Instant Pot Beef Barley Soup

instant pot beef barley soup | beef and barley soup instant pot | pressure cooker beef barley soup

Step-by-Step Guide on how to cook Instant Pot Beef Barley Soup. Tender juicy beef, fluffy al dente barley, balanced with sweetness from sautéed vegetables, in a deep umami-savory-beefy soup. This easy Beef and Barley Soup makes a deliciously comforting and healthy meal packed with rich layers of flavors.

Check out Our Handpicked Instant Pot Accessories

beef barley soup instant pot

Beef Barley Soup

Beef Barley Soup is the ultimate healthy comfort food in a bowl!

This hearty and comforting soup is usually made with beef, barley, vegetables (i.e. onions, carrots, celery), and aromatic herbs in a rich broth. Packed with a variety of nutrients, flavors, and textures.

We crafted this beef barley soup Instant Pot recipe to be an easy-to-make, flavorful, filling, and healthy meal.

Especially heartwarming and satisfying to eat this pressure cooker beef barley soup during the cold fall and winter days!

beef and barley soup

What we look for in a good Instant Pot Beef Barley Soup

We did many experiments to craft this Easy Beef Barley Soup Instant Pot recipe based on the following criteria:

  • Beef: Tender, juicy, deep beefy flavors – remain flavorful even after imparting beefy flavors into the soup
  • Barley: Fully cooked, plump, fluffy, tender with a satisfying al dente chew, mildly nutty flavor; not too soft, mushy, soggy (overcooked) or hard & overly chewy (undercooked)
  • Vegetables: A portion of the vegetables impart their flavors to the broth, while the other portion of vegetables retains their flavors & textures when serving. This way you’ll get the best of both worlds.
  • Soup: Aromatic, rich, deep complex layers of flavors – the body is not flat or one-dimensional; a balanced blend of beefy, savory-umami, a hint of sweetness; not too thin or thick

beef and barley soup instant pot

GET FREE RECIPES & TIPS

100% Free! Tested recipes to your inbox weekly.

SUBSCRIBE

Please Confirm Your Email

Please check your inbox (sometimes Junk Box) and confirm your subscription! Then, add our email address to your contact list to ensure you will receive our recipes, tips, and giveaways!

How to Cook Instant Pot Beef Barley Soup

beef barley soup recipe

Here are the ingredients for cooking beef barley soup in Instant Pot:

beef barley soup ingredients

Beef Chuck Roast. Chuck roast is one of the best cuts for making Instant Pot Beef Barley Soup. Some chuck roasts are fattier than others, and some may be slightly more tender. Try to use a well-marbled chuck roast. Not only will it enrich the flavors, but the fat will also melt and lubricate the meat while cooking.

  • Other Common Names: Top Blade Pot Roast, Shoulder Roast, Beef Blade Roast, Braising Steak (in the UK)
Amy + Jacky’s Notes – Beef Cuts: Other cuts of beef may be too lean or need a different cooking time. If you’re using grass-fed beef, keep in mind it has less fat than grain-fed beef.

Pearl Barley (Pearled Barley). Barley is usually sold in 2 forms: hulled (light golden brown) and pearled barley (cream-colored). Pearl barley grains are created by polishing and removing the tougher inedible outer coating (hull) and the bran layer. The 2 forms need different cooking times, so make sure you’re using Pearl Barley for this beef barley soup Instant Pot recipe.

Unsalted Chicken Stock vs. Unsalted Beef Stock: We’re using chicken stock instead of beef stock because store-bought chicken stock usually tastes a lot better than most store-bought beef stock. But if you have homemade beef stock or good quality beef stock, you can use beef stock if you like.

  • Substitute with Salted Stock: Keep in mind that the sodium level can vary a lot between different brands. Always taste and adjust accordingly.

Fish Sauce & Regular Soy Sauce. Our flavor-boosting, umami-filled secret weapons to elevate this easy Instant Pot Beef Barley Soup. They’re not traditional ingredients in a classic beef barley soup recipe. But they add a magical boost of savory-umami flavor complexity. Give them a shot!

prep ingredients

Tools for Beef Barley Soup Instant Pot Recipe

Step 1

Brown Chuck Roast Steak

Heat up Instant Pot using “Sauté More” function. Wait until Instant Pot says “HOT” (roughly 8 minutes).

Pat dry chuck roast steak with a paper towel.

Then, generously season one side of the chuck roast with kosher salt and ground black pepper. 

brown beef

Add 1 to 2 tablespoons (15ml – 30ml) olive oil in Instant Pot. Make sure to coat the oil well over the whole bottom of the pot.

Place the seasoned side of the chuck roast in Instant Pot, then season the other side of the chuck roast with kosher salt and ground black pepper.

Let chuck roast brown for 8 minutes per side to develop some deep flavors. Don’t need to constantly flip the chuck roast.

When the chuck roast is nicely browned, remove it and set aside.

Amy + Jacky’s Tips – Why brown chuck roast as a whole instead of cubes? Browning as a whole helps keep more moisture, saves time since you can brown faster and better, and adds deep flavors without toughening the meat.

Try not to skip this step because the caramelized flavors will greatly enhance the flavors of this healthy Instant Pot beef barley soup.

Step 2

Saute Onion & Vegetables

Add sliced onions in Instant Pot, then saute for 4 minutes.

saute onions

Add chopped carrots and celery in Instant Pot, then saute for 3 minutes.

saute veggies

Set aside one-third of the vegetables.

Amy + Jacky’s Notes: We’ll add this portion of vegetables back into the beef barley soup after pressure cooking. This will add more textures when you enjoy the beef and barley soup.

set aside veggies

Step 3

Saute Garlic & Herbs

Add in minced garlic, 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon (1g) dried thyme, and 2 tablespoons (30g) tomato paste, then saute for another 2 minutes.

saute garlic and tomato paste

Step 4

Deglaze Instant Pot

Amy + Jacky’s Pro Tips: It’s very important to fully deglaze the bottom of the inner pot after browning or sauteing ingredients in the Instant Pot. This will prevent the dreaded “BURN” notice. Don’t worry! These are not burnt food debris. These caramelized brown bits will add flavor to your Instant Pot Beef Barley Soup.

deglaze

Pour 1 cup (250ml) unsalted stock in Instant Pot. Then completely deglaze the bottom of the pot by scrubbing the flavorful brown bits with a wooden spoon. 

Step 5

Pressure Cook Beef Barley Soup in Instant Pot

Turn off the Instant Pot.

Add ¼ teaspoon (2g) fine salt, 1 tablespoon (15ml) regular soy sauce, and 1 tablespoon (15ml) fish sauce in the Instant Pot. Give it a quick mix.

add soy sauce and fish sauce

Cut the browned chuck steak into 1¼ inch thick beef cubes.

cut beef chuck roast into beef cubes

Add beef cubes, all the meat juice, and the remaining 4 cups (1L) unsalted stock in Instant Pot. 

add beef cubes and stock

Add ¾ cup (150g) pearl barley in Instant Pot, then make sure they’re all submerged in the cooking liquid.

barley soup instant pot

With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position.

instant pot high pressure for 20 minutes

Instant Pot Beef Barley Soup Cook Time: Pressure Cook beef barley soup at High Pressure for 20 minutes, then Natural Release for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes of natural release, release the remaining pressure by turning Venting Knob to Venting Position.

When Floating Valve drops, open the lid carefully.

Step 6

Add Vegetables Back in Beef Barley Soup

beef barley soup in instant pot

Add previously set-aside vegetables (from step 2) back in the Instant Pot.

Press the Instant Pot “Saute” button, then simmer the beef barley soup for a few minutes to finish cooking the “set-aside” vegetables. Stir occasionally.

add veggies back in soup

Step 7

Season & Serve Instant Pot Beef and Barley Soup

Discard the two bay leaves if you like.

Taste and season the comforting Instant Pot Beef Barley soup with more salt. For reference, we added 3 large pinches of salt at the end to season the soup.

instant pot beef and barley soup

Garnish pressure cooker beef barley soup with freshly chopped Italian parsley, then serve.

pressure cooker beef barley soup

What to Serve with Beef Barley Soup

Instant Pot Beef Barley Soup makes a comforting and healthy one pot meal. You can serve it with side dishes like Instant Pot Bread, baguette, sourdough, garlic bread, biscuits, cornbread, or Saltine crackers.

You can also enjoy it with some salads or vegetables like Instant Pot Potato Salad, Instant Pot Broccoli, Instant Pot CabbageInstant Pot Green Beans, or Instant Pot Beets.

Enjoy Comforting Instant Pot Beef Barley Soup!

5 from 22 votes

Instant Pot Beef Barley Soup

Author: Amy + Jacky
How to cook Instant Pot Beef Barley Soup. Tender juicy beef, fluffy al dente barley, balanced with sweetness from sautéed vegetables, in an umami-savory-beefy soup. This easy Beef and Barley Soup makes a deliciously comforting and healthy meal packed with rich layers of flavors.
Subscribe for Free Recipes & Tips
Servings 6
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Rate this Recipe

Ingredients

Optional Garnish

Share this Recipe so We can create more yummy recipes for you.  Thank you 🙂

Instructions 

  • Brown Chuck Roast Steak: Heat up Instant Pot using “Sauté More” function. Wait until Instant Pot says “HOT” (roughly 8 minutes).
    Pat dry chuck roast steak with a paper towel. Generously season one side of the chuck roast with kosher salt and ground black pepper.
    Add 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil in Instant Pot. Make sure to coat the oil well over the whole bottom of the pot.
    Place the seasoned side of chuck roast in Instant Pot, then season the other side of chuck roast with kosher salt and ground black pepper. Let chuck roast brown for 8 minutes per side to develop some deep flavors. Don’t need to constantly flip the chuck roast. When the chuck roast is nicely browned, remove it and set aside.
  • Saute Onion & Vegetables: Add in sliced onions, then saute for 4 minutes. Add in chopped carrots and celery, then saute for 3 minutes.
    Set aside one-third of the vegetables. We'll add them back in after pressure cooking (in Step 6). This will add more textures to the soup.
  • Saute Garlic & Herbs: Add in minced garlic, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp (1g) dried thyme, and 2 tbsp (30g) tomato paste, then saute for another 2 minutes.
  • Deglaze Instant Pot: Pour in 1 cup (250ml) unsalted stock. Completely deglaze the bottom of the pot by scrubbing the flavorful brown bits with a wooden spoon.
  • Pressure Cook Beef Barley Soup: Turn off Instant Pot.
    Add in ¼ tsp (2g) fine salt, 1 tbsp (15ml) regular soy sauce, and 1 tbsp (15ml) fish sauce. Give it a quick mix.
    Cut the browned chuck steak into 1¼ inch thick beef cubes.
    Add beef cubes, all its meat juice, and the remaining 4 cups (1L) unsalted stock in Instant Pot. Add in ¾ cup (150g) pearl barley, and make sure they're all submerged in the cooking liquid.
    With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position. Pressure Cook beef barley soup at High Pressure for 20 minutes, then Natural Release for 20 minutes. Release the remaining pressure by turning Venting Knob to Venting Position. Open the lid carefully.
  • Add Vegetables Back in Soup: Add previously set-aside vegetables (from step 2) back in Instant Pot.
    Press "Saute" button. Simmer the beef barley soup for a few minutes to finish cooking the "set-aside" vegetables. Stir occasionally.
  • Season & Serve: Discard the two bay leaves if you like.
    Taste and season the Beef Barley soup with more salt. For reference, we added 3 large pinches of salt at the end to season the soup. Garnish soup with freshly chopped Italian parsley, then serve.

Notes

1. Beef Chuck Roast: Some chuck roasts are fattier than others, and some may be slightly more tender. For best results, try to use a well-marbled chuck roast. 
  • Other Common Names: Top Blade Pot Roast, Shoulder Roast, Beef Blade Roast, Braising Steak (in the UK)
  • Beef Cuts: Other cuts of beef may be too lean or need a different cooking time. If you’re using grass-fed beef, keep in mind it has less fat than grain-fed beef.
2. Why brown the chuck roast as a whole instead of cubes? Browning as a whole helps keep more moisture, saves time since you can brown faster and better, and adds deep flavors without toughening the meat.
3. Pearl Barley (Pearled Barley): The 2 forms of barley need different cooking times, so make sure you’re using Pearl Barley with this recipe.
4. Unsalted Chicken Stock vs. Unsalted Beef Stock: We’re using chicken stock instead of beef stock because store-bought chicken stock usually tastes a lot better than most store-bought beef stock. But if you have homemade beef stock or good quality beef stock, you can use beef stock.
  • Substitute with Salted Stock: Keep in mind that the sodium level can vary a lot between different brands. Always taste and adjust accordingly.
5. Fish Sauce & Regular Soy Sauce: They’re not traditional ingredients, but they add a magical boost of savory-umami flavor complexity. Give them a try!
6. Deglaze Instant Pot: It's very important to fully deglaze the bottom of the inner pot after browning or sauteing ingredients in the Instant Pot. This will prevent the "BURN" notice. Don't worry! These are not burnt food debris. These caramelized brown bits will add flavor to your soup.
7. Freeze: Yes! Beef and Barley Soup freezes well.
Rate Amy + Jacky's Recipe: If you've tried our recipe, rate the recipe in the Comments section. Thank you!
Calories: 404kcal
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beef and barley soup instant pot, beef barley soup instant pot, instant pot beef and barley soup, instant pot beef barley soup, pressure cooker beef barley soup

Nutrition

Calories: 404kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 104mg | Sodium: 626mg | Potassium: 1107mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 7986IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 5mg
instant pot beef barley soup | beef and barley soup instant pot | pressure cooker beef barley soup
Subscribe
Notify of
Rate the Recipe




Please read before leaving a comment :)

1) If you have a question, it'll be great if you can try to search for the answer first by checking the comments below. Thank you so much. :)

2) We’re super thankful for all the reviews. We may not be able to reply to all of you, but we read and enjoy every single one of them.

32 Comments
newest
oldest most helpful
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

SUBSCRIBE FOR

FREE RECIPES & TIP

100% Free! Tested recipes to your inbox weekly.

Close This