This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.
For those days when you’re craving a hearty comfort food meal, it doesn’t get any better than this Instant Pot Beef Stew. With tender beef, potatoes, veggies, and plenty of savory flavor, this tender beef stew is a guaranteed hit with the whole family!
Table of Contents
- Why you’ll love this Pressure Cooker Beef Stew
- Ingredients to make Instant Pot Beef Stew
- substitutions & additions
- How to make Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Prepare the beef stew meat
- How to cook Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Tips for making the best pressure Cooker Beef Stew
- What to serve with This Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipe
- How to store & reheat Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Frequently asked questions
- More Instant Pot recipes:
- Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipe
While I do love my Easy Oven Beef Stew and Stovetop Beef Stew, this Instant Pot beef stew recipe is a bit more hands-off—there’s no standing over the stovetop to stir, so everything cooks evenly. Plus, the high-pressure of the Instant Pot does a fantastic job tenderizing tough stew meat and developing depth of flavor, without the long wait required for a slow cooker.
When the weather gets chilly, pressure cooker beef stew is the perfect meal to help keep you warm and cozy. This is a recipe that will go on frequent repeat!
Why you’ll love this Pressure Cooker Beef Stew
- Hearty and filling: For a dinner that really fills you up, you simply can’t do better than this healthy Instant Pot beef stew. A combination of tender beef, vegetables, and potatoes makes it a complete (and satisfying!) one-dish meal.
- Flavorful and delicious: The high-pressure cooking method used in an Instant Pot infuses all of the ingredients with savory flavor. There’s nothing complex here, just lots of depth and richness.
- Easy clean-up: With only one pot to clean, this beef stew is perfect for those busy weeknights when you don’t have time or energy to deal with a lot of dishes.
- Classic comfort food: Like Chicken Noodle Soup, this Instant Pot beef stew recipe checks all those essential comfort food boxes—it’s the kind of dinner that warms you up from the inside out!
Ingredients to make Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Olive Oil: Or a neutral-flavored oil you like to use for cooking.
- All-Purpose Flour: This creates a nicely browned, flavorful exterior on the meat, and it also helps thicken your pressure cooker beef stew.
- Salt and Pepper: For seasoning the beef and the stew.
- Beef Stew Meat: Purchase a package of beef stew meat, or look for chuck or shoulder cuts.
- Onion, Garlic, Carrots, and Celery: These four vegetables are the base of so many classic soups and stews for good reason—they create a savory, aromatic base of flavor.
- Fresh Thyme: You’ll have some extra if you buy a package at the grocery store; here’s how to freeze fresh herbs.
- Tomato Paste: This adds tomato flavor, along with some umami. Leftover tomato paste can also be frozen!
- Worcestershire Sauce: A wonderful accompaniment to beef, Worcestershire sauce also has lots of savory, umami flavor.
- Low-Sodium Beef Stock: Using low-sodium stocks and broths gives you more control over the flavor of your recipe.
- Sun-Dried Tomatoes: The sun-dried tomatoes are not essential to this dish, but I think they add a concentrated flavor that makes this quick-cooked stew taste like it’s been braising all day.
- Baby Potatoes: If you’re using larger potatoes, cut them into quarters or sixths.
- Cornstarch: While the flour thickens your Instant Pot Beef Stew a bit, the cornstarch finishes the job.
- Frozen Peas: Not only does this add some extra veggies to the mix, the peas also give the stew a pop of color!
substitutions & additions
- Swap the peas for your favorite green vegetable of choice. Green beans, baby spinach, or chopped kale would all work well. Just simmer until the vegetable of choice is bright green and tender.
- Use sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. For a different flavor profile in this pressure cooker beef stew, try using sweet potatoes. Peel them and cut them into uniform pieces.
- Add mushrooms. Try swapping half—or all—of the potatoes with white or cremini mushrooms. Quarter larger mushrooms and halve the rest; their flavor pairs so well with beef.
- Try another broth. The high pressure of the Instant Pot will infuse any broth you use with beef flavor, so you can easily swap in mushroom broth or Homemade Vegetable Stock if you have them on hand.
- Use fresh rosemary instead of thyme. Either option works well with the flavors in this Instant Pot Beef Stew.
How to make Instant Pot Beef Stew
Here’s how easy it is to make this pressure cooker beef stew for a weeknight dinner.
Prepare the beef stew meat
- Place the beef in a shallow dish or bowl with the flour, salt, and pepper.
- Toss to coat, making sure all sides are evenly coated in the flour mixture.
How to cook Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Sauté the beef in the oil until browned on all sides. Remove from the pot.
- Add the vegetables to the pot with the remaining salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables start to soften. Stir in the thyme, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce, and cook for a minute.
- Pour in the beef stock and scrape off any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, baby potatoes, and reserved beef.
- Cook on manual high pressure, then let the pressure release naturally for a few minutes. Release the remaining pressure manually, then return the pot to the Sauté function. Remove some of the cooking liquid and transfer it to a small bowl.
- Whisk the cornstarch into the bowl of broth. Once the stew reaches a boil, add the cornstarch mixture back into the pot and cook until thickened.
- Stir in the peas and cook for another few minutes or until bright green and tender. Hit Cancel on the Instant Pot, then let the beef stew cool slightly before serving.
Tips for making the best pressure Cooker Beef Stew
- Cut the vegetables into evenly sized pieces. This is important for the carrots, celery, and onions, but it’s even more critical for the potatoes. If some of the potatoes are large and others are small, you’ll end up with some potatoes that are hard and raw-tasting while others turn to mush.
- Don’t skip the flour. You may wonder if it’s really necessary to coat the beef in flour before sautéing it, but this is one of those little tricks that makes a good beef stew recipe a great one. The flour and olive oil caramelize on the outside of the beef, which adds richness and depth to this Instant Pot beef stew.
- Use the slow natural pressure release. This is key to getting that tough stew meat to become tender and delicious. Your patience will pay off!
What to serve with This Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipe
How to store & reheat Instant Pot Beef Stew
This healthy Instant Pot beef stew makes great leftovers! As it sits in the refrigerator, the flavors develop even more. Reheat it on the stovetop for best results, or in the microwave if that’s your only option.
How long will Instant Pot Beef Stew last in the fridge?
Instant Pot Beef Stew can last up to 4 days refrigerated in an airtight container.
Can i freeze Pressure Cooker Beef Stew?
Yes, you can freeze pressure cooker beef stew for up to 3 months, either in an airtight container or freezer bag.
It’s important to note that potatoes don’t freeze very well; their texture will change after freezing and reheating, becoming mushy and grainy. This bothers some people more than others! You can always remove the potatoes before freezing, if needed.
Frequently asked questions
Why is my stew meat tough in the Instant Pot?
If your stew meat turns out tough in the Instant Pot, there are a few possible explanations. First, make sure you’re using the right type of meat for stewing—tougher cuts like chuck or shoulder work best, as they become tender when cooked at high pressure. Another common reason is not allowing enough time for natural release of pressure, which can result in tougher meat.
Does stew meat get tougher the longer you cook it?
Stew meat is rich in connective tissue, and a long cooking time (or a shorter cooking time with high pressure) helps break this down, making it tender. That said, if you continue cooking the beef for an extended time or you cook it at a high temperature, it can end up drying out and becoming tough.
What is the secret to tender stew?
To achieve a tender beef stew, you have two options: you can either cook it low and slow or you can cook it under high pressure. Both of these options will break down the tough stew meat, making it juicy and tender.
After step 4, turn the Instant Pot off. Add the lid, but make sure the vent is open. Instead of cooking under pressure, set the pot to ‘Slow Cook’ function and cook for about 4 hours on low or 8 hours on high, or until the beef is tender.
For a dinner that’s easy, satisfying, and a sure hit with the whole family, add this Instant Pot beef stew to your menu! You’ll love being able to serve a complete meal in a single bowl, and the combination of tender beef with hearty potatoes and vegetables is perfect for those chilly evenings when you’re craving simple comfort food.
More Instant Pot recipes:
- Instant Pot Beef & Broccoli
- Instant Pot Vegetable Beef Soup
- Instant Pot Vegan Lentil Chili
- Instant Pot Broccoli Soup
- Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Refried Beans
- Instant Pot Steel Cut Oats
- Instant Pot Shredded Chicken
- Instant Pot Baked Beans
- Instant Pot Butter Chicken
If you try this feel good Instant Pot Beef Stew recipe or any other recipe on Feel Good Foodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It helps others who are thinking of making the recipe. We would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots, share it on Instagram so we can repost on Stories!
Instant Pot Beef Stew
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt divided
- 1 teaspoon pepper divided
- 1 pound beef stew meat
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves chopped
- 3 carrots peeled and sliced into coins
- 3 stalks celery sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 cups low-sodium beef stock
- ¼ cup drained julienned sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 pound baby potatoes halved
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 ½ cups frozen peas
- Add olive oil to the InstantPot and set to ‘Saute”.
- In a shallow medium-sized bowl, combine flour, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add beef, tossing to evenly coat in flour. When the oil is shimmering, add beef and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until brown. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add onion, garlic, carrots and celery to the pot along with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the thyme, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce and stir to coat the vegetables. Cook for 1 minute. Add the beef stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any brown bits that have formed. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, baby potatoes, and reserved beef to the pot.
- Cook at manual high pressure for 30 minutes, then let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes. Release the remaining pressure manually, then return the pot to the “Sauté” function. Remove about ¼ cup of the cooking liquid and set in a small bowl. Add cornstarch and whisk until smooth and combined. Once the stew reaches a boil, add the cornstarch mixture back in and cook for about 2 minutes, or until thickened.
- Add the peas and cook for another 2 minutes, or until bright green and tender. Hit ‘cancel’ on the InstantPot to stop the cooking, let cool slightly, then serve.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.