How To Make Instant-Pot Mexican Beef Stew

You might have an instant pot at home and love how it allows your soups and stews to mellow out and develop some rich and complex flavors, all of which you can hype up if you have a bit of imagination.

How To Make Instant-Pot Mexican Beef Stew

But if you find yourself avoiding the instant pot, a Mexican stew is the thing you need to rejuvenate the senses and open up some new possibilities with your stew recipes.

Find the ingredients and the step-by-step guide to make this below. 

What You’ll Need 

  • 2 pounds of chuck roast or a slow roasting joint, preferably cut into small cubes
  • Two teaspoons of salt
  • Four tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • One minced garlic clove
  • A quarter of a teaspoon of ground pepper
  • One onion
  • Two tablespoons of tomato paste
  • One can of diced tomatoes
  • Two chopped bell peppers
  • 3 cups of beef or vegetable broth
  • Three bay leaves
  • One cup of diced celery
  • One pound of mini reds or regular potatoes, peeled and halved
  • Chopped cilantro
  • The Juice and zest of one lime
  • Two diced jalapenos
  • Two tablespoons of butter
  • One cup of wine (optional) 


Step 1 

If you haven’t already, prepare the beef by cutting it into small cubes, placing it in a bowl, and adding some flour and salt.

Mix this well so all the pieces are well covered so that you can set your instant pot (see also “Sprouted Hummus With Kale And Chives“) to the sear mode here. 

Step 2 

Add some oil to the pot, and once it starts to get hot, you can add your beef until it turns brown, and once this is done, you can remove it and set it to one side for a moment.

You can use wine or just water to remove any glazing from the pot, and be sure to remove any bits stuck to the bottom. 

Step 3 

Here, you can add the butter and saute the onion for around 3 minutes, and then you can add the garlic and continue for another 30 seconds.

Now the fun part is adding the bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, tomato paste, lime juice, zest, diced tomatoes, and broth. 

Step 4 

Stir this all together, and then add carrots, celery, and potatoes, and now you can add the beef you prepared earlier; once this has settled in, you can add thyme and bay leaves for flavoring. 

Step 5 

You can close the lid and pressure cook on the high setting for 35 minutes. After around 15 minutes, you can check and stir.

Then you can manually release the remaining pressure. Once this has finished, you can remove the thyme and bay leaves.

Step 6

During this process, if you want a thicker stew, you can add some cornstarch and some water which should gel and make it thicker when you sauté it.

Now you can stir, taste, and add more salt or pepper if needed, and if you’re happy with it, you can serve and garnish with some cilantro. 

Want To Make Some Changes?

Want To Make Some Changes?

This recipe closely follows the flavors you can find in Mexican dishes, with the jalapenos and herbs adding a taste that can’t be matched, and it may remind you of the type of flavorings you can find in a taco (see also “20 Delicious Healthy Mexican Recipes“).

However, these flavors can be a bit intense for some, or the combination of these ingredients as a stew can be on the heavier side, so why not make some changes so the flavor appeals to you?

Here are some ideas you could try below.

If You Don’t Want The Meat 

It’s possible to make this stew without the inclusion of beef. You can make it textured and succulent by adding chickpeas, corn, vegetable broth, cilantro, black beans, paprika, and cumin which are suitable substitutes. 

The big plus of this type of stew is that it’s low in calories, coming in at 390 calories per large serving, as you avoid the denser ingredients like butter and beef, which are fine on their own but can add on more unnecessary calories when combined in a stew. 

Want Less Spice?

The spices used in the traditional recipe are there for authenticity, but you can still change the rules and cut down on the jalapenos and spices you use, as the herbs you use already can be enough to pack flavor in.

Just be sure to give the stew a taste during the cooking process to determine the spice, and here you’ll find the chunky pieces of veg and meat absorb these flavors and notice them in the sauce. 

Serving Suggestions 

The stew can be enough for many, but if you want something to balance out the overabundance of savory flavors, you could serve some bread, brown rice, cucumbers, or even a bit of cheese drizzled over the top or on the side. 

We’re not guaranteeing if these sides will work or not, but they offer something like a palette cleanser, and as a rule of thumb, you can aim to use sides with light flavors and bodies, as after a bowl or two of stew, you will already experience all the flavors on offer.


If you’ve made too much, don’t worry, as you can add the leftovers to a dish and tightly cover with film or seal it in an airtight container, and here you can keep it for up to four days, giving you something excellent to heat up when you’re too tired to prepare something from scratch. 


Of course, you may find something that works well with flavors and decide it works best for you, and this is great for adding your own twists to recipes that use authentic cultural ingredients and techniques to prepare. 

All of this gives you a stew that can work for those colder evenings, and you need something with a lot of flavors to warm up to.

Lindsey Morgan
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