Instant Pot Beef Stew
Instant Pot Beef Stew is a simple, hearty dish that’s full of cozy flavors. Tender beef, potatoes and carrots are tossed in a savory gravy that’s ready in less than an hour. This easy meal will quickly become a dinner time favorite all year long!
When the weather gets cold, I want comfort food to the max. This pesto chicken noodle soup, that Instant Pot Spaghetti and this macaroni and cheese have been on repeat around here this winter. It’s warm, cozy, and hits the spot.
And because the weather won’t be warming up anytime soon, I’m debuting another favorite meal of mine, this Instant Pot beef stew recipe.
I love beef stew any time of the year, but I especially crave it in the winter. And now that I’m a pro at sharing easy Instant Pot dinners with you (have you tried this chicken pesto pasta or that soup yet?), this one might just be my new favorite.
Beef stew in the Instant Pot has that simmer all day, tender, pull-apart beef taste, but is ready in less than an hour. How about that for busy weeknights? If you’re short on time or don’t feel like pulling out your slow cooker, this beef stew made in the Instant Pot is the way to go.
And the best part about this pressure cooker beef stew is that it’s made with simple ingredients and can be customized depending on what you like.
Ingredients in Instant Pot Stew
To make this Instant Pot recipe for beef stew, you’ll need the following:
- Olive oil
- Beef stew meat
- Spices (salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf)
- Beef broth
- Tomato paste
- Worcestershire sauce
- White onion
- Baby potatoes
How to Make Instant Pot Beef Stew
This Instant Pot stew recipe is one of easiest meals that I’ve made in a while. The hardest part is peeling the carrots and slicing the potatoes!
- Sear the beef stew meat or a chuck roast cut into chunks in some olive oil and spices. While you can certainly skip this step if you’re short on time, searing the meat will give it more depth of flavor.
- After the meat is seared on all sides, add some beef broth (I used a low sodium kind to reduce the salt) and scrape the bottom of the pot. This helps get those browned bits that are stuck on the bottom and will also help so that you don’t get a ‘burn warning’ on your Instant Pot.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Cook as directed in the recipe card below.
- Once the timer goes off, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then do a quick release. Remove the lid and discard the bay leaf.
- If you prefer thicker gravy, combine some cornstarch and water in a small bowl and then stir into the stew. Simmer (use the ‘saute’ button) for about 2-3 minutes, or until the gravy starts to thicken. Turn off the Instant Pot and let sit for about 5 minutes.
How Long to Cook Beef Stew in the Instant Pot
Secure the lid and use the ‘meat/stew’ function to cook for 35 minutes. If your pressure cooker doesn’t have this option, you can use the ‘manual’ button and set on high pressure for 35 minutes. Remember that it will take the Instant Pot about 15 minutes to come to pressure and then will count down from there.
How to Thicken Beef Stew in the Instant Pot
A simple mixture of equal parts of cornstarch and water thickens the beef stew gravy wonderfully. It’s important to mix the two together before you add it to the stew.
If you don’t have any cornstarch on hand, you can add 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour to 2 cups of water and whisk together. Then, add that to the gravy and whisk to combine.
Another easy method would be to remove half of the vegetables from the Instant Pot and then pulse in a blender or food processor until broken down and thick. Add the mixture back to the stew and stir to combine.
What to Serve with Beef Stew
- Crusty bread! I like to buy some fresh bakery bread from my local grocery store and serve it alongside this stew.
- Cornbread! Whether you like buttermilk, honey or southwest cornbread, any kind will do.
- White or brown rice! It’s ready in minutes and is perfect for soaking up that extra gravy.
- A fresh salad! The greens compliment the stew wonderfully.
Can You Freeze Beef Stew?
Yes! Let the easy Instant Pot beef stew come to room temperature and then seal in an airtight container for up to three months. Once ready to serve, let thaw and then reheat on the stove or in the microwave.
Recipe Variations to Try
- Adjust your seasonings! Feel free to increase the amount of garlic powder or Italian seasoning. Add in some onion powder or oregano for more taste.
- Stir in caramelized onions! You can caramelize your onions when searing the meat and then removing to another plate while the stew cooks. Alternatively, you can caramelize them while the stew is cooking.
- Swap in some roasted garlic for garlic powder for more flavor.
- Add a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar for extra flavor.
Tips for the Best Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Use the pre-cut beef stew meat that you can find in your grocery store. While you can certainly buy a chuck roast and cut into chunks, using the beef stew meat saves time because it’s already cubed for you.
- Peel and chop your veggies before you sear the meat. This way, once it comes time to add the rest of the ingredients to the meat, you can just dump the veggies in.
- Use baby potatoes for ease (and deliciousness). I used a pound of baby potatoes and halved them. This count down on time from using red potatoes and peeling and/or chopping them.
- Use baby/petite carrots. While I used regular carrots and peeled them before chopping, baby carrots can be used for convenience.
Looking for more easy beef dinners? I’ve got you covered!
- Chili with Pasta
- Pepperoni Pizza Hamburger Helper
- Cheesy Beef Tortellini Skillet
- Easy Shepherd’s Pie
- Creamy Ground Beef Pasta
Instant Pot Beef Stew
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1½-2 pounds beef stew meat OR beef chuck roast, , cut into chunks
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
- 3 cups beef broth
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 small white onion, , roughly cut into small chunks
- 4 medium carrots, , peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 pound baby potatoes, , halved
- 1 bay leaf
To thicken gravy:
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- Set Instant Pot to 'saute' setting. Once pot is hot, add olive oil. Add beef, followed by salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, thyme, and rosemary. Stir beef mixture around to coat with seasonings and then let brown for several minutes on all sides. Press the 'cancel' button once beef is browned.
- Add beef broth to beef and scrape the bottom of the pot with a spoon to get the browned bits unstuck from the bottom of pot.
- Add tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, onions, carrots, and potatoes. Stir well. Top with bay leaf.
- Cover, place into lock position and make sure the valve is in the 'sealing' position. Press the 'meat/stew' button and make sure timer is set for 35 minutes. If your pressure cooker does not have that button, press the 'manual' button and set the timer for 35 minutes on high pressure. **Remember that it will take the IP about 15 minutes to come to pressure and then will count down from 35 minutes**
- When the timer goes off, let the pot do a natural release for 5 minutes. Then, do a quick release by turning the valve to the venting position and letting steam release until the pin drops. I like to place a folded kitchen towel over the valve so that it catches the steam. Remove lid and discard bay leaf.
- To thicken gravy, mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl. Whisk into stew, press the 'saute' function and let simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly thicken, stirring gently. Press the 'cancel' button and let stew sit for several minutes to cool and thicken.