Get tender, fall-apart instant pot pot roast in less than two hours with this step by step guide. This recipe can be made with frozen roast and is complete with vegetables for an easy, healthy dinner. It's even Whole30 approved!
My slow cooker beef stew is one of the most popular recipes on What Molly Made, so I figured it was about time to do a guide on how to make a similar recipe in the Instant Pot. We're using traditional potatoes and veggies for this one and you can even use a frozen roast!
What kind of meat is pot roast?
Pot roast isn't a specific cut of meat or a specific recipe, but instead it's more of a cooking method. The best cuts of meat for pot roast are tougher cuts. They're lean and have a lot of connective tissue so when you cook them low and slow the meat tenderizes and falls apart.
Here are a few cuts of meat that work great for roast in the instant pot:
- Chuck roast (highly recommend this cut for this recipe)
- Bottom round roast
Is a pot roast healthy?
Pot roast is a really healthy meal full of protein, veggies and carbs. This specific recipe is even Whole30 approved meaning it's gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar free.
How to cook a roast in the Instant Pot:
Start by searing your roast on both sides using the SAUTE button on your Instant Pot. This creates a crust of flavor and seals in the juices.
Add the rest of the ingredients and switch the Instant Pot to MANUAL (high pressure). Cook a 3 pound thawed roast for 60 minutes. It will take time for the Instant Pot to come to pressure then it will start counting down.
Once it's done, do a natural release (do nothing) for 10 minutes then use a wooden spoon to turn the valve from SEALING to VENTING. Follow the directions below to make the gravy if desired then shred and enjoy!
How long to cook roast in Instant Pot:
For thawed roast: cook your roast for 20 minutes for every pound. For example, a 2 pound roast would be 40 minutes.
For frozen roast: add 10 minutes to the already allotted 20 minutes for every pound of frozen roast. For example, a 2 pound roast would be 60 minutes.
Note: The Instant Pot will take more time to come to pressure if your roast is frozen so give it some time before it starts to count down.
Can you overcook a roast in the pressure cooker?
Yes, just like any cooking method you can overcook a chuck roast in the Instant Pot. Follow the directions based on the size of your roast to know how long to cook it. It should be 20 minutes per pound of thawed roast.
Why is my roast tough?
Both undercooking and overcooking a roast can result in toughness. If it doesn't fall apart easily it might need more time. If it falls apart but is dry and tough then it may be overcooked.
Can a frozen roast be cooked in an instant pot?
Follow these steps for cooking a frozen pot roast in the Instant Pot:
- Skip the first step of searing the meat.
- Follow the normal directions of adding everything to the pressure cooker.
- Cook on high pressure for 30 minutes per pound (compared to 20 for thawed roast)
Make ahead freezer instructions: Place everything in a large ziplock freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to cook, transfer frozen meal directly to the pressure cooker and cook for 30 minutes per pound of roast.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, don't forget to follow me on Instagram and tag me with @what_mollymade so I can see it and feature you.
More healthy instant pot recipes:
- Instant Pot spaghetti
- Instant Pot salsa chicken
- Healthy Instant Pot beef stroganoff
- Instant Pot honey mustard chicken
Instant pot pot roast and potatoes
- 3 pound chuck roast *see notes if yours is bigger or smaller than 3 pounds
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes cut in half
- 4 large carrots peeled and cut diagonally into 2-inch pieces
- 4 cups beef broth or stock
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce or coconut aminos
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme stemmed and chopped
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary stemmed and chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch or tapioca starch
- Set a 6 qt instant pot to the high saute setting. Add the olive oil to the bottom of the instant pot and allow to heat for 1-2 minutes. While it’s heating, sprinkle both sides of the chuck roast with salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
- Use tongs to place the chuck roast in the instant pot with the olive oil and allow to cook for 3-4 minutes on each side without moving it so it creates a browned crust.
- Switch instant pot to pressure cook (manual) setting. Add the onion, garlic, potatoes, carrots, beef broth, worcestershire sauce (or coconut aminos), thyme, rosemary and bay leaves to the pot with the beef. Cover the lid and set the timer for 60 minutes for a 3 pound roast. Add or subtract 20 minutes of cook time for every additional pound of beef if your roast is larger or smaller than 3 pounds. The instant pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure then start counting down.
- When the cooking time is up, do a natural release for 10 minutes (don’t touch anything, just let it release pressure on its own) then use a wooden spoon or towel to turn the valve to “venting” to quick release the rest of the pressure. Transfer the roast to a platter and shred. Add the vegetables to the roast to serve.
- Turn the instant pot to sauce setting and mix cornstarch or tapioca starch with 2 tablespoons of water in a small bowl. Add the mixture to the instant pot with the leftover cooking liquid. Bring mixture to a boil and allow to thicken for 3-5 minutes. Serve thickened gravy over the roast and vegetables.
- Garnish with additional salt and pepper to taste as well as chopped fresh rosemary and thyme.