Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew

Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew ready to be served.

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.

It’s like beef stew’s exotic, spicy cousin – spiked with lots of yummy spices like cumin, cinnamon. saffron and tumeric, 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.

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.

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

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).

Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew ready to be served.

Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew

Course: Soup/Chili
Cuisine: Persian
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
Calories: 472 kcal

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. 

Print

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Pat the stew meat dry and season well with salt and pepper.
  2. 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.
  3. Add onions and garlic and sauté for a minute or two then add the tomato paste and saute for 1 minute longer.
  4. Pour in the broth and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the Instant Pot.
  5. Return the beef to the pot and add in the split peas, crushed tomatoes, and spices.
  6. 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.
  7. Once the 25 minutes are up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, then release any remaining pressure.

  8. Open the lid, stir in the lemon juice and zest and season with additional salt and pepper, if needed.

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.

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew
Amount Per Serving
Calories 472 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 22%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 88mg 29%
Sodium 197mg 8%
Potassium 927mg 26%
Total Carbohydrates 36g 12%
Dietary Fiber 13g 52%
Sugars 7g
Protein 49g 98%
Vitamin A 5.1%
Vitamin C 12.3%
Calcium 5.7%
Iron 33.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This post was sponsored by USA Pulses and Pulse Canada.

Be sure to sign up for the Half-Cup Habit, and see how easy it can be to add ½ cup serving of pulses to your diet 3x per week. Just one serving of this stew has a cup of pulses, making it even easier to get those benefits!

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.

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

Looking for more Instant Pot recipes? Be sure to try these too: 

Instant Pot Split Pea Dal

Overhead closeup view of split pea dal with pickled red onions

Instant Pot Steamed Artichokes

Instant Pot Steamed Artichokes

Instant Pot Authentic Italian Sunday Gravy

38 comments

  1. Meg

    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.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Yay!!! I’m so excited you got an Instant Pot – You will LOVE it. Here’s another one of my favorite Instant Pot recipes.

      Reply

  2. Mary

    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 🙂

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I hope you give it a try Mary – I would definitely be amazing in a Dutch oven too!

      Reply

      1. Ellen Rozsa

        I’m also in the no-Insta-Pot-have-to-use-my-old-Creuset-Dutch-Oven camp. I’m thrilled you found a Persian recipe, years ago friends of ours would invite us to Persian New Year celebrations and the food made me swoon, it was so good.

        Reply

        1. Erin

          That sounds like an amazing celebration to be a part of Ellen!

          Reply

  3. Megan Joy

    This looks so delicious! I think I need an Instant Pot, everyone seems to have one and there are endless recipes to use it for 🙂

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Definitely Megan – I use mine constantly!

      Reply

  4. Natasha

    I need to get an Insta Pot. This looks and sounds so delicious! Thanks for sharing. Keeping this recipe for future use. 🙂

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I hope you do Natahsa – I really do use my Instant Pot ALL the time!

      Reply

  5. Jenni

    Oh wow! This sounds like a perfect way to get out of the traditional winter stew rut. Love the addition of split peas.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I love that the split peas add it a bunch of nutritional benefits too!

      Reply

  6. Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife

    I love the sauté feature in the IP as well! Makes it so easy! This stew looks tasty.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Isn’t the Instant Pot so handy? Love it!

      Reply

  7. Aimee

    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!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I am so obsessed that I caved and bought TWO Instant Pots now! It’s crazy how much more I use it than I thought I would!

      Reply

  8. Jeffrey Blossom

    Gonna try it this week! Can this be made with lentils instead of split peas?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Jeffrey – You can definitely swap in lentils for the split peas. Same cooking time.

      Reply

  9. Jean | Lemons & Anchovies

    This is exactly the kind of dish that makes me want to get an Instant Pot. So perfect for this wintery spring day!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      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!

      Reply

  10. Jen

    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!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Thanks so much for the kind words Jen! I’m so happy to hear that you and the family loved the recipe.

      Reply

  11. Elizabeth

    This was wonderful made with split yellow peas.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      So glad you liked it Elizabeth!

      Reply

  12. D. Morgan

    Hi,

    What is the difference between bone broth and stock?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      They are essentially the same.

      Reply

  13. Belinda

    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!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I love that substitution Belinda – Lentils are one of my favorites. So happy to hear that you enjoyed!

      Reply

  14. Patti

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

    Reply

    1. Erin

      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!

      Reply

  15. Brent Eamer

    Would it be a disservice to omit the Saffron?, that stuff up here is crazy $$$

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Saffron is SO expensive! This stew will definitely still be delicious without it. It still has a ton of flavor going on.

      Reply

  16. Haley

    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.

    Reply

  17. Monica

    I’m going to try this tonight! Do you think I can swap the split peas for lentils?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Monica – Yes, that should work! The cook time can probably be kept the same too.

      Reply

  18. Jennifer D.

    Is it possible to do this with chicken? I love the flavor profile, but we don’t eat red meat. =)

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Jennifer – I would assume that would be tasty as well! I’d love to hear how it works for you!!! I may give it a try too.

      Reply

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