This Instant Pot Beef Stew recipe is an easy, comforting dinner that’s quick to put together in the pressure cooker. Make it for dinner tonight – so yum!
This Instant Pot Beef Stew is actually nothing else but my reader-favorite Slow Cooker Beef Stew. It was born out of necessity when I had kind of forgotten about thawing the meat… And decided to try this stew in the pressure cooker. Huge success, hooray!
It’s now one of my go-to easy, comforting dinners that’s so quick to put together. With plenty of vegetables, tender beef and the best gravy you’ll ever taste – it’s a keeper for sure!
Ingredients you’ll need
Here is a visual overview of the ingredients in the recipe. Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for quantities!
- Onion: Feel free to leave out the onion if you’re not a fan. If you don’t mind the flavor, I’d personally add a teaspoon of dried onion powder if you’re not adding the fresh onion.
- Red wine: Use a dry red wine, like a Pinot Noir, a Merlot or a Cabernet Sauvignon. You can use beer instead of wine if you prefer (and if that’s the case, why not make an Instant Pot Irish Stew?). If you don’t cook with alcohol, just use more beef broth instead.
- Potatoes: Make sure to use waxy potatoes that hold their shape during cooking. Otherwise, they’ll turn into mush.
- Worcestershire sauce: This is a staple I always keep on hand. If it’s not something you normally use, you can try adding soy sauce instead.
What cut is best for stew?
For a beef stew, I prefer diced chuck roast. It gets tender and flavorful when cooked right.
Please don’t go out and spend a ton of money on expensive meat when you make this stew! Cheap stew meat will definitely do.
The instant pot will tenderize it in no time at all!
How to make beef stew in the instant pot
1. Start by browning the meat on the “sauté” setting of your instant pot. You don’t need to do this for long, and it definitely doesn’t need to cook through at this point. You just want some color on the outside.
Season with salt and pepper as it cooks, then sprinkle with flour and brown for one more minute before removing the meat from the pot. If you want to be meticulous about this, you can brown the beef in two batches. I almost never bother to do it, though.
2. Sauté the onion until it’s starting to soften, which will take 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the garlic, Italian seasoning and tomato paste to the onions and cook for one more minute, stirring constantly.
4. Pour the red wine into the instant pot and use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Don’t skip this step, as you can trigger the “burn” notice during pressure cooking if you don’t do this.
Once the juices have thickened (1-2 minutes), switch off the instant pot.
5. Stir in the beef broth, then add the browned meat and the remaining ingredients (except for the peas). Make sure to stir well to ensure everything will cook evenly.
Pressure cook on the “stew” setting, then allow a 15 minute natural pressure release before releasing any remaining pressure manually.
6. Add the peas and simmer on the “sauté” setting for 3-4 minutes, until heated through. You can also add a cornstarch slurry at this point to thicken the gravy, if you prefer.
Then it’s ready to be served! Although I will say this… it does taste even better on the next day, so if you’re into making meals ahead, this is the right recipe for you!
Browning the beef
You can technically skip browning the meat if you’re short on time, but it will have a big impact on the final taste. I do recommend taking the extra 10 minutes to follow the recipe’s instructions.
If you’re not a fan of soft veggies
I’m not going to lie. Vegetables cook fast in the instant pot, and they will be soft all the way after 45 minutes or so under pressure. It’s an extra step (so I do not usually bother), but for the sake of recipe testing I have tried this three ways:
Adding the veggies for the entire cooking time: Everything will be soft, but not disintegrated.
Adding the veggies for the last 15 minutes, only: The veggies will be cooked pretty much on point, but it is a small extra step, and you’ll lose some time bringing the pressure down, and then bringing it back up.
Cooking the vegetables separately on the stove, then adding them once the meat is done cooking: Huge extra hassle, less flavor in the gravy, thinner gravy (the potatoes help thicken), BUT you get to cook the vegetables exactly to your liking.
Personally, I always add the veggies for the entire cooking process… Since they are part of a stew, I don’t mind them being super soft. AND I’m a hater of any and all extra steps I can prevent, ha!
How do you make the meat tender?
Pressure cooking the stew helps a lot with tenderizing the meat without having to cook it for seventy hours.
The one thing you have to take care off when using a pressure cooker is to allow the stew a natural pressure release for 10 minutes after cooking. I know it’s annoying and we all want to rush this step – but it’s crucial to allow the meat fibers to relax.
That way, your meat will be tender and delicious.
How can I thicken the gravy after cooking?
While the stew won’t thicken in the pressure cooker (the liquid cannot cook away because the lid is always closed), you can thicken the stew to your taste after cooking using one of the following methods:
- blend 1 cup of the stew and stir it back in
- make a slurry of 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch and 1 tablespoon cold water, set the instant pot to sauté and stir the slurry into the stew. Simmer until thickened.
The second method is my preferred one (because I don’t want to mess around with the blender etc while my family is hungry), but you can use either.
This recipe makes a lot of gravy, so I like to either have some homemade bread on hand or I serve the stew over mashed potatoes. Here are some of our favorite recipes:
- No Knead Bread (or No Knead French Bread)
- Easy Homemade Bread
- Easy Sourdough Bread
- Homemade Mashed Potatoes
More Instant Pot recipes
PS: I have a pretty old-school 6-quart DUO instant pot (this is an affiliate link and I earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase) and that’s what I use to test my instant pot recipes. Please check your own instant pot for liquid requirements and cooking times to make sure the recipe turn out right for you.
Instant Pot Beef Stew
For the meat:
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 ½ pounds beef stewing meat cubed; use 2 pounds for big eaters
- 2 tablespoons flour
For the gravy:
- 1 medium yellow onion cut into wedges
- 2 cloves garlic sliced
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup dry red wine OR use more broth
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce OR soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup OR hone OR sugar
- salt and pepper to taste
For the vegetables:
- ½ pound waxy potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
- 4 large carrots peeled, ends trimmed and cut into chunks
- 4 large celery sticks trimmed and thickly sliced
- 8 ounces brown button mushrooms cleaned and quartered
- ½ cup frozen peas no need to defrost
- Brown the meat: Set instant pot to sauté and heat oil in it. Add beef, season with salt and pepper and stir. Sprinkle flour over the meat and stir well. Cook until browned.
- Start the gravy: Add onions and cook until starting to soften. Stir in garlic, Italian seasoning and tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until herbs are fragrant, about 30 seconds.Pour wine into the pan, scratching the browned bits off the bottom (make sure to catch all bits or burn warning may get triggered; browning can be done in a skillet on the stove instead). Cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in broth, Worcestershire sauce, maple syrup, salt and pepper.
- Cook: Add browned meat, potatoes, carrots, celery and mushrooms to the instant pot. Stir very well. Close lid on the Instant Pot and set steam valve to "sealing". Press "meat/stew" button. Once cooking time is up, allow a natural pressure release (just leave the instant pot alone until it's safe to open).
- Finish: Once pressure has released, release lid. Stir well and check for seasoning and consistency. Set Instant Pot to sauté and add peas. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Thicken with a slurry of 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2-3 tablespoons water, if desired.
- Onion: Feel free to leave out the onion if you’re not a fan, or replace with a teaspoon of dried onion powder.
- Red wine: Use a dry red wine, like a Pinot Noir, a Merlot or a Cabernet Sauvignon. If you don’t cook with alcohol, just use more beef broth instead.
- Beef: For a beef stew, I prefer diced chuck roast. It gets tender and flavorful when cooked right. But any old stew meat will be fine.
- Do not skip the natural pressure release, as it helps with tenderizing the meat.
- You can technically skip browning the meat if you’re short on time, but it will have an impact on the final taste.
- Feel free to add the vegetables only for the last 15 minutes of cooking if you strongly dislike soft vegetables. (Switch off instant pot, release pressure manually, open lid/stir in vegetables, replace lid and seal, bring back up to pressure and pressure cook for another 15 minutes, do 15 minute natural pressure release, then manually release remaining pressure).
- To thicken stew at the end, make a slurry of 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch and 1 tablespoon cold water, set the instant pot to sauté and stir the slurry into the stew. Simmer until thickened. Or blend 1 cup of the stew and stir it back in.
More recipe information
Recipe first published in 2017. Updated with new photos, better text and minor improvements to recipe on 11/06/2021.
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P.S: For more stew recipes, check out our collection of homemade beef stew recipes!