Tender and flavorful Instant Pot Pot Roast with potatoes and carrots is a simple meal that comes together with very little active cooking time. This easy one-pot meal is perfect for busy weeknights and the instant pot roast beef will satisfy your craving for classic comfort food in no time.
about this instant pot pot roast recipe
Do you call it Instant Pot pot roast or Instant Pot roast beef?
For me, I call it pot roast, as roast beef harkens ideas of sliced deli meat. However, in some of my research, I noticed a good portion of writers calling the recipe roast beef. Interesting, no?
Pot roast isn’t a recipe I grew up eating or making. I don’t have stories about how my mom made pot roast with potatoes and carrots every Sunday. My grandmother, who was the cook in the family, didn’t really make it whenever we visited when I was a young child (or if she did, it certainly did not make an impact on my memory).
It wasn’t until I became an adult that I tried pot roast. My first few experiences with it were not the best, but when I finally had a really good recipe, I was struck with how simple good food can be the ultimate comfort food.
That’s why I really tried to keep this recipe simple. To me, the ideal plate of pot roast has tender carrots and potatoes, a delicious gravy, and simple seasoning that highlights the flavors of the beef.
The nice thing is, the Instant Pot cuts down on the time it takes to cook, without sacrificing flavor or impacting the tender texture that you expect from shredded roast beef. Instead of spending hours tending to it, you only need about 1 1/2 hours to make it from start to finish.
why should I use an Instant Pot?
Out of all my appliances, the Instant Pot is my favorite. At first, I acquired the gadget to make rice and use the slow cooker function. I was actually scared of using the pressure cooking function for a bit.
However, once I tried using it, I instantly became obsessed with it. Of course, Instant Pot is the brand that I am loyal to (I am always trying out the latest model!), but honestly any electroni pressure cooker works the same.
If you haven’t picked one up yet, do so immediately. It will change the way you cook and you’ll be enjoying meals that are typically reserved for the weekend (like a pot roast made in the oven) any night of the week with ease.
what is the best cut of meat to use for pot roast?
For pot roast, you are not looking for the highest quality cut of beef like a beef tenderloin. Instead, you will want to look for one of the following options: chuck roast (my preference), brisket, or bottom/top round. Let’s talk more about each:
- chuck roast. When slow cooked, chuck roast is incredibly tender. There is quite a lot of marbling in this cut of meat which makes the meat so tender and juicy when it is cooked down. It is also incredibly easy to shred so it simply melts in your mouth when you eat it.
- brisket. There is a lot of connective tissue in a brisket, which makes it tender once it cooks for a while. Brisket can be pretty expensive, so I opt for the chuck roast over brisket.
- bottom or top round. If you are looking for the cut of meat that is used to make deli roast beef, this is the one! It’s leaner than the options mentioned above, so I don’t find it makes the ideal tender pot roast. It can sometimes come out a little dry if it is overcooked even by a couple of minutes.
beef. I recommend using either a chuck roast or brisket when making pot roast. You can also use bottom or top round. Aim to get a piece of meat that is 3 to 5 lbs total weight.
onion. You can use a yellow onion (our preference) or a white onion for this recipe.
oil. Canola or vegetable oil will work to sear the meat and saute the onion with the garlic.
garlic. Minced garlic is always the way to go! I get a jar to have in my fridge because it just makes my life easier.
red wine. A dry red wine is preferred. You can also use beef broth or beef stock in place of the red wine if you prefer not to cook with wine.
broth. Use beef broth or beef stock for this recipe.
worcestershire sauce. Worcestershire sauce gives a lovely added depth to the final gravy.
fresh herbs. You will need fresh sprigs of thyme and rosemary. I also like to have some freshly chopped parsley for final garnish on the plate.
potatoes. I used baby red potatoes, but you can also use baby gold potatoes.
carrots. Chop up large carrots into large chunks for this recipe. I do not recommend using baby carrots in this recipe as they end up too mushy.
cornstarch. You will need cornstarch to mix with water for a cornstarch slurry. This is what will thicken the gravy at the end.
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here’s how to make instant pot pot roast
Add 1 Tablespoon oil to the insert of the Instant Pot and set to Sauté. Once hot, add the roast and sear on both sides, for about 3 to 4 minutes per side until browned. Remove and set aside.
Add remaining oil to the insert with onion, cooking until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant.
Turn off the electric pressure cooker and add red wine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits that have stuck to the bottom. Make sure that you get all of those bits off the bottom or else you risk getting a “burn” notice from the pressure cooker.
Add the seared meat back to the insert and top with potatoes, carrots, and fresh herbs. Pour in beef broth and worcestershire sauce.
Close the lid and cook on High pressure for 60 to 80 minutes, depending on the size of your cut of beef. Let any remaining pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then manually release any remaining pressure.
Remove the potatoes, carrots, and roast. Shred the roast on a cutting board using two forks.
Scoop out any bits left in the insert with a spider strainer or fine mesh sieve.
Set Instant Pot to Sauté. Whisk together cornstarch and sugar until smooth. Pour into the liquid and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve gravy with roast and vegetables.
tips and tricks
adjust cooking time as needed. The total cook time of the roast varies depending on the size of your cut of beef. Be sure to check the FAQs below or the end of the recipe card for exact suggested times based on the weight of the beef cut you select.
allow pressure to release naturally. Make sure that you allow the pressure release naturally when the cooking time is up. Let it naturally release for 10 minutes before manually releasing any remaining pressure.
cut larger potatoes. I recommend using baby potatoes (gold or red), but you can also bigger potatoes as long as you cut them. If you want to use russet potatoes, be sure to cut the potatoes into 2 to 3 inch chunks.
why did my pot roast turn out tough?
If you open up the Instant Pot after cooking and the meat is not tender, thaw means it needs to be cooked for longer. I like to check the vegetables and make sure they are cooked through before adding more cooking time. If the vegetables are cooked through, remove them first.
Close the lid and cook the meat for another 10 to 20 minutes under High pressure. The meat likely just needs a little longer to break down the connective tissue.
can I use frozen beef for this recipe?
I personally prefer to use thawed meat, because you can get that nice sear on the meat before you cook it under pressure. However, you can easily make this recipe with frozen meat!
You will need to skip the searing process if you do. Add everything to the Instant Pot insert as instructed, then cook under pressure, adding about 20 to 30 minutes cooking time to the total time mentioned in the recipe below.
how long does it take to cook pot roast in the instant pot?
The total time to cook your beef roast will vary based on the size.
For a 3 to 5 lbs beef chuck roast, it takes an average of 70 minutes to cook under pressure. To be more specific:
- 3 lbs = 60 minutes
- 4 lbs = 70 minutes
- 5 lbs = 80 minutes
If you are cooking with frozen beef, be sure to add about 20 to 30 minutes to the total cooking time.
what is the best type of potato for this pot roast recipe?
I like to use small red potatoes for this recipe! However, you can also use gold potatoes as well. Either will work well in the Instant Pot.
can I make mashed potatoes instead?
If you prefer mashed potatoes, this can easily be achieved with this recipe! All you have to do is omit the carrots (or include them if you don’t mind separating them out after cooking from the potatoes) and cook the potatoes in the pot as instructed. If you don’t like skins in your mashed potatoes, be sure to peel the potatoes first!
When done cooking, remove the potatoes to a bowl and mash them until desired consistency. Add a little milk and butter, stirring until the butter is melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
do I have to use the vegetables in this recipe?
If you prefer to pair your pot roast with other side dishes, you can easily omit the vegetables in this recipe!
do the vegetables turn out mushy after cooking under pressure?
The key to make sure your vegetables are not mushy is to not cut them too small. That is why I leave the potatoes whole and only cut them in half after cooking. In addition, I make sure that the carrots are cut into large chunks, around 2 inches or so. I do not recommend using baby carrots as those will definitely turn to mush in the recipe.
Need more inspiration for dinner this week? Check out my main dish recipes page!
what to serve with instant pot roast beef
I love this recipe, because it is an entire meal in one pot! You get the savory meat, tender vegetables, and gravy all in one recipe. Therefore, I don’t have any side recommendations, because you just don’t need any! When you have leftovers and run out of gravy, remember to whip up a quick au jus recipe to drizzle on top of reheated pot roast. For a creative way to use up leftovers, turn them into french dip sandwiches! You can also use it to make roast beef sliders too.
If you are looking for a cocktail to pair with this dinner:
A bourbon mule is cool and refreshing, with the heat of bourbon instead of vodka.
For those who like a spicy cocktail, the smoky heat of this mezcal old fashioned cannot be beat.
A classic bourbon manhattan is simple and easy to make in a big batch for a dinner party.
Let’s not forget about ending the meal with something sweet!
Three ingredient Nutella cake bites are decadent and insanely easy to whip up.
Since this meal is heavier, a light and bright mango mousse is a lovely creamy option to end the meal with.
Top off a bowl of vanilla bean ice cream with raspberry compote!
how to store and freeze
Store. Cool leftover pot roast to room temperature. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Reheat. To reheat, I recommend placing the pot roast in a pot on the stove. Reheat over medium heat with the gravy until warmed through. You may need to add a splash of beef broth or stock (or water) to thin out the gravy if it’s too thick. Stir the mixture often over the heat to make sure everything warms through evenly.
Freeze. Make it easier on yourself and freeze the instant pot roast beef, vegetables, and gravy in individual portions to quickly thaw and reheat later! Cool everything completely, and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Thaw. Thaw the frozen roast, vegetables, and gravy in the refrigerator overnight before reheating, as instructed below.
more comfort food recipes
Roasted chicken with white wine and fresh herbs is an easy way to make roasted chicken, without the time it usually takes to cook it!
If you want to break out the Instant Pot again, try this short rib ragu that’s ready in just one hour.
For any leftover ham you might have, be sure to save it and make this Instant Pot ham and bean soup.
Finally, if you make this instant pot roast beef recipe, please be sure to give this recipe a rating and/or leave a comment! I love to hear when you all make recipes, and I do take the time to respond to every single comment.
Feel free to drop questions below too, if you have them!
Oh and be sure to tag me on Instagram if you make the recipe! I love being able to see these recipes come to life in your homes – it’s my favorite thing to look through those photos. It really means the world to me!
- 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
- 3 to 5 lbs beef chuck roast (or brisket)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup dry red wine (you can use beef broth instead)
- 3 1/2 cups beef broth (or stock)
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 1 lb baby red potatoes (about 10-12)
- 4 large carrots - peeled and chopped into large chunks
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 Tbsp cornstarch
- Garnish: freshly chopped parsley
- Add 1 Tbsp oil to the insert of the electric pressure cooker. Set the Sauté.
- Season chuck roast with salt and pepper. Once hot, add seasoned roast and sear on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes per side until browned. Remove and set aside.
- Add remaining oil to the insert with onion. Cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened and fragrant. Stir in garlic and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute until fragrant.
- Turn electric pressure cooker off and add in red wine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits that have stuck to the bottom.
- Add seared chuck roast back to the insert and top with potatoes and carrots. Add fresh herbs on top.
- Pour in beef broth and Worcestershire sauce.
- Close the lid and seal. Cook for 60 to 80 minutes* on High pressure. Let natural release for 10 minutes, then manually release remaining pressure.
- Remove the meat to a cutting board and shred with two fork. Remove the potatoes and carrots as well. Use a fine mesh siever or spider strainer to remove any bits and pieces left in the cooking liquid.
- Set electric pressure cooker to Sauté. Whisk together cornstarch and water. Pour into the liquid and cook until thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve gravy with roast and vegetables. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley, if desired.
*For a 3 to 5 lbs beef chuck roast, it takes an average of 70 minutes to cook under pressure. To be more specific:
- 3 lbs = 60 minutes
- 4 lbs = 70 minutes
- 5 lbs = 80 minutes