This incredibly comforting Instant Pot beef barley soup has perfect textures, and it's loaded with flavor. Enjoy a bowl of this delicious hearty soup on those days you need something to warm your soul.
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If you love rich, hearty and super satisfying soups, this Instant Pot beef barley soup should be at the top of your list of things to try.
Made with loads of nutritious vegetables, nutty pearl barley and tender bits of beef, this one pot beef soup is the perfect no-fuss dinner that can easily feed a crowd.
Pearl barley and beef typically take a long time to cook when simmered in a traditional pot, but making it in the Instant Pot reduces the cooking times drastically.
This Instant Pot beef and barley soup is a complete meal on its own, but you can also serve it with your favorite crusty bread. The soup tastes amazing the next day, and it's absolutely great for meal prep.
Why you'll love this Instant Pot beef barley soup
- It's extra nutritious and super easy to make with staple ingredients.
- The soup is ready in 30 minutes but tastes like something that was simmered for hours.
- Leftovers taste great, which makes the soup perfect for making ahead or meal prep.
What goes into this beef barley soup
Stewing beef - Diced stew meat is perfect in this soup. Don't skip the browning step because it adds a deep flavor to the soup.
Onion, carrot and celery - This classic veggie trio sets up an excellent flavor base for the soup.
Tomato paste - This adds a subtle tomato flavor to the soup without being overpowering. If you want the tomato taste to be more pronounced, add a can of diced tomatoes.
Pearl barley - You don't need to pre-soak the pearl barley before adding it to this soup, but it's always a good idea to give it a quick rinse.
Potatoes - You can use any kind of potatoes here - I like the waxy type because they don't disintegrate in the pressure cooker.
Beef broth - Chicken broth also works here; I like to use a low-sodium version of beef or chicken stock and then adjust the seasoning to taste.
How to make beef barley soup in the Instant Pot
Stir in the onion, carrot and celery and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Next, stir in the garlic and cook for another minute. Turn off the "Saute" function.
Stir to combine, then place the lid on the Instant Pot and set it to High Pressure for 10 minutes.
Once the time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then carefully open the valve to release the rest.
Open the Instant Pot, stir in the fresh parsley, season to taste and serve hot.
Make it on the stovetop
To make this beef barley soup on the stovetop, use a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Follow the same steps and brown the meat and veggies over medium heat.
After all the ingredients are in, bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer for 40-45 minutes, stirring ocasionally.
Check to see if the beef and pearl barley are tender - if they're not, cook for 10-15 more minutes.
Leftovers and storage
- The soup tastes great the next day, and leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
- Since the barley will continue to absorb the liquid, you may need to add some broth or water when reheating the soup on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- This beef barley soup freezes great. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to a container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Recipe notes and tips
- You can add other veggies to this beef barley soup if you want - sweet potatoes, mushrooms and parsnip are good options.
- Make the soup even heartier by adding a can of cannellini beans or chickpeas.
- This barley stew is perfect on its own but also great with a slice of crusty bread.
If you liked this Instant Pot beef barley soup, you might also like some of my other easy Instant Pot recipes:
- Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana
- Instant Pot Chicken Stew
- Easy Instant Pot Irish Stew
- Instant Pot Minestrone Soup
- Instant Pot Stuffed Pepper Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 lb (450 g) stewing beef, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium large onion, chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 cup (150 g) pearl barley, rinsed
- ½ lb (250 g) potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 5 cups (1.25 liter) beef broth
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Start the Instant Pot on “Saute” and add the olive oil once hot. Add the stewing beef, season with a bit of salt and brown it for 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in the onion, carrot and celery and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Next, stir in the garlic and cook for another minute. Turn off the “Saute” function.
- Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, fresh thyme, pearl barley, potatoes and beef broth. Stir to combine, then place the lid on the Instant Pot and set it to High Pressure for 10 minutes.
- Once the time is up, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then carefully open the valve to release the rest.
- Open the Instant Pot, stir in the fresh parsley, season to taste and serve hot.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 328Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 633mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 4gSugar: 9gProtein: 16g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.