This Instant Pot Beef Stew recipe is SO easy to make, taking just a fraction of the time of traditional methods. Made with simple ingredients, this hearty stew is filled with tender beef, flavorful vegetables, and an irresistibly thick gravy.
It's the perfect comfort food for a crisp, chilly evening.
When the weather starts to cool down and the leaves start to turn vibrant colors of red, yellow, and brown, I know that it's time for soups and stew to make their appearance.
This Instant Pot Beef Stew is one of the first on the meal plan. It's filled with tender chunks of beef, perfectly cooked carrots, baby potatoes, and a rich and delicious beef gravy. It has SO much flavor, and honestly? We can't get enough!
But do you know what the best part is? Well, it's made in an Instant Pot of course! Not only is it easy to assemble, but it's also ready in a fraction of the time of classic slow cooker or stovetop methods.
This Instant Pot stew is so easy in fact, that you could have it for dinner tonight! Just assemble, set the pot to manual pressure, and go enjoy a good book while the magic happens.
When you return this classic beef stew will need just a few finishing touches before it's ready to enjoy. How awesome is that!?
Reasons to Love This Recipe:
- It's the ultimate comfort food. Warm, hearty, and aromatic - what more could you want on a crisp Winter's day?
- Quick and easy. This Instant Pot method for making Beef stew is ready in a fraction of the time when compared to traditional Dutch Oven or Slow Cooker versions (don't worry, I've included the instructions for those too).
- No browning is needed. While most recipes will call for you to brown the meat first, this set-and-forget style recipe allows you to skip the extra step (although you can definitely add it in for extra flavor!).
- Epic leftovers. Like all flavorful beef stews, the leftovers are even better the next day!
- Stew meat: You can use prepared stewing beef that has been cut into chunks, or you can purchase a chuck roast and cut it into 1 ½" cubes.
- Beef broth: All Instant Pot recipes need a bit of liquid, and beef stock is the perfect choice. Opt for low-sodium, which allows you to control the saltiness of the finished stew a bit more easily.
- Ketchup: This is the secret ingredient! Most recipes use tomato paste or tomato sauce, but this really brings the flavor. It's the 90's Mom secret weapon.
- Potatoes: I recommend using baby potatoes for this recipe. They hold up to high pressure and are the perfect size for stew. I recommend using the baby Yukon gold potatoes, but baby red potatoes work well too. If you don't have baby potatoes, use roughly chopped russet potatoes instead.
- Aromatic Vegetables: Celery, carrots, onion, and garlic. These should be cut into larger pieces so they hold up to pressure cooking. (1-inch or 1 ½-inch).
- Worcestershire sauce: Tangy, savory, salty - it's the perfect addition to any beef dish.
- Seasonings: Salt, pepper, and dry mustard powder are all that's needed, but feel free to add in your favorite seasonings.
- Cornstarch: This is for thickening the stew. You could also use arrowroot powder.
- Peas (Optional): Stir these into the stew after cooking - the residual heat warms and cooks them even from frozen. Yummy!
How to Make Beef Stew in an Instant Pot
Step one: Add the beef broth into the bottom of the Instant Pot, along with the chopped onion, celery, and carrots.
Step two: Place the beef on top of the vegetables in an even layer.
Top tip: If you have extra time, browning the beef cubes first can add a lot of flavor! Set the Instant Pot to "saute" and add some olive oil to the insert. Add the beef cubes, and brown on all sides.
Remove from the Instant Pot, then add the beef broth and use the bottom of a wooden spoon to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the vegetables and follow the instructions as listed.
Step three: Whisk the ketchup, minced garlic, dry mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper together in a small bowl.
Step four: Pour the ketchup mixture over the beef.
Setting the Instant Pot
Step five: Add the baby potatoes on top of the beef, then place the lid on and set the valve to "sealing".
Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes, then do a 30-minute natural pressure release before flipping the valve to venting for a quick release.
Step six: Thicken the stew by whisking together 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water, then stirring it into the stew.
Set the Instant Pot to "saute" mode, then add in the peas and simmer until the stew is thick - about 5 minutes.
Storing and Freezing
Transfer any leftovers to an airtight container and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Freezing: Allow the stew to cool to room temperature before transferring it to freezer-safe containers, freezer bags, or Souper cubes. Label, freeze, and store for up to 2 months. Thaw before warming, or reheat in the microwave in 60-second intervals until heated through.
Slow Cooker Instructions
- Place the vegetables and beef broth in the bottom of the crock.
- Spread the beef cubes out evenly over the vegetables.
- Combine the ketchup, minced garlic, dry mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper.
- Pour the sauce over the beef.
- Finally, add the potatoes and place the lid on the crock.
- Cook on "low" for 6-8 hours, or on "high" for 4-6 hours.
- Stir in the cornstarch slurry and peas, and cook for another 20-30 minutes or until thickened.
- Serve and enjoy!
Dutch Oven Method
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF (163ºC).
- Layer the ingredients as listed in the recipe into a Dutch oven.
- Place the lid and cook in the preheated oven for 4 hours, stirring every hour.
- If the sauce looks dry, add ¼ cup of water at a time until the liquid level looks adequate.
- Once the cooking time is up, remove from the oven and add the cornstarch slurry and peas.
- Stir well, then heat over low heat for 5 minutes on the stovetop, or until the stew is thickened.
- Large pieces. Make sure to keep the vegetable pieces on the large side, as this allows them to stand up to pressure cooking.
- Brown for extra flavor. If you want to add a boost of flavor, brown the beef cubes using the "saute" function in a bit of olive oil. Deglaze the pot with some beef broth.
- Thickening. Using a cornstarch slurry is the best way to thicken the stew, and makes it gluten-free too!
- Natural release. Allowing the Instant Pot to do a 30-minute natural pressure release ensures the meat cooks through perfectly, and maintains its tenderness. After the 30 minutes are up, flip the valve to "venting" to do a quick pressure release.
Yes, frozen beef can be used to make beef stew in the Instant Pot. You will need to make some adjustments to ensure the beef cooks through. First, place the beef + beef broth in the Instant Pot and cook it for 25 minutes, then do a quick pressure release and break up the beef into individual chunks. Add the remaining ingredients and follow the recommended steps and cook time.
Yes, sweet potatoes can be used, but the flavor will be different - which is okay if you like sweet potatoes! Keep the sweet potatoes in large 2" chunks for the best results.
If you loved this recipe for Instant Pot Beef Stew, let me know by leaving a 5-star review in the recipe card or comment below! You can also tag me on Instagram @dashfordinner.
Instant Pot Beef Stew
- 1 cup beef broth low sodium
- ½ medium onion coarsely sliced
- 3 stalks celery chopped into 1 ½" pieces
- 4 medium carrots peeled and chopped into 1" pieces
- 2 ½ pounds beef cubes or chuck roast, cut into 1 ½" pieces
- 1 ½ pounds baby potatoes yellow-fleshed
- 1 cup frozen peas (optional)
- ½ cup ketchup or tomato sauce
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold
- Pour the beef broth into the insert of a 6 or 8-quart Instant Pot.
- Add the veggies. Chop the celery, carrots, and onion and place them inside of the Instant Pot with the broth.
- The beef. Spread the vegetables into an even layer, then lay the beef on top.
- Make the sauce. Add the ketchup, minced garlic, dry mustard powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. Whisk well to combine.
- Add the sauce and potatoes. Spread the ketchup mixture on top of the beef evenly, then add the whole baby potatoes.
- Cook. Secure the lid and set the valve to "sealing". Cook on the "stew" setting or the "pressure cook" setting for 35 minutes.
- Release the pressure. Once the Instant Pot beeps to indicate the cooking time is up, allow the pot to do a natural pressure release for 30 minutes. After the time is up, carefully flip the valve to "venting" to release any remaining pressure.
- Once all of the pressure has been released (the pin should drop), carefully open the lid away from your face.
- Add the cornstarch. Add the cornstarch and warm water to a small bowl and whisk well with a fork to make a cornstarch slurry. Add it to the Instant Pot, and stir to distribute it evenly throughout the beef stew.
- Sprinkle in 1 cup of frozen peas (optional) and fold them in.
- Thicken. Set the Instant Pot to the "saute" function, and stir until the stew thickens (about 5 minutes).
- Serve. Turn off the Instant Pot and ladle the beef stew into bowls. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
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