Instant Pot Beef and Barley Soup—a savory brothy soup with tender bites of beef, chewy barley and vegetables.
Get the SLOW COOKER beef and barley soup recipe here
Instant Pot Beef and Barley Soup
Greg ate 3 bowls of this last night. I think it’s a keeper! We loved the beefy flavor and the chewy barley. My kids liked it too…mushrooms and all. Not typically something you’d think that kids would like but good food is good food.
A few notes about ingredients:
Barley–I used pearl barley that I purchased from Winco in the bulk section. I have not tried this with other types of barley. I like pearl barley for this recipe because it needs the same amount of pressure cooking time as the beef. My barley was perfect. It wasn’t mushy and it wasn’t hard at all.
Broths–This recipe uses beef broth and chicken broth for flavor. I used 6 cups of water and 2 tsp of Better than Bouillon Chicken Base and 4 tsp of Better than Bouillon Beef Base instead of the broths. I like buying my Better than Bouillon at Costco. I use them all the time when cooking in my Instant Pot. If you’re trying to cut down on sodium use lower sodium broths.
Beef–I bought a family pack of stew meat from the grocery store. I cut the bigger chunks of beef in half with kitchen shears. Sometimes stew meat is not cut uniformly. I’d rather have smaller bites of beef than huge chunks of beef. You can also buy a chuck roast and cut it yourself. I like cutting the roast when it is slightly frozen. I like to throw the roast into the freezer for an hour and then cut it up. It really makes it so much easier.
More Soup Recipes You’ll Love…
Instant Pot Italian Wedding Soup
Instant Pot Sausage Barley Soup
What Pressure Cooker Did You Use?
To make Instant Pot Beef and Barley Soup I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*. I love this Instant Pot because it has the yogurt making function which I use almost weekly. It has two pressure settings (high and low), and there are also little slots in the handles so that you can rest the lid there instead of putting it down on your counter-top.
Instant Pot Beef and Barley Soup
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 18 minutes (plus NPR)
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: 6–8 servings 1x
A savory brothy soup with tender bites of beef, chewy barley and vegetables.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 pounds beef stew meat (or chuck roast cut into cubes)
- 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 cup diced mushrooms
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 4 cups beef broth
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
- 3/4 cup pearl barley
- Turn your Instant Pot to the saute setting. While it is heating up pat the beef dry and season it with the salt and pepper. When the display says HOT add in 1 Tbsp of the oil and swirl it around. Add in the beef and let each piece touch the bottom of the pot so that it can brown well. You may have to work in batches. Let the beef sit for about 3-5 minutes and then turn each piece over and brown on the other side. Scrape the beef to one side of the pot and add in the other tablespoon of oil. Add in the onion and mushrooms and saute for about 3 minutes. Then add in the garlic and let it cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add in the broths and scrape the bottom of the pot. Stir in the tomato paste, worcestershire, bay leaf, thyme, carrots and barley.
- Cover the pot and secure the lid. Make sure the valve is set to sealing. Set the soup button or manual/pressure cook button to 18 minutes. When the time is up let the pot sit for at least 10 minutes, longer if you have the time (I waited until 2o minutes). Move the valve to venting. Remove the lid.
- Stir and taste test. Add additional seasonings to taste. I added in more salt and pepper and worcestershire. Serve with some crusty bread and enjoy!
I used 6 cups of water and 2 tsp of Better than Bouillon Chicken Base and 4 tsp of Better than Bouillon Beef Base instead of the broths.
- Category: Soup
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: American
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Just made this soup today, and it is absolutely wonderful, as all your recipes are. Chilly here in North Carolina so the warm soup really hit the spot. Thanks for sharing all your wonderful instant pot recipes.
I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed this recipe Gail! Thanks for the 5 stars.
It was very good. I added some chopped celery and the leaves. Will try it with low-sodium broths next time. The beef was nice and tender.
Glad you liked it!
This soup sounds amazing and I just got my IP so will try this for sure!
I would like to add fresh potatoes…how much longer would I need to cook this? Or would the timing be the same? I will dice the taters so not big pieces.
Potatoes only take like 4 minutes to cook so you might want to pressure cook for a while then open the pot and add in the potatoes and pressure cook for 4 more minutes.
I made this soup last night. It was a blustery, cold Pacific Northwest night, and it was delicious. It was hearty and warmed us up nicely. Shared with my FB IP group. Thank you!
Ahhh, thanks Denise!
Kim B. says
Made this last night. Followed your recipe to the T. Was a flavor EXPLOSION! Perfect.
Awesome! I love this one too. Nothing flashy but just good old fashioned soup that tastes great.
Fred Mendes says
This I s my first soup recipe that I’m going to try, but I’m all “thumbs” when it comes to cooking, so may I ask if I can make your beef barley soup in a slow cooker? What are the changes to the process and ingredients if any?
Thank you, and Happy Holidays!
Thank you…sorry…just saw your slow cooker recipe 🙂
Cool glad you found it! If there is a slow cooker version I always link to it at the top of my post. I guess I should probably add the link to the Instant Pot recipe card as well!
Linda Lorenzo says
Making this in a bit, made the stock yesterday with roasted prime rib bones. Rating a 5 as I know this will be great. Question do the carrots get mushy?
A bit. If worried you can add them in later and then pressure cook for a few minutes.
M L says
Sooo delicious! I made the soup exactly as stated in the recipe, except I used Better than Broth mushroom instead of the the chicken broth. Thanks!
That sounds yummy!
Jackie Pash says
I want to make this soup so bad! All I can find in this area is quick cooking barley. Just wondering if I could make the soup and add the barley after release of the pressure? Thanks for your help!
Yes I think you could. However I would cut down on the amount of broth you add into the soup to begin with since it would have soaked up a lot of the liquid. I’d use 2 cups of broth instead of 3.
Delicious! I made half a recipe for the two of us. Made 4 generous servings-perfect for two meals. I used chuck steak which is usually packaged in about 1 lb. slices. Perfect for this recipe! I did add an extra cup of broth (4 cups, not 3 , which was half the recipe) and 1/2 cup barley. I forgot to pick up mushrooms , but will remember next time! Soup was fine without them, but they would have been an enhancement. I added a cup of chopped celery because I had it, and also because I used it in a stovetop recipe I used to use. Seasonings are just right-this soup has tons of flavor! Thanks, Karen, for another great-and simple-recipe!!!
So glad you liked it Mindy!
Leslie Sexton says
This came out excellent. I added a few potato and some sherry. I thickened the sauce up a little with cornstarch at the end and cooked it for a few minutes in the sauté mode. It came out delicious!
Sounds so great! Glad you liked it!
When you added some potatoes did you have to cook it longer? I’m making this tonight and want to add potatoes to it.
Barb M. says
This is excellent! I had some leftover beef from dinner that I had to use up so I cut it up in small pieces and incorporated it into the pot before the cook.
Great! I love when leftovers turn into something new!
Excellent recipe – everyone loved it!! This will be one of my favorite IP soup recipes to be made all the time!
So happy to hear this Tony! Thanks for your comment.
Made the Instant Pot Beef Barley soup today and it came out amazing. I didn’t saute the meat, onion, mushrooms or garlic in the IP. I did it in my 3 QT roasting pan on top of the stove to save time. Then I put everything in the IP liner. I used boiling hot water to make the beef bouillon and chicken bouillon. Love the Better than Bouillon Beef Base that I bought at Costco yesterday. I also bought the Chicken Base.
Sounds like a great plan…doing it all at once on the stove!
Hi, Karen, I’d love to make this soup, but I have a lot of hulled barley that I need to use. I know this type takes a lot longer to cook than the pearled barley, and wondered if you could help me adapt your recipe using this type of barley?
I would cook for 30 minutes with a NPR.