Home Dinner Instant Pot Beef and Barley Soup

Instant Pot Beef and Barley Soup

by Kristen

This hearty, healthy soup will free your taste buds from their boring dinner rut. We make it with ground beef and barley and pair it with colorful vegetables and tangy tomatoes. A dash of red wine vinegar adds a bright note of acidity. It is comfort food at its best. Your taste buds will explode when you try your first spoonful! 

There is nothing like a piping hot bowl of rich and hearty beef and barley soup to soothe your soul on a cold day. This childhood classic recipe calls for only a few pantry ingredients but is so delicious and filling. When you cook this soup in your Instant Pot, the beef always turns out perfectly luscious and tender. You will love the flavor caramelized onions bring to this soup.  This recipe has super simple instructions and cooks in your instant pot with a 10-minute cooking time.

Origins of Beef and Barley Soup 

Beef and barley soup has been a dish in the United States since the colonial days.  Barley soup has been served in parts of Eastern Europe for centuries.  There are many nutritional benefits from eating barley, and this soup is a square meal that can be enjoyed on a budget by many people.  Cooking Instant Pot Beef and Barley soup in your Instant Pot requires little to no prep time and is one of my favorite soup recipes!

Ingredients needed

1 pound of Stew beef or chuck roast, cut into small cubes or cubed beef.


caramelized onion




One bag of frozen veggies

crushed or diced tomatoes

One tablespoon of tomato paste


salt and pepper


bay leaf

pearl barley

beef broth

Recipe Notes: If you don’t eat beef, this soup can be adapted easily using chicken. ¬†Just substitute the beef or chicken and the beef broth for chicken broth. ¬†Mushrooms can also be added to this soup if you like. ¬†I like the way butter makes the soup creamy, but you can also use olive oil in this recipe.

You will love how tender chunks of beef turn out when you pressure cook them!  If you are looking for more recipes using stew meat, check out:

Beef stew meat recipes.   

This Instant Pot Beef and Barley Soup is a great recipe you can make ahead!  This soup will last in the fridge in an airtight container for up to five days.  You can also store this in the freezer for up to 6 months.  You can easily reheat the soup by heating it up in the microwave or warming it up in a pot on your stove-top.

Slow Cook this Recipe!

You can easily adapt this recipe for your slow cooker.  All you need to do is saute the stew beef and caramelize your onions ahead of time.   Then add the rest of the ingredients and place the lid on top of the slow cooker.  cook the soup on low for 6 hours or on high for 3-4 hours.

5 from 1 vote

Instant Pot Beef and Barley Soup

Easy and delicious soup!

Course dinner
Cuisine American
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 8


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 caramelized onion
  • 1 pound beef stew meat
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup barley, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce


  1. Prepare ingredients.  Wash carrots and celery. cut beef into small pieces, caramelize the onions.  mince garlic. 

  2. Set your Instant Pot to the saute setting. 

  3. Add butter, caramelized onions, beef,  Worcestershire sauce, and garlic.  saute until beef is browned. 

  4. Add carrots, celery, tomatoes, beef broth, barley, and bay leaf. 

  5. Close your Instant Pot.  Cook on high pressure or on soup mode for 15 minutes. 

  6. When cook time has completed.  Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes. Remove lid and serve. 

Here are Ten tips for making soup in your Instant Pot! 

I would love to hear what you thought of this Instant Pot beef barley soup recipe!  Please let me know by commenting below this post or leaving me a comment on social media.  You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.  I love making soup in my pressure cooker.  It saves me so much time.  the total time of this soup is about 30 minutes, although it will taste like it has been simmering all day!



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Desiree October 30, 2021 - 4:57 pm

5 stars
The only change I made was adding corn. Great recipe. Very tasty.

Missy March 17, 2021 - 5:11 pm

What size can of crushed tomatoes?

Kristen March 21, 2021 - 8:16 pm

15 ounces

Deb Wessel October 27, 2019 - 8:58 pm

Just made this and it is delish!! Easy to put together and quick timing. Little thick so I did add some more broth at the end for a more ‘soup’ like instead of a ‘stew/soup’-stoup! Def would recommend and pass on to fellow ‘instant potters!!’ Thank you

Robin October 17, 2019 - 9:23 pm

When does the frozen vegetables come in?

Kristen October 17, 2019 - 9:35 pm

at the same time as the chicken broth, canned tomatoes. before the cooking process starts.


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