If you’re looking for a mouth-watering recipe that is easy to prepare, you’re going to love this low-carb Venison Stew! Full of tender meat chunks and hearty vegetables, this is the perfect cozy recipe on a cold night. Make it in an Instant Pot or on the stovetop.

bowl of venison stew in white bowl on a table.

I’ve been making beef stew and venison stew for years because it’s one of my husband’s favorite recipes. I used to always make it in the slow-cooker because the long cook time always seems to make the meat so tender.

One day I was low on time so I threw all the ingredients in the pressure cooker. I was so happy with how tender and flavorful the stew turned out. This Instant Pot Venison Stew recipe is a winner! If you enjoy a meat stew with lots of hearty vegetables, then I really hope you love this recipe too.

Why You Need This Recipe

  • Pressure cooking tenderizes even the toughest and leanest of meats. Prefer to use the stovetop or the slow-cooker? I share instructions for those methods too (see the recipe card at the end of this post).
  • You can use venison chunks or beef chunks in this keto meat stew.
  • Save hours of cooking time using the Instant Pot than if you used a slow-cooker or the stovetop.
  • You can even use frozen venison chunks if you forget to de-frost them. Just add an extra 10 minutes of cook time if you use frozen.

Key Ingredients

ingredients for venison stew

Venison is a type of red meat that can stand in for beef. Look for it at specialty grocery stores or butcher shops.

Usually I add potatoes to my stew, but I decided to make a lower-carb version for this Instant Pot Venison Stew and left them out. The cauliflower I added at the end kind of stood in the potatoes and we didn’t miss them at all.

I also included onions, fennel, zucchini, garlic, and carrots.

Recipe Steps

Step One

Press the Sauté button on a 6-quart Instant Pot and let it heat up for about two minutes. Combine the chopped venison, garlic, and onion in the post and sauté for 3 minutes, using a wooden spoon or spatula to move the meat around so it browns on all sides.

Be sure to check the recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredients and measurements.

Step Two

Cancel the Sauté function and add the dried thyme, zucchini, carrots, fennel, and broth. Stir to combine.

instant pot beef stew process shots

Step Three

Lock on the lid, select the Pressure Cook function, and adjust to high pressure for 30 minutes. Make sure the steam valve is set in the “Sealing.”

When the cooking time is up, let the pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes before using the quick release to unlock the lid.

Step Four

Remove the lid and add the cauliflower florets. Lock on the lid again, select the Pressure Cook function, and adjust to high pressure for 1 minute. Make sure the steam valve is set in the “Sealing.”

When the cooking time is up, use the quick release to release the pressure.

Season with salt, to taste, and serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

two bowls of venison vegetable stew served in white bowls

Recipe Tips & Substitutions

  • STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS: Heat the oil in a large saucepan or stockpot. Add the venison and garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the cauliflower) and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat, cover the pot, and let it cook for 30 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the florets are tender. Serve hot.
  • SLOW-COOKER INSTRUCTIONS: Combine the ingredients in a large slow cooker (except for the cauliflower). Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours. Add the cauliflower florets during the last 15 minutes of cooking.
  • You can use venison, beef, bison, or elk meat in this recipe.
  • If you use frozen meat chunks, be sure to add 10 minutes to the overall cook time at high pressure.
  • You can make substitutions to the vegetables used in this recipe. You’ll need about 5-6 cups of chopped vegetables total.
  • If you prefer to use potatoes instead of cauliflower, then cut the potatoes into quarters and add them to cook with all of the other vegetables.

Recipe FAQs

What does venison taste like?

It has a rich flavor similar to beef. Some people consider it to have a “gamey” flavor, but it is not overwhelming.

Where can I buy venison meat?

Look for venison in the butcher section of your local grocery store. Your butcher may need to special order it for you, depending on where you live. Many grocery stores also carry specialty proteins like venison in their freezer sections. Ask your store manager for where to find it.

More Easy Instant Pot Dinner Recipes You Might Like

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venison beef stew in white bowl

Venison Stew (Instant Pot or Stovetop)

If you’re looking for a mouth-watering recipe that is easy to prepare, you’re going to love this low-carb Venison Stew! Full of tender meat chunks and hearty vegetables, this is the perfect cozy recipe on a cold night. Make it in an Instant Pot or on the stovetop.

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds venison chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 fennel bulbs, chopped
  • 4 carrots, sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 12 ounces cauliflower florets (about 2 cups)
  • sea salt, to taste

Instructions

  1. Press the Sauté button on your 6-quart Instant Pot and let it heat up for about two minutes. Combine the venison, garlic, and onion in the post and sauté for 3 minutes, using a wooden spoon or spatula to move the meat around so it browns on all sides.
  2. Cancel the Sauté function and add the dried thyme, zucchini, carrots, fennel, and broth. Stir to combine.
  3. Lock on the lid, select the Pressure Cook function, and adjust to high pressure for 15 minutes. Make sure the steam valve is set in the “Sealing”
  4. When the cooking time is up, let the pressure come down naturally for 10 minutes before using the quick release to unlock the lid.
  5. Remove the lid and add the cauliflower florets. Lock on the lid again, select the Pressure Cook function, and adjust to high pressure for 1 minute. Make sure the steam valve is set in the “Sealing”
  6. When the cooking time is up, use the quick release to release the pressure.
  7. Season with salt, to taste, and serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Notes

  1. STOVETOP INSTRUCTIONS: Heat the oil in a large saucepan or stockpot. Add the venison and garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the cauliflower) and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat, cover the pot, and let it cook for 30 minutes. Add the cauliflower florets and cook for an additional 10 minutes, or until the florets are tender. Serve hot.
  2. SLOW-COOKER INSTRUCTIONS: Combine the ingredients in a large slow cooker (except for the cauliflower). Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours. Add the cauliflower florets during the last 15 minutes of cooking.
  3. You can use beef instead of venison in this recipe. The cooking time remains the same.
  4. If you use frozen meat chunks, be sure to add 10 minutes to the overall cook time at high pressure.
  5. If you prefer to use potatoes instead of cauliflower, then cut the potatoes into quarters and add them to cook with all of the other vegetables.
  6. You can make substitutions to the vegetables used in this recipe. You’ll need about 5-6 cups of chopped vegetables total.
  7. The total cook time includes the 10 minutes that it takes for the pressure cooker to come up to full pressure, plus 10 minutes of natural release time. 
  • Author: Carrie Forrest, MPH in Nutrition
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Stew
  • Method: Instant Pot or Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Healthy
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: keto venison stew, instant pot keto stew

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