Instant Pot Classic Pot Roast

The ideal Pot Roast has succulent beef that just melts in your mouth, crisp vegetables that hold their shape, and a rich gravy that complements everything. Easy family dinner using the Instant Pot and traditional comfort food.

A home-cooked pot roast is a winter staple, but most people wait until the colder months to make it. Here’s how to make a great pot roast with an Instant Pot, in much less time than it takes on the oven! This is a classic pot roast recipe that has been adapted for the Instant Pot. It’s a quick and easy way to make a delicious pot roast that is fall-apart tender. The Instant Pot is a great kitchen tool for making quick and easy meals.

This pot roast recipe is simple to make and only requires a few ingredients. The most important part of this recipe is to brown the roast before pressure cooking. This will help to create a crust on the outside of the roast that will seal in the juices.
When the pot roast is finished, you can serve it with mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or a green salad.

This Instant Pot Chicken and Dumplings is the perfect comfort food! Recipes like my Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa and Instant Pot Sausage Tortellini Soup are great for when you want an ultra-comforting family meal that’s ready incredibly fast.

Comfort food recipes like this pot roast recipe are essential in the colder months. Instead of having to remember to make and set your slow cooker in the wee hours of the morning before you leave for work, you can have a mouthwatering pot roast in less than an hour and a half, most of which is the hands-off time! 

I know, I know, an hour doesn’t sound like a quick weeknight dinner. And in a lot of cases, it’s not.  Unless you get home from work at a fairly early hour.  But, it’s still faster than cooking all day, or for 3 hours in the oven.

I tend to think of a pot roast dinner as a weekend meal, so that’s when we enjoy this.  Usually on a Sunday night, so we can enjoy the leftovers for dinner on Monday night!

A lot of Instant Pot pot roast recipes say it’s ready in an hour.  But that doesn’t usually take into account the prep time, and time to let the pressure release.

For this recipe, I tested cooking the meat and veggies all at once and cooking it in stages, and we much preferred the texture of the vegetables when they were cooked in stages.  When they’re all tossed in together, the vegetables were very mushy and sort of disappeared.

HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT POT ROAST

  1. Brown the beef. I like to brown my chuck roast, but I don’t do it all the time, and it isn’t necessary.  If you sear the meat, you’ll need to scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon when you add the beef broth.  Otherwise, those browned bits that are stuck on there will cause your pressure cooker to not come up to pressure.
  2. Add all liquids. Once your beef is ready, add in the broth, seasonings, garlic, and horseradish. Add potatoes and thyme.
  3. Pressure cook. Seal and pressure cook for 45 minutes.
  4. Let the pressure release. Perform a natural pressure release (by doing nothing) for 10 minutes, then turn the valve to “venting” and release any remaining pressure.
  5. Add vegetables and cook. Add carrots, celery, and onion, then pressure cook again for 15 minutes.
  6. Pressure release. This time let the pressure release on its own for 15 minutes, then turn the valve to “venting” to release any remaining pressure.
  7. Remove meat and vegetables. Shred the beef, and let it all sit on a plate.
  8. Make slurry. A slurry is the combination of cornstarch and a cold or room-temperature liquid. Whisking the cornstarch and water until smooth, then stirring it into the cooking liquid will thicken it without any clumps.
  9. “Saute” to thicken the liquid. Cook, stirring often, until the slurry has thickened the liquid into a loose gravy consistency, or until thickened to your liking.
  10. Serve beef and vegetables drizzled with plenty of cooking liquid.

ADDITIONAL COOKING TIPS

THE MEAT

Since this pot roast is cooked in a moist, high-pressure environment, you want a cut of meat that’s rich in connective tissue and marbled fat.  When cooked in a pressure cooker, or for long periods, those tissues and fat transform even the toughest beef into the most melt-in-your-mouth tender morsels.  My personal favorite, in terms of flavor, texture, and cost-effectiveness is a boneless chuck roast.  I buy them when they’re on sale and keep them in the freezer.  If your budget is more open, beef brisket is another good option.

BROWNING

Taking the time to sear and brown the beef adds a ton of flavor, but isn’t essential.  I love to brown my beef since I love that extra deep flavor it adds but I’ve made this several times without taking that extra step, and it still tastes delicious.

VEGETABLE TEXTURE

As written, the vegetables are tender but do not fall apart in your mouth. If you prefer a softer texture to your pot roast vegetables, feel free to add them in the first pressure cook time, with the beef and liquid.  Then skip the second pressure cooking time and go straight to the steps for “thinning the liquid.”

VARIATIONS OF THIS RECIPE

  • RED WINE – for a deeper, more complex flavor, try swapping 1/2 cup of the beef broth for a dry red wine.  Use the wine to deglaze the pot, then add in the beef broth.
  • ONION SOUP MIX – if you have a packet of onion soup mix, feel free to use it.  Just omit the dried minced onion and reduce the salt to 1/2 tsp.
  • DRIED HERBS – not everyone has fresh herbs on hand, so if you need to, you can substitute the fresh thyme for 1 tsp of dried thyme leaves.
  • OTHER VEGETABLES – carrots, potatoes, celery, and onion are classic pot roast vegetables, but adding some whole-button mushrooms is a great addition.  Just add them when you add the carrots, celery, and onion.
  • OTHER POTATOES – for a recipe like this, you want a waxier potato that holds its shape.  Red potatoes would be a good substitute. If you can’t find baby potatoes, you can use larger ones, you’ll just want to halve or quarter them.

MAKING POT ROAST AHEAD OF TIME

The great thing about pot roast is that the leftovers tend to taste even better the next day!  When making this recipe ahead of time, my advice would be to store the pot roast, veggies, and liquid together to keep the meat from drying out.

STORAGE

Leftover pot roast should be stored in the fridge in a container that keeps air out and eaten within 4–5 days.

Leftovers can also be frozen for up to 3 months, although sometimes frozen potatoes can have a different texture and consistency when thawed.

SPECIAL EQUIPMENT FOR THIS RECIPE

  • Instant Pot – I’m so glad I made the switch to this version.
Instant Pot Classic Pot Roast

Instant Pot Classic Pot Roast

Juicy, melt-in-your-mouth beef, tender vegetables and an ultra flavorful gravy make for the perfect Pot Roast recipe! Classic comfort food meets family friendly dinner, made with the ease of the Instant Pot.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Depressurizing Time: 25 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Servings 6
Calories 464 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 lb. boneless beef chuck roast
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper divided
  • 32 oz reduced sodium beef broth
  • 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 Tbsp dried minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 lbs baby Yukon gold potatoes scrubbed clean

ADD LATER

  • 1 lb. baby carrots
  • 5 stalks celery chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion quartered

TO MAKE GRAVY

  • 2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp water or additional beef broth

Instructions
 

BROWN BEEF

  • Chuck roast is rubbed with salt and one teaspoon of black pepper.
  • In the Instant Pot, add vegetable oil and choose “Saute”. Add the beef when it is hot, and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until browned.
  • Take away to a platter

DEGLAZE POT

  • Add the beef broth and use a wooden spoon to scrape off any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the rosemary, dried onion, horseradish, remaining 1 tsp. of black pepper, and garlic. Gently stir.
  • Add potatoes and the beef back to the saucepan along with the thyme sprigs.

PRESSURE COOK

  • To cancel or keep warm, click “Cancel.” Make sure the valve is set to “sealing” and that the lid is well closed. Choose “Manual” or “Pressure Cook,” then move the +/- button until 45 minutes is displayed.
  • Once the food has finished cooking, carefully flip the valve to “venting” for a rapid pressure release after allowing the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the cover and throw away the thyme sprig stems once all of the steam has evaporated and the pin has landed.

PRESSURE COOK VEGETABLES

  • To the pot, add the carrots, celery, and onion. Make sure the valve is set to “sealing” and that the lid is well closed. Choose “Manual” or “Pressure Cook,” then move the +/- button until 15 minutes is displayed.
  • After cooking is complete, turn the valve to “venting” and carefully wait 15 minutes for any residual pressure to be released naturally.
  • Remove the cover once all of the steam has evaporated and the pin has fallen.

THICKEN LIQUID

  • Remove all of the vegetables and meat with care, but keep the liquid in the pot.
  • Cornstarch and water should be thoroughly whipped together in a small basin. Select “Saute” and whisk the contents into the pot of heated liquid.
  • Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the sauce has thickened to your preferred consistency.

SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS

  • In a skillet with canola oil over HIGH heat, sear the beef.
  • Add the beef along with the rest of the ingredients (apart from the water and cornstarch), cover, and simmer on LOW for 8 to 9 hours.
  • Transfer the steak and the veggies to a platter.
  • Cornstarch and water should be thoroughly combined before being added to a slow cooker. Cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly, over HIGH heat, covered.
  • Alternately, you can move the liquid to a saucepan, combine it with the cornstarch/water combination, and cook it over MED heat until it thickens.
  • Serve the beef and vegetables from the slow cooker.

OVEN DIRECTIONS

  • Beef is seared in a pot with a heavy bottom (a Dutch oven is the traditional pot used), then transferred to a dish.
  • To release flavorful browned pieces from the bottom of the saucepan, add beef stock and stir.
  • All of the remaining ingredients (apart from cornstarch and water) and the beef should be added back to the pot and gently stirred.
  • For 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or when the beef is readily shredded and has achieved an internal temperature of 202°F, bake covered in a 350°F oven.
  • After removing the veggies, shred the steak, and then add everything on a platter.
  • Cornstarch and water should be thoroughly combined before being added to a pot. Cook in a pot over MEDIUM heat until the desired thickness is achieved.
  • Serve the steak and vegetables from the pot again.