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This Instant Pot Texas Cowboy Stew is hearty, filling, and everyone will definitely want seconds!
A Texas cowboy stew is a satisfying, hearty, meat and vegetable stew originating in the American Southwest.
This is one of the heartier meals on this site. It’s full of chunky sausage and vegetables, and makes for great leftovers! (Find suggestions below).
What is Texas Cowboy Stew?
It’s a thick stew that is chalk-full of sausage, ground meat, veggies, chilis and southwestern spices. It’s more or less a Cowboy Dinner without the cornbread.
What Is A Cowboy Dinner?
A cowboy dinner is essentially the recipe below, but served in a skillet with cornbread cooked over the top of it. You can certainly do that here! Just cook it, transfer it to a cast iron skillet, pour your cornbread mix over the top and bake it in the oven!
For this recipe, you’ll need an Instant Pot, a cutting board and can opener and a wooden spoon or something else to stir with.
What Kind Of Meat Is Best?
Let’s talk about the meat!
Beef – Yes, this recipe calls for ground beef as well as beef broth. If you are like me, and prefer to avoid beef, you can easily switch with ground turkey and chicken broth.
Sausage – As for the sausage, you can really use any sausage you are comfortable using. Just keep the Southwestern flavors of this recipe in mind when you choose one. I love the AppleGate and Wellshire brands. (Not paid to promote them) Both are about as clean as you can get in a sausage. But check your local health food stores. Great sausages are out there!
How Can I Thicken My Cowboy Stew?
Honestly, this shouldn’t need any thickening. But in the event that it does, you can stir in a bit of whole grain flour, or even use a starch such as arrowroot powder or cornstarch. Use what you have if you need it. But you shouldn’t with this recipe.
In addition to the ingredients listed below, a nice addition would be some sliced carrots. It might not be traditional, but it would be tasty.
Another non-traditional addition, if you have a meat-loving person in the house, would be bacon. Though I would cook that separately, chop it and sprinkle it on at serving in order to get the best texture.
If you enjoy the flavor of barbecue sauce in a recipe like this, feel free to add it. But add just enough to give it flavor. Too much bbq sauce could turn this stew into soup!
In a pinch, you could use a bag of mixed vegetables instead of the individual packages of peas and corn. The veggie choices are pretty much at your discretion.
Ground beef – You can sub with ground turkey if you don’t like beef.
Kielbasa sausage – Sliced. Whole Foods has one that is minimally processed with clean ingredients. Use the best quality sausage you can find/afford.
Minced garlic – Or use 2 tbsp. of garlic granules or powder.
Red onion – In a pinch, yellow or white onions will work just fine.
Canned diced tomatoes – Drain off juices, no sugar added.
Canned green chiles – Drained, no sugar added. This gives your stew some kick!
Russet potatoes – Cleaned and diced into cubes that are not larger than ½ inch pieces.
Canned pinto beans – Drained and rinsed. No sugar added.
Frozen, whole kernel corn – Just corn, nothing else added. Check the ingredients.
Frozen peas – Here again, check your ingredients.
Beef broth – Or use chicken broth if you opt for ground turkey instead of beef. Just make sure there is no sugar added, regardless of the type of broth you use. This is most commonly listed as dextrose in the ingredient list. Remember, anything ending in “ose” is a sugar.
Chili powder – In a pinch, use paprika instead. You can also play with smoked paprika.
Salt and black pepper – Add to taste, at serving.
How To Make Instant Pot Texas Cowboy Stew From Scratch
Add oil to your Instant Pot insert, and press the Sauté button. Once hot, add the onions. Sauté the onions for 5 minutes, or until translucent.
Add ground beef and brown the meat, then stir in the sliced sausage, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot so nothing burns.
Once the beef is browned, add the sliced sausage and give it a quick stir just to combine.
Press the Cancel or Off button to stop the sauté function. Add remaining ingredients including the potatoes and green chile peppers, stir to mix. Seal the lid and pressure valve. Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.
Turn off the Instant Pot, open the steam valve for a quick release of pressure. Test the potatoes to make sure they are cooked through. (This is why it’s important to keep your dicing on the small side).
Enjoy in your favorite dish.
How To Store This
This will keep in an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to 4 days.
How To Freeze This
It’s best to freeze this in portions if you won’t be feeding a large group. But in any case, pack it up well in a freezer-safe, airtight container and freeze for up to 4 months.
What To Serve With Texas Cowboy Stew
If you are looking for sides consider one of these:
Can I Make This In A Slow Cooker or Crockpot?
You sure can! Just sauté the onions in a separate skillet, then add everything to your slow cooker. Cook on low for approximately 2 hours. Avoid the high setting with this recipe. This is done when the potatoes are soft.
What To Do With Instant Pot Texas Cowboy Stew Leftovers
- If you have leftovers you really want to use up, you can chop the sausage slices up small, and then pour this over corn chips, sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese, and bake in the oven at 350 F. until the cheese melts. (about 10-20 minutes, depending on your oven). This makes super tasty nachos!
- Stir in some brown rice to add bulk and round out the meal.
- Use it as the bottom layer of a casserole. You can spread mashed potatoes and cheese over the top.
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Instant Pot Texas Cowboy Stew Recipe
Instant Pot TexasCowboy Stew
- Instant Pot
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 12 oz. package kielbasa sausage (Whole Foods has one that is minimally processed and clean)
- 1 tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 cup diced, red onion
- 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes (drained, no sugar added)
- 4.5 oz. can green chilis
- 2 medium russet potatoes (cleaned and diced)
- 15 oz. can pinto beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1 lb. bag frozen corn
- ½ lb. frozen peas
- 2 cups beef broth (no sugar added)
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste, at serving
- Add oil to your Instant Pot insert, and press the Sauté button. Once hot, add the onions. Sauté the onions for 5 minutes, or until translucent.
- Add ground beef and brown the meat, then stir in the sliced sausage, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot so nothing burns.
- Once the beef is browned, add the sliced sausage and give it a quick stir just to combine.
- Press the Cancel or Off button to stop the sauté function. Add remaining ingredients including the potatoes and green chile peppers, stir to mix. Seal the lid and pressure valve. Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.
- Turn off the Instant Pot, open the steam valve for a quick release of pressure. Test the potatoes to make sure they are cooked through. (This is why it's important to keep your dicing on the small side).
- Enjoy in your favorite dish.