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Instant Pot Harissa Beef Stew

Welcome to our Instant Pot Harissa Beef Stew recipe – a sensational, time-saving Instant Pot meal prep masterpiece that’s perfect for those hectic days when you crave a comforting meal. This stew is a hearty blend of lean beef, vibrant veggies, and aromatic Harissa sauce, all cooked to perfection in your trusty Instant Pot. It’s the ideal solution for busy individuals seeking a flavorful dinner that’s easy to prepare. As the leaves start to fall and the air gets crisp, this stew’s warming spices and rich flavors make it a delicious choice for the autumn season. So, let’s dive into this Instant Pot meal prep adventure and savor a week’s worth of scrumptious, hassle-free dinners.

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Calories: 346kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 109mg | Sodium: 1735mg | Potassium: 1105mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 5498IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 5mg
soup bowl with beef stew, carrots, and turnips

Why it’s a Delicious Meal Prep Option for the Fall Season:

As the temperatures drop and the leaves change, the Instant Pot Harissa Beef Stew is the perfect culinary companion for the autumn season:

  • Warming and Comforting: This stew’s rich, spiced aroma and warm, hearty ingredients provide the ultimate comfort on crisp fall days.
  • Seasonal Veggies: With turnips, carrots, and bell peppers in the mix, this stew highlights the produce in season during the fall months.
  • Spice and Heat: Harissa sauce adds a delightful kick of warmth, making it a cozy choice for when the air gets chilly.
  • Perfect for Gatherings: Whether you’re hosting a fall gathering or craving a cozy dinner at home, this stew is sure to impress with its robust, autumn-inspired flavors.
  • Make-Ahead Delight: Prepare it in advance for those busy fall evenings, so you can savor a comforting, homemade meal without the hassle of cooking from scratch.

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Ingredient Breakdown: Grocery Tips, Nutrition Insights, and Swaps

  • Lean Beef Stew Meat: Look for lean cuts like sirloin or round beef. Buying in bulk and freezing in meal-sized portions can save you money. Ingredient Swap: You can substitute the beef with chicken, turkey, or even plant-based options like tofu for a different flavor and dietary preference.
  • White Onions: Buy onions in bulk; they have a long shelf life and are a kitchen staple. Ingredient Swap: Shallots or red onions can be used for a slightly different flavor.
  • Turnips: Choose turnips that are firm and free of blemishes. Buy them fresh when in season for the best taste. Turnips are low in calories and rich in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Ingredient Swap: You can use potatoes or parsnips if you’re not a fan of turnips.
  • Carrots: Opt for whole carrots rather than pre-cut ones to save money. They’re also more flavorful. Ingredient Swap: Sweet potatoes or butternut squash can replace carrots for a twist.
  • Red Bell Pepper: Buy red bell peppers when they are in season to get them at their freshest and most affordable. Ingredient Swap: Use yellow or orange bell peppers for a colorful variation.
  • Harissa Sauce: Look for harissa sauce in the international foods section of your grocery store or make your own for a personalized touch. Harissa is typically low in calories and can add a spicy kick to your dishes. Ingredient Swap: Substitute with your favorite hot sauce or red pepper flakes for a similar level of heat.
  • Chicken Broth: Buy low-sodium or no-sodium-added chicken broth to control the salt content in your stew. Ingredient Swap: Use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version or beef broth for a richer flavor.
  • Bay Leaf: Bay leaves can often be bought in small quantities from the spice aisle. Ingredient Swap: Skip the bay leaf if you don’t have it, but it adds a subtle earthy flavor to the dish.
glass meal prep containers with beef stew, carrots, and turnips

How to Make Instant Pot Harissa Beef Stew

  1. Prepare Your Veggies: Start by peeling the turnips and cutting them into one-inch cubes. Get those colors and flavors ready to shine!
  2. Layer It Up: In your trusty Instant Pot, place the lean beef stew meat at the bottom of the pot. Pour in the aromatic chicken broth to get that rich base going.
  3. Spice It Up: Add 2 tablespoons of harissa sauce for that fiery, North African-inspired flavor. Toss in a bay leaf and a teaspoon of salt to make all those flavors harmonize.
  4. Pile on the Goodness: Now, here’s where the magic happens. Top off your Instant Pot with the white onions, garlic cloves, baby carrots, those beautiful turnip cubes, and the red bell pepper. This is where the party begins – the more colors, the better!
  5. Seal the Deal: Cover your Instant Pot with the lid and make sure it’s in the sealed position. We don’t want those amazing flavors escaping!
  6. Cook to Perfection: Set your Instant Pot to medium and let it work its magic for 45 minutes. The aroma in your kitchen will be absolutely irresistible.
  7. Release the Steam: Once the 45 minutes are up, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to safely release the steam naturally before opening the lid. This ensures your stew is cooked to perfection.

Reference the recipe card below for detailed instructions.

soup bowl with beef stew, carrots, and turnips

Meal Prep Tips:

  • Chop and Prep in Advance: Save time by chopping your vegetables and preparing all the ingredients beforehand. Store them in separate containers so you can easily assemble your stew when it’s time to cook.
  • Cool Before Sealing: Allow your stew to cool to room temperature before sealing it in containers. Hot food can create condensation, which may lead to soggier results.
  • Reheat Safely: When it’s time to enjoy your prepped stew, reheat it in the microwave, on the stovetop, or in the Instant Pot. Be sure to follow safe reheating guidelines and ensure the food is piping hot throughout.
  • Store for the Week: Depending on your meal prep routine, store your containers in the fridge for up to 3-4 days or in the freezer for longer-term storage. Make sure to consume the fresher portions first.
  • Add Freshness at Serving: For an extra touch, consider adding fresh herbs, a dollop of yogurt, or a squeeze of lemon when you’re ready to enjoy your stew. These finishing touches can elevate the flavors.
soup bowl with beef stew, carrots, and turnips

Leftover Ingredient Tips:

  • Leftover Beef Stew Meat: Make Beef Tacos- Shred the beef stew meat and use it as a flavorful filling for tacos. Top with your favorite fixings like cheese, salsa, and sour cream. Beef and Rice-Incorporate the meat into a quick stir-fry with cooked rice and your choice of vegetables. Beef and Pasta-Toss the beef with cooked pasta and a simple tomato sauce for a hearty pasta dish.
  • Harissa Sauce: Marinades-Use the harissa sauce as a flavorful marinade for meats or vegetables before grilling or roasting. Dressing-Mix it with olive oil and a splash of vinegar to create a zesty salad dressing. Harissa Hummus-Blend it with chickpeas, tahini, and lemon juice to make a spicy harissa hummus.
  • Remaining Veggies (Onions, Turnips, Carrots, Bell Pepper): Veggie Omelette-Sauté the veggies with eggs for a tasty omelette or frittata. Roasted Vegetables-Drizzle with olive oil, season with herbs, and roast them for a flavorful side dish. Veggie Stir-Fry-Combine the veggies with some tofu, chicken, or shrimp, and stir-fry with your favorite sauce.
harissa beef stew

Instant Pot Harissa Beef Stew

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Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 2
Calories 346 kcal


  • knife
  • cutting board
  • Instant Pot


  • 12 oz lean beef stew meat
  • 1/2 each white onions (sliced)
  • 2 each turnips
  • 1/2 cup carrots (sliced)
  • 1 each red bell pepper (cubed)
  • 2 each garlic cloves (peeled)
  • 2 tbsp harissa sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 each bay leaf
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Peel the turnips and cut them into one-inch cubes
  • Place the beef at the bottom of the pot and pour in the chicken broth
  • Next, add the harissa sauce, bay leaf, and salt
  • Top it off with the white onions, garlic cloves, baby carrots, turnips, and bell peppers
  • Cover with the lid and make sure it is placed in the sealed position. Cook in the Instant Pot on medium for 45 minutes. Note: If you don't have an instant pot, you can use a slow cooker and cook it on high for 4 to 6 hours
  • After it has cooked, follow the manufacturer's instructions to carefully let the steam naturally release before opening the lid


Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used. Please consult with your healthcare provider for specific dietary needs. To gain a better understanding, explore our nutrition disclaimer here


Calories: 346kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 43gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 109mgSodium: 1735mgPotassium: 1105mgFiber: 4gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 5498IUVitamin C: 31mgCalcium: 93mgIron: 5mg

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t have an Instant Pot?

If you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can prepare this stew in a slow cooker or on the stovetop. If you’re using a slow cooker, cook it on high for 4 to 6 hours. If you are preparing it on the stovetop, let it simmer on low medium heat for about 2 hours.

Can I freeze this stew for long-term storage?

Yes, you can freeze this stew in airtight containers for up to 3-4 months. It’s a great option for long-term meal planning.

What sides go well with this stew?

This stew pairs well with crusty bread, rice, couscous, or a simple green salad. You can also add a dollop of yogurt or a sprinkle of fresh herbs for added freshness.

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