Instant Pot Beef Stew is an easy, delicious, and flavor-filled family dinner made by simmering tender chunks of beef, potatoes, and carrots in a savory, comforting broth. A guaranteed Instant Pot favorite, you can have this hearty, tender, and mouthwatering beef stew ready and on the table in under an hour!
The Best Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipe
Rain or shine, beef stew is one of those classic comfort foods that’s hard to resist. Filled with tender chunks of beef and hearty veggies, it’s a feel-good family-friendly dinner anyone can make.
And this is the absolute best beef stew!
Guaranteed to warm you from the inside out (or maybe just keep you warm), this hearty stew is cooked entirely in your pressure cooker for a high-speed version of everyone’s favorite winter-time stew.
Unlike stove-top or slow cooker beef stew which takes hours to cook, this Instant Pot version is ready and on the table in just one hour. The result is tender, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth chunks of meat ready to be devoured by the whole family.
If you’re new to the Instant Pot, this is the Instant Pot I own and love.
How Long Does it Take to Cook Beef Stew in the Instant Pot?
All in, this Instant Pot beef stew recipe should be ready and on the table in just over one hour.
The total active cooking time for this recipe is 35 minutes. In addition to the 35 minutes, it will take approximately 10 minutes to brown the meat and an additional 10 minutes for the pressure to build up within the Instant Pot before the timer begins. Finally, at the end of cooking, allow 10 minutes for pressure to release naturally before manually releasing any remaining pressure.
I know this may not seem super “instant”, but remember, we’re working to make tough chunks of meat soft, tender, and juicy. When you compare the total time required by the Instant Pot to that of the slow cooker or stovetop (hours and hours), you’ll realize that an hour is well worth the wait.
Instant Pot Beef Stew Frequently Asked Questions
- Once this beef stew finishes cooking can I do a quick release? Yes. Doing a quick-release immediately instead of waiting 10-15 minutes for some of the pressure to decrease is just fine as long as you follow the manufacturer’s directions. That said, I highly recommend natural release given that the contents include boiling hot liquid.
- Do I have to add star anise? No. The addition of star anise is simply a recommendation. If you know that you do not like star anise, or you simply do not have any on hand, this beef stew will still taste delicious without it. That said, I highly recommend that you try it! It adds such wonderful depth and flavor to the broth.
- How many people will this Instant Pot beef stew serve? This beef stew fed me, my husband, and my son for two nights. So six people. My son eats a lot of beef and I eat a lot of vegetables.
- What can I serve with this beef stew? While this really is a one-pot meal, you can serve this delicious dish with egg noodles, buttered bread, or a light green salad.
- What other vegetables can I add to this Instant Pot Beef Stew? Parsnips, beets (this will change the color and change the flavor a bit), frozen peas, sweet potatoes, and kohlrabi are all yummy options.
What Beef Should I Use?
All beef stew recipes, including this Instant Pot beef stew, prefer leaner, tougher cuts of beef. You know, the cheaper stuff.
Why? Well, this cheaper meat (usually taken from the stronger muscles of the animal) contains loads of collagen-rich connective tissue. Unlike fat that releases from the meat into the broth, this collagen dissolves back into the meat, releasing gelatin.
Similar to making bone broth, the only negative to these less expensive, tougher, leaner, more flavorful, and ultimately more nutritious cuts of meat, is that they require hours of cooking to get all that good stuff to break down.
Thankfully, with the help of an Instant Pot, pressure cooking the meat cuts the total time by at least half – usually more!
Try looking for one of the following:
- Beef Chuck, aka – Chuck Shoulder, Chuck Roast, Chuck-Eye Roast, or Top Chuck
- Or, Bottom Round Roast, Rump Roast, Top Round, Round Tip Roast, English Roast, or Pot Roast
How to Serve and Store
Beef stew is pretty easy going. Serve it with some crusty bread to mop up all the delicious gravy or scoop it over buttery egg noodles or even creamy mashed potatoes (because mashed potatoes as a side and in the stew is always OK in my book).
No matter what, save your leftovers.
This stew will keep for at least 3-4 days when stored in the refrigerator (I even think it taste better the day, or days after it was originally made).
To freeze, allow your beef stew to cool before transferring to a freezer-safe zip-lock bag or container. Remove as much air as possible. Transfer to the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, simply reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop anytime you feel like a comforting bowl of beef-filled stew.
More Instant Pot Recipes,
If you try making this Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipe, please leave me a comment and let me know! I always love to hear your thoughts.
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Instant Pot Beef Stew
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 pounds beef chuck roast or beef stew meat (cut into 1-inch chunks)
- 1 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 6 cloves garlic (minced)
- 3 cups low sodium beef broth or beef stock
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 large yellow onion (diced)
- 1 pound potatoes (chopped into 2-inch cubes)
- 5 carrots (peeled and chopped)
- 2 stalks celery (chopped)
- 2 whole star anise (optional, but recommended)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp water
- Fresh chopped parsley (for serving)
- Turn your Instant Pot on and set it to saute function, high. Add the olive oil. Once the oil starts to sizzle and pop, add the beef in a single layer. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Sear the beef chunks for 2-3 minutes, or until brown on all sides. Remove the seared beef chunks to a clean plate and repeat with any additional meat, if necessary.
- Add the seared beef back to your pressure cooker and sprinkle 2 tablespoons flour. Stir the beef to prevent burning. Saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for one minute more.
- Add the beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, diced tomatoes, onion, potatoes, carrots, celery, and star anise. Mix well to combine and scrape up any browned bits that may be stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the bay leaf.
- Turn off saute mode. Close the Instant Pot lid and turn the steam release valve to the sealing position. Select the Manual / Pressure Cook setting; adjust to high pressure, and set the timer for 35 minutes. Press start (keeping in mind that it takes approximately 10-15 minutes for the pressure cooker to reach full pressure and start cooking).
- When the cooking time is finished, release pressure naturally for 10 minutes before doing a quick-release and allow the remaining pressure to release according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Carefully remove the lid, remove the star anise, and set the Instant Pot back to high saute mode.
- In a small bowl mix the 1 tablespoon cornstarch with 1-2 tablespoons of water to create a thick slurry. Stir the cornstarch slurry in with the beef stew, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened.
- Serve immediately garnished with fresh parsley, if desired. Enjoy!
- What beef is best? The best choice for stew is Beef Chuck, aka – Chuck Shoulder, Chuck Roast, Chuck-Eye Roast, or Top Chuck. Other top contenders include Bottom Round Roast, Rump Roast, Top Round, Round Tip Roast, English Roast, or Pot Roast.
- Which potatoes should you use? Waxy potatoes are best in stews as they're less likely to fall apart or get mushy. My go-to potato whenever I make this recipe is Yukon gold potatoes. Small red potatoes are a great alternative. Russet potatoes will work in a bind, but keep in mind that they will probably start to dissolve into the stew by the end of cooking.
- What size should I chop everything? There will be some variation according to personal preference, but try staying within the following range.
- Beef- I always go for a generous bite-size. 1-inch pieces, or somewhere in that range.
- Potatoes - Chop your potatoes into chunks larger than the beef. Aim for approximately 2-inch pieces
- Carrots - Large chunks, at least 1 to 2-inch pieces
- Onion + Celery - Small dice
- If you're gluten-free, you may skip the flour and add a couple of tablespoons tomato paste instead, or, try using gluten-free all-purpose flour. The purpose of the flour (or tomato paste) and cornstarch at the end of cooking, is to thicken the stew.
- Leftovers will stay delicious for 3-4 days when stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
- Optional - Add a splash of red wine to deglaze your pot and add extra amazing flavor!
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.)