Instant Pot Beef Stew

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Beef Stew represents the ultimate in winter food. After all, it’s warm and filling, and rich and meaty. Stew is easy because it cooks on the stove or in a slow cooker all day. But, what if you didn’t have all day to make a beef stew? That’s where pressure cooking comes in. And, you’ll need this Instant Pot Beef Stew recipe.

Beef Stew

Slow Cooking

Slow cooking cooks food to the simmer point in an electric pot, like a Crock Pot.

The Crock Pot was introduced in the 1970s. It began an era of “fix it and forget it” cooking. Slow cookers have low and high functions, and some have browning features on them.

But, a slow cooker’s high heat is nothing like a pressure cooker. It simply brings food to the simmer point quicker than the low heat setting.

Although slow cooking has its niche, it takes more planning. It’s perfect for when you want to come home to a good meal. Or when you’re busy and don’t have time to oversee meal preparation.

Pressure Cooking

Pressure cooking has been around for more than a century.

Early stove top pressure cookers delivered inconsistent results like chewy meat and burned foods. Electronic pressure cookers, though, like Instant Pot (the most well-known brand) have modernized pressure cooking. Their different functions and cooking modes mean perfectly cooked foods.

You can control the amount of pressure and heat, and how quickly the pressure releases.  

New to Pressure Cooking? Read this first.

Instant Pot Beef Stew

The Instant Pot is ideal for when you didn’t plan ahead.

Maybe you ran out the door and forgot to defrost the chicken breasts. Or you need a big meal in a hurry.

Whatever the reason, with an Instant Pot you can take frozen chicken or beef straight from freezer to pot.

How to Make Beef Stew in the Instant Pot

Beef stew is easily made in either a slow cooker or Instant Pot.

Slow cooking tenderizer tougher cuts by cooking at low heat.

Pressure cooking just speeds up the process while stewing the meat at the same time. I find that pressure cooked meat is a little more flavorful. 

A tip for those of you who like making soups and stews: keep frozen stewing vegetable mixes in your freezer. They keep for months and it’s great to have them on hand. 

With this recipe, the beef and onions are browned on the sauté mode of the Instant Pot. The sauté mode is my favorite feature. Not only does it give color to the meat and vegetables by browning them, but it adds flavor to the dish.

Deglazing the Instant Pot

Browning meats and vegetables leaves a flavorful fond (or residue) on the bottom of the pan. When liquids are added, it releases the fond. That’s called deglazing and it adds flavor to the food.

So, there’s a lot more reasoning to browning meats than just “browning” them. It also helps prevent getting that dreaded burned notice on your Instant Pot.

Beef Stew Recipe

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Instant Pot Beef Stew

Make quick work of beef stew in the Instant Pot for a perfect weeknight dinner. The Instant Pot perfectly stews the meat, leaving you with tender, juicy, pieces of beef.

Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Dinner, Easy Dinner, Instant Pot, Main Course, One Pot Meal, Stew
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Calories 231 kcal


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1" cubes
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 oz tomato paste
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 cup beef broth, low sodium
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 lb carrots, sliced 1"
  • 1 cup celery, sliced 1"
  • 1 cup frozen peas


  1. Set the Instant Pot to saute for 30 minutes. Add the olive oil. Once the pot reaches temperature, add the stew meat and brown for 2 minutes on each side. Push the browned beef to one side and saute the onions for 3-5 minutes.

  2. Stir beef and onion together and sprinkle flour on top. Add tomato paste and thyme, saute 1 minute. Whisk in beef broth and soy sauce, stiring until smooth. Add carrots and celery. Twist on lid, close sealing valve, press cancel, and set for 25 minutes at high pressure.

  3. At the end of the pressure cycle, allow pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes. Then quick release any remaining pressure. Wait until all pressure has escaped and the pressure button has dropped before opening pot.

  4. Press the cancel button, and set to saute mode. Add peas, stiring occasionally for 5 minutes, before serving.

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Beef Stew
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 231 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 70mg23%
Sodium 549mg24%
Potassium 763mg22%
Carbohydrates 14g5%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 28g56%
Vitamin A 9787IU196%
Vitamin C 14mg17%
Calcium 57mg6%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Are You New to Instant Pot Cooking?

Instant Pot

Read your owner’s manual before using your pressure cooker! And, read my post that highlights the features of the Instant Pot.

Pressure cooking safety tip: one of the biggest risks with pressure cooking comes from overfilling the pot. Pay close attention to the marks in the pot to keep from overfilling it. And, when making soups allow the pressure to naturally release for at least 5 minutes before initiating a quick release. 

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  1. Recipe looks fabulous. I can’t wait to try it tomorrow. What is the potato/dumpling looking lump in the middle of the picture? It makes it look even heartier.

  2. Goodmorning and thank you for sharing this recipe !
    Did you use dark or light soya sauce?

  3. YUM! I love using my Instant Pot. I have been craving me some beef stew lately.

  4. Love this recipe it sounds delicious, will have to try it soon!

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