Instant Pot Beef Stew is the ultimate warm and cozy meal! This one hour hearty dish is packed with flavor, vegetables, and ultra tender beef.
There’s nothing quite as comforting on a cold or rainy day as Beef Stew. I sure love my Slow Cooker Beef Stew but this Instant Pot version is made in a fraction of the time and is so dang flavorful! For more Instant Pot recipes, try The BEST Instant Pot Chili, Instant Pot Chicken Curry, and Instant Pot Sloppy Joes.
Pressure Cooker Beef Stew
The pressure cooker is such a life saver! Making a cozy, healthy, meal is so much easier and faster with the Instant Pot! This healthy comforting classic is a family favorite, especially with a side of crusty No-Knead Bread to soak up every last drop of delicious broth.
Ingredients for Beef Stew:
- Oil– This is used for searing so a high smoke point oil should be used (vegetable, canola, peanut, grapeseed, avocado).
- Stew Meat– This is already cut into bite size pieces but a chuck roast then cut into 1 inch pieces works too.
- Flour– Coating the meat in flour helps it brown better, thickens the broth, and adds flavor depth. Cornstarch can be used as well.
- Onion– Adds so much flavor! I love using a sweet onion because of the flavor it adds and how it breaks down into the sauce.
- Celery– Again, this adds to the flavor. If you don’t care for large pieces of celery, dice small and they will break down and become part of the sauce.
- Garlic– Fresh minced garlic is best. I love this garlic press!
- Red/ Yukon Gold Potatoes– Either (or both) of these potatoes work well in stew because they are waxy so they hold together instead of fall apart like a russet potato. Use Little Potatoes or cut larger potatoes into 1 inch pieces.
- Red Wine– To be honest, I don’t drink and have never even tasted red wine. I was stumped on what kind to buy so I just used “Red Cooking Wine” located next to the vinegar/oil and it added an amazing depth of flavor.
- Beef Broth– Fresh, canned, or water mixed with Better Than Bouillon works great too!
- Tomato Sauce– Adds flavor without making it taste too heavily of tomatoes.
- Worcestershire Sauce– Adds a delicious savory umami taste.
- Bay Leaves– An aromatic leaf from the laurel tree that is often used in recipes that are cooked for long periods of time like stew, soups, and sauces. It is leathery (not a pleasing texture and a choking hazard) so it should be discarded.
- Italian Seasoning– Such a great all-purpose seasoning to have on hand that works well in a variety of recipes including those that aren’t technically “Italian”.
- Thyme– Fresh or dried works. This is one of my favorite herbs to use in beef dishes.
- Salt & Pepper– It may seem like there’s a lot of salt is in this recipe but the meat and potatoes need it.
- Corn Starch– This needs to be mixed with equal parts cold water before adding, otherwise it will clump.
How to make Instant Pot Beef Stew:
Time needed: 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- Sear Beef
Season meat with some salt and pepper. Place in a large bowl and sprinkle with the flour. Toss until evenly coated.
Place 1 tablespoon oil in the bottom of the pressure cooker and turn to “Sauté” setting (high). When hot, add half the meat and brown for ~2 minutes (until it easily releases), flip, and cook another 2 minutes. Remove, add 1 tablespoon oil, and repeat with remaining beef.
- Deglaze Pan
Add 1 tablespoon oil and the onion to pot and cook 2-3 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Add wine and deglaze pan, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon (~3 minutes). Turn off pressure cooker.
- Add Everything & Cook
Add in the beef broth, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, bay leaves, thyme, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Stir together. Add the browned beef, potatoes, carrots, and celery and stir.
Place the lid on the pot, close the release valve, and select “pressure cook” and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes followed by a 10 minute natural release. Turn valve to release remaining pressure. Remove lid once the float drops.
Set pressure cooker to “sauté”. Mix cornstarch with cold water and add to the pot. Gently stir in and allow to cook and thicken for 2-3 minutes. Remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs and serve.
Yes! You can definitely just brown the seasoned meat in the oil and skip the flour; however, coating it in flour (or cornstarch) helps it to brown better. I have made this recipe multiple times and have found that I am able to get a better sear on the meat in the Instant Pot when it is first floured.
Those little browned bits on the bottom of the pan give the dish so much delicious flavor! Adding in a liquid like wine or broth helps them release from the bottom of the pan while scraping it with a spoon. If these are left on the bottom of the pot they will burn. That would ruin the flavor of your dish as well as kick off your Instant Pot and show the “BURN” error.
Yes! If you don’t have wine or don’t want to cook with it, just use extra beef broth instead.
Wine is used to give body to a dish by enhancing and intensifying the flavor and aroma of the ingredients. It should NOT mask the flavors of the dish. The alcohol is able to bond with both the fat and water, release flavor molecules, and break down fat to reveal the unique flavors of the ingredients in the dish. Learn more about the role of alcohol in cooking here.
You can definitely use what you like to drink, but simple, inexpensive cooking wine works great too if you want to save money or if you don’t drink. It still gives the dish flavor and depth but just won’t be as strong as a good drinking wine. Read more about cooking wine here.
Cooking wine is sold at any grocery store (even Walmart) usually by the oil and vinegar.
If you choose to add frozen peas or green beans, toss them into the stew after it has pressure cooked. The 3-4 minutes in the hot pot while thickening (plus time sitting in the hot broth while cooling) is plenty of time for them to cook.
TOOLS USED TO MAKE PRESSURE COOKER BEEF STEW:
- Instant Pot Pressure Cooker– As much as I love my slow cooker, you can make things way faster (1/8 the time!) in the pressure cooker. It’s truly amazing! You can make anything in it from soup to rice to fall-off-the-bone tender ribs.
- Cutting Board– I love having various sizes of cutting boards and these are awesome because they won’t slip and slide around on the counter.
- Knife Set– I’ve had these for 10 years, use them multiple times a day, and they’re still going strong!
LOOKING FOR MORE BEEF? CHECK OUT THESE:
- Instant Pot Pot Roast
- Slow Cooker Beef Barbacoa
- Beef Rouladen
- Instant Pot Beef and Barley Soup
- Instant Pot Beef Tips & Gravy
Instant Pot Beef Stew
- 2 pounds stew meat, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons oil, (divided)
- 1 large onion, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup red cooking wine, (or beef broth)
- 2 cups beef broth
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes
- 5 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 3 ribs celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch + 2 tablespoons water
- Crusty Bread, (for dipping)
- Season 2 lbs. stew meat with some salt and pepper. Place seasoned beef in a large bowl and sprinkle with 1/3 c. flour. Toss until evenly coated.
- Place 1 tablespoon oil in the bottom of the pressure cooker and turn to “Sauté” setting (high). When hot, add half the meat and brown for ~2 minutes (until it easily releases), flip, and cook another 2 minutes. Remove, add 1 tablespoon oil, and repeat with remaining beef.
- Add 1 tablespoon oil and cut onion to pot and cook 2-3 minutes. Add 4 cloves minced garlic and cook another 30 seconds. Add 1/2 cup wine and deglaze pan (Scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon until wine is reduced by half. ~3 minutes). Turn off Instant pot.
- Add in the 2 c. beef broth, 8 oz. tomato sauce, 2 T. Worcestershire sauce, 2 bay leaves, 2 sprigs thyme, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Stir together. Add the browned beef, 1.5 lbs. potatoes, 5 cut carrots, and 3 cut ribs celery and stir.
- Place the lid on the pot, close the release valve, and select "pressure cook" and cook on high pressure for 20 minutes followed by a 10 minute natural release. Turn valve to release remaining pressure. Remove lid once the float drops.
- Set pressure cooker to "sauté". Mix cornstarch with cold water and add to the pot. Gently stir in and allow to cook and thicken for 2-3 minutes. Remove bay leaves and thyme sprigs and serve.