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Dig into your homemade Instant Pot Beef Stew and enjoy tender bites of beef, sweet carrots, soft potatoes, and a rich and savory broth seasoned to perfection!

This delicious bubbling stew is easy to make and fills your kitchen with an irresistible aroma — it’s almost torture! While this stew cooks in the convenient Instant Pot, just watch your family flock to the kitchen to take a sneak peek at what’s for dinner!

instant pot beef stew in a white bowl on a green plate garnished with fresh parsley.

My beef stew Instant Pot recipe is the perfect meal to bring some warmth to a cloudy winter day. It makes about four servings, making it ideal for a smaller family. But the ingredients are easily doubled to feed a few more hungry tummies!

I love that this easy beef stew recipe produces tender bites of savory beef and incredible flavor in less than an hour of cooking. How could this be?

It typically takes a lower temperature and longer cooking time for such delicious results. However, the Instant Pot is a master at producing the perfect stew in a fraction of the time it takes to make this dish on the stovetop.

Ease of use and quick cook times are the Instant Pot‘s specialty, which is why it is one of my favorite appliances in my kitchen. In little time and with minimal effort, dinner is on the table. It’s a lifesaver for the busy weeknights after work and school!

ingredients for instant pot beef stew on a table.

Key ingredients & substitutions for The Best Homemade Beef Stew Recipe

  • Beef | It wouldn’t be a “beef” stew without pieces of tender and savory beef stew meat. Your local grocery store should have pre-cut cubes of stew beef or “beef for stewing” in the meats section, making your job a little easier. If preferred, use a boneless chuck roast.
  • Salt and pepper | Sprinkle the beef with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper for extra flavor.
  • Oil | Grease the bottom of the pot with canola oil or another sauteing oil to prepare for browning the beef.
  • Celery | Bring a fresh taste and texture to the stew by adding crisp sliced celery.
  • Onions | Chopped yellow or white onions lend a rich and well-rounded taste.
  • Carrots | Drop in some sliced carrots to add sweeter notes to each bite.
  • Garlic | Boost the savory flavor by introducing freshly minced garlic cloves.
  • Red wine | Use any red wine to deglaze the pot and gather all the bits of rich flavor from sauteing the beef and veggies. If you prefer not to add wine to the stew, use just a bit of vinegar or broth to deglaze the pot.
  • Beef broth | Beef broth compliments the stew meat and brings more savory notes to the final stew.
  • Tomato sauce | Add a slight acidity and juicy tomato flavor with a can of tomato sauce. If necessary, use half a can of tomato paste and some water.
  • Potatoes | Russet potatoes work best for this delicious beef stew. However, you may use red or Yukon gold potatoes if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Herbs | Add freshly chopped Italian parsley and a single bay leaf to the stew for an extra herby taste. Also, a pinch of dried thyme, along with the salt and pepper, is used for seasoning the stew meat.
  • Frozen peas | Pour in frozen peas towards the end of the cooking process to add pops of sugar-like sweetness.
  • Cornstarch and water | While the stew is still hot, stir in a mixture of cornstarch and water to thicken it to perfection.

How to make Beef Stew in the Instant Pot

This homemade beef stew recipe is made entirely in the Instant Pot, leaving you with fewer dishes and plenty of hands-off cooking time to prepare other dishes for supper — let’s dive right in!

chunks of stew beef on a plate with seasoning on top; browning the stew beef in an instant pot.

STEP 1 | Season the beef

The first step for this simple stew recipe is to pat the meat dry with paper towels, removing the excess moisture so it will brown in the Instant Pot better.

Next, season the beef with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and a pinch of dried thyme.

Also, consider preparing all the veggies and fresh herbs by chopping them, so they are ready to add to the stew when the recipe calls for them.

STEP 2 | Add some oil

Then, turn the Instant Pot to the “sauté” setting. Once it indicates HOT, add the oil and swirl it around to generously coat the bottom of the pot.

STEP 3 | Brown the stew beef

Now, drop in the beef pieces and cook until it is nicely browned on all sides.

STEP 4 | Add the celery, onion, and garlic

Next, add the chopped celery and onion, along with the minced garlic cloves. Sauté for another three minutes until the ingredients are fragrant and softened.

STEP 5 | Deglaze the pot

Pour the red wine to deglaze the pot, scraping off any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Then, cook for another minute, and turn the sauté function off.

tips

  • Don’t forget to sear the meat before adding more ingredients to the pressure cooker pot. This will give it a brown and crisp outside, adding so much flavor to the final stew!
  • To avoid mushy vegetables, cut them thicker than you usually would.
  • Properly thicken the stew by adding the cornstarch and water mixture while the contents are still hot, then allow it to cook for a little longer.
process steps for making slow cooker beef stew in an instant pot.

STEP 6 | Add veggies, broth, and tomato sauce

Next, drop in the chopped carrots and potatoes, along with the beef broth and tomato sauce. Finally, add the bay leaf.

STEP 7 | Cook, then natural release

Time to cook your homemade stew! Seal the lid and pressure cook the ingredients on high for about 35 minutes. Then, natural release for around 10 minutes, and carefully turn the vent to release any remaining pressure.

STEP 8 | Mix in the final ingredients

Once all the pressure is released, open the lid, toss in the fresh Italian parsley and sweet frozen peas, and stir until they are well incorporated.

Then, make a slurry of two tablespoons of cornstarch and two tablespoons of water and stir the mixture into the pot to thicken the stew.

STEP 9 | Cook for a little longer and serve!

Again, set the Instant Pot to the sauté function, and cook the beef stew for around 3 to 5 minutes. Once it is nice and thick, carefully remove the bay leaf from the steaming hot stew and use a ladle to serve. Then, dig in!

a wooden spoon lifting out a serving of instant pot beef stew from a pot.

Craving more easy instant pot recipes? Try my cozy White Chicken Chili, juicy Pork Chops with Apple Gravy, comforting Instant Pot Lasagne Soup, or this classic Red Beans and Rice recipe.

Frequently asked questions

Why is my stew meat tough in Instant Pot?

There are a couple of reasons your beef has a tougher texture than you desire. First, the problem could be the cut of beef. However, this isn’t likely the issue if you have used stew meat or beef chuck. 

The key to tender and juicy bites of beef is allowing the Instant Pot to build up pressure, then naturally release. But what if you did do this, and your beef still comes out tough? In that case, try cooking the stew on low for longer rather than on high for half an hour. Try this simple adjustment next time you attempt the recipe, and let me know how it works for you!

How long does beef stew last in the refrigerator?

Beef stew leftovers will last up to four days in the refrigerator stored in an airtight container. In fact, as the stew sits, the flavors further develop, making for an extra flavorful beef stew! It’s an excellent meal to make ahead of time too.

Warm the leftovers in the Instant Pot or on the stovetop to reheat. For longer storage, transfer the stew to a tightly sealed container and place it in the freezer. It should last up to three months.

When you’re ready to serve it again, let the beef stew thaw in the fridge overnight and heat it back up in the Instant Pot or on the stove.

Should you use the meat/stew button on the Instant Pot to make beef stew?

The convenient meat or stew button on your Instant Pot is designed to effortlessly cook larger pieces of meat, like the beef chunks in this recipe.

Typically, this setting cooks the contents for about 35 minutes, making it ideal for this delicious recipe. However, I haven’t yet experimented with the setting myself. So, let me know how it works for you if you decide to give it a shot!

a serving of beef stew in a white bowl with a serving spoon.

Serving suggestions

There’s just about nothing better than sopping up the savory stew broth with freshly made bread or biscuits. Try dipping Peppery Cheese Quick Bread or buttery Sweet Potato Biscuits into your homemade beef stew.

Or, keep it light and serve it with a crisp and fresh salad, like my Chicken Kale Caesar, Chopped Arugula Mediterranean, or this crowd-pleasing Easy 7-Layer Salad.

Behind the recipe: Beef Stew

The origins of beef stew are quite scattered. From an old Irish tradition to evidence of it being a Japanese stew popular in the 8th and 4th century BC, it’s challenging to track down exactly where this delicious recipe came from.

Because stew is a simple dish made with veggies, meat, and broth, it likely came about sometime following the discovery of fire during prehistoric times.

However, instead of boiling the ingredients in a clay bowl, invented later, experts predict that prehistoric people used turtle shells or similar vessels to hold the contents as they heated over the fire.

Once people discovered how to boil water, it didn’t take long to realize heating liquid not only makes them hot. It also produces stronger and more complex flavors, depending on what foods are added! This likely led to the creation of the classic beef stew as we know it today.

instant pot beef stew in a white bowl on a green plate garnished with fresh parsley.

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instant pot beef stew in a white bowl on a green plate garnished with fresh parsley.

Instant Pot Beef Stew

Dig into your homemade Instant Pot Beef Stew and enjoy tender bites of beef, sweet carrots, soft potatoes, and a rich and savory broth seasoned to perfection.
5 from 5 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 19 minutes
Total Time 34 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Calories 495 kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 stalk celery sliced
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 3 medium carrots sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon Italian parsley chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons water

Instructions
 

  • Use paper towels to pat the stew meat dry, then season with the salt, pepper, and thyme.
  • Turn the instant pot to the saute setting and once it indicates HOT, add the oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the inner pot.
  • Add the beef to the instant pot and cook until browned on all sides, about xx minutes.
  • Next, add the celery, onion, and garlic and saute for another 3 minutes.
  • Pour in the red wine to deglaze the pan, scraping off any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for 1 minute, then turn off the saute function.
  • Add the carrots and potatoes, along with the beef broth and tomato sauce, and bay leaf.
  • Seal the lid and pressure cook on high for 35 minutes. Natural release for 10 minutes, then carefully turn the vent to release any remaining pressure.
  • Open the lid and stir in the parsely and frozen peas. Make a slurry of 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water and stir into the pot.
  • Set the instant pot to the saute function once again, and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until the stew is thickened. Remove the bay leaf and serve.

Notes

  • Don’t forget to sear the meat before adding more ingredients to the pressure cooker pot. This will give it a brown and crisp outside, adding so much flavor to the final stew!
  • To avoid mushy vegetables, cut them thicker than you usually would.
  • Properly thicken the stew by adding the cornstarch and water mixture while the contents are still hot, then allow it to cook for a little longer.

Nutrition

Calories: 495kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 45gFat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 105mgSodium: 1205mgPotassium: 1653mgFiber: 7gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 11116IUVitamin C: 43mgCalcium: 103mgIron: 6mg

Life Love and Good Food does not claim to be a registered dietician or nutritionist. Nutritional information shared on this site is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Keyword beef, instant pot, stew, stew beef
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
Sheila Thigpen, blogger

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Beef was flavorful, tender and fell apart with the touch of a fork. I omitted the potatoes in the stew and made mashed potatoes instead. Everyone cleaned up their plates. So delicious.

  2. 5 stars
    Had some thawed stew meat and didn’t have to chance to start early like I like for low and slow, so I thought I’d give the IP a try! I might not go back, it was so good and I made your sweet potato biscuits to go with it! Ah-mazing!

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