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Instant Pot Beef Stew

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This Instant Pot Beef Stew is a delicious, healthy dinner recipe. It’s so easy to make this comfort food favorite in the Instant Pot. (gluten-free, dairy-free)

This Instant Pot Beef Stew is a delicious, healthy dinner recipe. It's so easy to make this comfort food favorite in the Instant Pot. (gluten-free, dairy-free)

When I bought my Instant Pot, one of the first things I thought to make in it was stew. I was eager to convert my classic beef stew recipe for the Instant Pot. I loved the idea of having a cozy bowl of stew in less time than the typical version takes.

After doing some research in the Instant Pot Facebook community, I learned that there are two schools of thought regarding stew using this machine. Some people use the meat/stew button and let everything cook for the recommended 35 minutes. Others like to cook the beef for 15 minutes on its own, then open the pot and add the vegetables for the remaining cook time.

This Instant Pot Beef Stew is a delicious, healthy dinner recipe. It's so easy to make this comfort food favorite in the Instant Pot. (gluten-free, dairy-free)

I like to take the simplest route when cooking, so I tried the former approach. I browned the meat and then added all the ingredients. After the 35 minute meat/stew cycle, my beef stew came out beautifully. The vegetables were tender but not mushy, and the meat was fall-apart delicious. I may try the other approach next time to see the difference in vegetable texture.

Instant Pot Beef Stew Tip

There’s one detail that’s important to note. When cooking beef in the Instant Pot, it’s best to use a natural release. If you try a quick release, some moisture will be pulled out of the meat and it’ll be tough. For that reason, let the Instant Pot naturally release its pressure, and don’t open the lid until the silver pressure indicator has dropped on its own. This takes about 30 minutes after the cook time ends in this recipe.

Check out my Instant Pot chicken stew, as well as these other healthy Instant Pot recipes, for more mealtime inspiration!

Instant Pot beef stew comes together easily in the pressure cooker

Instant Pot Beef Stew

This Instant Pot Beef Stew is a delicious, healthy dinner recipe. Pure comfort food! ($1.61 per serving)
Print Recipe
4.85 from 19 votes
Prep Time:15 mins
Cook Time:45 mins
Total Time:1 hr 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 lbs stew beef cut into bite-sized pieces and sprinkled with salt
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 lbs potatoes peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 lb carrots cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 celery stalks cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Instructions

  • Set the Instant Pot to Saute. Add the oil and brown the meat in 2 batches. Cook each batch for 2 or 3 minutes, turning the pieces of beef several times so all sides are browned. Set the browned meat aside.
  • Turn off the Instant Pot and add the onion to the warm pot. Let it cook for a minute, stirring a few times. Then add all the remaining ingredients to the pot, including the browned meat.
  • Close the lid, set the seal, and set the pot to high pressure for 35 minutes.
  • After the 35 minute cook time, use a natural pressure release. Wait until the silver pressure indicator drops on its own (about 30 minutes). This will allow the beef to maintain as much moisture as possible. (Note: If you’re in a hurry, you can let the pressure release naturally for just 10 minutes, then release the remaining pressure by turning the vent.)
  • Serve warm.

Notes

The flavors of this stew can be adapted to suit your tastes. If you don’t like the balsamic vinegar flavor, omit that ingredient and use beef broth in place of some or all of the water. Add Italian seasonings if desired. The best thing to do is taste the stew once it’s cooked, and add spices if desired.

Nutrition

Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 491mg | Potassium: 1112mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 9545IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 6mg
Servings: 8
Calories: 292kcal

Price Breakdown

This recipe costs a total of $12.88 to make (assuming $3.99 per pound of meat), or $1.61 per serving. Try this delicious Instant Pot Beef Stew for an easy, healthy dinner recipe that everyone will love.

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Bowl of stew full of beef and veggies
Stew in the Instant Pot
Instant Pot beef stew in a bowl

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45 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    I gave this a whirl today and it came out okay, but lacking in flavor. However, the beef and vegetables came out perfectly! I think the recipe is an excellent base to begin with and then tailor to one’s taste. The ingredients are all natural and there’s no fake/canned component. Next time, I think I’ll try some beef bouillon to deepen the flavor. Thanks for making this available to try!

  2. 5 stars
    Absolutely love this recipe! I’ve used it as a “guide” for making beef stew in my InstantPot over the last few years and it always turns out delicious. I’m not one to follow recipes exactly so I make it differently every time. If you don’t have a fresh onion on hand, add dried chopped onion instead. Love peppered beef? Try adding pepper to your beef before browning. I think I even added onion soup mix to the water one time. I’ve used little baby potatoes and baby carrots, Yukon gold potatoes and carrot discs. Tonight, I’m adding whole garlic cloves for a change and celery seeds since I’m out of celery. Don’t be afraid to get the recipe wrong – if I can get everyone at home to devour beef stew, you can too!

  3. 3 stars
    I so wanted this to be a go to recipe for beef stew. (Simple prep, ingredients on hand, instant pot speed).But sadly I just found it okay. To be fair, it was the taste of the sauce that turned me off. The balsamic vinegar made it too “sharp”. And yes I did use the exact quantities. In reading the other reviews I realize that quite a few of them were untested reviews. Sorry for being a downer but I was hoping for something more…..

    1. Dee, I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t like the flavor of the balsamic vinegar. If you try again and experiment with different seasonings, I’d love to hear how it turns out for you.

  4. 4 stars
    I haven’t tasted this yet, bc it’s still cooking. But I have to agree with the person who stated this took way longer than an hour. I’d say approx 30mins prep (that includes the time to brown the meat in 2 batches). I set the pot to the meat/stew setting (35mins), was gone for a little more than a half hour and the pot still has 21mins to cook, which doesn’t include time for the natural pressure release. I feel like I’m looking at another hour before dinner. Which is disappointing when I had planned for an hour and my kiddos are hungry.

    1. Thanks for your feedback, and sorry for the confusion. I’ve updated the recipe card to include extra time for the pot to come to pressure and release pressure at the end. I hope your family enjoys the stew.

  5. 5 stars
    Tried this tonight. Sprinkled some McCormick Seasoned Meat Tenderizer on the beef before I sauteed it. Added a splash of L&P Worst sauce, swapped the tomato sauce out for a larger can of diced tomatoes (used the liquid, too, but lowered the amount of water to about 1-1/2 cups), added a splash of L&P Worst sauce to the mix and ran the timer at 37 minutes. I couldn’t stop eating. I was planning on dropping some of the stew by a friends house in the morning, but after all I ate and looking at what’s in the pot I’m wondering if I (greedy me) need to do that. (LOL) Thanks for a good, delicious recipe that this IP newbie could handle!!!

  6. 5 stars
    My first try at an instant pot recipe! It was a little more time than I expected, with the pot having to reach pressure and then release the pressure at the end of cooking, but overall, it was a very easy and simple recipe for my first try! My family loved it. Thank you for posting! I will be back to try other recipes.

    1. I’m so glad your family liked it! It’s true that the recipes aren’t exactly “instant,” but I do find many Instant Pot recipes to be a lot easier than their traditional versions.

    2. I have to say I’m surprised at the positive feedback for this one. Mine was watery, and had a not-so-pleasant flavour. There are no spices, which are what add flavour, but balsamic vinegar instead. I had to add a beef bouillon cube and barley after the fact to change the taste and consistency.

      1. I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy it. The flavors of stew are definitely a matter of personal preference, and I’m glad you were able to adapt the recipe to suit your tastes.

    1. Anita, I would try beef stock. You may want to thicken the liquid a bit after cooking since you’ll lose some of the thickness without the tomato sauce. After cooking, remove the stew from the Pot, but leave some liquid. Set the pot to Saute, and add a small amount of arrowroot (or other starch) mixed in water. Stir to thicken, then add the liquid back to the stew.

    1. Tammy, you should be able to double the recipe as long as all the ingredients fit safely in your Instant Pot (I believe that’s 2/3 full, but double check your manual to be sure). You shouldn’t need to adjust the cooking time, but it will take longer for the pot to come to pressure with the larger quantity of ingredients. The meat/stew button will still work for a larger batch. Good luck!

  7. 5 stars
    Can’t wait to try this one! Thanks for the great recipe.
    I love how you sort out the costs for each of your recipes. Very helpful.
    I am lovin’ my IP so will definitely gather the ingredients and give this one a try!!

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