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+ servings
Beef Barley Soup in a bowl with crackers.

Instant Pot Beef Barley Soup Recipe

Arlene Mobley - Flour On My Face
Instant Pot Beef Barley Soup recipe is a thick and rich beef soup recipe that is quick to make and full of flavor. Big chunks of tender beef with tender barley in a rich broth. Get dinner on the table in about an hour.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6 Servings
Calories 328 kcal


  • 3 tablespoons butter (divided)
  • 1 ½ to 2 lbs. beef stew meat (cut into 1 ½ inch cubes)
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary (or ½ teaspoon dried rosemary)
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme ( or ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 2 medium bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup Quick Barley ( or Barley Pearls (see notes))
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons cool water
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  • Turn the Instant Pot on the sauté setting and melt 2 tablespoons of butter.
  • Salt and pepper the stew meat. Add the seasoned stew meat in small batches to the Instant Pot and brown all sides. As the meat browns remove it from the Instant Pot to a bowl until all the stew meat has been browned.
  • Once all the stew meat has been browned in the melted butter and removed from the Instant Pot add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the Instant Pot and add the diced onion, diced celery, and diced carrots to the Instant Pot.
  • Saute the vegetables until the onion is almost translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic to the Instant Pot and toss with the other vegetables. Saute for another minute.
  • Return the browned stew meat along with any accumulated liquids, beef broth and fresh or dried herbs to the Instant Pot.
  • Stir to combine. Place the Instant Pot lid on locking it into the closed position. Turn the pressure valve to the sealing position.
  • Press the manual button and set the timer to 18 minutes.
  • Once the timer has alerted you the Instant Pot has finished pressure cooking allow it to naturally release steam for 2 minutes. Then carefully quick release the remaining steam from the pressure cooker.
  • Carefully remove the lid. Stir the 1 cup of Quick Cook Barley into the hot soup.
  • In a small bowl mix the cornstarch with the cool water and stir into the Instant Pot. Set the Instant Pot to the sauté function and bring to a boil stirring occasionally. Cook the beef barley soup for 10 minutes more or until the barley is soft and the soup broth has thickened.
  • Makes 3 quarts of Instant Pot soup and will serve 6.


Recipe Expert Tips

  • Cooking method will be different depending on the type of barley used.
  • Quick barley will be added to the Instant Pot after the beef soup has pressure cooked.
  • Barely Pearls will be added to the pressure cooker in the beginning and cooked with all the other ingredients.
  • If cutting the beef stew meat into larger pieces than the 1 ½ inch cubes called for in this recipe you will need to increase the cooking time to 20 minutes.
  • Cornstarch is my soup thickener of choice. It is a lump-free, gluten-free thickener that has never failed me and does not affect the flavor of soups or stews when used as the thickener.


Serving: 1Bowl | Calories: 328kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 1371mg | Potassium: 711mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1884IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 72mg | Iron: 4mg
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