Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipe

a bowl of beef stew made in an Instant Pot

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This Instant Pot beef stew recipe cooks the stew meat first, then adds potatoes and carrots for a shorter amount of cooking time. This means everything in the stew will have exactly the right texture. This is truly the absolute best beef stew!

Glance through the step-by-step photos in the blog post before starting the recipe. The photos will make the lengthly instructions seem easy to do!

Total Instant Pot cooking time: 15 minutes to reach pressure + 35 minute cook time + 15 minutes or so of release time = 1+ hour


Units Scale
  • 2 to 3 pounds beef chuck roast, cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch chunks (or buy pre-cut stew meat)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion (about one medium onion)
  • One 14.5 oz can of beef broth (approx. 2 cups)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pound golden potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 to 4 carrots, cut into 1-inch long pieces
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste


  1. Pat the meat dry so it browns better. Season the meat with salt (1 teaspoon). Add a light dusting of black pepper if you want. 
  2. Press the saute button and heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in the Instant Pot.  
  3. Brown the meat in 2 or 3 batches, in an even layer that isn’t too crowded. Brown one side of the stew meat for 2 to 3 minutes, then flip the meat and brown 2 to 3 minutes more. 
  4. Once a batch of meat is browned, set it aside on a plate or in a large bowl. 
  5. If the bottom of the pot starts looking dry or dark brown, add the second tablespoon of oil before browning another batch of meat. 
  6. When all of the meat is browned and on a plate, drizzle a tablespoon or two of broth into the pot and use a spatula or wooden spoon to scrape up all of the browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Any bits of meat left stuck to the pot might cause a burn notice later. 
  7. Add the onion to the pot and cook for about 3 minutes to soften.  
  8. Add the broth, water and thyme. Add all of the meat (and the juices) back to the pot. 
  9. Cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. Wait about 5 minutes before releasing the steam.  
  10. If the top of the broth seems oily, you can skim some of the oil off with a spoon. 
  11. In a small bowl, whisk the tomato paste and flour until very smooth.  
  12. Scoop ½ cup of the hot liquid out of the pot. Whisk it into the flour and tomato paste. 
  13. Pour the slurry into the pot, whisking to blend it into the stew broth. 
  14. Add the potatoes and carrots to the pot. 
  15. Secure the lid and cook for 10 more minutes on high pressure. When the cooking time is done, wait about 10 minutes before releasing the pressure. 
  16. Add salt to taste. If desired, add more fresh thyme and fresh parsley.  


Some white fat left on the raw meat adds flavor and makes the meat tender, but too much will make the stew oily. Trim off thick layers of white fat on the outside of the chuck roast. You can also trim off some of the hard, white fat as you cut the roast into stew pieces. 

If you don't mind more dishes, then it can be easier to brown the meat in a separate skillet. I like using a wide cast iron skillet on the stove.

Baby carrots can be used instead of sliced carrots for convenience.

If your are using gold or red potatoes, peeling is optional. 

If I use only 2 pounds of stew meat, I usually add closer to 2 pounds of potatoes to bulk up the stew. If I use 3lbs. of stew meat, I only use 1 pound of potatoes. 

Beef stew will keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze it for 4 to 6 months. 

This recipe was tested in a 6-quart Instant Pot.