Instant Pot Beef Stew delivers a classic beef stew in record time! Made with tender beef, potatoes, carrots, and a rich, flavorful broth, this recipe for Instant Pot Beef Stew is easy to prepare and downright delicious.
The Best Instant Pot Beef Stew
Nothing hits the spot like a bowl of rich, hearty Beef Stew. And this recipe for Instant Pot Beef Stew is absolutely spectacular!
It is everything you crave in beef stew and more. The sauce is rich, velvety, and perfectly seasoned with red wine, Worchestershire sauce, and fresh thyme.
The beef is fall-apart tender, thanks not only to the magic of using an electric pressure cooker but also in part to the added horseradish, which not only adds a subtle flavor to the stew but also works to tenderize the beef.
Filled with perfectly cooked potatoes and carrots that have absorbed the flavorful sauce, this hearty beef stew delivers on flavor, yet is ready with minimal cooking time.
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.
- 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 Beef
- Turn the Instant Pot to Saute and allow it to heat while you season your stew meat liberally with salt and pepper on all sides.
- Once the inner pot is heated, add in a bit of oil,the seasoned stew meat, and the minced onion.
- Saute until the meat is nearly browned and the onion has softened.
- Add in garlic and saute for just another minute to toast, not burn the garlic.
Step Two: Deglaze Pan
- Add in the red wine, or stock if not using wine and scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the inner pot. This will add flavor to the stew, but also prevent a burn notice.
- 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: Prepare Stew
- Add in beef stock, potatoes, carrots, crushed tomatoes, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, bay leaf, fresh thyme, and a pinch of salt.
- Stir to incorporate everything evenly.
Step Four: Pressure Cook
- Place lid on Instant Pot and secure vent knob to the sealed position.
- Cook on HIGH pressure for 30 minutes.
- Allow the pressure to release naturally. 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
- Once pressure has released on your pressure cooker, remove the lid and turn the pressure cooker back to saute (hit cancel/off button then saute button again).
- Whisk together the cornstarch with the water until very well combined.
- Once the broth is bubbling, whisk in the cornstarch slurry, and whisk continually until the stew is thickened. This will take 3-5 minutes.
Step Six: Serve
- Once the beef stew has thickened, dish it out and serve with Homemade Wheat Rolls or slices of Italian Bread for a delicious, easy comfort food meal.
Store leftover Instant Pot Beef Stew, once cooled slightly, 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 will become mushy when defrosted.
I love the added texture and flavor that comes from taking the time to sear the beef. However, if you are in a time crunch, skip this step! Your stew will still be delicious.
Yes! As long as your beef is already cubed, like stew meat, you can use frozen beef. Skip searing the meat and add 5 minutes to the cooking time.
In my humble opinion, yes! Horseradish and beef pair beautifully together and the horseradish adds great flavor to this stew while helping to tenderize the beef. I use it in my Instant Pot Pot Roast as well, and as you can see from the reviews it is a game-changer!
This recipe has a slightly thick broth. For a thicker stew, use ONLY 3 cups beef stock. For a thinner beef stew, use 4 cups of beef stock. You can also use 2 tablespoons of cornstarch in place of the 1 tablespoon of cornstarch for a really thick stew.
It is NOT necessary to thicken the Beef Stew. Without thickening the broth, this stew will be more like a hearty beef soup--which is still delicious.
No! While when making pot roast in the Instant Pot, I add the potatoes and carrots after the meat has cooked, I do not have issues with the potatoes or carrots turning to mush in this beef stew recipe.
If you learn better with a video, be sure to check out my Instant Pot Beef Stew video on YouTube for step-by-step instructions.
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
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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.