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Easy Instant Pot Beef Stew

Instant Pot Beef Stew is a game-changer for a quick, hearty, and healthy main dish. Two special ingredients take this beef stew to the next level.

beef stew

Does this world really need another beef stew recipe? No. Do we all need another Instant Pot beef stew recipe? Highly unlikely. So why in the world am I sharing an Instant Pot beef stew recipe with you today? Call me intuitive, but I think this recipe is going to be a game-changer for most of you. Sure, it has most of the typical stewy components in it. But two special ingredients not only help the stew thicken as it cooks (no more cornstarch slurry at the end!), but also adds extra veggies that no one will ever see coming. Also, why does spellcheck recognize the word “stewy”, but gives me the red squiggles of judgment on “nards”?

My sister and I used to go camping every year with my grandparents in their small trailer. Given that this is Western Washington, it would inevitably rain almost any time we headed out. We stayed in and play lots of card games and hungrily smelled the beef stew my Nanna would heat up on the stove. Nanna was smart and would cook the beef stew at home, letting it simmer away all day. She would then freeze it so that the stew would act as an ice block in the cooler during the trip. Slowly reheating it on the stove would not only melt it back into beef stew goodness but would also serve as an olfactory torture device as we watched the rain falling outside.

If my Nanna were alive today and I told her that I could replicate the same stew flavor she achieved, she would be proud. Nanna was a “dump cook” which meant she put in a little of this and a little of that and never measured. If I then told her I could make a beef stew with a stood over the stove stirring for hours flavor in only 35 minutes, well I do believe her sweet mid-western head would explode.

The Instant Pot is a countertop gem that acts as a pressure cooker in the body of a slow cooker. It helps you achieve quick and healthy meals in a fraction of the time of stovetop or crockpot options. A recipe like my Crockpot/Instant Pot Chicken Pot Pie can be ready in under an hour. The Instant Pot can cook frozen meat in a matter of minutes. And dried beans? Forget about it. They come out rich and buttery and they taste like you’re saving a delicious amount of money. And beans. They taste like beans too.

Earlier I alluded to two special ingredients that you’re not going to find in most other beef stew recipes, or at least not used in the same manner. The first ingredient is a humble container of cornstarch. Cornstarch is pretty versatile for creating delicious homemade meals. I use it as a crispy coating when frying tofu, but it also thickens up hearty meals as needed. I buy my organic cornstarch in bulk from Azure Standard. But in this beef stew recipe, you’re not creating a cornstarch slurry at the end of the cooking time. You actually toss the beef in the cornstarch like you would flour. No time is lost and you’re ready to eat as soon as the Instant Pot depressurizes.  It also replaces the flour most stew recipes call for, allowing those with gluten issues to get amazing results without needing gluten-free flour. Got corn issues? Use add 2 tbsp of tapioca pearls in with the other ingredients and you’re flying high.

The second ingredient is a vegetable juice blend. Yep, boring old “I should have had a veggie juice” blend. My friend Laney taught me this trick almost a decade ago, and it still works great. The organic veggie juice I use can be found in most stores with a decent natural foods section. I prefer organic options (compared with V8) because tomatoes are on the dirty dozen list and have high pesticide levels. The brand I use is not only organically grown, but doesn’t add sugar. Each cup of veggie juice provides a one cup serving of vegetables. There is also a low sodium option as well for those watching their salt intake.

How Can I Make This Recipe Whole30 Compliant?

Use arrowroot powder in place of cornstarch, and make sure the vegetable blend you are using is free of ingredients banned on the Whole30.

Shall we recap?

  • You’re making beef stew in under an hour like a freaking boss.
  • It is gluten-free.
  • You’re adding extra veggies that no one will notice, but you’ll know. Secrets are fun!
  • You now have yet another recipe to use smoked paprika in, because you know, it’s amazing.
  • Saying the word stewy is fun. Just try it. Steeeeeeeewy.

Make this stew today. Or tomorrow. This weekend? Really soon? I hate being pushy. I’m from Seattle and it makes us feel ill if we think people think we’re being rude. Can I offer you some apples or salmon as an apology? Maybe some delicious blackberries? What I’m trying to say is I hope you make this beef stew, and I apologize profusely for my forwardness.

I’ll wallow in an eternal shame spiral.

Making this recipe or others?

Post a photo on my Facebook page, share it on Instagram, or save it to Pinterest with the tag #sustainablecooks. I can't wait to see your take on it!

5 from 5 votes
Easy Instant Pot Beef Stew
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins

Instant Pot Beef Stew is a game-changer for a quick, hearty, and healthy main dish. Two special ingredients take this beef stew to the next level.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beef stew
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 344 kcal
Author: Sarah
  1. Set the Instant Pot to "saute". Add the olive oil, Allow it to heat up a bit.

  2. In a small bowl, combine the salt and pepper, cornstarch, and beef. Toss to coat.

  3. Add the beef to the Instant Pot, and stir to coat in the olive oil. Allow it to sear a bit. Stir, sear. Stir, sear.

  4. Press "keep warm/off" and turn the machine off. Add the rest of the ingredients, and place the lid on and switch it to the lock position. Switch the vent to "sealing".

  5. Press the "meat/stew" button and increase the time to 35 minutes. It will take up to 15 minutes to reach pressure.

  6. Once the Instant Pot is done cooking allow it to sit for 10 minutes before you switch the vent to "venting". Watch the hot steam! 


Recipe Notes

You can make this beef stew in a slow cooker. Put all the ingredients in your slow cooker and set it to low for 8 hours.


*To make this Whole30 compliant use arrowroot powder in place of cornstarch, and make sure the vegetable blend you are using is free of ingredients banned on the Whole30.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Instant Pot Beef Stew
Amount Per Serving
Calories 344
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Easy Instant Pot Beef Stew is a game-changer for a quick, hearty, and healthy main dish. Two special ingredients take this beef stew to the next level.

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14 comments on “Easy Instant Pot Beef Stew”

  1. I’ll totally take the blackberries, if you’re handing out apology gifts. 😉

    No instant pot here, but I’m assuming that I could make this work in my pressure cooker?

    • I’m certain you could, but I’m not sure how the cooking times translate to a normal pressure cooker. Is it one you use it on the stove?

      • Yep, it’s the regular old “on the stove” version. I’ve learned to use it for canning (mostly) and a few cooking projects. My husband and his whole family love to hunt, and some cuts of game are best when pressure cooked.

  2. A recipe post that made me smile. Thanks.

  3. I think I would have loved your Nanna, we would have had fun in the kitchen!
    Thanks for sharing this. I’ll keep an eye out for stew beef next time we do groceries. For the crockpot version, would you sear the beef on the stove before tossing it in the crockpot?
    I’ve thought of getting an instant pot, but I find that my kitchen energy is highest in the morning, so throwing everything in the crockpot after breakfast works best for me.

    • For me, the searing is a “nice to have” portion of the recipe, but not a must. If the searing is keeping you from making the recipe, then don’t sear it.

      The Instant Pot also has a crockpot function, so not only could you do something early in the am, but if you were short on time you could use the pressure function. If your crockpot bites the dust, it is worth the discussion about an Instant Pot.

      My Nanna was rad!

  4. I have made this with beef & it was delish! I skipped the searing, but tonight I’m making this with venison & will sear!! I’ve got a hunter & always have a shit ton of stew meat! Thanks for the recipe.

  5. I made this in my crock pot on Christmas Eve. Ah-maze-ing. Can’t wait to try your other recipes!

  6. Got our Instant Pot not that long ago and this sounds perfect for our meal planning!

  7. Recently made the beef stew in the instapot and my family loved it!  I did add some dry mustard seasoning instead of the tarragon and thickened it up a bit more at the end but the family gobbled it up and the leftovers were perfect lunch the next day. Thanks for another great recipe!!

  8. I made this in my crockpot and it came out great!