Instant Pot Beef Stew

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Rich, flavorful, quick, and easy are hallmarks of this delicious Instant Pot Beef Stew recipe. Thanks to your pressure cooker, it’s a classic family favorite meal made simple!

A bowl of beef stew with beef, carrots, potatoes and garnished with thyme

If you own an Instant Pot you already know how convenient and awesome it is to get a meal on the table in record time. But this recipe? This recipe for Instant Pot beef stew can be made in under an hour, which is downright magical. Normally, beef stew would take hours on the stovetop or even in a slow cooker, which has long been the preferred way to make it.

Once you try this hearty and savory beef stew, you’ll never make it any other way. It’s pure comfort food in a fraction of the time. It tastes like it’s been simmering all day, but that’s the magic of the pressure cooker. The beef is tender and juicy, and the potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions are cooked to perfection. The seasonings bring the entire meal together in a tried and true comfort food experience that will earn you rave reviews.

Oh! And did I mention that this recipe is perfect for Instant Pot beginners? It totally is, and you’ll feel like an Instant Pot rockstar when you serve this amazing meal. You can’t go wrong with this one! Another great beginner beef recipe is my famous Instant Pot Mississippi Pot Roast.

Equipment Needed

Gather These Ingredients:

Ingredients needed for instant pot beef stew laid out on a white background: beef chuck roast, onions, garlic, celery, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, beef stock, red wine, oil, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, salt, pepper, paprika, and ground cayenne.

Please scroll ⬇️ to the recipe card to see the full ingredient amounts and instructions.

  • Chuck Roast: cut into 1″ cubes
  • Seasonings (salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika): to flavor the meat and veggies
  • Onion, garlic, and celery: are all needed to enhance the flavor of the vegetables and the meat.
  • Vegetables (potatoes, carrots, and mushrooms): make this a true one-pot meal
  • Beef broth and red wine: used for cooking, tenderizing, and infusing the meat and veggies with amazing flavor.
  • Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste: flavor boosters
  • Cornstarch and water: to help thicken the stew

Best Cut of Meat for Beef Stew

The best cut of meat for beef stew is one that is both flavorful and becomes tender when slow-cooked. Generally, you’ll want to choose cuts of beef with some marbling and connective tissue, as these contribute to the rich, succulent texture of a good stew. Here are some popular cuts of beef commonly used for beef stew:

  • Chuck Roast (Recommended): Chuck roast is one of the most popular choices for beef stew. It’s well-marbled with fat and contains enough connective tissue to break down during slow cooking, resulting in tender, flavorful meat.
  • Bottom Round: The bottom round is a leaner cut compared to the chuck roast but still works well for stew. It benefits from slow cooking to become tender and flavorful.
  • Top Round: The top round is another lean cut that can be used for stew. It has less fat than chuck, so you might want to add a bit of extra fat (like bacon) or use a flavorful liquid like wine or broth to keep the meat moist and tasty.
  • Short Ribs: Beef short ribs are a luxurious option for beef stew. They are well-marbled and have a rich, beefy flavor. Braised short ribs make for a melt-in-your-mouth stew.
  • Brisket: Brisket, often used for barbecue, can also be used for beef stew. It’s a fatty cut with lots of flavor, and it becomes incredibly tender when slow-cooked.
  • Stew Meat: If you’re short on time or don’t want to deal with cutting and trimming a larger cut of meat, you can purchase pre-cut stew meat from your butcher. However, be aware that the quality and type of meat in stew meat packages can vary, so check with your butcher for the best options.

Vegetable Variations

Branch out and try some other veggies to add a new taste profile to this classic beef stew recipe.

Peas: Green peas or sugar snap peas are a great way to introduce some sweetness and vibrant green color to your stew. Add them towards the end of cooking to prevent overcooking.

Corn kernels: Corn kernels can add a sweet and slightly crunchy texture to stew. They are especially popular in American-style beef stew.

Green Beans: Fresh green beans can add a crisp and fresh element to your stew. Cut them into bite-sized pieces. Add them at the end and use the Sauté function for a few minutes.

Leeks: Leeks have a milder onion flavor and can add a subtle depth of flavor to your stew. Slice them thinly and sauté them with the onions.

Turnips: Turnips can provide a unique flavor and a bit of bitterness. They add a hearty, root vegetable element to the stew.

Parsnips: Similar in texture to carrots, parsnips have a sweeter and slightly nutty flavor. They can be a great addition to beef stew.

Butternut Squash: For a touch of sweetness and a different texture, consider adding cubed butternut squash. It pairs well with the savory elements of the stew.

Cabbage: Green cabbage or Savoy cabbage can add a mild, earthy flavor and a bit of crunch. Chop it into thick chunks and add it at the end using the Sauté function for a few minutes.

Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes add natural sweetness and a creamy texture to your stew. They work well with the rich flavors of beef.

What Type of Red Wine Should I Use?

Wine is primarily used in cooking for its acidity, which helps break down tough meat cuts. These varieties of red wine will add the extra layer of flavor that will take this beef stew recipe over the top. Choose a dry red wine over a sweet one. The type of red wine you choose can have a significant impact on the taste of the stew. Even if you don’t drink wine, know that when you cook with it, the alcohol will evaporate, leaving shades of its aromatics and flavor.

  • Cabernet Sauvignon (recommended): This is a popular choice because it’s a bold and robust wine with dark fruit flavors and a good amount of tannins. It can add depth and complexity to your stew.
  • Merlot: Merlot is softer and fruitier than Cabernet Sauvignon, making it a milder option that can work well with beef stew, especially if you prefer a less intense wine flavor.
  • Pinot Noir: If you prefer a lighter-bodied wine, Pinot Noir is a good option. It has a more delicate profile with red fruit notes and a smoother finish.
  • Zinfandel: Zinfandel wines are known for their jammy, fruity character, and they can add a touch of sweetness and spice to your beef stew.

Avoid Extremely Expensive Wines

You don’t need to use your finest or most expensive bottle of wine for cooking. A mid-range wine that you enjoy drinking is usually sufficient for beef stew.

When using wine in beef stew, remember these tips:

  • Use a wine that you would drink, as the flavors will concentrate during cooking.
  • Add wine early in the cooking process to allow the alcohol to evaporate and the flavors to meld with the stew.
  • If you prefer not to use wine, you can substitute with beef broth or a non-alcoholic red wine substitute for flavor.

What to Substitute for Red Wine

If you prefer not to use wine in your beef stew or if you don’t have any wine on hand, you can substitute it with other liquids to maintain the depth of flavor and moisture needed for a delicious stew. Here are some alternatives to wine in beef stew:

  • Beef Broth or Stock: Beef broth or beef stock is a natural and flavorful substitute for wine in beef stew. It complements the beef and enhances the savory notes of the dish. You can use it as a 1:1 replacement for wine.
  • Red Wine Vinegar: Red wine vinegar can provide acidity and a touch of wine-like flavor to your stew. Start with a smaller amount and adjust to taste, typically around 1-2 tablespoons per cup of liquid in the recipe.
  • Non-Alcoholic Red Wine: If you want to maintain the wine flavor without the alcohol, consider using non-alcoholic red wine. These are specifically designed to mimic the taste of wine without the alcohol content.
  • Beer: If you’re open to using alcohol but don’t have wine, you can substitute a dark beer, such as a stout or porter. It can add a rich and malty flavor to the stew.

My favorite substitute for this recipe is a blend of 3/4 cup beef broth, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of sugar.

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Cut your chuck roast into 1″ cubes. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne.
Hands sprinkling salt onto beef chunks
  1. Set Instant Pot to [SAUTE] for 30 minutes. Add olive oil. Working in 2 batches, sear the meat to a light crust to seal in the flavor. Remove from Instant Pot and set aside. Add onion and sauté for a few minutes until the onion is translucent.
searing beef in instant pot.
  1. Press [CANCEL] and deglaze the pot with red wine, beef broth, and Worcestershire sauce. Use a rubber spatula to scrape any bits of meat and onion that may be stuck to the bottom.
  2. Add in garlic, browned chuck roast cubes, tomato paste, and thyme. Close the lid (ensuring the pressure release valve is in the sealing position) and set it to [PRESSURE COOK] on high pressure for 20 minutes.
Instant pot with beef broth, seared beef chunks, garlic, tomato paste and fresh thyme.
  1. Let the pressure naturally release when finished cooking. [Note: It’s best to release the pressure naturally (do nothing and let the pin drop on its own) so that the beef doesn’t dry out, but if you’re in a rush, let it naturally release for at least 10 minutes before quickly releasing (turn the pressure release valve to the “venting” position) the rest of the pressure.] Once the pin drops, you can open the lid. At this point, you’ll layer in the potatoes, carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Close the lid and [PRESSURE COOK] on high for an additional 6 minutes.
cutting board with chopped up celery, carrots, mushrooms, potatoes.
  1. While that’s cooking, make a thickening slurry of cornstarch and water. Use a 1:1 ratio of cornstarch and water. (I used 2 tablespoons cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water) You can adjust based on your preference of how thick you want the sauce to be.
  2. Let the pressure naturally release when finished cooking, or let it naturally release pressure for at least 10 minutes before quickly releasing the rest of the pressure. Open the lid and add the cornstarch mixture. Press [SAUTE] for 2-3 minutes and let the slurry thicken the stew.
bowl of instant pot beef stew. Chunks of tender beef, carrots, potatoes, celery and mushrooms.

Tips for Success

Sear and brown the meat. Do not overcrowd the beef. It is best to work in 2-3 batches. You’ll want a nice crust to form to lock in the flavor and make it that much more delicious. Once you add the meat, try not to move it around for about 4-5 minutes. Let it brown and form a crust before moving it. It should pull away from the bottom easily when you try to move it. If it doesn’t, let it brown a little more and try again.
When you deglaze the pot, make sure you scrape all the yummy bits off of the bottom. Use a rubber spatula to lift the flavorful bits up and off the bottom.
Cut your vegetables into large pieces. They’ll hold up better when pressure cooking. I cut the vegetables depending on how long they’ll cook. Carrots usually cook longer than potatoes so I’ll cut the carrots about 1 inch long and cut the baby potatoes in half or into quarters, depending on the size.
Natural pressure release (NPR) after pressure cooking will help the meat become more tender. If you’re short on time, make sure to let it sit for at least 10-15 minutes after it is done pressure cooking. Then, you can do a quick release for the rest of the pressure. But the longer you wait, the better!

bowl of instant pot beef stew with bread on the side.

Serving Suggestions

Since this is a one-pot meal with everything in it, the only thing left to add is some bread! Here are some popular options to serve with your stew:

  • Bread: A warm baguette or crusty bread like this rosemary parmesan bread is perfect for dipping into the flavorful stew. Garlic bread is also a tasty accompaniment.
  • Rice: Fluffy white or brown rice is a simple and neutral option that complements the stew’s rich flavors.
  • Potatoes: This recipe calls for potatoes in the stew, but you can leave them out and make creamy mashed potatoes or seasoned roasted potatoes instead.
  • Noodles: Soft egg noodles or buttered noodles provide a nice contrast to the stew’s thickness and richness.
  • Vegetables: Steamed or roasted vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, or Brussels sprouts are a great nutritious side dish.
  • Salad: A fresh green salad with a light vinaigrette can provide a refreshing contrast to the hearty stew.
  • Cornbread: The sweetness of cornbread can complement the savory flavors of beef stew. You can serve it as a slice or in muffin form.

Storage Tips

Storing leftover beef stew properly is important to maintain its flavor and safety. Allow the beef stew to cool down to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing it.

Refrigerate: If you plan to consume the leftover beef stew within a few days, store it in the refrigerator. It can be safely kept in the fridge for up to 3-4 days

Freeze: If you won’t be using the leftovers within a few days, consider freezing them. Beef stew can be stored in the freezer for up to 2-3 months for the best quality. Ensure there is minimal air in the container to prevent freezer burn. You can also place a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the stew before sealing the container to create an additional barrier against freezer burn. Alternatively, you can also store it in a freezer ziplock bag. Lay the bag flat, so there’s more room in the freezer, and it’s easier to defrost. Defrost in the fridge overnight when you’re ready to eat it.

Reheat: When you’re ready to eat the leftover beef stew, you can reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave. Make sure it’s heated to an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C) to ensure it’s safe to eat.


Bowl of beef stew with chunks of beef, carrots, and potatoes. Garnished with fresh thyme leaves

Instant Pot Beef Stew

Quynh Nguyen
Classic beef stew made in the instant pot. Chunks of fork tender beef with vegetables in a delicous and savory red wine sauce.
5 from 71 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Time For Pot To Come To Pressure/Natural Pressure Release 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6 people
Calories 506 kcal



  • 2 pounds well-marbled chuck roast beef (cut 1-inch thick)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion (diced)
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme (or 2 teaspoons dry thyme)
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms (button or baby Bella mushrooms)
  • 2 stalks of celery (cut ½-inch in length)
  • 4-5 carrots (cut 1-inch in length)
  • 6-8 baby potatoes (cut in half or in quarters to equal 1-inch)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch (mixed with 1 tablespoon of water)


  • Sprinkle salt, pepper, ground cayenne pepper, and paprika onto the chuck roast beef.
  • Turn the Instant Pot on [SAUTE] mode. Wait until the instant pot reads “hot”, then add a generous amount of olive oil to the pot. Sear the chuck roast beef on all sides. (It is best to work in 2-3 batches. Do not overcrowd so you can get a nice crust. Add more olive oil, if needed, to prevent the beef from sticking). Then, set the beef aside in another bowl.
  • Add onion; cook and stir for 2-3 minutes or until the onion is soft.
  • Press [CANCEL] and deglaze the pot with red wine, beef broth and Worcestershire sauce. Be sure to scrape any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot with a rubber spatula.
  • Stir in garlic, and browned chuck roast beef. Layer on tomato paste and thyme (do not stir). Close the lid; make sure the pressure release valve is turned to the “sealing” position. Press [PRESSURE COOK] (or “manual” for older models) and set it on high pressure for 20 minutes.
  • Once it is done cooking, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes until the screen reads L00:10, and then quick release the rest of the pressure by turning the knob to “venting”.
  • Open the lid; take the thyme out (if using fresh thyme). Layer in the carrots, celery, potatoes, and mushrooms. Close the lid; make sure the knob is back to “sealing”; press [PRESSURE COOK] (or “manual”) and cook on high pressure for an additional 6 minutes. Once it is done cooking, let it naturally release the pressure completely until the pin drops. (If you’re in a rush let it naturally release for at least 10 minutes before quick releasing so the beef doesn’t dry out.)
  • In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water until well combined. Open the lid and press [SAUTE] for 2 minutes. Add in cornstarch mixture to thicken up the sauce; add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve warm with crusty bread.


***This recipe was tested with a 6 quart Instant Pot***
Helpful Tips:
  • Sear and brown the meat. This will lock in the flavor and make it that much more delicious. Once you add the meat, try to not move it around for about 4-5 minutes. Let it brown and form a crust before moving it. It should pull away from the bottom easily when you try to move it. If it doesn’t, let it brown a little more and try again.
  • I used Better Than Bouillon Roasted Beef Base as my beef stock. If you’re using another kind, you may need to adjust the amount of salt used.
  • Substitute red wine for 3/4 cup beef broth, 1/4 cup red wine vinegar, and 1 teaspoon sugar.
  • When deglazing, scrape any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot and layer in the ingredients as directed so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. This will ensure that you don’t get that dreaded “BURN” message.
  • Cut your vegetables into large even pieces, that way they’ll hold up better when pressure cooking. Otherwise, potatoes especially, tend to get mushy and fall apart easily within the stew. They’ll still be tender if you keep them larger and they’ll also be easier to eat!
  • Using the Natural Pressure Release after pressure cooking the meat will actually help it become more tender. If you’re short on time, make sure to let it sit for at least 10-15 minutes after it is done pressure cooking. Then, you can Quick Release the rest of the pressure.


Calories: 506kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 35gFat: 20gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 104mgSodium: 689mgPotassium: 1582mgFiber: 6gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 7098IUVitamin C: 41mgCalcium: 80mgIron: 5mg
Have you tried this recipe?Leave a star rating and let us know how it was!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    I made this delicious stew recipe for dinner and it will be the only stew recipe that I will ever use. I followed the recipe to the letter. I also followed suggested time for the Instapot. I allowed the Instapot to release steam naturally and didn’t do an early pressure release. I used both red wine and beef broth.
    This stew turned out to be the best one I have ever made.

  2. 5 stars
    This is the best stew recipe I’ve ever had! Super easy to throw together in the instapot and tastes like you had it simmering for hours. Definitely a keeper!

  3. 5 stars
    With the weather getting colder, I was in the mood to make soup or a stew. Well, I am certainly glad that I tried this one. It is the best stew I’ve ever made. Love the ease of using my instant pot too.
    Absolutely delicious!
    I forgot to buy mushrooms so I added a cup of edemame. I also added some sweet peppers from my garden.

  4. 5 stars
    I have used a similar recipe, and found the timing on this to be great. It is important (as you state in the recipe) to the NPR after each stage, so that the meat is really tender. Yummy flavor!

  5. 5 stars
    I love this recipe and have made it several times now , today I added turnip as I have some right out of the garden, it’s easy to follow and so tasty ! 😋

  6. 5 stars
    This was my first time making stew in the Instant Pot instead of the Crock Pot. It was easy to follow and the flavor is super tasty. The one thing I will do next time is add more liquid. When it was finished there was hardly. What was left was great consistency but I’d like more.

  7. 5 stars
    Best beef stew recipe ever! Both of us ate more than we should have, but it was hard to quit!
    I added 2 small turnips and 1/2 pound fresh green beans. I also subbed white wine vinegar for the red wine vinegar…didn’t have any! We’re looking forward to leftovers already!

  8. 5 stars
    Turned out great!!! I deglazed with diced tomatoes (drained) then let it cook a little with the minced garlic and onions, I then added the beef broth and cooked exactly as stated in recipe, I did not use potatoes (you will see why later) once done instead of using cornstarch slurry I added Gnocchi 🙂 and cooked on sauté 2 mins and WAH LAH!!! It thickened and was perfect!!! This recipe is a keeper!!!

  9. 5 stars
    I thought the beef stew was delicious a little bit spicy for my hubby and I. We are the only ones that ate it tonight. Have like 3 portions left. I would say next time I would eliminate the cayenne pepper and the celery seed that I put in. Also, pressure cook the potatoes a little bit longer. Even cutting the baby red and Yukon in half were not done enough. Would do a 10 minutes HP with a 10 minute natural release not 6 like is mentioned/10 NR. 6 made them to hard to stick a fork in them. Larger cut carrots were more firm but OK. Small cut carrots were soft but OK. I also added frozen peas during that last saute stage for the thickening process. Overall very delicious!!!

  10. 5 stars
    This is s fantastic beef stew recipe Quynh. Thank you for sharing. Freezes well if you change the potatoes for turnips!

  11. 5 stars
    Wow, I have fallen back in love with my pressure cooker, this amazing stew would have taken hours without it! So delicious and the beef was so tender!