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Instant Pot Beef Stew

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Instant Pot Beef Stew is a family classic. It’s ready in a fraction of the time when you use an Instant Pot instead of the traditional Crock-Pot! 

a bowl of Instant Pot beef stew on a blue napkin

The tastiest Instant Pot beef stew recipe

It’s fall, which means that we’re swapping our sundresses for scarves and our sorbets for soups. This Instant Pot Beef Stew recipe has been super highly requested.

It’s the perfect union of fall’s best ingredients: luscious potatoes, fresh carrots, and savory chuck roast. It’s tied together in perfect harmony with creamy tomato paste and a hint of acidity from red wine vinegar. 

This pressure cooker beef stew gives you fork-tender stew meat that’s perfect for a cozy bread bowl on a nippy fall evening.

two bowls of beef stew made in the Instant Pot

How to make beef stew in an Instant Pot

To make a really good beef stew in an Instant Pot, there’s one key step that you can’t skip: browning the meat. If you don’t brown the meat before adding the broth, your end product just won’t be as good!

Step 1: Prep the stew meat for the Instant Pot

To prepare your meat, toss the stew meat with flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I use a large gallon sized bag (or other container). Shake things around until each piece is completely covered in the seasoned flour.

 As you’re doing this, set your Instant Pot to saute mode and allow it to heat up.

ingredients for Instant Pot beef stew

Step 2: Brown the stew meat

Add oil to your Instant Pot and wait until it’s hot and shiny. If you don’t wait until the oil is hot, you’ll just get oily beef—not good. We want browned beef. And your Instant Pot will help! When it reads “hot,” your oil is likely ready to go. Taking care not to overcrowd the pot, add the floured pieces of beef in a single layer. If all of your meat doesn’t fit, brown the meat in batches.

Sear the beef for five minutes on one side (or until very browned), then flip and repeat. Remove the meat to a separate bowl. 

Step 3: Deglaze the pot

The empty pot that has some oil and beef bits stuck to the bottom. Immediately add the onion, soy sauce, worchestire sauce, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, salt, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Scrape all of those browned beef bits off of the bottom of the pot. 

Keep stirring constantly to prevent your tomato paste from burning. Continue stirring until the onions are soft, about 7 minutes. Pour in the beef broth and scrape all the browned bits off of the bottom of the pot.

an Instant Pot with a ladle holding beef stew

Step 4: Create the stew

At this point, you should be looking at a big pot of seasoned broth. Add in the potatoes, carrots, browned meat, and any juices left behind by the meat (lots of flavor there!). Stir completely, then turn off saute mode. 

Put the lid onto the Instant Pot and turn the knob to sealing. Pressure cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Allow a 20 minute natural pressure release. 

Once your stew is cooked, give it a quick stir and adjust the salt to taste. It’s ready to serve!

A note on liquids: broth, vinegar, and wine 

Different beef broths will have varying flavor notes and amounts of salt. I recommend starting with 1 ½ teaspoons of salt in the recipe. Add more after pressure cooking if it lacks a certain depth and flavor. I also recommend adding beef flavored Better than Bouillon to bolster the flavor if you find that it’s still lacking.

If you’re a big balsamic vinegar fan, feel free to use it here! It’ll supply a flavor that’s quite different than if you’d used red wine vinegar; the best way to describe it is to say that it’s just deeper.

You can substitute one cup of red wine for one cup of beef broth.

a closeup of a bowl of beef stew with bread, parsley, and salad

Frequently Asked Questions

How to use Instant Pot beef stew?

Instant Pot beef stew is arguably best that first night right out of the pot; however, it’s practically just as good reheated. Make a big batch and leave the leftovers in the fridge. it’s easy for kids and spouses to reheat throughout the week for an easy meal or snack.

Instant Pot beef stew is also easy to serve in a variety of ways. I love it as a main dish with a fresh green salad on the side. It’s also great served inside fresh sourdough bread bowls, or as a side with another entree!

I take Instant Pot beef stew and add Japanese curry roux to it the next day. Serve over rice.

How long to cook Instant Pot beef stew

Instant Pot beef stew will take about 50 minutes to cook plus prep time. I’d recommend setting aside about 1.5 hours from start to finish (but only 30 of those minutes will require active effort on your part!)

Do I have to brown the meat for beef stew?

While browning the meat before cooking it isn’t strictly necessary, I highly recommend it! Searing the mean adds all the flavor to the stew that is impossible to replicate without. With that said, don’t be afraid to make this stew if you don’t have time to brown the meat! It will still turn out delicious. 

closeup of a bowl of beef stew

How do you fix runny beef stew/ how to thicken Instant Pot beef stew

You’ve just finished your beef stew, but it’s too runny! What now? Can you thicken beef stew after it’s cooked? If you’re not someone who loves a brothier soup, this might feel like a disaster. Thankfully, it’s an easy fix! You can easily thicken a runny beef stew with a simple cornstarch slurry or some mashed potatoes. 

This Instant Pot beef stew recipe was thick enough for me without adding additional thickeners. However, if you’d prefer a thicker beef stew, you may add a cornstarch slurry. Combine 2-3 tablespoons of cornstarch with equal parts cold water. Stir together and drizzle into a simmering stew. Stir until the stew is thickened.

If you decide to use mashed potatoes to thicken your stew, you can take dry mashed potato flakes. Sprinkle them into the stew 1 tablespoon at a time. If you happen to have any leftover mashed potatoes, you can stir those into the soup to thicken.

Should I add cornstarch thickening at the start or at the end of the stew?

Always add cornstarch at the end of the cooking process. Adding cornstarch at the start of the cooking process could result in a stew that’s too thick. It may also be too thick for the Instant Pot to come to pressure, causing a burn notice.

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About Lisa

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Lisa Childs is the food blogger behind Tried, Tested, and True. Join the hundreds of thousands of people each month that learn from Lisa-

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Instant Pot Beef Stew with two pictures of a bowl of beef stew.
Instant Pot beef stew with bread

Instant Pot Beef Stew

Yield: 5
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Instant Pot Beef Stew is a family classic, and it’s ready in a fraction of the time when you use an Instant Pot instead of the traditional Crock-Pot! 

Ingredients

Meat

  • 1 lb stew meat or chuck roast, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Stew

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced (2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Worchestire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 3 cups red or russet potatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup carrots, diced or whole baby carrots

Instructions

    1. Press the saute button on the Instant Pot and adjust to High heat.
    2. In a large bag or container with lid, toss stew meat with flour, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Shake until each piece is thoroughly covered.
    3. Add the oil to the Instant Pot and wait until the oil is hot and shiny. When the Instant Pot reads "Hot," add the floured beef pieces in a single layer, careful not to overcrowd. Sear 5 minutes on one side, then flip and sear another 5 minutes or until very browned. Remove the meat to a separate bowl.
    4. To the hot pot, immediately add the onion, soy sauce, worchestire sauce, red wine vinegar, tomato paste, salt, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Scrape all the browned bits off the bottom of the pot and stir constantly to avoid burning the tomato paste. Saute the onions until soft, about 7 minutes.
    5. Pour in the beef broth and scrape any remaining browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the potatoes, carrots, and reserved meat and any juices to the pot and stir completely.
    6. Turn off saute mode. Put the lid on the Instant Pot, turn the knob to sealing, and pressure cook on high pressure for 30 minutes. Allow a 20 minute natural pressure release.
    7. Open the lid and stir. Add salt to taste and serve.

Notes

You may use an additional pound of stew meat (2lb) to this recipe for more protein.

If you'd like to replace the red wine vinegar with balsamic vinegar, you'll get a deeper, different flavor.

You may substitute a cup of red wine for one cup of beef broth in this recipe.

Different beef broths will have varying flavor notes and amounts of salt. I recommend starting with 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt in the recipe and adding more after pressure cooking if it lacks a certain depth and flavor. I also recommend adding Beef flavored Better than Bouillon on bolster the flavor, if desired.

This Instant Pot beef stew recipe was thick enough for me without adding additional thickeners. If you'd prefer a thicker beef stew, you may add a cornstarch slurry by combining 2-3 tablespoons of cornstarch with equal parts cold water. Stir together and drizzle into a simmering stew. Stir until thickened.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 407Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 1498mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 5gSugar: 5gProtein: 34g

Did you make this recipe?

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Denise Wilson

Tuesday 6th of September 2022

Thank you Lisa for all you do! Tried this recipe for beef stew it was excellent a family hit!

Joli

Sunday 8th of May 2022

Can you cut recipes in half for just 2 person size with left overs and use 3 qt size pot?

Lisa Childs

Monday 9th of May 2022

Yes, you could do that!

Bridget

Monday 20th of December 2021

When do you add the beef back in?

Lisa Childs

Monday 7th of March 2022

Hi Bridget! It goes back in in step 5 as noted!

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