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RECIPE: Budget-Friendly Pot Roast with the Instant Pot (Paleo/AIP)

Looking for a delicious pot roast recipe? Use the Instant Pot to turn stew meat into tender pot roast. You'll save money -- and no one will be the wiser!I have a secret. The Instant Pot can make pot roast magic.

My family loves the taste of pot roast, but for budget reasons we rarely purchase beef roast. It’s hard to swallow $5-8/lb meat for a family of voracious eaters. There’s nothing like spending $25 on ONE dinner with hardly any leftovers.

I guess I should pleased that everyone loved it enough to polish it off… but all I could see were dollar signs.

When I finally purchased my first Instant Pot, I heard everyone raving about how delicious pot roast was. Many recipes called for cutting your large roast into 1-2″ chunks and cooking for 30 minutes (otherwise, it would take 90 minutes to achieve a tender roast).

So on a whim because I’m lazy, I decided to try using stew meat. It was half the cost of buying a roast… and it was already cut into chunks for me. And you know something?

It worked. AND was insanely good.

I have since cooked my Instant-Pot-Stew-Meat-Pot-Roast for tons of company, including a special dinner for 15 guests. I smiled as everyone raved about how delicious and tender my pot roast was. They all quizzed me: “What did you put in this?!”

So every time I would say, “Well, I bought some stew meat….” and their jaw would drop open in disbelief.

I’m calling this a WIN!

We love serving this roast alongside 10-minute no-drain mashed potatoes or our super-fast IP baked sweet potatoes.

Budget-Friendly Pot Roast with the Instant Pot

A few friendly tips:

  • If you can’t do nightshades (or are AIP), substitute the tomato sauce for 1 cup of broth and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar. The acid of the vinegar will help tenderize your meat.
  • Once your Instant Pot is finished cooking, I recommend allowing the pressure to release naturally or it could make the beef chewy. However, I will say that I have done a quick release more than once because we’ve been in a hurry and my meat was still fall-apart tender.

Overwhelmed by all the talk about Instant Pot accessories? Our comprehensive list tells you what you really need AND how to use them.

Instant Pot Accessories and How To Use Them

Want To Make A Freezer Meal?

I buy a large 4 pound package of stew meat from Costco (~$3.50/lb) and then divide the meat into these fantastic round containers.

I add my ingredients and stir to combine. Then I label and freeze.

When it’s time to cook, I can either thaw overnight, or I can pop it in the IP to cook directly from frozen (removing from the container, of course).

Get all my tips on how to make freezer meals — it saves my sanity!!!

How To Make Instant Pot Freezer Meals

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Print Recipe
RECIPE: Budget-Friendly Pot Roast with the Instant Pot (Paleo/AIP)
Looking for a delicious pot roast recipe? Use the Instant Pot to turn stew meat into tender pot roast. You'll save money -- and no one will be the wiser!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients into the Instant Pot liner, stirring to combine. [Omit the garlic powder for low FODMAP]
  2. Check the sealing ring, secure the lid, and close the pressure valve.
  3. Select MANUAL for 30 minutes.
  4. Once the program has complete, allow pressure to release naturally.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

If you're making this into a freezer meal:

  • Put ingredients into these round freezer containers. Freeze.
  • When ready to cook, empty frozen contents into the Instant Pot liner.
  • Select SAUTE for five minutes.
  • Cancel SAUTE, check sealing ring, attach lid, and close pressure valve.
  • Select MANUAL for 40 minutes (best practice is to add ten minutes when cooking meat from frozen)
  • Once program is complete, allow pressure to release naturally.
  • Serve and enjoy!

If making AIP: omit the tomato sauce and substitute 1 cup broth plus 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.

Low FODMAP Diet Note: Omit the garlic powder and make sure that your tomato sauce is Low FODMAP friendly. As always, check the Monash FODMAP app for recommended serving/portion size.

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Check out all our Instant Pot Recipes!

Don’t miss our popular Instant Pot Tip posts:

How to Unbox the Instant Pot in 10 Easy Steps

Instant Pot Accessories and How To Use Them

How To Make Instant Pot Freezer Meals

How to Travel with the Instant Pot

Looking for a delicious pot roast recipe? Use the Instant Pot to turn stew meat into tender pot roast. You'll save money -- and no one will be the wiser!

3 Comments

  1. Prepackaged “stew meat” is usually a mix of cuts, which means you get a mix of melt-in-your-mouth bites and tougher, drier pieces of meat, even when cooked in the IP.

    IMO it’s easier to buy chuck roasts and cut them into stew-sized pieces, trimming off the hard fat and gristle.

  2. This was delicious! I thickened the gravy with a cornstarch/water mixture (just put the IP on Saute and added about 2 tsp cornstarch in 1/4 c. water and sautéed for 2-3 min). It was delicious on our cauliflower “potatoes.”

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