Hearty, wholesome, and downright scrumptious Instant Pot Beef Stew. Full of rich, beefy flavor and loaded with vegetables; this will be a winner for the whole family!
My name is Marci and I hate beef stew.
Clarification: I've hated beef stew my entire life because the only way I had experienced it was from a can and in an elementary school lunchroom.
I've had several requests for a good Instant Pot Beef Stew recipe over the years, but had ZERO motivation to create it until one Instant Pot Roast and Mashed Potato Sunday.
As I shamelessly poured more than my share of gravy over my potatoes and licked my plate clean, I thought, “Dang, this gravy would make an incredible base for a stew. . .”
But wait, isn't beef stew supposed to be made with the questionable packs of “stew meat” that I will never buy again after a horrendously gristly beef stroganoff attempt?
Would it be a sin to rebel against the Beef Stew rules?
As I ladled the last bit of gravy into a cup and sipped on it while I did the dishes (don't judge), I thought, “Yep, it's time. Time to break beef stew rules and make Pot Roast Beef Stew.”
So that's what I did!
I took the best Pot Roast recipe I've ever tasted in my long life of Sunday Pot Roast, and turned it into the best darn Beef Stew recipe I could possibly imagine.
If you are one of the individuals who requested a Beef Stew recipe, well then, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! It is here.
And if you dislike beef stew from previous traumatic beef stew tastings, hold my hand – you are safe with this here recipe. Trust.
Heads up: This particular beef stew is not “Instant”. I tried, I really did, but I just couldn't achieve the meat tenderness and flavor when I cut the cook time down. However, this is HANDS OFF COOKING, friends. Not “Instant” but still “easy”. You can do this.
WHY YOU WILL LOVE INSTANT POT BEEF STEW
- MEGA FLAVOR: All the incredible, well-seasoned flavors of my favorite pot roast in a silky, savory stew, loaded to the brim with hunks of tender meat and soft veggies.
- TENDER, JUICY MEAT: While this recipe isn't exactly “Instant”, it is worth every hands-off minute to get that meat tender and the broth loaded with beefy, rich flavor. No gristly, chewy stew meat here!
- LOADED: No snide “soup is not a meal” comments from my hubby on this one! This bowl is packed to the brim with meat and perfectly tender vegetables. Add a hunk of bread to soak up the broth and you most definitely have a “MEAL”.
- FAMILY FRIENDLY: I don't understand it. My kids won't eat a carrot to save their life, but put it in beef stew and all of a sudden it's the best vegetable in the world. And if by chance they don't like something in the stew, the chunks are big enough to pick out without microscopic tweezers.
HOW TO MAKE BEEF STEW IN THE PRESSURE COOKER
- Cover meat in special seasoning mix
- Sear the meat on all sides (or at least two sides)
- Set meat aside and scrape up browned bits with a splash of broth, then add meat back to the pot with liquids and seasonings; cook meat
- When meat is done, set aside and pressure cook vegetables
- Thicken sauce with cornstarch slurry
- Stir in shredded meat and peas
SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR DETAILED COOKING INSTRUCTIONS
TIPS FOR MAKING THE BEST BEEF STEW
- PLAN AHEAD: I plan about 3 hours from start to finish for this stew. This allows for the 90 minute pressure cook time, plus a natural release (which I prefer with roasts). Yes, I know that feels long for a pressure cooker recipe, but, again, the majority of this is hands-off cooking. Once the roast is done, it will come together quickly at the end.
- TYPE OF MEAT: I personally prefer using rump roast because it is leaner and less greasy than a chuck roast. Chuck roast works and tastes great, just be aware your final product will be more oily. This can be remedied by using a fat separator like I mention in the recipe card below (which I also use with the rump roast).
- RESERVE THE EXTRA SEASONINGS: As instructed in the recipe, reserve any extra spices that don't adhere to the meat before searing. These seasonings will be added back to the pot to ensure rich, deep flavor in your stew.
- BROWN THE MEAT: Yep, I hate it too, and I only stress it when it matters. If you want that deep, meaty flavor, you're just gonna have to do it. If you want “still good, but not the BEST” beef stew, well then, you can skip the browning step.
- SHRED MEAT: Since we're using a whole roast vs stew meat, you get the choice of how you want your meat for the stew. I like to shred the meat into large pieces that I can fork away at while I eat the stew. If you like smaller, single bite pieces, shred it smaller!
- DEGREASE THE STEW: An overly greasy stew can be really unappetizing. After the meat has cooked, use a fat separator to get rid of excess oil before cooking the vegetables. If you don't have a fat separator this can also be done by skimming the top with a large spoon.
- RESERVE SOME MEAT: There is plenty of meat in the recipe for the super carnivorous eaters out there. If you prefer a higher ratio of vegetables to meat, simply stir in only half of the meat into the stew and reserve the other half for sandwiches like this Italian Beef or French Dip.
HOW TO STORE, REHEAT, AND FREEZE BEEF STEW
- Store: Cool leftovers then store in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Reheat: Stew reheats well in the microwave or on the stovetop.
- Freeze: Scoop leftover stew into a freezer safe ziptop bag and freeze flat for up to three months. When ready to eat, let thaw overnight in the fridge, then reheat as directed above.
MAKE AHEAD TIPS FOR BEEF STEW
- Prep seasoning mix and store in a jar until ready to use.
- Roast can be cooked, shredded, and stored in the fridge up to 3 days in advance. When ready to make stew, add only the roast liquids back to the pot, cook the vegetables, then stir meat in at the end to reheat. Less than 20-minute meal, yay!
WHAT TO SERVE WITH BEEF STEW
- Crusty Bread: A must for dunking! Go with this Rosemary Asiago Crusty Bread.
- Corn Bread: Try this Cheesy Corn Bread or go for these cute little Honey Cornbread Muffins.
- Salad: I like to go simple with a bowl of romaine, tomatoes, shredded cheese, croutons, and ranch dressing.
VARIATIONS OF BEEF STEW
- MIX UP THE VEGGIES: For a twist, use parsnips instead of carrots, sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes, or caramelized onions instead of pearl onions. Adding sliced cabbage would also be a delicious way to amp up the vegetables.
- SPICY BEEF STEW: You know I like to go spicy when I can. A few shakes of red pepper flakes will give the stew some nice heat.
Whether you're a long time fan of Beef Stew or have been disappointed by one too many bad versions like myself, I'd love for you to give this one a try! It's hearty and comforting and I feel sure you and your family will love it as much as we do.
MORE INSTANT POT BEEF RECIPES
TOOLS/INGREDIENTS USED TO MAKE INSTANT POT BEEF STEW
Instant Pot Beef Stew
Wholesome, hearty, Instant Pot Beef Stew to warm your heart and soul
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 90 minutes
- Total Time: 2.5 hours
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Entree
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: American
- 3 pounds beef roast cut into 4–5 chunks (use rump or chuck – see notes)
- 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon dried basil
- 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- ½ tablespoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 cups low sodium beef broth – divided
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 8-ounce tomato sauce – no salt added
- 3 carrots, sliced into coins
- 2 Yukon or russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 cups frozen pearled onions
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 3 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Place the chunks of roast on a large piece of foil for easy cleanup. Combine salt, basil, rosemary, onion powder, oregano, garlic powder, and black pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle the seasonings over the meat and press the seasonings into all sides of the roast. If there are any leftover seasonings that won't stick to the roast, do not discard them, just leave them on the foil (they will be added into the pot in step 6).
- Select saute or brown on the pressure cooker. When it says “HOT” add oil.
- Add meat and brown at least 2 sides of each chunk, about 4 minutes per side.
- Turn the pressure cooker off.
- Remove beef from the pot and set on a plate.
- Pour 2 cups of beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, tomato sauce, and any remaining seasonings into the pot and scrape up the browned bits from the bottom. Return beef to the pot.
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 90 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, unplug the pressure cooker and use a full natural release. May release pressure after 10 minutes if needed, but the meat will be more tender if you wait.
- Set beef on a cutting board to rest.
- Optional for a less greasy stew: Pour drippings from the pot into a fat separator then pour it back into the pot, discarding the fat. If you don’t have a fat separator, you can skim the top of the liquid with a spoon to remove some of the fat, or just skip this step.
- Add carrots, potatoes, and pearl onions to the pot. Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 4 minutes.
- While the vegetables cook, shred or cut the meat into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
- When cooking is complete, quick release the pressure.
- Combine cornstarch and water in a small cup. Using the saute function, bring the stew to a simmer and whisk vigorously as you pour in the cornstarch slurry.
- Continue stirring for 1-2 minutes as it thickens. Unplug the pressure cooker.
- Stir shredded meat and peas into the pot and add 1 – 2 cups of beef broth, until the soup is the desired consistency.
- Taste and season with extra salt and pepper, if needed.
- For the roast, I prefer rump because it has less fat and gristle than a chuck. A chuck will be slightly more tender, but the long cook time ensures a tender rump roast.
- Skipping the browning step will be okay, but will affect the depth of the stew’s flavor.
- Plan on about the 3 hours from start to finish for the stew. This is inactive time and will allow for a full natural pressure release for the meat. Once the meat is done, the rest of the meal will come together very quickly.
Keywords: Beef Stew, Healthy Soup, Instant Pot Soup
I made this exactly as written (and did use fat separator) and it’s the BEST beef stew I’ve ever made. Perfect flavors and the beef was so tender and delicious. Will never make another way! Thank you 😊
Shannon, Oh your comment was the best! I agree, it’s my favorite beef stew ever and I thought I would never be that big of a fan of beef stew. I’m so glad you loved it too!
A++!! I just got a high-five from my 20 year old who said this is his new favorite soup! So good and I subbed a large onion for the pearls because I had plenty on hand. This is just the best beef stew I’ve ever had by far! Thanks, Marci!!
Page, I love hearing that so much! It’s like eating your favorite gravy over stew, right, haha! And give your 20 year old a high five for me cause that made my day.
This was SO delicious!! I called Sandy as soon as we finished eating and told her to tell you how much I loved it haha
If I did a smaller roast, like 1.5 lbs. how long would I cook it for? And any change if the roast is frozen? Thanks so much!
Heather, that’s awesome, I’m so glad you liked it! It’s my favorite beef stew to date. I would do the same cook time for a smaller roast. It still needs that time to tenderize it even though you’re cooking less meat. From frozen, I add 10 minutes. I don’t know what I’d do without Sandy!
Awesome, thank you!! And Sandy is the absolute best. And I selfishly benefit from her job by getting inside tips on all the best pressure cooker recipes 😂
This one is a keeper for sure!!
The natural release allows the beef to tenderize–melt in your mouth tender! Delicious recipe and on my “favs” list now. I have learned to use my Instant Pot through your recipes, which always include that secret “tip” that makes things work. Thank you for this and your other recipes.
Debra, now that is the best compliment ever! I learned how to use an Instant Pot by cooking my way through a pressure cooking blog and it is definitely the best way to learn in my opinion. It’s 70 degrees out but you have me wanting beef stew again 🙂
Oh my gosh, my dream come true!!!! Thank you thank you for figuring this one out Marci!! I’m going to try it on Sunday!! Bless you for bending the beef stew rules 😘
Steph, let me know what you think! It’s the first time I can honestly say I love beef stew.
DELICIOUS!!! When we first started eating I burst out singing, “bless her beautiful hide!!!” Thank you thank you for figuring this one out!! It was still time intensive for sure, but I really appreciated being able to walk away and do dishes while the meat was browning. If I had done this on a stove top I would have had to stay right next to it and babysit it the whole time. But this way, even though it was time intensive, was doable!! Thank you Milly! I mean Marci! 😉
Haha! I can feel your big hug from 2 hours away 🙂 I’m glad it could make your day happier and yummier!
How much time would I cook stew pieces for?
Annie, I’ve never tried it, but I did a quick search at some other recipes and it looks like about 30 minutes for stew meat. If you try it with this recipe let me know how it goes!