Instant Pot Beef Stew is the best healthy comfort food recipe that is ready in under an hour! This tomato-based soup is made in the pressure cooker resulting in the most tender stew meat, potatoes, and carrots. While it is already gluten-free, you can also leave out the peas to create a Whole30 and Paleo meal!
I might have fallen in love all over again with my Instant Pot the night this pressure cooker beef stew recipe was created.
Big chunks of juicy, tender beef stew meat…
Bite-sized pieces of carrots, potatoes, and celery…
Tons of herbal goodness in every spoonful.
And this Instant Pot Beef Stew was done in under an hour!
Yup, no simmering a pot on the stove for hours at a time, or waiting all day for the slow cooker to do its thing. You can have a big bowl of comforting beef stew ready to eat on any night of the week!
The simple ingredients you need to make this Instant Pot beef stew recipe include:
- Meat. Organic or grass-fed beef stew meat is ideal if you can find it. Stew meat can be any tougher cut such as a beef chuck roast, round, sirloin, or brisket. The slow cooking allows these to become tender and moist, so choose whatever cut you can find!
- Garlic. Fresh minced cloves of garlic are best. Garlic powder may be substituted if that’s all you have.
- Beef broth. Regular sodium broth was tested, but you can use reduced sodium if needed. Avoid chicken or vegetable broth to get the most authentic tasting stew.
- Herbs. A mixture of dried thyme, rosemary, and sage complement everything else nicely. Fresh herbs will work as well but you will need more.
- Vegetables. Onions, carrots, potatoes, celery and peas not only taste great, but they offer lots of nutrients. You can leave out the peas if you’re on a Whole30 or Paleo diet. Also, be sure to cut the veggies into large chunks so they do not disintegrate while pressure cooking.
- Tomato sauce. Make sure to select sauce and not tomato paste or crushed tomatoes. (Tomato “passata” will work if you can’t find tomato “sauce.”)
- Starch. A mixture of water and starch helps to thicken up the stew. You can choose cornstarch, arrowroot, or even tapioca starch.
How to Make Beef Stew in the Instant Pot
The basic steps for making Instant Pot beef stew are simple to follow. Please see the recipe card below for more detailed ingredient amounts.
Sear the Meat
Load the beef stew meat and oil into a 6-quart Instant Pot set to the sauté function. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until the meat is lightly seared. This step adds a wonderful depth of flavor!
Stir in the garlic and sauté for an additional minute.
Add the Broth
Pour in the broth and deglaze the pot by scraping the bottom to loosen up any bits of meat. This is crucial to avoid a burn error.
Mix in all of the remaining ingredients except for ½-cup broth, starch, and peas. Combine everything, cover with the lid, and ensure the pressure release valve is set to sealed.
Pressure Cook and Release
Use the manual settings to set the Instant Pot to High Pressure for 30 minutes.
Once it is done, allow the stew to sit for 10 minutes for a 10-minute natural pressure release. Use a wooden spoon to carefully release the pressure valve.
Thicken the Soup
While you are waiting for the natural pressure release you can prepare the starch slurry.
Heat ½-cup of broth, then whisk in 3 tablespoons of starch.
After the pressure is released, remove the lid, set to sauté, and mix in the slurry and peas. Simmer the soup for 3-5 minutes or until your desired consistency is reached.
Garnish with additional parsley, serve with gluten-Free dinner rolls or crackers, and enjoy!
Meal Prep and Storage
- To Prep-Ahead: Chop the celery, carrots, and onions and keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days before cooking the soup.
- To Store: Seal in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- To Freeze: Let the soup come to room temperature first and then place in an airtight plastic container. Fill the container as close to the top as you can, and place it in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer to the freezer for up to 6 months.
- To Reheat: Warm the soup in a pot on the stovetop, or pop it in the microwave.
The recipe you’ll find below is already gluten-free and dairy-free as written. Here are some adjustments and substitutions you can make to help it fit your other dietary requirements:
- Whole30 and Paleo – Leave out the peas.
- Added nutrition – Double the vegetables to make it even healthier, and use beef bone broth for added collagen.
It is possible to overcook meat in a slow cooker. If it is cooked for too long it can dry out, or even become mushy and mealy.
You can thicken a stew by making a starch slurry and mixing it into your soup. To do this, heat up ½-cup of broth, water, or milk, and whisk in 3 tablespoons of starch. Add the slurry to the soup or stew while simmering and stir occasionally until your desired consistency is reached.
The best cuts of beef to use for stew are tougher cuts such as chuck, round, sirloin, or brisket.
The meat/stew program option cooks at high pressure which is great for large cuts of meat. You can adjust the pressure to “Low” for a soft texture, “Normal” for even more tenderness, and “High” for fall-off-the-bone meat.
Expert Tips and Tricks
- Add a dash. Mix in Worcestershire sauce either in the pot while cooking, or afterwards to season your own bowl.
- Scrape it good. Release any bits from the bottom of pot to avoid getting the dreaded burn error on the Instant Pot.
- Cut them large. Keep the chunks of vegetables on the chunkier side so they do not break down too much.
- Save a little. You will need ½-cup of the broth to make the cornstarch slurry at the end.
- Double it up. Make a big batch and freeze some to enjoy all winter long.
More Instant Pot Recipes
Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipe
Instant Pot Beef Stew is the best healthy comfort food recipe that is ready in under an hour! While it is already gluten-free, you can also leave out the peas to create a Whole30 and Paleo meal.
- 1 ½ lbs. beef stew meat lean
- 2 Tbsp. oil avocado or olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves finely minced
- 3 cups beef broth regular sodium, divided
- 8 oz. tomato sauce canned
- 1 ¼ lbs. red potatoes cut into ½-inch cubes
- 4 stalks celery cut into ¼-inch pieces
- 1 lb. carrots cut into ½-inch pieces
- 1 small sweet onion finely diced
- 1 ½ – 2 tsp. salt to taste
- ¾ tsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. thyme dried
- 1 tsp. rosemary dried
- ½ tsp. sage ground
- 3 Tbsp. cornstarch or tapioca starch
- 1 cup frozen peas
- Parsley optional
Set a 6-quart Instant Pot to the sauté function and add beef stew meat and butter or oil. Sauté for 3-4 minutes or until meat is lightly seared.
Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
Pour 3 cups broth into pot and scrape the bottom to loosen up any bits of meat. Add all of the ingredients except for the remaining ½ cup broth, starch, and peas. Give the ingredients a good stir, place the lid and ensure the pressure release valve is set to sealed.
Set Instant Pot to High Pressure for 30 minutes. Once the timer goes off let the stew sit for 10 minutes before releasing the pressure release valve. (NPR 10 minutes.)
While stew is sitting, whisk together ½ cup broth that has been warmed up with 3 tablespoons starch to form a slurry that will help thicken the stew.
Set the Instant Pot to the sauté function for 3-5 minutes and add in the slurry and the frozen peas. Sauté until your desired consistency is reached.
*If on a Whole30 diet, simply leave out the peas.
- To Store: Seal in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
- To Freeze: Let the soup come to room temperature first, then place in an airtight plastic container. Fill the container as close to the top as you can, and place it in the refrigerator overnight. Transfer to the freezer for up to 6 months.