Best Ever Instant Pot Beef Stew

So you might be asking what is Instant Pot beef stew. The Instant Pot is a pot that functions as a slow cooker, a pressure cooker, a rice cooker, it makes congee and more, and how does it work? It works brilliantly.

Instant Pot Beef Stew in a white bowl

I was looking to replace my pressure cooker with something that could multi-task. I found it. No, this isn’t a paid endorsement. It is someone that is triumphal with the results. I have made several recipes this weekend with it, and I have been happy with all of them. If you know me, you know I can’t make rice on the stovetop. I try, I fail. So the rice here is cooked very well, and it does so much more quickly than in my rice cooker.

Tonight, I had to cook a roast. I often go grocery shopping before the weekend starts and Sunday night I am often cooking things for the week. This week it was stew. I made beef stew tonight that was excellent, and honestly some of the best that I have ever made. In about an hour I had beef that was so tender you could break it apart easily with a fork.

Instant Pot Beef Stew – Inspired from my Grandmother’s recipe

Tonight’s inspiration was simplicity, and I wanted something to remind me of my Grandmother’s beef stew. She cooked plainly, letting food’s natural flavors come through. So tonight’s pressure cooked stew was beef, potatoes, onions, carrots, a little garlic powder, salt, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and smoked paprika, and that was all. What I ended up with was a savory stew that I will enjoy for this week.

Instant Beef Stew – One Crazy Ingredient

What one crazy ingredient is in this recipe? Chicken stock. I use chicken stock as the stew base. I think the flavor of the chicken stock adds a richness and nice flavor profile that beef stock does not have. People always ask, did you just say chicken stock. Yes. If you prefer beef stock, please use it. I urge you to try your beef stew with chicken stock just once.

Ingredients to make Beef Stew Instant Pot Recipe.

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Learn how to keep the vegetables firm in your beef stew

I did pressure cook my stew twice. The first time through it was simply salt, tomato sauce, and chicken broth. I wanted the meat to have a head start on the vegetables, so I put them in first. I cooked these for 15 minutes, and then I put in the veggies and cooked for 30 minutes. What I ended up with was a flavorful stew that you would have thought was on the stovetop for an afternoon.

How to make the best Instant Pot stew

It’s pretty easy to make delicious stew, you can make a beef stew that tastes like it cooked all-day in your pressure cooker. I will walk you through the process.

  • Cut your beef into bite-sized pieces. Small pieces of meat means your stew with taste extra meaty, by increasing the surface area of the meat means more flavor comes through.
  • Brown the meat first before pressure cooking it. The browning process will give your stew a depth of flavor.
  • Using meat stock instead of water adds another layer of depth to the taste of your stew.
  • Cooking the vegetables last results in the vegetables retaining all of their natural bold flavors. No one wants flavorless mushy vegetables.

What meat is best for beef stew?

You can use just about any cut of beef for beef stew.  The cheaper cut of meat, will give you better flavor! My personal favorite is chuck roast, a chuck roast is inexpensive, and has enough marbling on it to give it more flavor.  Don’t buy precut stew meat, it costs more, five minutes of work means you can save a couple of dollars a pound.  Here is the breakdown types of meat you can make beef stew.

  • Chuck roast –  (Chuck Shoulder, Chuck Roast, Chuck-Eye Roast, Top Chuck) – is well-marbled, and releases a lot of gelatin when it cooks, so you get a wonderful velvety texture.
  • Sirloin – is great if you want a lower fat content in your stew, this is a great choice, this leaner cut of beef. You won’t get the same texture as you will with a fattier cut.
  • Round eye roast (Bottom Round Roast, Bottom Eye Roast, Rump Roast, Eye Round Roast, Top Round, Round Tip Roast) – These are all variations of the same cut of roast. Inexpensive and lean, this is a great choice for a leaner stew plus these are often priced less expensively than other cuts of meat.

How long do you need to cook beef chunks in a pressure cooker?

Meat takes 30 minutes to be cooked thoroughly, in a pressure cooker.  You might wonder if you want to add more meat in the pressure cooker do you need to cook it for longer?  No, the meat needs to cook for 30 minutes at the proper psi to be done. Longer cooking time is irrelevant when you use more meat.

Tips for success when making Instant Pot beef stew

To add richness and flavor to the stew

  • Brown the meat first
  • Do not use water, use a meat stock
  • Use meat with some fat like a chuck roast, you will get flavor from the fat, and the gelatin will give you a nice texture.
  • When you brown the meat deglaze with a bit of red wine if you desire

Additional tips

  • Do not put flour in your  Instant Pot, it will clog the pressure cooker. If you think the stew is too thin, consider adding a corn starch slurry to the final result.
  • If you want to you can add a couple of bay leaves when you cook the meat.

Beef Stew in the Instant Pot is flavorful

What I like about using the Instant Pot it is that is a safe, easy way to pressure cook. The flavors stay trapped within the liquid, so you get a nice flavorful stew. This stew cooks quickly, and the pressure cooker is relatively silent when in operation. It will even switch to a warm mode once the food is cooked. I browned my meat right in the pot, then put on the lid, set the timer, and walked away until it beeped. Brilliant. This is the working person’s dream.

Want to see more about the Instant Pot? Read my Should You Buy An Instant Pot article.

I recommend this model: Instant Pot IP-LUX50 6-in-1 Programmable Pressure Cooker, 5.28qt, Latest 3rd Generation Technology, Stainless Steel Cooking Pot and Exterior

Instant Pot Beef Stew in a white bowl

Loved this recipe? Try my other Instant Pot recipes.

Best Hearty Soup Recipes

Be sure to take a look at more of my easy soup recipes and Instant Pot meals.

If you are still wondering if you should get an Instant Pot you can read my blog post about Should You Get an Instant Pot.

Instant Pot Beef Stew in a white bowl

Instant Pot Beef Stew

You can make the post amazing Instant Pot Beef Stew. 
4.94 from 29 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Instant Pot Recipes
Servings: 8
Calories: 413kcal


  • 2 1/2 pounds chuck roast cut into bite sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 16 ounces chicken stock
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 pounds potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 8 ounces carrots, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 large onions, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


  • Cut beef into bite-sized pieces.   Season meat with salt.  Brown bite-sized pieces of roast in the Instant Pot on saute in vegetable oil, you may need to do this in small batches.  
  • Once the meat has browned add tomato sauce and chicken stock. Cook the meat on the manual high setting for 30 minutes. Perform a quick release. 
  • Then add the garlic powder, smoked paprika,  vegetables and cook on the manual setting for 4 minutes. 
  • When the stew finishes you can either perform a quick release or a manual release.



Calories: 413kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 816mg | Potassium: 1337mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 5125IU | Vitamin C: 21.5mg | Calcium: 85mg | Iron: 7.5mg
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About Stephanie

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Ken Easterling

    Hey Stephanie,
    I read your information about keeping your vegetables firm.
    I did pressure cook my stew twice. The first time through it was simply salt, tomato sauce, and chicken broth. I wanted the meat to have a head start on the vegetables, so I put them in first. I cooked these for 15 minutes, and then I put in the veggies and cooked for 30 minutes. What I ended up with was a flavorful stew that you would have thought was on the stovetop for an afternoon.”
    In this recipe it calls for cooking the beef for 30 mins and then adding the vegetables and remainder of ingredients and cook for 4 mins. I’m a little confused. I like the vegetables firm so which directions do I follow.
    Thank you for the recipes. I can’t wait to make this.

  2. Addie Calvitt

    Have you updated the cooking times on this recipe? I saved it to one of my apps and cooked it last night. Delicious! Cook time was 15 min for meat, tomato sauce, and chicken broth and QR; add vegetables, cook for 30 minutes, QR. New directions say 30 mins, QR, then 4 mins, QR.
    The potato and carrot quantity seemed to change as well.

  3. Colleen

    5 stars
    Scrumptious, easy and quick – thanks for this great recipe. I’ll check out other recipes on your blog. Yum, so good!

  4. Gloria

    5 stars
    I made this tonight and it was great with a few minor changes…I didn’t have smoked paprika so I used 1/2 tsp Chipotle powder and also added 1 cup of Bisto brown gravy because my husband is not a tomato sauce fan but left it in because I am. I used everything else and we loved it! I will be making this again for the winter months! Thank you!

  5. Diane

    4 stars
    Excellent flavor. Potatoes overpower rest of ingredients so felt like potato stew. Actually felt more like a soup than a stew. So I threw in a bag of frozen meatballs and 4 ounces of merlot and added another 5 minutes at the end.
    I think the instructions meant to remove meat after cooking at empty the oily water in the pot. I didn’t know to do that so it’s also a bit to oily for my taste.
    In all, the flavor blend is delicious. Couldn’t be much easier to make.I’ll make it again with adjustments.

    • Stephanie

      Thank you for your comments. Each roast you buy is different and can have different amounts of fat. I’ll be sure to modify that in the directions.

  6. Carrie

    5 stars
    This is my go to recipe for IP Beef Stew. I add celery and mushrooms…and stir in some frozen peas and thicken with a little constarch slurry on sauté at the end. I have also substituted some of the liquid with 1/2 cup red wine. I cook veggies for 3 min with perfect results.

  7. Laurie

    4 stars
    Just made this recipe for my family and it was amazing. The only thing different was that I added chopped fresh garlic after the beef was seared. I just received my instant pot for Christmas and this was my first recipe to try. My family all enjoyed it.

  8. Cindy

    5 stars
    Very good stew. I made a few changes though. I coated the meat with flour, used V8 and dumped in veggies with meat. Cooked on high 35 minutes. Manual release 15 minutes. Inused russets and the potatoes were not mushy.

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