Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew

This Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew is a delicious, hearty stew made with split peas and savory spices. Your electric pressure cooker makes the beef extra tender in just a short amount of time.

As you probably know by now, I legitimately have an obsession with my Instant Pot. It seems that I’m pumping out at least one new recipe a week using it. But, I’ve yet to make some of the beef dishes that the Instant Pot is best known for – dishes like pot roasts, and beef stew, those that use tough cuts of meat that would traditionally need to cook away all day in order to transform into a more delicious and tender version of themselves. So, last weekend, I set out to change all that, with this Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew.

Persian Beef Stew

It’s like beef stew’s exotic, spicy cousin – spiked with lots of yummy spices like cumin, cinnamon. saffron and turmeric, but it’s also a much more hearty (and healthy) version of the original version too because this Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew gets plenty of fiber and vitamins from the split peas that are in this stew too.

I loaded this recipe up with a good cup and a half of split peas. As they cook away in the Instant Pot, they take on the most silky texture and absorb all those savory, warming spices. Split peas are part of the superfoods category called “pulses” – the dry, edible seeds of plants in the legume family, which also includes chickpeas, lentils and beans. They’re naturally high in protein and fiber, but low in fat. And, if you’re looking for ways to eat healthier, sneaking pulses into your daily routine is definitely a great way to do it.

This recipe starts by sauteing cubes of beef right in the Instant Pot – That’s one of my favorite features – I love that you can saute and cook all in the same pot. But, be sure to cook your beef in batches so that you don’t overcrowd the pot.

Overcrowding means that your beef won’t get browned, instead it will steam itself. Once the beef cubes are all browned, set them aside and add the onion and garlic to the pot, letting it soften for a few minutes. Then add in the tomato paste and let it get nice a browned too. Once it takes on that color, add in your stock and scrape up all those browned bits from the bottom of the pot. If you skip this step, the Instant Pot might not come to full pressure.

Close up Overhead shot of instant pot persian beef stew in bowl with rice

I used my homemade slow cooker bone broth as the stock (I had it on hand in the freezer), but you can swap it out for some boxed chicken or beef broth too. Add in the split peas, tomatoes and all those amazingly fragrant spices, then give everything a good stir. Place your lid on the Instant Pot, make sure it’s set to seal, and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes for the pressure to build and then the countdown timer will start. After the time is up, let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes, do a quick release to release any remaining pressure and remove the lid.

I added in the juice and zest of one lemon to brighten up this stew. You’ll also want to taste for seasoning and adjust with more salt and pepper as needed.

Serve this yummy Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew in bowls topped with fresh basil and mint, accompanied by some basmati rice, and maybe a glass of red wine too (see my recommendations below).

Overhead shot of instant pot persian beef stew in bowl with rice

Wine Pairings for Persian Beef Stew: 

  • Try a Cabernet, Merlot or Syrah with this hearty and well-spiced beef stew. Or, look for a red wine blend that combines those varietals, especially those coming from the Washington wine region.
  • MORE → the 5 BEST wines with stew.

Instant Pot Recipes: 

If you loved this Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your finished dish and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

For more great Platings and Pairings recipes, be sure to follow me on PinterestFacebookYouTube and Twitter.

More → 20+ best sides for beef stew.

Persian Beef Stew Recipe

Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew ready to be served.

Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew

This Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew is a delicious, hearty stew made with split peas and savory spices. Your electric pressure cooker makes the beef extra tender in just a short amount of time. 
4.92 from 37 votes
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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Time for pressure to build & release: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


  • 1 1/2 pound beef stew meat (trimmed and cut into 1 – 2 inch chunks)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 4 cups bone broth (or beef or chicken stock)
  • 1 1/2 cups dried split peas (rinsed)
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice (plus zest of 1 lemon)
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • Accompaniments: cooked basmati rice; radishes; fresh mint and basil leaves


  • Pat the stew meat dry and season well with salt and pepper.
  • Set Instant Pot to SAUTE, add vegetable oil and brown the meat on all sides. Meat will not be cooked through. (Be sure not to crowd the pot – you may have to work in batches). Transfer browned meat onto a plate.
  • Add onions and garlic and sauté for a minute or two then add the tomato paste and saute for 1 minute longer.
  • Pour in the broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  • Return the beef to the pot and add in the split peas, crushed tomatoes, and spices.
  • Cover and seal the lid – turn the vent to sealing. Hit CANCEL then press the MANUAL (high pressure) button and set the timer to 25 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes for Instant Pot to come to full pressure, then the display will show a countdown timer.
  • Once the 25 minutes are up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then release any remaining pressure.
  • Open the lid, stir in the lemon juice and zest and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Calories: 472kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 49g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 88mg | Sodium: 197mg | Potassium: 927mg | Fiber: 13g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 255IU | Vitamin C: 10.1mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 6mg

This post was sponsored by USA Pulses and Pulse Canada.

56 thoughts on “Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew”

  1. 5 stars
    This sounds fantastic! I just got an Instant Pot the other day and have been thinking about how to use it – this may be the first recipe I make! I will have to pair it with rice prepared the Persian way, so that it gets that wonderful tahdig on the bottom.

  2. 5 stars
    Oh my, this sounds so comforting and flavorful! I don’t have an instant pot, but I’m definitely going to try it in an old fashioned Dutch oven pot 🙂

  3. I am so unbelievably obsessed with my Instant Pot that I had to put it away for a little while, which I’m not sure why I think that is a bad thing, but oh how this recipe is tempting me to bring it back out!

    • Thanks Jean – I’d highly suggest investing in an Instant Pot. After being a skeptic for a while, I now own two of them I use them so much!

    • I use mine at least 5 times a week. Lol. Love it! It was great for corned beef and cabbage also. Pork Tenderloin etc also. Veggies etc. Brats and sauerkraut with potatoes. I could go on and on. Get one, won’t regret it. Makes awesome gravy from cooking juice/broth. ❤️

  4. 5 stars
    OH MY GOODNESS!! This dish was amazing!!! I absolutely loved how the lemon took it to a whole new level! Thank you!! This is the first recipe I’ve tried from your site and won’t be the last! Next time, there will be a next time, I will add more meat for my son and husband. Thank you again!

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe was really delicious! I used green lentils instead of the split peas, because that is what I had on hand. It was hearty without being too heavy. Thank you for this recipe!

  6. Unfortunately my family did not like this dish. The flavors were ok, but the texture was off putting for us. Bummer!

    • So sorry to hear that Patti! What about the texture did you not like? Was it the peas, or the beef? My beef turns out extremely tender in the IP, and I love that!

  7. 5 stars
    This was really good! I didn’t have saffron so I added another 1/4tsp of Turmeric. Turned out great! Will definitely make again. Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe!

    PS- To some of your readers/commenters: It isn’t really fair or accurate to give a star rating to a recipe you haven’t yet made or tried. While the pictures and ingredients may lead you to believe something is delicious, it’s like reviewing a book you’ve only read the cover of, which is misleading.

  8. 4 stars
    Lost me at legumes. My whole adult life … well post party phase adult life … I subscribed to the low fat high fiber version of “healthy” eating. Going Paleo has changed me forever. I’ve shed ten years in just a few months. My waist is slimmer, my biceps are bigger, my brain is brawnier, my skin glows. I can’t be superlative enough about the difference it’s made. People notice. They’re like, have you been working out? Haha. No. Just pigging out on high fat foods sans gluten, dairy, legumes, sugar or processing. Basically. But I can already see how to do a Paleo version of this. You can get silky with cashews I’ve found. I enjoyed your verve.

  9. 5 stars
    I just made this for the first time last night and it was fabulous! I did substitute lentils for the split peas as I didn’t have any split peas in my pantry. The meat was perfectly tender and the lemon juice at the end brightened the whole dish up making it feel light and refreshing for a stew! This was my first time on your site and I will definitely be back for more inspiration!
    Thank you for a wonderful recipe 🙂

  10. Tried the recipe today. Followed everything per recipe but 4 cups broth made the stew too watery which diluted the taste. Will try again with 2 cups broth and see if that helps. Meat was very tender though!

  11. 4 stars
    My split peas turned to soup..the flavor of the stew was perfect. Am I using the wrong kind of split pea? I would like them to stay whole and not turn to mush. Any thoughts?

    • Hi Shaza – The split peas in this recipe are going to turn to a silky texture after cooking under pressure. If you would like the legumes to have a bit more of a bite, you could try swapping in some brown or green lentils. Hope that helps!

  12. 5 stars
    I actually made this and it’s fantastic. It needs no alteration or additions. Note to those of you who post that a recipe sounds great and then give it a five star rating. Nobody’s interested in what you think about something you’ve never done. Make the recipe and rate it. Anything less than that is a waste of the readers time. Save your thoughts about recipes you’ve never made for chitchatting with your girlfriends.

  13. I wanted to like this dish. I love beef stew, and enjoy trying new recipes with different spices. I made this tonight and we didn’t like it. The beef was tender, but the flavors seemed wrong. There was way too much tomato, and spices seemed odd with it. Somehow it ended up being very sweet. Unfortunately the leftovers will be thrown out because my whole family has deemed it inedible.

    • I’m sorry to hear that Denise! It’s odd that it would turn out sweet, since there is no sugar in the recipe. Maybe it’s the cinnamon that you weren’t a fan of?

  14. Cumin in a Persian stew? That’s a new one. Cumin isn’t used in Persian cuisine at all.
    Tumeric, Saffron and black pepper are. So slow down on the cumin if you are trying to make it Persian.

    • Zireh (cumin) is in many recipes from Iran. I’ve grown up eating Zireh Pollo and cumin is a component of Advieh. Najmieh Batmanglij includes it in many of her recipes. It’s big in the Caspian region and my Tehran family uses it.
      There are a lot of things about this recipe that aren’t traditional but cumin isn’t one of them. I really wish that people detailed where they got their inspiration from. Tell people what the dish is that you are recreating. This is straight up Khoresht-e-Geymeh (Stew of Split Pea). It’s missing the potatos likely because it’s trying to be one pot (they were always my favorite part).

  15. 5 stars
    I used some meaty oxtails & one English short rib and it was beautifully unctuous, not at all greasy.
    I also used small, whole brown lentils to stretch the meat. (After it cooled some, I stripped the meat off the bones and chopped it up so it would perfume the whole stew.)
    At first, I didn’t really like it much.
    But after 3 days, the spices melded, and it’s one of the best stews I’ve ever eaten.
    I froze some of it in small containers and it held up really well.
    I defrost it slightly in the microwave, then finish it on the stove so I can get my greens by popping in some fresh spinach.
    Thanks for the recipe. It’s a real keeper.

  16. 5 stars
    This was so good! We regularly order from a local Persian Restaurant and this was even better. I will definitely be making this again!


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