Instant Pot Irish Stew (A Quicker and Easier Recipe)

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This Instant Pot Irish Stew is a cozy, hearty, and easy recipe packed with fork tender meat, root vegetables, fresh herbs, and traditional flavors. It’s ready in a fraction of the time, with the pressure cooker doing nearly all of the work.

Side view of Irish Stew in white bowls with fresh parsley and a fork.

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It’s a delicious and simple recipe to make for St. Patrick’s Day, a chillly winter or early spring day… or anytime you’re craving traditional flavor of the Emerald Isle.

While I’ve written this recipe using lamb, it’s also interchageable and delicious with beef. With one tiny ingredient that makes all the difference!

What is the difference between Irish Stew and Beef Stew?

Some will say that the only difference is the meat that’s used in the stew. And that is essentially true. But here are a few other considerations.

While both Irish lamb stew and beef stew are hearty dishes and classic Irish cuisine, they do differ in several ways. As I said, the most apparent distinction is in the choice of meat. This variation not only brings slightly different flavors and textures but also influences the overall character of the dish.

With its rich, slightly gamey flavor, lamb adds depth and complexity to the dish. Beef adds a more robust and savory flavor to stew.

In addition to the differences in the meat, both stews often feature different ingredients and seasonings. For instance, this lamb stew uses rosemary and thyme, while beef stew often includes more earthy flavors.

In this Irish stew, I’ve included a bit of both so that the meat used is truly interchangeable and delivers the best of both! Ultimately, whether you opt for the tender lamb of Irish lamb stew or the hearty beef of beef stew, both dishes promise a warm and satisfying meal paying homage to the rich culinary traditions of Ireland.

Side view of 2 servings of Irish Stew in white bowls on a wooden board

Instant Pot Advantage: Speedy Cooking for Irish Stew

Traditional recipes for this beloved dish require hours of slow simmering on the stovetop or in the oven to achieve that melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and depth of flavor. However, with a multi-cooker, like the Instant Pot, cooking a delicious pot of Irish stew can achieve the same tenderness and favor in less time than you might imagine!

Why does the Instant Pot deliver a tender, flavorful batch of Irish stew in record time? Here are a few reasons.

1. Pressure Cooking: One of its best features is the ability to cook under pressure. By sealing in steam and increasing the internal pressure, the Instant Pot effectively raises the boiling point of water, allowing food to cook much faster than conventional methods. This means that tough cuts of meat, like lamb or beef stew meat, can be transformed into fork-tender morsels in a fraction of the time.

2. Efficient Heat Distribution: The Instant Pot’s design ensures an even distribution of heat, resulting in uniform cooking and consistent results. Which means, the ingredients cook at the same rate, eliminating the need for constant stirring or monitoring.

3. Set It and Forget It: Unlike stovetop cooking, a multi-cooker operates on its own. Once the ingredients are added and the desired cooking time is set, you get to walk away. This hands-off approach saves time and allows you to tend to other tasks while your stew simmers.

4. Flavor Infusion: Despite its rapid cooking time, the Instant Pot excels at infusing dishes with rich, deep flavors. The sealed environment of the pot traps aromas and concentrates flavors, resulting in a more intense and satisfying eating experience. This is particularly evident in dishes like Irish stew, where the Instant Pot’s pressure cooking capabilities work wonders in melding together the flavors of meat, vegetables, and seasonings.

So, whether you’re craving a comforting meal on a busy weeknight or hosting a gathering with friends and family, a multicooker is a trusty way to deliver a steaming pot of delicious Irish stew in record time.

Do as the Irish do and smash some of the potatoes as you eat to sop up the rich broth! And since this is a complete meal in itself, you don’t need much to go along with it….

But if you’re looking for ideas, here are a few Irish dishes that pair well with Irish stew.

Irish Recipes to Serve with Irish Stew

Top view of vegetables and herbs used in Instant Pot Irish Stew on a round wooden board.

Ingredients Needed for Irish Stew

You will find all the ingredient measurements in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

  • Lamb, usually from the shoulder, cut into chunks. If your market doesn’t have lamb stew meat, you can substitute beef stew meat. Or, you can always ask the butcher if he could cut lamb stew for you. Very often, they will do this for me when I ask nicely 😍.
  • Beef broth: While you can also use water, beef broth helps create a beautiful depth of flavor in the gravy.
  • Worcestershire sauce: Don’t skip this; a little goes a long way and makes this stew!
  • Vegetables: Leeks and parsnips (for traditional flavor), carrots, red potatoes, and thinly sliced cabbage
  • Herbs: Fresh rosemary, thyme, and parsley for garnish (you can also use dried herbs if necessary).

How to Make Irish Stew the Quick Way

Step-by-step instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of this post, but here is a quick overview.


Toss meat with flour, salt, & pepper

Add flour and 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to a large resealable bag or a bowl and toss the meat until evenly coated.

Top view of uncooked meat tossed in flour, salt, and pepper in a resealable bag.

Brown the meat

Heat the pressure cooker using the saute function and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or use a skillet and brown on the stovetop). Cook the meat on all sides until evenly browned but not cooked through.

Top view of browned lamb in an Instant Pot insert.

Add all ingredients to the Instant Pot

Add the meat, broth, Worcestershire sauce, leeks, parsnips, carrots, potatoes and several sprigs of rosemary or thyme (or both) and stir.

Top view of uncooked Irish Stew ingredients in an Instant Pot insert.

Pressure cook on high

Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes, then allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Vent the steam to release any remaining pressure.

How to Thicken the Stew

This is an optional step, but one I recommend. You can thicken the stew with a cornstarch slurry using equal amounts of water and cornstarch. The slurry is added to the Instant Pot after cooking and thickens the stew beautifully.

Reheating Irish stew leftovers in a white Dutch oven on the stovetop.

Reheating Leftovers

This recipe makes a hardy amount of stew, which thankfully means leftovers! It will keep in the refrigerator or even the freezer. To reheat if refrigerated, add leftovers to a saucepan or Dutch oven and reheat gently on medium-low heat until heated through. It can also be reheated in the microwave.

If frozen, thaw leftovers in the refrigerator overnight before reheating on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Instant Pot Irish Stew FAQs

Can I make this stew without an Instant Pot?

Absolutely! While the Instant Pot significantly speeds up the cooking process, you can still make this delicious Irish stew on the stovetop or in a slow cooker. Follow the same recipe instructions, adjusting cooking times accordingly.

Can I use beef instead of lamb in this recipe?

Yes, you can substitute beef for lamb if you prefer. Although traditional Irish stew is made with lamb which gives it a unique flavor, beef works equally well too.

Can I freeze leftovers of this stew?

This Instant Pot Irish stew freezes beautifully. Allow the stew to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers or resealable bags. It will keep well in the freezer for up to three months. To reheat, simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then warm on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Does this stew work well if made ahead of time?

It does! In fact, the flavors of this stew often deepen and improve when made ahead of time. Prepare the stew according to the recipe instructions, allow it to cool completely, and then store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

What thickens Irish stew?

The stew is thickened using either a cornstarch slurry with equal parts cornstarch and water or a butter paste using 2 tablespoons of softened butter and 2 tablespoons of flour. While butter brings delicious flavor, I often use the cornstarch slurry for more consistent results.


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Closeup view of cooked meat on a fork over a bowl of Irish Stew.
Side view of two white bowls filled with Irish Stew with fresh parsley and thyme to garnish.

Instant Pot Irish Stew

Make a delicious and hearty Instant Pot Irish Stew with this simple recipe. Enjoy the traditional flavors of Ireland in just a fraction of the time.
5 from 3 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Natural Release: 10 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • 1 1/2 lb lamb cut in bite sized pieces (you can also use beef)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt or to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 ½ cups beef stock
  • 1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 leeks (use the white and light green parts) cleaned and thinly sliced
  • 1 parsnips peeled and sliced
  • 3 large carrots peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 red skinned potatoes peeled, halved and quartered or thickly sliced
  • a bundle of fresh thyme or rosemary or a little of both for the best flavor
  • 1/4 head green cabbage very thinly sliced

Optional Thickening

  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch


  • Add flour and 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to a large resealable bag or a bowl and toss the meat until evenly coated.
  • Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the Instant Pot insert (or brown separately in a large skillet). Brown the meat (using the saute function on the pressure cooker). Work in batches so you don't crowd the meat and it can evenly brown. Remove from the insert and set aside.
  • If browning the meat in the Instant Pot, add 1 cup of the broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom and press cancel to end the saute function.
  • Add the meat, broth, Worcestershire sauce, leeks, parsnips, carrots, potatoes and several sprigs of rosemary or thyme (or both) and stir.
  • Close and seal the Instant Pot. Cook on high pressure for 35 minutes, then allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Vent the steam to release any remaining pressure, then carefully open the lid.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water to create a slurry. Add it to the Instant Pot along with the thin slices of cabbage and stir until the stew thickens and the cabbage wilts. Serve warm sprinkled with fresh parsley.



  1. TO STORE: Refrigerate leftover Irish stew in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
  2. TO REHEAT: Warm leftovers in a saucepan or Dutch oven on the stovetop until warmed through or in the microwave.
  3. To FREEZE: Store leftovers in an airtight freezer container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.


Calories: 405kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 712mg | Potassium: 1080mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 4918IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Tried this recipe? Pin it Today!Follow me on Pinterest for more and use the "Pin" button at the top of the recipe card.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Irish American
Keyword: Irish stew, Instant Pot Irish Stew, Lamb Stew, Beef Stew

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