Incredibly tender, melt-in-your-mouth pot roast is possible in far less time with the help of your Instant Pot. This easy Instant Pot Pot Roast recipe with carrots, potatoes and a luscious, flavorful gravy is the ultimate comfort food.
I was determined to create a pot roast recipe using my Instant Pot that is fast, easy, and flavorful. I’m thrilled with the result and so happy to be sharing it with you today! I’ve been told by the folks in my house that this is the best pot roast they’ve had. This is a big statement as there have been a whole lot of pot roasts cooked up in my kitchen.
There are important tips and tricks in this recipe that set it apart from other pressure cooker pot roast recipes. I’ve included all of the details in this post for you so that you’ll have a perfect result.
Why This Recipe Works
- It calls for common, easy to stock ingredients
- A delicious seasoning blend creates the perfect, old-fashioned pot roast flavor.
- The Instant Pot only needs to come to pressure and release pressure once, saving precious time.
Many of us grew up eating our mom’s or grandma’s pot roast and it is truly a comfort food classic. Those old recipes were most likely cooked on the stove, in the oven or sometimes both. Your Instant Pot allows you to reach that same tender result but in a fraction of the time.
How Long Do You Cook Pot Roast in an Instant Pot?
No more having to start a meal like this in the early afternoon. With the help of your Instant Pot you can have perfectly tender pot roast on your table in just over an hour. To speed the cooking process along, I cut the roast into chunks so that it cooks in one 35 minute cycle with the vegetables. This is about half the time it can take to cook a whole roast.
- Boneless beef chuck roast – See below for detailed information on which cut is best.
- Pot roast seasoning mix – An assortment of commonly stocked dried herbs and spices creates amazing flavor.
- Carrots – Look for substantial carrots and cut them into large 2- to 3-inch pieces.
- Potatoes – I like to use a combination of baby gold and red potatoes.
- Olive oil
- Diced yellow onion
- Minced garlic
- Tomato paste
- Red wine – A medium to full-bodied red wine, like Cabernet, Zinfandel, or Merlot, is the best choice.
- Low-sodium beef broth
- Worcestershire sauce
- Cornstarch – For thickening the gravy.
How Do You Add Flavor to Pot Roast?
A seriously delicious pot roast seasoning mix is one of the reasons this recipe is so special. This mixture of dried herbs and spices adds a TON of flavor to both the roast and the gravy. Many other pot roast recipes are under seasoned resulting in a bland, flavorless roast.
The amounts called for in the recipe will make exactly the amount of seasoning needed. It can be mixed up in advance and stored in an airtight container to save time.
What is the Best Cut of Beef for Pot Roast?
Chuck roast is the most commonly used cut of beef for pot roast. Chuck is from the front part of the animal and the different cuts will be labeled as blade, boneless cross rib, top blade, bottom blade, and shoulder. There can even be different names for the same cut from store to store. I know how confusing this can be! Certified Angus Beef has detailed information on the specific cuts of beef that are best for braising.
Here are the details on my favorite cuts to use for pot roast.
Boneless Chuck Cross Rib Roast
I love the boneless chuck cross rib roast (the cut pictured above) which is sometimes labeled as a shoulder roast. It’s a leaner cut of chuck and as a result, it requires less trimming. Using a leaner cut means the drippings will be less greasy and you’ll end up with a clean and luscious gravy.
Boneless Chuck Pot Roast
A traditional chuck pot roast is a rectangular, highly marbled cut that’s easy to find at most grocery stores. Nothing rivals a chuck pot roast in terms of a tender result, but this cut has quite a bit of fat and requires more trimming. We used a chuck pot roast in the video for this recipe (see the recipe card below) so take a look to see it in action.
Cutting the roast into chunks allows you to cover more surface area of the meat with the seasoning mix which means more flavor. It also gives you the opportunity to more effectively trim the fat which will yield a better gravy.
How to Make Instant Pot Pot Roast
Prep the Roast
- Using a sharp knife, cut the roast into 4 to 6 chunks. How many chunks will depend on the size of your roast. If you are using a highly marbled cut of chuck, cut it at the seams where you see veins of fat running through it. Trim and discard the fat from all the edges of each piece. There will be small fat deposits left and that’s just fine. But, if you start with a 4 pound highly marbled piece of chuck, you could end up trimming as much as ½ pound of fat.
- Sprinkle the seasoning mix over the chunks of beef and use your hands to press it into the surface of the meat. I like to do this on a foil lined board for easy cleanup.
Cook the Roast and Vegetables
- Use the sauté function on your Instant Pot to sear the seasoned beef chunks in a little olive oil in batches. Set the seared beef aside and sauté the diced onion and garlic. Add the tomato paste, a little red wine, beef broth, and Worcestershire sauce. Flavor baby! Return the seared chunks of beef to the pot and tuck them down into the cooking liquid.
- Next, layer the carrots and potatoes on top of the meat so that they are not completely immersed in liquid. Secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. When the time is up, allow the Instant Pot to do a natural release of pressure for 10 minutes and then press the steam release handle to release any remaining pressure.
Because the beef has been cut down and will cook much faster, you can add the carrots and potatoes at the beginning of the cooking process. This means the pot only needs to come to pressure and release pressure once and saves you about 15 to 20 minutes.
How Much Liquid Should I Use?
In a 6-quart Instant Pot, it takes about 2 ½ cups of liquid to rise just to the top of the chunks of beef. To cook properly, the beef should be submerged in the liquid. To ensure that the carrots and potatoes don’t get mushy, they should rest on top of the chunks of beef.
How to Make the Gravy
- After removing the pot roast and vegetables from the Instant Pot, set it to sauté and add ½ cup of water to the concentrated cooking liquid in the Instant Pot. Taste and if needed, add additional water to dilute as desired.
- In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons water and 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Whisk the slurry into the cooking liquid and simmer the gravy for about 5 minutes, or until it is thickened to your liking.
If the gravy is not as thick as you’d like after simmering, mix together an additional 1 tablespoon water with 1 tablespoon cornstarch and whisk it in to the gravy to thicken it further.
Use two forks to shred or separate the cooked pot roast into large chunks and place it on a serving platter with the carrots and potatoes. Serve it with the gravy and a warmed loaf of crusty French bread for dipping.
Now, go forth and eat pot roast! If you try this recipe I’d love to hear how it worked out for you in the comments section below.
More Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot Beef Stew
- Chili in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Rotisserie Chicken
- Pressure Cooker Baked Potato Soup
- Instant Pot Mexican Casserole
Check out my entire collection of Instant Pot Recipes.
Instant Pot Pot Roast
For the Pot Roast
- 3 ½ to 4 pound boneless beef chuck roast
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup medium to full-bodied red wine , like Cabernet, Zinfandel, or Merlot
- 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into large 2- to 3-inch chunks
- 1 ½ pounds whole baby potatoes
For the Pot Roast Seasoning Mix
- 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried crushed rosemary
- 1 ½ teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic or garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon paprika
For the Gravy
- ½ cup water, or as needed
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch, or as needed
- 2 tablespoons cold water, for the cornstarch slurry
- Cut the chuck roast into 4 to 6 chunks, separating at the seams to expose the fat deposits (if using a highly marbled chuck roast). Use a sharp knife to trim as much of the fat as possible from the chunks of roast. It's fine if some fat remains but trim as much as you can to ensure that your gravy will not be overly greasy. Place the trimmed chunks of roast on a large piece of foil and blot dry with paper towels.
- Combine the seasoning mix ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle the rub over the pieces of beef and use your hands to press the seasoning into the meat. Wash those hands!
- Press the SAUTÉ key on the instant pot and the ADJUST key to toggle to the MORE setting. Wait for the pot to say “HOT” before adding ingredients.
- Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the heated pot. Add half of the seasoned beef (or as much as will fit comfortably without being too crowded) and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until nicely seared. Transfer seared beef to a plate and repeat with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the rest of the beef. Transfer second batch of beef to the plate and set aside.
- Press CANCEL and then select SAUTÉ again and ADJUST to the REGULAR setting. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom. Add the red wine, broth, and Worcestershire sauce. Nestle the chunks of browned beef down into the sauce and then top with the carrots and potatoes. Don’t stir. You want the meat submerged in liquid and the carrots and potatoes on top.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot. Press the MANUAL button, select HIGH, and set the time to 35 minutes (making sure the steam release handle is in the “Sealing” position). After the cooking is complete allow the Instant Pot to do a natural release for 10 minutes then use a long handled spoon to push the steam release handle to the “Venting” position to allow any remaining steam to release completely before you open the pot. Press CANCEL.
- Transfer the carrots and potatoes to a serving dish and tent with foil to keep warm. Transfer the beef to a cutting board and let it rest while you make the gravy.
For the Gravy
- Press SAUTÉ and ADJUST to select the LOW setting Stir ½ cup water to the concentrated cooking liquid in the Instant Pot to dilute it a bit. Taste and if needed, add additional water to dilute as desired. In a small bowl whisk together 2 tablespoons cold water and 2 tablespoons cornstarch. Whisk the mixture into the Instant Pot and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the gravy has thickened to your liking, stirring occasionally. Press CANCEL and unplug the Instant Pot. Transfer the gravy to a gravy boat.
- Shred or chunk the roast and serve with the potatoes, carrots, and plenty of gravy!
Nutrition information is automatically calculated using generic ingredients, and is an estimate not a guarantee. For more accurate results, please refer to the labels on your ingredients at home.