Beef Stew made in an Instant Pot! 6 ingredients, 45 minutes, SO EASY. The perfect, comforting meal for all those chilly fall and winter days.
- 2 lbs beef, chuck roast, fat trimmed, cut into 1–2-inch chunks
- 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
- 2 stalks celery, sliced diagonally in thick pieces
- 6 carrots, sliced diagonally in thick pieces
- 2 tablespoons small tapioca – see notes
- 1/2 cup tomato juice
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Instant Pot Instructions: Place everything in the Instant Pot. Select the stew/meat setting (about 35 minutes, high pressure). After it’s done, let everything mellow out for about 10 minutes before releasing the steam. Technically at this point, it’s done. But I recommend finishing with a quick browning session in the oven (see notes below).
Traditional Oven Instructions: Preheat oven to 320 degrees. Place all ingredients in a baking dish – it can be glass or ceramic (we use a round casserole dish – something between 8×8 and 9×13). Cover with foil and bake for 3-4 hours. If the gravy dries out, you can add a little water to the gravy to loosen it up before serving. See notes below for additional modifications/instructions.
Slow Cooker Instructions: Place everything in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 4 hours until tender and cooked through. Technically at this point, it’s done. But I recommend finishing with a quick browning session in the oven (see notes below).
Finishing in the Oven: Whether you make this in the oven or in the Instant Pot, I recommend finishing by giving it about 10-20 minutes in a hot oven (400-ish degrees), uncovered, before serving. It gets the meat nice and caramelized on top and helps the gravy thicken up.
Alternatives to Tapioca Pearls for thickening:
- Just leave em out. Your gravy may be a little less thick, but it will still be delicious.
- Toss the beef in 1/3 cup flour, shake off excess and add to the Instant Pot as normal. If you do this and you have a newer Instant Pot, you will likely need additional liquid (I’ll often do a second can of tomato juice) to avoid the burn warning on the Instant Pot.
- Make a slurry of 2 tablespoons corn starch and 1/4 cup water. Add the slurry to everything in the Instant Pot after it’s cooked.
As written, this is more like a traditional saucy beef stew. If you want it to be more like a soup, just add a second can of tomato juice and an extra pinch of salt and sugar. The biggest challenge people have when baking this in the oven is that the sauce/gravy dries out. I would suggest adding a little bit of water (1/4 cup or so) before baking, and then periodically throughout baking as needed. The browned gravy will be really delicious, and a little water mixed in will easily bring it back to life. Another comment we often get is that the tapioca can sometimes still be visible in very small specks, which is okay. It’s so small and it should be extremely soft after cooking in the Instant Pot, so it’s never interfered with my love of this beef stew. It just looks like part of the gravy. But if that bothers you, just try one of our other tapioca-less methods listed above.
Freezer Meal Version
- Freeze Together:
2 lbs. beef chuck, fat trimmed, cut in small-ish pieces
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
6 stalks celery, sliced diagonally
6 carrots, sliced diagonally
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 cans tomato juice (about 1 cup)
- Instant Pot Instructions: High pressure 30 mins + 10 mins natural release
- Slow Cooker Instructions: High setting 6 hours (thaw ingredients first)
- Final Step: After cooking, add a cornstarch slurry to the stew (2-3 tbsp cornstarch + 1-2 tbsp water). Transfer to a baking dish and broil for 5-10 minutes to get everything browned and thickened, or let it rest in the pot until thickened.
- Check out our full freezer meal posts with all recipes and instructions here!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: instant pot beef stew, beef stew recipe, easy beef stew