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!
From Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon to Irish Stew to this recipe Instant Pot Beef Stew, nothing hits the spot like a bowl of rich, hearty beef stew. And this recipe delivers the best classic beef stew in record time!
Reasons to Love Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Perfect Results. 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 so tender it practically melts in your mouth. Enveloped in an incredibly rich broth, this stew hits the spot.
- Game-Changing Ingredient. 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.
- Comfort Food Fast. 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.
- 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, which will add a rich, bold flavor to this Instant Pot stew.
- 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 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.
- Thick or Thin: 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.
- Omit the Wine. If you do not drink alcohol, feel free to use additional beef stock in place of the wine.
How to Make Instant Pot Beef Stew
The following tips are provided to help you achieve perfect results. You will find the detailed instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post or follow along as I make this dish in the video below.
Step One: Sear the Stew Meat. A key to developing great flavor in any beef stew is to begin the recipe by searing the beef along with the onion. This step helps to caramelize and soften the onions and form a nice crust on the beef, which both help to amplify the texture and flavor of the stew. While you can skip this step, it only takes a few minutes to saute the two together using the saute function and the results are well worth the added effort.
Step Two: Deglaze the Inner Pot. 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. For beef stew, I recommend adding in red wine, or stock if not using wine, and scraping up any browned bits off the bottom of the inner pot.
Step Three: Layer Ingredients. Now it is as 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 add the tomatoes before the broth, they may not fully incorporate into the broth and can cause a burn notice if your unit is finicky.
Step Four: Pressure Cook. 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 (Optional). It is not necessary to thicken the stew, but for a classic texture, thickening the stew with a cornstarch slurry and sauteeing until thickened is recommended.
Watch Me Make Instant Pot Beef Stew
If you learn better through a video presentation, follow along on YouTube as I make Instant Pot Beef Stew.
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.
- Refrigerate: Once cooled slightly, store leftover Instant Pot Beef Stew in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Freeze: 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.
- Reheat: Defrost in the refrigerator overnight if needed. Reheat the stew in individual heat-safe bowls covered with a damp paper towel in 60-second intervals in the microwave, until warmed through.
More Instant Pot Comfort Food Recipes
- Instant Pot Whole Chicken
- Instant Pot Beef and Barley Soup
- Instant Pot Red Beans and Rice
- Instant Pot Stuffed Peppers
- Instant Pot Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings
- Instant Pot Short Ribs
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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 low-sodium beef stock *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 dried bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 fresh sprigs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 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. To set the cooking time, hit the pressure cook or manual button and adjust the cooking time using the +/- buttons to 30 minutes on high pressure.
- 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 the pressure cooker and remove bay leaf and thyme sprigs.
- To thicken the stew, hit cancel on the pressure cooker (to turn off the 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 2024 with new photos and a new video.