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Easy Instant Pot Beef Stew

Your family will love this Easy Instant Pot Beef Stew! It’s a hearty recipe made with stew beef, potatoes, carrots, green beans, and tomatoes that can be on the table in under 30 minutes when you use a pressure cooker.

I’m just going to say it – I love my pressure cooker. So there. Lots of people are scared of them, I know. They have visions of them exploding all over the kitchen. I guess I understand that. I mean, after all, I’ve seen it happen. Once. And I remember it well, too.

A serving of beef stew over rice in a white bowl.

It was on a Sunday morning when Mama was trying to get my two sisters and me dressed and ready for church. Preparations for attending church in our household were something like a three-ring circus.

We each had to have our Sunday socks and shoes, Sunday dress, probably with crinolines underneath (raise your hand if you know what a crinoline is), clean white gloves, and sometimes a hat.

👒 Sunday Mornings Back in the Day

She’d get one or two of us ready and by the time she was finished with the third one, either the first or second had messed up her hair, taken her shoes and socks off, or rolled around outside on the grass in her nice clean Sunday dress and Mama would have to start all over.

Sisters

Sometimes I wonder how in the world we ever got anywhere. And it wasn’t like we’d leave the house looking a mess, either. Oh, no. When we stepped out the door and headed for the car, we all, Mama included, were as near to perfect as possible.

❗ Pressure Cookers Have Changed – A Lot!

Anyway, it was one of those Sunday mornings when the three of us were behaving like, well, like little girls. Besides getting everyone dressed and ready for church, Mama also had to have dinner ready when we returned. So, before she started getting us dressed, she had put some chicken on to cook in her pressure cooker.

I imagine she had plans to make something like Chicken a la King, one of my personal retro favorites, out of that chicken when we got back home. I also imagine that she was distracted beyond belief by the three squirming little handfuls that were me and my sisters when all of a sudden we heard the loudest boom coming from the direction of the kitchen.

😲 Childhood Trauma

Well, this was during the era of the Cuban Missile Crisis and me, being the biggest ‘fraidy-cat on the planet, thought for sure that the “bad guys” were coming to get us. Really…all that practicing we did at school getting under our desks and covering our heads in case of an attack. It made an impression on us little kids. Especially the ‘fraidy-cats.

Mama went running toward the kitchen into what I was sure would be her (and our) certain annihilation, only to find the pressure cooker blown to bits and chicken covering every possible surface. And I do mean every surface – even the ceiling. Needless to say, we did not make it to church that particular Sunday.

A serving of beef stew over rice in a white bowl.

🦺 Modern Pressure Cookers Are Safe and Easy to Use

I know I’m not doing much to allay your fears of using a pressure cooker, but honestly, the technology has come a long, long way since those days. Today’s “instant pots” have multiple safety features like relief valves that trip if the pressure gets too high.

I tried to tell my sister that the other night when she called, and I told her I was making this beef stew in the pressure cooker. I could hear the fear and trepidation in her voice right through the phone line. That chicken-on-the-ceiling episode really scarred her for life :-)

The original version of this recipe came from an old cookbook that was included with the first pressure cooker I ever owned. I have no idea where the cookbook is these days, and the pressure cooker was worn out and tossed a long time ago, but I still use the recipe.

If you just can’t bring yourself to use a pressure cooker, you can, of course, cook this on the stovetop. It’ll just take you about 10 times as long.

🛒 Essential Ingredients


Ingredients needed to make pressure cooker beef stew.

This post contains affiliate links. Lana’s Cooking is reader-supported and earns a tiny commission at no extra cost to you when you shop from our links.

  • Beef Stew Meat – This is typically a mix of pieces from different cuts of beef and is perfectly fine for pressure cooking. You might also consider purchasing a chuck roast and cutting it into chunks yourself.
  • Diced TomatoesCanned diced tomatoes are used for convenience. If you have nice, very ripe fresh tomatoes, you can always use them! I prefer Hunt’s brand when purchasing canned tomatoes.
  • Cornstarch – Used to thicken the stew at the end of cooking. It’s optional.

The complete ingredient list with detailed measurements is included in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post.

🔪 How to Make Easy Instant Pot Beef Stew


  1. Cut the beef stew meat, potatoes, carrots, and onions into bite-size pieces.

👉 PRO TIP: Cut the stew meat, potatoes, and carrots into similar-sized pieces so they all cook in the same amount of time.

  1. Set the instant pot or electric pressure cooker to its Saute setting. Add the oil and stew meat. Stir and cook until the meat is well browned all over.
  2. Add the potatoes, carrots, onion, beans with their liquid, and tomatoes with their liquid.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste. I use at least a teaspoon of salt in this recipe. That’s a lot of stew to season, you know!
  4. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and make sure it’s locked. If your model is equipped with a valve, check that it’s in place. Set it to cook for 15 minutes on high pressure.
  5. At the end of the 15 minutes cooking time, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes followed by a quick release of any residual pressure. Open the top of the cooker and set it to its Saute function.
  1. Combine the cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl. When the stew comes to a boil, add the cornstarch and water and stir until thickened. Reduce the heat to Simmer or Keep Warm.
  2. Serve over rice or noodles. I like to stir a teaspoon of prepared horseradish into my serving.

My Favorite Electric Pressure Cooker


Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1
  • 7-IN-1 FUNCTIONALITY: Pressure cook, slow cook, rice cooker, yogurt maker, steamer, sauté pan and food warmer. 13 customizable Smart Programs for pressure cooking ribs, soups, beans, rice, poultry, yogurt, desserts and more.
  • COOK FAST OR SLOW: Pressure cook delicious one-pot meals up to 70% faster than traditional cooking methods or slow cook your favorite traditional recipes.
  • QUICK AND EASY CLEAN UP: Finger-print resistant, stainless-steel sides and dishwasher-safe lid, inner pot, and accessories.
  • SAFETY FEATURES: Includes over 10 safety features, plus overheat protection and safe-locking lid
This post contains affiliate links. Lana's Cooking is reader-supported and earns a tiny commission at no extra cost to you when you shop from our links.
A serving of beef stew over rice in a white bowl with a pressure cooker in the background.

🍽️ How to Serve


This recipe is a classic one-pot meal with protein and veggies all cooked together. Our family enjoys it served over steamed white rice or buttered noodles. Dinner rolls or garlic bread and a light mixed green salad also pair nicely.

🍚 Storage Information


Allow the stew to cool completely before storing. For short-term storage, use an airtight container and place in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To freeze, place in a freezer-safe container and store for up to 3 months.

To reheat – if frozen, allow the stew to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or in a heavy-bottomed pot over low heat on the stovetop.

Lana Stuart.

Questions? I’m happy to help!

If you have more questions about the recipe, or if you’ve made it and would like to leave a comment, scroll down to leave your thoughts, questions, and/or rating!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

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A serving of beef stew over rice in a white bowl.

Easy Instant Pot Beef Stew

Easy Instant Pot Beef Stew can be made in under 30 minutes and is full of hearty beef, potatoes, carrots, green beans, and tomatoes.
5 from 12 votes
Print It Rate It
Course: Soups and Stews
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 354kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds beef stew meat
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 large potatoes
  • 4 large carrots
  • 1 large onion
  • 14.5 ounces canned green beans with their liquid
  • 29 ounces canned diced tomatoes (2 cans) with their liquid
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • cup cold water

Instructions

  • Cut the beef stew meat, potatoes, carrots, and onions into bite size pieces.
  • Set the instant pot to its Saute setting. Add the oil and stew meat. Stir and cook until the meat is well browned all over.
  • Add the potatoes, carrots, onion, beans with their liquid, and tomatoes with their liquid.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. I use at least a teaspoon of salt in this recipe. That’s a lot of stew to season, you know!
  • Place the lid on the pressure cooker and make sure it’s locked. If your model is equipped with a valve, check that it’s in place. Set it to cook for 15 minutes on high pressure.
  • At the end of the 15 minutes cooking time, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes followed by a quick release of any residual pressure. Open the top of the cooker and set it to its Saute function.
  • Combine the cornstarch and cold water in a small bowl. When the stew comes to the boil, add the cornstarch and water and stir until thickened. Reduce the heat to Simmer or Keep Warm.
  • Serve over rice or noodles.

Notes

  • Cut the stew meat, potatoes, and carrots into similar-sized pieces so they all cook in the same amount of time.
  • To store, allow the stew to cool completely. For short-term storage, use an airtight container and place in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To freeze, place in a freezer-safe container and store for up to 3 months.
  • To reheat – if frozen, allow the stew to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat in the microwave or in a heavy-bottomed pot over low heat on the stovetop.

Nutrition Information

Serving 1 | Calories 354kcal | Carbohydrates 31g | Protein 30g | Fat 13g | Saturated Fat 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat 2g | Monounsaturated Fat 7g | Trans Fat 0.03g | Cholesterol 70mg | Sodium 298mg | Potassium 1245mg | Fiber 6g | Sugar 9g | Vitamin A 7429IU | Vitamin C 39mg | Calcium 116mg | Iron 5mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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Pressure Cooker Beef Stew - a hearty beef stew with potatoes, carrots, green beans, and tomatoes can be on the table in minutes when you use a pressure cooker. https://www.lanascooking.com/beef-stew-in-the-pressure-cooker/

— This post was originally published on October 22, 2010. It has been updated with new photos and additional information.

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Recipe Rating




63 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Really good recipe, healthy and quick.

  2. Harold Burton says:

    5 stars
    I love poached fish or chicken, but I seem to do something wrong. I think I should have been starting with cold water instead of simmering. I am going to try your technique. And the leek sounds like a good idea also. 🙂

    Harold Burton

  3. Been cooking this way for 50 years! Don’t add the tomatoes to mine tho- may try- looks good!
    Use my Pressure Cooker for everything from vegetables to Short Ribs. Don’t know why everyone is so afraid of them. Great short cut.

  4. Michele Johanson says:

    I have always labored under the idea that a pressure cooker exploded in our house, but my mom says, no, we moved into a house that had beetroot on the ceiling (no guesses as to what happened there). Anyway, in my early sixties, I acquired my first ever pressure cooker and I just love it. Beef stew for dinner tonight, which is how I found your blog. A lovely story, thank you.

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      I recently got one of the new electric pressure cookers, Michele, and I really like it!! Still have my old stovetop model as well but don’t use it as much now. I’m so glad you’re enjoying yours.

  5. Fantastically simple and delicious. I love that there are no stinky spices or seasoning packets! I followed recipe except I swapped out one of the cans of diced tomatoes with a can of Ro*Tel and it was just enough heat to warm you up and make your nose run. lol

  6. Hi Lana. I found your stew recipe on an electric pressure cooker site. Can’t wait to try it. I have memories from the childhood time of which you write about including the school hall practices to “protect” us from those bombs. I also have the memory of my young sister-in-law doing “the bomb” incident in my mother’s kitchen. The weights on those old pressure cookers were really heavy so it was loud and scary. Plus, amazingly, there was food on the ceiling. I used pressure cookers many years ago when I was first married and have come to use them again with pressure canning and the new electric pressure cookers. I enjoyed finding your blog. Thank you!

  7. All I can say is wow!!
    Keeping this recipe for sure!!
    Used an electric pressure cooker (Instant Pot) and from experience know that taters in it take 10 minutes so I did the last part that way and it was done perfectly.
    Great family story to boot!!

  8. Debra Romero says:

    Your story is exactly what I was afraid of. About four years ago I purchased a 2 qt pressure cooker that was on sale for $20 (close out). Because I didn’t trust pressure cookers it got left in the box on a shelf…a high shelf. Yesterday I got brave. I made four batches of chicken legs. They were so tender. We can’t have fried anymore and baked they would be tough. Tonight we made lemon chicken breast. So tender and so full of of flavor. There’s just the two of us but we usually make enough for several meals. We brought a 6 qt today from Amazon. It’ll be here Tuesday. We got the larger one also to make stews and beans in. Can you tell me how long you would cook dry butterbeans? I subscribed to your newsletter. Oh I forgot I have and ordered electric pressure cookers. Safer. :)

  9. I’m new to pressure cooker cooking. I actually got my first one just before Chridtmas. I’m always intimidated by new things so I have been hesitant to try it out. I was looking for easy recipes and came across this and decided to give it a whirl tonight. All I can say is that this stew is amazing!!!! I think I’m going to be hooked on this kind of cooking! I can’t believe how flavorful it is! Thank you for sharing!

  10. Hello, I just got an electric pressure cooker for Christmas and i am really excited to use it. I really want to try your recipe, but mine is electric and the one in your recipe isn’t. I have never used an pressure cooker so I am really new at this. Do I just turn it off and release the pressure? then after pressure is release what do I do since it doesn’t go on a stove? Feel really dumb, I am not a good cooker or a patient one at that. That’s probably why my mom bought it for me. LOL

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      Sara – your pressure cooker should have come with a manual with recipes and instructions on how to use it. If you’ve never used one, you should follow the instructions carefully and cook some of the recommended recipes until you become comfortable with the cooker. The manufacturer will give explicit instructions on what to do.

  11. William Williams says:

    I’ve been interested in pressure cooking for a number of years now…..because when I was growing up pressure cooking was the in thing….when microwaves came in, pressure cooking went out. I finally found the pressure cooker I wanted….made by TEFL a 7.4ltr cooker….I bought it and it’s been like night and day now to prepare great meals in unbelievable times…..stews in 15min, baked beans in 35min. Just today my wife and I tried your beef stew recipe…it was unbelievable. Took me back to 1958 when my mother used an antique version and we were limited to just certain recipes, stews, chicken and soups. For the last two weeks we have been making meals unbelievable meals in no time at all…..your Boston baked beans recipe, bean soup recipe, pork roast, beef roast and now beef stew….is fantastic. I’m now looking for a recipe for spaghetti sauce.

  12. What size can of tomatoes do you use or does it really matter?

    1. Lana Stuart says:

      I use a 14.5 oz can. If I want it really tomato-ey, I use two :-) Just don’t overfill your pressure cooker.

  13. Just made this for dinner when I realized that I didn’t have the 1 1/2 hours to do a pressure cooker roast. Turned out so tender and yummy. My husband said it did need a pinch of spices, so we added a bit of salt and a spice mix called berber. I’m a vegetarian, so I will have to take the family’s word for it, but it appears to be a hit!

  14. Just got my pressure cooker today! And made this! It looked just like the picture! And was great! Ready to try something else even tho stew is still in the pot!

  15. I am a male; 50 years old; I do most of the cooking in our home. I purchased a Khun Rikon Duromatic pressure cooker from Amazon last week. This stew recipe was the first I tried in my new device and it turned out to be very good; most excellent !!! I cooked my stew for 20 minutes and I could not believe the flavor! My wife said the stew tasted old fashion just like her grandmothers. If she (grandma) was still alive she would be 110 years old. Thank you for sharing this recipe as it is now a staple in my cookbook!

  16. First let me say thank you for sharing one of your memories with us. My husband bought me a Wolfgang Puck Pressure Cooker against my wishes because I don’t know very much about them and was kind of scared of them. This recipe looks easy enough to try for my first trial with the pressure cooker. Thanks again for posting both the recipe and your memories.
    Linda

  17. Thank you so much for the recipe and instructions for the pressure cooker!
    I told my daughter I would teacher how to make beef stew. Our time was cut short, I pulled out the pressure cooker and no instructions any where. Its been so long, I forgot how to use it ; ( You’ve saved the day!

    Thank you, Tina

  18. hi there. tried this out today. it turned out marvelous (i used stove) and looked exactly like your picture above. thank you for the recipe. am definitely keeping it :)

    Ct,
    Malaysia

  19. This was easy and delicious! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!

  20. Hi Lana,
    I’ve stumbled across your blog via Pinterest & have thoroughly enjoyed hearing the story of your Mother’s mishap with her Pressure Cooker. I too have vivid memories – my Mum would yell out “stay out of the way” as she’d run out to the front porch and then allow the steam to escape. I could really understand the danger but clearly there was some!

    I’ve just invested in a new modern day safer version myself & we love it. I look forward to trying your recipe soon. Thanks for sharing it!

    Corinna

  21. Loved the wonderful story and the recipe. I received a new 6qt. electric pressure cooker for my birthday and I LOVE IT! I’m going to make your recipe tonight for my hubby! There’s snow in our California forecast and a nice stew will be yummy and cozy!

  22. I wouldn’t know what to do without my trusty pressure cooker. This is exactly what my mother used to cook.

  23. Dear Lana,
    I’m planning on making beef stew in my pressure cooker tomorrow. Since it’s been awhile since I did, I thought I would check the internet for instructions to refresh my memory. Your recipe is very much like mine that I remember. I sometimes put in the tomatoes, sometimes I leave them out. Either way is great.
    Love your intro. My Mom used the PC a lot and I still have it and use it.
    Works fine.

  24. What sized pressure cooker do you use for the stew? It looks wonderful.

    1. Lisa – With all pressure cookers you may have to adjust your recipe according to your manufacturer’s directions. Generally, no matter the size you never fill a pressure cooker more than 3/4 full.

  25. love our pressure cooker, but like your charming tale, horror stories of pressure cooked meals gone bad abound. My mother actually had to pawn her wedding ring in order to have the kitchen window mended after her pressure cooker went pop one week night in the mid-seventies. I’m so happy they’ve improved otherwise we’d almost never eat stews – we just aren’t organized enough to start long enough in advance!

  26. Nicole Doula says:

    I just bought an electric pressure cooker and was searching for suitable recipes when I found your site. My hubby dears a hearty beef stew and due to the nature of our job, I guess I’m gonna cook up a big batch and freeze them in the freezer. Ready to eat in minutes whenever we get back home! :) Thank you so much for this recipe! :D

  27. you inspired me to try out my pressure cooker. My mom bought me one about a year ago and I havent had the guts to use it. I made the stew tonight and it was GREAT!!! and so FAST! thanks!
    I hope to see more PC posts in the future. now that it is getting cold and PC season.

    1. Alison, I’m so glad I inspired you to get that pressure cooker out and put it to use! Also, glad you enjoyed the stew.

  28. I’m sorry, but it would take an act of Congress and a very large cannon for me to use a pressure cooker. Some events are just too momentous to forget. This is one.

    But it looks wonderful. I would certainly enjoy sitting down and partaking with you.

    Miss P

  29. Yes, the explosion was scary, but the clean-up was worse. Since you were all little, you didn’t get involved in the clean-up process. I scraped chicken off of everything for a whole Sunday. I lost my religion. The next Sunday, I probably NEEDED to go to church!!!

  30. Ryan @ Pressure Cooker Diaries says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever had beef stew with diced tomatoes before. We will have to try this recipe.

    Great photographs! I like your split process idea.

    1. Yes, I know the tomatoes are unusual. But we really like the addition of them. You could leave them out if you wanted, but you’d need to add a little beef stock or other liquid before pressure cooking.

  31. Wow that’s quite a story, and I LOVE that picture of you girls, so cute! I love my pressure cooker. I actually used it to cook my sugar pumpkins last year and my butternut squash this year. This stew looks awesome!

    1. Thanks, Amanda. I’ll bet it’s great for cooking the pumpkins and squash! Good idea.

  32. Jason's BBQ Adventures says:

    Amazing pictures, wonderful stew!

  33. Cookin' Canuck says:

    Great story, Lana, and I love the picture of you and your sisters. I have been thinking of getting a pressure cooker, particularly for Indian food. It looks as though it does a great job of cooking beef stew, too.

    1. It does do a great job, Dara. It’s interesting to me that the meat is perfectly tender yet the veggies are not too soft. I’m thinking of possibly posting a few more pressure cooker recipes.

      1. Georgia tsokas says:

        Hi Lana great story , thank you for sharing with us, I am cooking on a pressure cooker more and more lately, I would love to see more recipes. Thank you again

  34. Kalynskitchen says:

    I’m a pressure cooker convert, and this recipe looks great!

  35. I really need (OK,want) a pressure cooker! This stew looks amazing and I love how quick dinner can be on the table!

  36. I loved this post!
    Great story! Love the pic. Which one is you? I think I know but……
    I’ve never used a pressure cooker.
    Not because I’m afraid of it but because the only thing I remember my mom making with it is Swiss Steak. I hated Swiss Steak!
    I forgot about how fast it cooks though. 15 min for stew, Yikes!
    I just might see what kind of shape mom’s is in next time I’m over there.
    Thanks for making my day!

    1. Teri – I’m the oldest so that’s me in the back peeking around my middle sister.

  37. similar cooker experience happened in our family too, thank goodness it wasn’t the Russians… love the story and the stew, so quick is the pressure cooker… dinner in no-time-flat

  38. Barbara @Modern Comfort Food says:

    I could swear you were describing my family here. Same Sunday morning get-ready-for-church turmoil and, yes, with white gloves, huge crinolines, special Mary Janes, and hat (usually only reserved for Easter). We had no pressure cooker, thank goodness, but we more often than not had a similar pot roast on the stove too, which I still make and love often when it’s cool outside. Really, is there anything more satisfying to eat than a pot roast like this? I don’t think so. Great post, Lana!

    1. Thanks, Barbara. Sometimes I really enjoy telling a story along with the recipe and sometimes it’s just about the food. Glad you enjoyed the story in this one.

  39. eatgreek.net says:

    it looks amazing! :D

  40. Lovely story, delicious recipe and beautiful photos — hey, how many cutting boards do you have, anyway?!?!

    Please post more of your favorite pressure cooker recipes… let’s inspire those who do not yet know the flavor, speed and health of this cooking method!

    Ciao,

    Laura
    http://www.hippressurecooking.com
    making pressure cookers hip again, one recipe at a time!

    1. I have quite a few cutting boards actually. I have a plastic one that I use for meats because it can go in the dishwasher. I have a small wooden one that is only for onions and garlic and I have a 4’x3′ bamboo one that I use for everything else!

  41. {Clockwork Lemon} says:

    ha! I laughed my way through that entire post, i would be traumaized for life if that happened to me!

  42. Thanks so much for posting this story & recipe! I’m not sure which delighted me more: the story of you three girls, or the recipe itself. But I’ll be preparing this stew one evening this week.

    I hope you post some more pressure cooker recipes. I, too, love my pressure cooker (my mama showed me how wonderful it can be), but I need new recipes. I only have a few that I actually use and would love to have more.

    Thanks again, and keep up the great work!

  43. Liz @ Blog is the New Black says:

    I want to make this beef stew- looks great! :)

  44. Happier Than A Pig in Mud says:

    I have two PC’s, an 8qt stove top model and a 4qt electronic one, both from QVC. I’m glad I have them and keep the 4qt on the counter! Great for dried beans and stock, pea soup in 12 minutes! I haven’t tried stew yet (made that in my 6qt roaster oven a couple weekends ago… I may have too many kitchen toys, is that possible? :@)

    1. Too many kitchen toys? How is that possible? Me no understand :-)

      1. I agree. Can’t ever have too many toys!