Instant Pot Beef Stew is hands-down one of the easiest, most flavorful beef stews you will ever enjoy! Made with tender beef, potatoes, carrots, and a rich, flavorful broth, this Instant Pot Beef Stew recipe delivers classic beef stew in record time!
Nothing hits the spot like a bowl of rich, hearty beef stew. And this recipe for Instant Pot Beef Stew delivers the classic flavors in record time.
This Instant Pot Beef Stew is everything you crave in beef stew and more. The potatoes and carrots are fork-tender and the beef is tender it practically melts in your mouth. They are all enveloped in an incredibly rich sauce that is rich, velvety, and perfectly seasoned with red wine, Worchestershire, and horseradish.
This recipe, like my recipe for Instant Pot Pot Roast, has been inspired by my Papa's recipe for Beef Stew. His secret to the BEST beef stew (and pot roast) is horseradish. The horseradish adds a subtle flavor to the stew but also works to tenderize the beef, resulting in fall-apart tender beef.
Not only does this recipe for Instant Pot Beef Stew have spectacular flavor, but thanks to the magic of the electric pressure cooker, you can have this comfort food on your table in just over an hour.
Notes on Ingredients
- Beef: You can purchase pre-cut stew meat from your grocer, or cut up a chuck roast, top-round roast, or sirloin roast yourself into 1-inch cubes.
- Beef Stock: Use low-sodium beef stock to control the overall sodium in the stew. For a thicker stew, use 3 cups of beef stock. For a thinner beef stew that is more like a hearty soup, use 4 cups of beef stock.
- Horseradish: This recipe uses prepared horseradish, not horseradish sauce. Prepared horseradish is simply grated horseradish, vinegar, and salt and you can often find it in the refrigerated deli section of your local grocery store.
- Red Wine: Use a dry red wine, such as Merlot or Cabernet. If you do not drink alcohol, feel free to use additional beef stock in place of the wine.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Just like the horseradish, the Worcestershire Sauce adds incredible depth of flavor. It is salty and rich and finishes off this stew perfectly. A little bit goes a long way!
- Thyme: Thyme really enhances the flavor of the stew and pairs nicely with the rich beef flavor. Use either fresh thyme or dried thyme leaves. Do not use ground thyme as the flavor is overwhelming.
- Potatoes: Use whole bite-sized new potatoes, quartered red or new potatoes, or peeled russet potatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks.
- Carrots: Use either baby carrots or large peeled, carrots that have been cut into large chunks.
- Cornstarch Slurry: Most recipes for beef stew use flour to thicken the braising liquid in the stew. That is a no-no when pressure cooking, so instead a mixture of cornstarch and water is added after pressure cooking to thicken the stew.
How to Make Instant Pot Beef Stew
Step One: Sear the Beef
A key to developing great flavor in any beef stew is to begin the recipe by searing the meat. This step helps to caramelize the natural sugars in the meat and form a nice crust on the meat that helps to amplify the texture and flavor in the stew. While you can skip this step, it only takes a few minutes and the results are well worth the added effort.
- Turn the Instant Pot to saute, add in the oil, and let the oil heat.
- While the oil is heating, use that time to season the beef liberally with salt and pepper. It is important to season as you go for the best flavor.
- Once the oil is heated, add the seasoned beef and minced onion to the inner pot. Saute, stirring frequently, until the meat is nearly browned and the onion has begun to soften.
- Add in garlic and saute for just another minute to toast, but we do not want to burn the garlic.
Step Two: Deglaze
Whenever you saute anything in the instant pot, it is crucial to remove any browned bits off the bottom of the inner pot before pressure cooking. This is crucial for preventing a burn notice.
- Add in the red wine, or stock if not using wine, and scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the inner pot.
- Allow the wine to cook for 1-2 minutes, just to cook off the alcohol. Then turn the Instant Pot Saute function off.
Step Three: Layer Ingredients
Now it is easy as adding the ingredients to the inner pot. I do recommend adding the crushed tomatoes last. Even though we are stirring everything together, if you added the tomatoes before the broth, they may not fully incorporate into the broth and can cause a burn notice if your unit is finicky.
- Add in beef stock, potatoes, carrots, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, thyme, a pinch of salt, crushed tomatoes, and bay leaf.
- Give everything a stir just to incorporate.
Step Four: Pressure Cook
While this stew has a cooking time of just 30 minutes, keep in mind you will need to account for the time it takes to come to pressure and for pressure to release which can add another 10 minutes to the total time.
- Secure the lid on the instant pot and ensure that the vent knob is pointed towards sealed, not venting.
- Cook on HIGH pressure for 30 minutes.
- Once the cooking time has elapsed, allow the pressure to release naturally for at least 15 minutes. This will keep your meat TENDER and keep the hot liquid from spewing out of your vent knob. DO NOT be tempted to release pressure sooner.
Step Five: Thicken Stew
It is not necessary to thicken the stew, but for a classic texture, thickening the stew with a cornstarch slurry is recommended.
- After you remove the lid, turn the pressure cooker back to saute (hit the cancel/off button then saute button again) and let the mixture come to a boil.
- While the stew is coming to a bubble, whisk together cornstarch and water together in a small bowl until very well combined.
- Once the broth is bubbling, whisk in the cornstarch slurry, and whisk continually until the liquid has thickened. This will take 3-5 minutes.
- Once thickened, turn off the saute function. The stew is now ready to dish out.
Instant Pot Stew is a hearty meal that can stand as a one-pot meal. That said, I love serving this beef stew with Dutch Oven Bread, Homemade Wheat Rolls, or Italian Bread to soak up all the delicious, rich broth.
Once cooled slightly, store leftover Instant Pot Beef Stew in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. While you can opt to freeze leftover beef stew in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months, keep in mind that the texture of the potatoes does not hold up well to freezing, and they will become mushy once defrosted.
More Instant Pot Comfort Food Recipes
- Instant Pot Pot Roast
- Instant Pot Whole Chicken
- Instant Pot Beef and Barley Soup
- Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
- Instant Pot Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes
Need more inspiration for planning meals that your family will love? Sign up for my FREE Meal Plans and each week you will get a meal plan with a shopping list.
If you enjoyed this recipe for Instant Pot Beef Stew, I would love for you to leave a comment and review below. I love hearing from you!
Instant Pot Beef Stew
- 1-2 teaspoons olive or canola oil
- 1 pound stew meat cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 small onion minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup dry red wine or beef stock
- 3 cups beef stock low sodium, see note*
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
- ½ tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 cups baby potatoes or potatoes cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 cups carrots cut into 1 inch chunks
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 fresh sprigs
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch see note
- 3 tablespoons water
- Turn the Instant Pot to Saute, add the oil, and let heat.
- While the oil is heating, season the beef on all sides liberally with salt and pepper.
- Add the seasoned beef and chopped onion to the Instant Pot and saute until the beef is browned on all sides and the onion has begun to soften. Once the meat is nearly fully browned, add in the minced garlic and saute for 1 minute longer, being careful to not burn the garlic.
- Add in red wine (or additional beef stock if not using wine) and scrape up any browned bits of liquid on the bottom of the inner pot. Allow the alcohol to cook off for 1-2 minutes, then turn the saute function off.
- Add the beef stock, potatoes, carrots, crushed tomatoes, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaf, fresh thyme, and a pinch of salt. Stir to incorporate the ingredients.
- Place lid on instant pot and be sure vent knob is closed to seal in pressure.
- Set to manual pressure for 30 minutes. To do this, hit pressure cook or manual and adjust cook time using +/- buttons. If you have the Ultra model, hit ultra and then adjust to high pressure, and then set cook time to 30 minutes.
- Once cook time has elapsed, allow the pressure cooker to release pressure naturally or for AT LEAST 15 minutes.
- Once pressure has been released, open up pressure cooker, remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Hit cancel on pressure cooker (to turn off keep warm function) and turn back to saute.
- Whisk together the water and cornstarch and then whisk into beef stew once bubbling. Allow to bubble and thicken to desired consistency, whisking constantly. Taste and season with salt if needed.
This post was originally published in 2019 but was updated in 2022 with new photos and a new video.