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.
4.80 from 15 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, 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!


Subscribe to receive new post updates via email

don’t miss a thing!

Get new post updates via email:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

62 comments on “Instant Pot Pepper Steak”

  1. Delicious! Followed the recipe, but added a few chopped tomatoes. So good!

  2. This is the 2nd time I’ve made this recipe. This time I used venison steak. My husband loved it! I also added a sweet onion.

  3. Easy, yummy. I used a bag of frozen mixed peppers & plain white vinegar instead of rice. The fresh ginger root grated easily still frozen. Served over bread. I kniw it will be 6 stars someday with the correct ingredients. Thanks so much!

  4. So good better yet easy

  5. So good, I added mushrooms with the peppers and garlic and shallot with the beef we really enjoyed

  6. Delicious and easy,  I added some onion.

  7. 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).

  8. 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.

    • Likely cause of the chewey meat would be the use of quick release as you stated you did. I just made this with round steak and it’s beautifully tender. Natural release 15 mins

  9. 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.

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

  11. Super excited to try this! I don’t have cornstarch–can I use flour to thicken with a roux?

    • We haven’t tried using flour in this recipe. It’s not a 1:1 ratio when you use flour in place of cornstarch, so you will need a little more. Without testing it ourselves we can’t say for sure the exact amount.

  12. Where did I go wrong?
    I got a burn notice, all the sauce was burnt to the bottom of my pot. I’ve never gotten a burn notice before. I followed the recipe exactly, using 3/4 cup water.
    Had high hopes for this one and would try again, but just wondering where I might have gone wrong. I stirred everything together before pressure cooking, was that the mistake?

    • Hi, did you leave out any of the liquid ingredients? If you added all of them, you should have enough liquid to not get a burn notice. Instant Pot usually requires 1 cup of liquid which the recipe has

    • Maybe scrape the bottom of pot for any bits that are stuck on and may have burned. That and amount of liquid are what I check if I ever get that burn notice.

  13. This recipe was my first attempt with my instant pot. It turned out amazing!!

  14. The best pepper steak I’ve ever made. Doubled the recipe and it was perfect!  Going to make multiple batches this weekend to freeze.  Made a scallion butter rice to go with it.  And yes, I may have licked the pot!  Thank you for the recipe!  

  15. Made this with sirloin..two red green jalapeno and a yellow onion.

    The peppers were really fresh by not cooking them under pressure. Next time I will add more ginger as I love that flavor. Meal was satisfying to eat without rice..and I am a carb lover! Definitely will make this again.

  16. Excellent recipe! I substituted cube steak and it came out perfect!

  17. Cab you use a Ribeye steak?

  18. I did this before on top of stove, much quicker and the beef is more tender.I used sirloin and it came out perfect. I used rib eyed before.

  19. Made triple the recipe for a big family dinner. Still fit in my 6 oz pot without going over the max line. The cook time was the same because the thickness of the meat was the same. The family loved it!

  20. Was easy. When they say “cook 10 min and quick release“, they mean it.   This recipe is a keeper. 

  21. Cooked this a while ago and it awesome! I want to try something new today by using chicken breast instead. Any recommendations? Do you know if cooking time would be less?

  22. Good flavor, even though my “gravy” didn’t thicken up. I think I know why though. I will definitely have to try to double the recipe. Not enough for the entire family. Of course, I did forget to make the rice!? Will still try making again!

  23. If it’s best to serve with rice, could I cook the rice in the pot with the steak? Would the cook time need to be adjusted? Thanks!

  24. Can you use chuck steak and cut it against the grain?

  25. What is better to substitute for grated ginger? I have minced or ground but didn’t know how much of either or what to try. 

  26. I tried this recipe tonight in the instant pot and loved it. Hubby loved it too. This is a keeper.

  27. I added an onion and doubled the recipe in my 6 qt. Instant Pot and it was PERFECTION! My husband says it may be the best thing I’ve ever cooked in the IP!  

  28. Excellent. Think I might add onion along with the peppers next time for fun.

  29. Can I triple the recipe by simply tripling the ingredients list? Same cook times?

  30. This recipe was awesome! My hubs and I both loved it. Can I add more water or stock to get more of the ‘gravy’?