Tender chuck roast pairs with classic stew veggies and butternut squash in this easy beef stew made easy in the Instant Pot, pressure cooker or slow cooker.
Slow Cooker or Instant Pot Beef Stew Recipe
If there’s one addition to my kitchen that I can’t quit raving about, it’s my Instant Pot, the slow cooker/pressure cooker/steamer and more 7-in-one cooker I’ve become a die hard fan of. I think it’s probably been my favorite topic of conversation since the first snowflake fell this winer and it was tops on my list for holiday gift giving.
So what is it that I love about the Instant Pot? It saves me valuable time in the kitchen, helped minimize my collection of duplicate appliances, and has made meal planning a habit I’m actually becoming a fan of.
If you haven’t become an Instant Pot loyalist yet, join the bunch of us who are. Isn’t it time to save yourself some time in the kitchen, too?
I made this classic Beef Stew with a slew of nutritious veggies in my Instant Pot on the pressure cooking setting, and the whole stew was cooked and ready to eat in just 40 minutes. Compare that to 2 hours or more on the stove top and you’ll know why I’m such a fan.
It’s just as easily prepared in the slow cooker, too, and I’m sharing both ways to fix it here.
Probably my favorite feature of the Instant Pot is the ability to sauté and brown right in the cooker. That means if you’re slow cooking or pressure cooking, there’s no need for dirtying up extra pans in the cooking process, and all of the browned flavor tidbits stay in the pan to add more flavor and depth to whatever you’re cooking.
I toss the beef in a seasoned flour then cook it in batches to get a nice sear that adds more flavor to the stew. Deglazing the pan with the red wine adds depth to the soup.
The classic beef stew combination of carrots, potatoes, celery and onion are all represented here but I chose to add mushrooms—because we love ’em—and butternut squash because beef and butternut squash together simply make magic.
What’s in This Easy Beef Stew?
It doesn’t matter if you’re making Instant Pot beef stew or using your slow cooker, the ingredients list doesn’t change. Here’s what you’ll need to make slow cooker or pressure cooker beef stew:
- Kosher salt and pepper
- Garlic salt
- Beef chuck
- Vegetable oil
- Red wine
- Beef broth
- Beef base
- Butternut squash
- New red potatoes
- Bay leaves
- Thyme stems
How to Make Instant Pot Beef Stew
The steps for making Instant Pot stew and slow cooker beef stew are very similar. I walk you through both in the recipe card below, but here’s an overview of the cooking process if you’re making Instant Pot beef stew:
- Place the beef cubes, flour, kosher salt, garlic salt and black pepper in a freezer bag and toss to coat.
- Brown the beef in the Instant Pot along with the garlic. Transfer to a separate bowl.
- Add more oil to the Instant Pot and sauté the onion and celery until softened. Add to bowl of beef.
- Add red wine to the Instant Pot and bring to a boil.
- Add everything into the Instant Pot, set to the stew setting, and let cook for 30 minutes.
- Use natural release, then serve.
How to Make Slow Cooker Beef Stew
Making slow cooker beef stew is very similar to making Instant Pot beef stew. The main difference is that you brown the beef and sauté the veggies in a dutch oven, then transfer everything to the slow cooker insert and cook.
Slow cooker beef stew needs to cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
What’s the Best Meat for Stew?
Beef chuck roast is just the right cut for this type of stew thanks to its marbling that adds flavor and tenderness in a shorter amount of cooking time.
Can I Omit the Wine?
Of course! If wine isn’t your thing, go for straight beef broth instead.
Tips for Making the Best Beef Stew
Save even more time by chopping up all of your veggies in advance, and storing them in Tupperware containers in the fridge.
When choosing a red wine for this Instant Pot beef stew, choose a bottle you’d enjoy drinking on its own. You don’t want to skimp on flavor with a cheap bottle that adds skunk instead of spunk.
If you don’t have butternut squash on hand, I bet you could swap in cubed sweet potatoes instead. Both are quite sweet, so I think this pairing would be delicious too.
More Instant Pot Dinners to Make
- Instant Pot Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
- Baby Back Ribs in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
- Instant Pot Orange Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Instant Pot Corned Beef and Cabbage
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Butternut Squash Beef Stew (Instant Pot, Pressure Cooker or Slow Cooker)
- 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour divided
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pounds beef chuck cut into cubes
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
- 4 cloves garlic pressed or minced
- 1 large onion chopped, about 2 cups
- 3 ribs celery chopped, about 1 cup
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 tablespoon beef base
- 2 cups chopped carrots
- 1 pound cremini or brown mushrooms quartered
- 12 ounces butternut squash cubed
- 2 cups quartered new red potatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 thyme stems
Place 2 tablespoons flour, kosher salt, garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper in a gallon freezer bag and toss to mix. Add the beef chuck cubes to the freezer bag and toss the cubes in the flour mixture to coat.
Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker:
Press sauté and heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add half of the floured beef cubes to the oil and brown the beef on all sides. Transfer the beef to a bowl. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pot and brown the rest of the meat on all sides. Add the garlic to the beef and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until garlic becomes fragrant. Add this beef to the bowl.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot and cook the onion and celery for 4-5 minutes or until softened, then add to the bowl with the beef.
Add the wine to the Instant Pot and bring to a boil, scraping the bits from the bottom of the cooker. Add the beef broth and the beef base to the Instant Pot and mix with the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour.
Add the browned beef and sautéed veggies, along with the butternut squash, carrots, red potatoes and mushrooms to the pot with the bay leaves and thyme.
Seal the Instant Pot and set to the Stew setting and cook for 30 minutes. Natural release, remove the bay leaves and serve.
In a large dutch oven over medium high heat, warm 1 tablespoon of the oil and add half of the floured beef cubes, then brown the beef on all sides. Transfer the beef to the slow cooker. Add another tablespoon of oil to dutch oven and brown the rest of the meat on all sides. Add the garlic to the beef and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until garlic becomes fragrant. Add to the slow cooker.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pot and cook the onion and celery for 4-5 minutes or until softened, then add to the slow cooker with the beef.
Add the wine to the Dutch oven and bring to a boil, scraping the bits from the bottom of the pot. Whisk the 2 remaining tablespoons of flour into 2 tablespoons of the beef broth, then mix into the rest of the liquid and beef base and add to the slow cooker with the beef, vegetables, bay leaves, and thyme.
Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 8 hours. Remove the bay leaves and serve.
More Healthy Beef Recipes You’ll Love
- The Best Steak Fajitas
- Easy Hamburger Vegetable Soup
- Montreal Steak and Pepper Kebabs
- The Best DIY Foil Packet Dinners
- Stuffed Bell Peppers with Ground Beef
Craving more life balance, less stress, and better health? Check out my Nourished Planner, the daily planner to help create simplicity and under-schedule your life.
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