Instant Pot Swiss Steak Recipe

Swiss steak isn't Swiss, meaning it's not that national dish of Switzerland. According to Beef2Live, "swissing" refers to a method of softening fabric by pounding it or running it through rollers. This technique is then applied to tenderizing a tough piece of beef. Recipe developer Carlos Leo of Spoonabilities has eliminated the tenderizing step by having the Instant Pot do it for him. 

"I don't cook too much meat at home," Leo told us, "and I want to play more with my Instant Pot. The Instant Pot makes the job so easy." 

Leo uses bottom round steak — one of the recommended cuts for Swiss steak. The round is naturally tough because it's butchered from the rear legs of the cow, which get plenty of exercise so the muscles are denser. Normally, if you were making Swiss steak, you'd have to tenderize the beef by pounding it to quarter-inch thickness with a mallet or meat tenderizer. If you're a fan of the Instant Pot, then you know that other tough cuts of meat, such as beef chuck or pork shoulder, are transformed to meltingly tender. Leo's recipe is surprisingly easy, and you can have Swiss steak on the table, from start to finish, in an hour.

Gather the ingredients for Swiss steak

As we mentioned, bottom round steak is recipe developer Carlos Leo's meat of choice for his Swiss steak recipe. Leo told us that the steaks can be pre-cut at the grocery "but they should be an average serving size as a general rule." Also, although it looks like you're buying a big hunk of meat, "the meat shrinks after it's been cooked."

Aside from the two pounds of steak, you'll need one teaspoon garlic powder, one teaspoon sea salt, one teaspoon ground black pepper, one-and-a-half teaspoons paprika, two tablespoons corn starch or all-purpose flour, two tablespoons olive oil, one 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted chopped tomatoes, one cup unsalted beef broth, one diced medium yellow onion, two chopped green bell peppers, and three cloves minced garlic. For the sauce, you'll want one teaspoon sea salt if needed, two tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, one tablespoon corn starch. You'll also want some chopped parsley for garnish.

Season the steaks and then dredge in cornstarch

Some supermarkets sell beef round steaks thinly sliced and ready to use. But most butchers sell a whole piece of the round, which you'll need to cut up into four equal-sized pieces. The steaks need to be seasoned with a spice mix.

Combine one teaspoon of garlic powder, one teaspoon of sea salt, one teaspoon of ground black pepper, and one-and-a-half teaspoons paprika in a small bowl. Season both sides of the steaks with the spice mix, but reserve some for later, when you'll be adding it to the sauce. 

You'll then need to dredge the steaks in cornstarch or all-purpose flour. However, according to Spoon University, cornstarch will give a nice color and crunchy exterior to any food that's fried. Put two tablespoons of cornstarch (or flour) on a work surface, and dredge the steaks in it on both sides.

Brown the steak, then layer the ingredients in the Instant Pot

Select the "Sauté" function on the Instant Pot and add two tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add two of the steaks and brown them on both sides, about one minute per side. Remove the two steaks from the Instant Pot, and brown the remaining two steaks. Return the first two steaks you've browned to the Instant Pot, and in this order, add one cup of unsalted beef broth, a 14.5-ounce can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes, one diced yellow onion, three minced garlic cloves, and two chopped green bell peppers. Seal the lid and program the Instant Pot for 30 minutes on the high pressure-cook setting. 

Finish the sauce for the Swiss steak

When the timer sounds, let the Instant Pot do a natural release for 10 minutes. Then hit "Cancel" and twist the venting valve open to release the remaining pressure — take care to step back to avoid getting sprayed by the hot steam!

When all of the steam has released, carefully open the lid. Using tongs or a large spoon, transfer the steaks to a platter.  The sauce will need to be thickened, so remove half a cup of the sauce with a measuring cup into a bowl and whisk in one tablespoon of cornstarch until it's completely dissolved. Select the Instant Pot's "sauté" function again, and pour the cornstarch slurry into the sauce, and stir. 

Keep stirring for about five minutes until the sauce thickens to a consistency that you like. Taste the sauce, and if needed. Add one teaspoon of salt plus the reserved seasoning mixture. Stir in two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce, and transfer the finished sauce to a bowl.

Serve the Instant Pot Swiss steak on mashed potatoes

You can serve the Swiss steak as is with a green vegetable on the side. But recipe creator Carlos Leo recommends serving it with mashed potatoes, egg noodles, or rice. Portion out the side dish on plates, and lay the Swiss steak on top. Spoon some sauce over the Swiss steak and garnish with a little chopped parsley.

 "The highlight of this recipe is the sauce," Leo told us. "The sauce gets so much flavor from the veggies." So, don't be shy about ladling the sauce on!

 Thanks to the Instant Pot, the formerly tough beef round steak will be fork tender and flavorful. It's a quick and easy meal for any night of the week.

Instant Pot Swiss Steak Recipe
5 from 49 ratings
Instant Pot Swiss steak is an easy and hearty meal with a low prep time. The convenience of an Instant Pot will make this an instant classic in your home.
Prep Time
Cook Time
Instant Pot Swiss steak recipe
Total time: 1 hour
  • 2 pounds bottom round steak
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup unsalted beef broth
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 green bell peppers
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
Optional Ingredients
  • All-purpose flour can be substituted for corn starch.
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt for sauce, if needed.
  • Chopped parsley, for garnish
  1. Thinly slice the steak and set aside.
  2. Peel and chop the onion and chop up the green peppers and set aside in a separate bowl.
  3. Mince the garlic cloves and set aside.
  4. Mix dry ingredients together except the corn starch (1 teaspoon of sea salt, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper, 1 ½ teaspoons paprika), and season both sides of the steaks. (Reserve extra seasoning mix to season the sauce at the end.)
  5. Lightly dredge the steak with corn starch on both sides.
  6. Select the sauté setting on the Instant Pot. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and when it's hot, brown the steak on both sides, one minute per side. Don't overcrowd the pot; brown the steak in two batches.
  7. Transfer the steak back to the Instant Pot, and add the other ingredients in this order: 1 cup of unsalted beef stock, canned tomatoes, the green bell peppers, onion, garlic, and black pepper.
  8. Seal the lid on the Instant Pot and select the option to pressure cook on high.
  9. Set the timer for 30 minutes.
  10. When the timer goes off, do a natural release, which will take around 10 minutes.
  11. Hit cancel and twist valve to venting position to release remaining pressure.
  12. Open the lid and remove the steak onto a platter.
  13. Select the sauté feature on the Instant Pot
  14. To thicken the sauce, take half a cup of the cooking liquid and put in another bowl.
  15. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of corn starch or flour into cooking liquid. When the mixture is well dissolved, add back into the pot. Stir to combine.
  16. Cook until sauce reaches the consistency you like, about 5 minutes.
  17. Taste the sauce and adjust the remaining seasoning.
  18. Stir the 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire into the sauce.
  19. Place mashed potatoes, cooked egg noodles, or rice on a plate if using for serving.
  20. Place the Swiss Steak on top with some of the tomato gravy sauce.
  21. Chop up parsley and sprinkle over dish for garnish before serving.
Calories per Serving 397
Total Fat 23.3 g
Saturated Fat 7.9 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 113.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 12.5 g
Dietary Fiber 2.7 g
Total Sugars 4.3 g
Sodium 610.6 mg
Protein 33.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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