My Instant Pot Beef Stew recipe is the epitome of comfort food. This hearty stew, made with tender chunks of beef and a medley of vegetables, is cooked to perfection in an electric pressure cooker. Using an Instant Pot reduces the cooking time significantly, allowing you to enjoy homemade beef stew in just a fraction of the time it would take using traditional methods. This recipe is perfect for anyone looking to prepare a delicious, comforting meal without spending hours in the kitchen.

Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipe - This easy pressure cooker beef stew is a hearty family meal that tastes AMAZING!

What is Instant Pot Beef Stew

Instant Pot Beef Stew is a classic beef stew recipe adapted for cooking in an Instant Pot. This method combines high-pressure cooking with natural pressure release to tenderize beef stew meat and meld the flavors of fresh herbs, vegetables, and beef broth. It’s a favorite instant pot recipe among many home cooks due to its simplicity and the delicious results it consistently delivers.

Why This Recipe Works

This Instant Pot Beef Stew recipe is great because it makes cooking quick and easy, but still gives you a stew that tastes like it took all day to make. Using the Instant Pot means the beef gets really tender in less time. Browning the meat first adds a lot of good flavor, and the mix of herbs, Worcestershire sauce, and tomato paste makes the stew taste rich and hearty. It’s a simple way to make a delicious meal that everyone will enjoy.

How to Make Instant Pot Beef Stew

Making beef stew in an Instant Pot is a straightforward process. Here’s what you need:

Ingredients

  • 2 to 2 ½ lbs. beef stew meat
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions
  • 3 large carrots, thick diagonal cut
  • 2 celery ribs, thick diagonal cut
  • 1 lb. baby red potatoes, quartered or halved
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipe - This easy pressure cooker beef stew is a hearty family meal that tastes AMAZING!

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step One: Season the beef stew meat with salt and pepper, then coat it evenly with cornstarch.

Step Two: Use the sauté function of the Instant Pot to melt the butter, then add the coated beef and sear it on all sides. This step is crucial for creating a rich flavor base with the browned bits at the bottom of the pot.

Step Three: Deglaze the pot with beef broth, ensuring to scrape all the browned bits off the bottom with a wooden spoon. This step infuses the stew with much flavor.

Step Four: Add the Worcestershire sauce, paprika, fresh herbs, bay leaf, onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, brown sugar, and tomato paste to the pot, gently stirring to combine.

Step Five: Secure the lid of the Instant Pot, ensuring the valve is in the sealing position. Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes.

Step Six: After the cook time ends, allow the Instant Pot to perform a natural pressure release for 10 minutes before moving the valve to the venting position for a quick release of any remaining pressure.

Step Seven: Remove the bay leaf, and serve the stew warm, possibly with crusty bread on the side.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Meat: You can use beef chuck roast or rump roast cut into 1-inch pieces instead of pre-cut stew meat.
  • Vegetables: Experiment with adding sweet potatoes, green beans, or corn.
  • Flavor Enhancers: A splash of dry red wine or balsamic vinegar can be added for a richer flavor.
  • Thickening the Stew: Mix additional cornstarch with cold water and stir it into the stew for a thicker consistency.

Best Tips

  • Searing the Meat: Searing the beef in the Instant Pot using the sauté function is an extra step that shouldn’t be skipped. It caramelizes the meat, contributing significantly to the stew’s depth of flavor.
  • Scraping the Bottom: After searing the meat, deglaze the pot thoroughly with beef broth, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. These bits are packed with flavor and help prevent the burn warning.
  • Natural Release is Key: Allowing the Instant Pot to naturally release pressure for at least 10 minutes is crucial. It ensures that your beef is fork-tender and prevents the stew from being undercooked.
  • Vegetable Size Matters: Cut your vegetables into large pieces, as smaller pieces might become too mushy under the high pressure.
  • Layer Ingredients Properly: When adding the tomato paste and other ingredients, layer them correctly and avoid stirring. This helps prevent the burn warning and ensures even cooking.
Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipe - This easy pressure cooker beef stew is a hearty family meal that tastes AMAZING!

How to Store Instant Pot Beef Stew

  • Refrigeration: Store cooled stew in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Freezing: Freeze in airtight containers for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge before reheating.
  • Reheating: Reheat on the stove over medium heat or in the microwave, stirring occasionally.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this easy Instant Pot beef stew on the stovetop or in a slow cooker?

Yes, this recipe can be adapted for both stovetop and slow cooker methods. 

Stovetop Method

For stovetop beef stew, first coat and brown the beef in a large pot. Remove the beef, then sauté onions, carrots, and celery in the same pot. Deglaze with beef broth, scraping up the browned bits. Return the beef to the pot and add remaining ingredients like Worcestershire sauce, herbs, and tomato paste. Simmer covered on low heat for about 1.5 to 2 hours until the beef is tender. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

Slow Cooker Method

In the slow cooker version, brown the beef in a skillet after coating with cornstarch, then transfer it to the slow cooker. Sauté onions, carrots, and celery in the same skillet, then deglaze with beef broth and add to the slow cooker. Add Worcestershire sauce, herbs, bay leaf, and other ingredients. Cook on low for 7-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

What pairs well with beef stew?

Beef stew is excellent with crusty bread, over mashed potatoes, or with a side of rice.

How can I make my stew gluten-free?

Use a gluten-free cornstarch or flour alternative for thickening, and ensure your Worcestershire sauce is gluten-free.

Can I add more herbs to the stew?

Absolutely! Feel free to include Italian seasoning or other herbs you prefer for additional flavor.

Instant Pot Beef Stew is an easy, satisfying meal that brings the classic comfort of a homemade stew to your table in a fraction of the time. It’s perfect for a hearty dinner and even better the next day. Enjoy this delicious beef stew, one of the best Instant Pot beef recipes you can make for your family!

Easy Instant Pot Recipes

Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipe

Instant Pot Beef Stew

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

A hearty beef stew with beef and vegetables that comes together in your pressure cooker in no time flat!

Ingredients

  • 2 to 2 ½ lbs. pounds beef stew meat
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions
  • 3 large carrots, thick diagonal cut
  • 2 celery ribs, thick diagonal cut
  • 1 lb. baby red potatoes, quartered or halved (depending on size)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

Instructions

  1. Place the stew meat in a bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add cornstarch and toss to thoroughly coat the meat.
  2. Set the Instant Pot to sauté function; add the butter when the pot is hot. When the butter begins to sizzle, add the stew meat and sear on all sides. This is to brown the meat (giving it flavor), and should only take a few minutes total. You do not need to fully cook the meat at this phase.
  3. Deglaze the pot using the beef broth, taking care to fully scrape all of the flavorful bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Hit cancel on the Instant Pot.
  4. Add the Worcestershire sauce, paprika, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, brown sugar and tomato paste. Stir to combine the ingredients.
  5. Close the lid and set the valve to the sealed position.
  6. Set Instant Pot to pressure cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. When the cook time stops, allow to naturally release for 10 minutes. After the 10-minute natural release, open the valve to release any remaining pressure.
  7. Remove bay leaf, serve, and enjoy!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 bowl
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 668Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 288mgSodium: 884mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 95g