Kirbie's Cravings

Instant Pot Pepper Steak

This easy, one-pot meal is cooked completely in the Instant Pot. Make this popular Chinese take-out dish at home in less than 30 minutes.

overhead photo of a bowl of Pepper Steak

I previously shared my stir fry recipe for Chinese Pepper Steak. Today, I’m sharing another easy way to make the dish in the Instant Pot. While the beef was cooking in my Instant Pot, I was able to finish cleaning up the kitchen since I didn’t have to hover over the stove.

Chinese Pepper Steak

Chinese Pepper Steak consists of tender slices of beef mixed with bell peppers in a thick, savory sauce. It is a popular Chinese American dish.
close-up photo of a plate of chinese pepper steak

How to Make Pepper Steak in the Instant Pot

  • The bell peppers are first sauteed in the pot and then set aside.
  • The beef is then added to the pot, along with all the sauce ingredients. You cook the beef at high pressure for ten minutes. When it’s done, the beef comes out tender, cooked, and coated in all the sauce ingredients.
  • You need to make sure to do a quick release once the beef is done cooking. A natural release will overcook the beef and make it too soft, like stew meat.
  • There will initially be a lot of liquid inside but once you open the Instant Pot and stir the meat a few times, some of the liquid will evaporate. Cornstarch is then added to thicken the remaining sauce.
  • The peppers are added back in at the end. I like to saute them in the sauce with the beef for about 1 minute so that the peppers also have a chance to absorb some of the flavorful sauce.
  • This dish is best served warm over rice or your favorite rice substitute.

close-up photo of a plate of pepper steak with chopsticks

More Instant Pot Beef Recipes

Instant Pot Pepper Steak

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
An easy version of the popular Chinese Pepper Steak all cooked in the Instant Pot. This meal is ready in less than 30 minutes.
4.75 from 12 votes


  • 1 tbsp cooking oil like olive oil or canola oil
  • 2 bell peppers seeds removed and thinly sliced (about 1/3 inch thick)
  • 1 lb flank steak thinly sliced against the grain (about 1/8 inch thick)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp regular soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 ½ tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 ½ tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp water


  • Add oil to Instant Pot and set Instant Pot on saute function.
  • When the oil is hot, add in peppers. Stir and cook peppers until tender but still very crisp. Remove peppers and set aside.
  • Add 3/4 cup water, soy sauces, rice vinegar, ginger, brown sugar and black pepper to Instant Pot. Stir to evenly mix. Add in beef and stir a few times to separate the beef slices and mix the beef with the sauce.
  • Seal the Instant Pot and set to cook at high pressure for 10 minutes. While beef is cooking, add cornstarch and 3 tbsp of water to a small bowl. Whisk until cornstarch is completely dissolved in the water.
  • When beef is done cooking, do a quick release. Do not allow it to do a natural release because it will overcook the beef.
  • Once it is safe to open the Instant Pot, lift the lid and stir a few times, allowing some of the trapped liquid to evaporate from the beef sauce. Pour in the cornstarch water and stir in quickly so that it does not clump up. Stir until sauce is thickened.
  • Add bell peppers and stir into sauce. Set Instant Pot to saute function and cook peppers and beef for about 1 minute. Turn off Instant Pot. Serve warm over rice or your favorite rice substitute.


  • Make sure to perform a quick release when beef is done cooking. A natural release will overcook the beef, breaking it down to a stew-meat like texture.
  • Choose a tender beef cut like flank steak or top sirloi. Make sure to slice the beef against the grain.
  • You want to use 2 bell peppers total. I used one green bell pepper, 1/2 a red bell pepper and 1/2 an orange bell pepper to add some more color and variety.


Serving: 0.25of recipe, Calories: 238kcal, Carbohydrates: 12g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 9g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 584mg, Potassium: 515mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, NET CARBS: 11g

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!


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48 comments on “Instant Pot Pepper Steak”

  1. I used trimmed skirt steak (cheaper) and sliced after cooking. Added mushrooms with peppers, added sesame seeds at the end. Served with ramen noodles (skipped sodium bomb flavor packet).

  2. Used multi color small sweet peppers plus a little red onion and garlic. The flank steak came out  chewy even with the quick release. Any other ideas on cuts of meat to try? Last step, I added a healthy teaspoon of garlic chili sauce and it kicked the flavor up. Nice quick recipe!

    • Did you slice the flank steak thin? They should be sliced to a thickness of 1/8″. If your pieces are thick they could end up chewy. We haven’t tested this recipe with other types of steak, but sirloin might be a good choice to try.

  3. When you say quick release at the end of  cooking does that mean u move the release valve on top and release it until  10 minutes ?

    • A quick-release means you should open the steam valve as soon as the timer goes off. Leave the valve open until all of the steam has released.

  4. Very tasty and so easy! I added a clove of minced garlic to heighten the flavour just a little bit. 

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