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Instant Pot Zesty Beef Tips

Updated: Jan 5, 2020

Turn a plain round roast into Zesty Beef Tips

This dish is at the top of the request list at my house. The go-to dinner recipe. Serve these beef tips with a green vegetable and a salad. Maybe some potatoes or rice to smother with gravy.

I like these beef tips because they're easy to make in the Instant Pot and the left overs, if there are any, are great to re-heat and taste even better the next day. Of course, if you don't want to cook five pounds of beef tips, this recipe can easily be halved for a smaller crowd. I'll start by sharing the method for searing the beef tips. I've added the recipe at the bottom of the post.



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Start by cubing a round roast into bite sized pieces. Dust them with salt, pepper and garlic powder and then sear them in a heavy skillet heated to medium. I use olive oil and butter. I've included more details in the recipe about the searing process, but I think the most important thing is don't crowd the skillet. Water cooks out of the beef, and if the pieces are crowded, then the water can't evaporate very fast and you'll end up boiling the meat.

You can use this method for any meat that you want to brown quickly, but not cook through. This will work for any recipe that calls for browned chunks of meat. I sear chicken this way, then add water to make a broth and finish cooking it. It's a great way to caramelize some cubed chicken breasts, then use it to make dumplings or dirty rice. I'll post about that later. But, you have the idea.

Instant Pot Zesty Beef Tips


Brown the beef tips in small batches, adding oil and butter a tablespoon at a time, as needed, to sear all of the beef. If the oil and butter begin to burn, turn down the heat a little. Move the tips over to the Instant Pot as you finish searing each batch.

Instant Pot Zesty Beef Tips


Instant Pot Zesty Beef Tips


Instant Pot Zesty Beef Tips Recipe

By Jena Finnell


Ready in 1 ½ hours

6-8 servings


  • 5 lb eye of round roast, cubed (this recipe can easily be halved)

  • ½ cup of vegetable oil or olive oil, divided

  • 4 tablespoons of butter

  • Salt and pepper 

  • Garlic powder

Combine the following 6 ingredients for the sauce.

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 2 tsps garlic powder

  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional, if you prefer a mild flavor)

  • 1 TB brown sugar

  • 2 TB A1 Sauce

  • 1 cup water

Combine the next 2 ingredients to make a thickening slurry to make gravy.

  • 2 TB cornstarch

  • 2 TB water



  • Cut the round roast into 1 inch cubes They don’t have to be perfect.  Dust lightly with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

  • Sear the beef in a 10 or 12 inch skillet using  ¼ cup of the oil to begin and 1 tablespoon of the butter.  Add the remaining oil, and butter by the tablespoon, as needed to finish browning the beef.  Brown in small batches.   Don’t crowd the pan. (The beef will produce liquid and you will end up boiling the meat, rather than  browning it, if you crowd the pan.)

  • Transfer the browned beef to an electric pressure cooker.  

  • Add the prepared sauce to the skillet and simmer, scraping the little bits off the bottom of the pan until most bits are loosened.

  • Stir the sauce into the beef in the pressure cooker.

  • Pressure cook on full power for 1 hour.

  • Slow release.

  • Add 2 tablespoons of water to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to make a slurry.  Stir it into the meat and sauce to make gravy. You can always add more, a little at a time, if the gravy isn't thickening up, It usually happens pretty fast, though, if you have a low boil going.


  • Add  1 ½ cups of sliced mushrooms to the beef just before pressurizing the pot.

  • You can also stir in a packet of brown gravy mix instead of the cornstarch/water slurry. The mix has a thickening agent in it.

  • Serve with rice or potatoes and a green vegetable.  These beef tips are really tasty served with sweet potatoes.  



  • Throw in a cup or so of sliced mushrooms just before you pressurize the Instant Pot. Or add some chopped onions when you stir in the thickening slurry. The onions will wilt while the gravy is thickening, but they won't cook long enough to turn mushy.

  • Add a handful of fresh parsley just before serving.

  • Use this recipe as a base for a stew. Just add: baby carrots, cubed potatoes, onions and celery and reseal the pot. Cook for an additional 10 minutes on high pressure, or just simmer with a lid, tossing occasionally, until the vegetables are tender. I would throw in some additional salt, pepper and garlic and even add some basil for that authentic stew taste,

I'll do a separate post about making stew from this Instant Pot Zesty Beef Tips Recipe and include some better instructions.


I hope you've enjoyed this post and will try this dinner recipe and share your results. What did you throw in to change it up a little? How did your's turn out? I'll be waiting to hear from you!

Instant Pot Zesty Beef Tips
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