Instant Pot Beef Stew

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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.

Bowl of Instant Pot beef stew served over mashed potatoes

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

By using the Instant Pot, you get to skip the hours-long process of simmering the stew over 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

Under no circumstance will you ever need to buy “stew meat” from the grocery store again. It seems so convenient, but it often ends up being a lean cut that gets dried out quickly. Plus, you don’t know what primal cut it’s coming from. I recommend using subprimal cuts from the shoulder area.

I recommend beef cuts with more connective tissue and fat such as:

  • Chuck eye roll (first choice!)
  • Chuck roll under blade
  • Chuck tender steak
  • Chuck tender roast

Beef that has been sautéed in the Instant Pot

I always sear the meat first before pressure cooking to encourage Maillard browning reaction on the surface for new flavor generation. These cuts of meat require slow cooking or braising with moist heat cooking to convert the collagen to gelatin for a tender and juicy product.

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. If you aren’t sure, don’t be afraid to ask the butcher for their advice to pick the right meat.

Ingredients for beef stew placed inside an Instant Pot

Key ingredients for instant pot beef stew

Once the beef is selected, it’s time to add in the vegetables and flavoring agents to the stew.

  • Soy sauce boosts the umami taste.
  • Balsamic vinegar enhances the flavor of the sauce with naturally occurring acids.
  • Yukon gold all-purpose potatoes hold their structure under high pressure.
  • Carrots, celery, and onion create the “holy trinity” flavor base.
  • Cornstarch adds as a gluten-free thickening agent for the sauce.

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

How long to pressure cook beef stew

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 anywhere between 239 to 248ºF (115 to 120ºC) and 10 to 12 psi (pounds per square inch).

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 to tenderize and vegetables to become more tender but not mushy.

When I served this dish to my family, it disappeared quickly with no leftovers for the next day. It is by far one of my favorite Instant Pot recipes to make. I serve this meal with homemade mashed potatoes, but cauliflower rice makes for a tasty low carb option too. Let me know what you think in the comments section below!

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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 what 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 being added to allow the starch granules to disperse, absorb and swell. If there is no agitation, the starches will clump together and become lumpy.

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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.
Pin Print Review
4.37 from 157 votes
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine American

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds beef chuck eye roll, or chuck tender roast, 1 ½-inch 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-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pound yukon gold potatoes, 1 ½-inch dice
  • 2 cups carrots, 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup celery, ½-inch dice
  • 3 cups unsalted beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup peas, fresh or frozen, defrosted

Instructions 

  • In a medium-sized bowl combine cubed beef, ½ teaspoon salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon soy sauce.
  • Select "Saute" on the Instant Pot. Allow pot to heat, it will indicate "Hot" on the display when ready.
  • Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, once hot add beef and brown on one side for 2 minutes, flip over and brown for another 2 minutes.
  • Transfer beef to a clean plate, it will not be fully cooked.
  • Add 1 tablespoon oil and onions, 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 potatoes, carrots, celery, browned beef, beef stock, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and ½ teaspoon salt, stir to combine. Press "Keep/ Warm/Cancel" on the Instant Pot. 
  • Make sure that the release valve is in the "Sealing" position. Place the lid on the Instant Pot, turn and lock.
  • Press the "Manual" button on the Instant Pot on high pressure, and then set the timer to 20 minutes using the "+" or "-" buttons. It will take about 15 minutes for the pot to heat and build up pressure. You will see some steam release from the lid, and then the time will start on the display.
  • Once cook time is complete, allow the pressure to naturally release for 15 minutes. 
  • Use an oven mitt or towel to slowly and carefully twist the steam release handle on the lid to "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 from the pot.
  • 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, stirring until the liquid thickens, 60 to 90 seconds, turn off the heat once thickened.
  • Add the peas and cook, 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Garnish stew with cilantro and serve hot with rice, cauliflower rice, or mashed potatoes.

Equipment

Notes

  • MAKE IT WHOLE30 and PALEO: Use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. Use arrowroot powder/flour instead of cornstarch.
  • MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Use coconut aminos or gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce. 

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Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Beef Stew
Amount Per Serving
Calories 366 Calories from Fat 153
% Daily Value*
Fat 17g26%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Sodium 1192mg50%
Potassium 1226mg35%
Carbohydrates 46g15%
Fiber 9g36%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 11g22%
Vitamin A 10910IU218%
Vitamin C 33.3mg40%
Calcium 564mg56%
Iron 17mg94%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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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.

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73 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. 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.

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