Instant Pot Paleo Beef Stew is super easy to make and so delicious. It's a crowd-pleasing Whole30 recipe guaranteed to become your family's favorite.

A close up of a bowl of Instant Pot Paleo Beef Stew topped with spinach pesto and a spoon in the bowl.

Who is ready to cozy up to a bowl of hot out of the Instant Pot beef stew? (I'm raising my hand up with you!)

I've spent all month testing out pressure cooker recipes with the Instant Pot my mom lent me. (Thanks, mom!) I was pretty sure they were gimmicky and I'd never be able to justify the space they take up in my tiny condo kitchen. Kitchen real estate is at a premium in my place so I don't keep any extras unless they're worth their weight in gold to me.

But being able to cook beef stew in 35 minutes has earned this guy a place in my home. Expect to see more Instant Pot recipes popping up here.

Why you'll love this paleo beef stew:

  • I've got to say it again, being able to turn tough stewing meat into tender delicious morsels in 35 minutes is just awesome.
  • It's warm and comforting with all your favorite stew veggies.
  • It's thickened with a little agar powder instead of flour which means it's not only a paleo stew but a gluten-free stew, too. (And thank you, my good friend Micheal, for that tip!)
  • Pesto. Yes, you read that right. That green in the bowl of stew is pesto. It sounds strange but it brightens up the flavor and gives the stew a little something special. And I'm a sucker for a pretty pop of color.
Looking into an Instant Pot filled with all the ingredients to make Instant Pot Paleo Beef Stew.

How to make pressure cooker beef stew

The first thing you need to know about how to cook beef stew in a pressure cooker is that it is SUPER EASY! Like, crazy easy.

You have two options here:

Option #1: Throw all the ingredients into your Instant Pot, close the lid, and set the timer for 35 minutes.

Option #2: Spend 15 minutes browning the beef in your Instant Pot before adding all the other ingredients.

I always opt for the second option as I like having the nice dark sear on the pieces of meat. And you can use that 15 minutes to chop the veggies, open the can of tomato paste, and get the spices ready.

Two bowls of Instant Pot Paleo Beef Stew on a black wooden table with a bowl of spinach pesto on the side.

How to make paleo stew

Making a paleo beef stew recipe is not all that much different than making a regular beef stew, but there are a few changes you need to make.

  1. Traditional beef stew is made by tossing the chunks of beef in flour before you sear them. This helps them to dry out a little, but it also helps to thicken the stew. Instead of flour, this paleo beef stew recipe uses agar powder (made from seaweed) to thicken it.
  2. Beef stock is the liquid you want to use. If you eat a paleo diet, make sure to read the label as stock can often have a lot of additives in it. The best option is to use homemade beef bone broth – it's easier to make than you might think!

If you make those two small changes this Instant Pot beef stew recipe becomes a paleo beef stew recipe. And I promise that no one will know the difference!

A bowl of Instant Pot Paleo Beef Stew with a spoon taking a scoop.

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A bowl of Instant Pot Paleo Beef Stew with a spoon taking a scoop.

Instant Pot Paleo Beef Stew (Whole30)

Instant Pot Paleo Beef Stew is super easy to make and so delicious. It's a crowd-pleasing Whole30 recipe guaranteed to become your family's favorite.

If you love this recipe as much as we do, let us know with a 5-star rating!

5 stars (33 ratings)
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  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 2 lbs. stewing beef
  • 1 teaspoon each: sea salt and pepper
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste, Whole30, if needed
  • 4 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. mushrooms, cut in half
  • 1 lb. baby potatoes, quartered
  • 4 cups beef stock, Whole30, if needed
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon agar powder, see notes

Spinach Pesto

  • 2 ounces spinach
  • 1 green onion, green part only
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • cup slivered almonds
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 small garlic clove


  • Set your Instant Pot to saute and add the oil to the pot. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Working in batches as needed, brown the beef on all sides. (If you're in a rush, you can skip this step.)
    1 tablespoon avocado oil, 2 lbs. stewing beef, 1 teaspoon each: sea salt and pepper
  • Add the tomato paste to the pot and let it caramelize for 3-4 minutes, or until it has darkened and is sweet smelling.
    6 ounce can tomato paste
  • Add the carrots, onion, mushrooms, baby potatoes, beef stock, thyme, and bay leaves to the pot and stir. Lock the lid and set the Instant Pot for 35 minutes on High Pressure. When it has finished cooking, use the quick release to release the pressure for at least 5 minutes.
    4 large carrots, 1 medium onion, 1 lb. mushrooms, 1 lb. baby potatoes, 4 cups beef stock, 2 teaspoons dried thyme, 2 bay leaves
  • Sprinkle the agar powder over the stew and stir to thicken.
    1 teaspoon agar powder
  • While the stew is cooking, prepare the pesto. Place all the pesto ingredients into a blender and blend on high until mostly smooth. If needed, you can add a little water to thin the pesto. Serve spooned over the top of the beef stew.
    2 ounces spinach, 1 green onion, Juice from 1 lemon, ⅓ cup slivered almonds, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 small garlic clove, ½ teaspoon salt


Agar powder is a powder made from seaweed that does an excellent job of thickening liquid. You can find it at most health food grocery stores (like Whole Foods or Trader Joes) or you can buy it online here.
Serving: 1 serving = ¼ of the recipe, Calories: 748kcal, Carbohydrates: 48g, Protein: 66g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 20g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 141mg, Sodium: 1886mg, Potassium: 2927mg, Fiber: 10g, Sugar: 15g, Vitamin A: 14062IU, Vitamin C: 50mg, Calcium: 177mg, Iron: 10mg
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