similarly to how you noted the Paleo and Whole 30 changes?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Katie, thanks for your feedback! I’ve updated the recipe notes to suggest gluten-free options for the soy sauce 🙂

  25. Nelson Guimond says

    Best beef stew I’ve ever made. The only thing is you can triple the prep time. You have to remember we don’t have a sous chef to do the peeling and dicing. Nevertheless it was well worth it and I will certainly try your other recipes Jessica. Merci Beaucoup!

  26. Heather S. says

    OMG. This recipe is AMAZING. It was the very first thing I tried in my brand new instant pot, and I am never going back to my old ways of stew-making! This even surpasses my Mom’s beef stew, and that was a very high bar to beat, let me tell you. I’ve never had such flavorful, tender, creamy stew. Thank you SO MUCH for such a great, well-written recipe!!! Your instructions have just the right amount of detail for even a brand-new Instant Pot user. The only thing I changed (aside from having a little bit more beef than the recipe called for) was to double the cornstarch slurry as someone else did, finding that I needed it to get it to thicken properly. But WOW… WOW. Absolutely incredible. I will be following your site/blog and trying out more of your recipes. I’m so wildly impressed!

  27. Falecia says

    I saw all the reviews and had to try this as my first instant pot meal! I’m making this and I left the balsamic vinegar in, is that the correct way to make it?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Falecia! Yes, you add it when you are sauteeing to deglaze the pan which should concentrate the volume and flavor, then add the other ingredients and pressure cook 🙂

  28. Mark M says

    I am a subscriber and my family loves your recipes. Bailed me out of many meal decisions! Thanks for all your help and recommendations!

  29. Peggy says

    Thank-you for the simple instructions. This is my first InstaPot meal so I was super nervous. Success!!!
    Now much more confident.
    Excellent meal

  30. RC says

    What a delicious, nutricious, and quick meal. My family really enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I even made a 2nd batch for “leftovers” because it was so easy to make.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Shelley- How big is your instant pot? Mine is 6 quarts and I don’t think I would be able to double the recipe. You don’t want to fill the pressure cooker more than about 1/2 full.

  31. Sara says

    This was SO tasty! We put it on top of cauliflower mashed potatoes. I did however need to double the corn starch slurry and found that the overall cooking time and prep time was much longer than what was listed. This won’t deter me from making this again, it was that good! I’ll just make sure to give myself plenty of time when making it.

    • Jen says

      Make sure you have it set to HIGH pressure. I had mine still set to LOW pressure from a previous recipe. OOPS! I had to adjust the setting and cook it again.

  32. Rebecca says

    Made this today and loved it! I was a little nervous that the recipe wouldn’t taste as good as similar recipes I’ve done in a slow cooker, but it was perfect – it tasted like it had been in the slow cooker all day! The meat was perfectly tender while the potatoes and vegetables where soft but not mushy. This recipe was wonderful – thank you, Jessica!

  33. Piona says

    The steps are solid. I personally do not enjoy the strong acidic taste of balsamic vinegar in my stew so I would sub with tomato sauce instead. Thank you for the recipe.

  34. Larry & Margaret Battaglia says

    We don’t have a real lot to do and so rather enjoy the time and aromas from old fashioned cooking. I did mention that we would get your cookbook thru Amazon. Then all we have to do is talk ourselves into buying an instant-pot…?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      When I have time, I definitely agree that low and slow cooking is the best! I can’t wait to hear what you think about the book 🙂 The instant pot is definitely a neat appliance to give a try!