This easy Swiss Steak recipe is made right in your instant pot or ninja foodi and is ready in less than 1 hour. It uses very economical ingredients and you can make your mashed potatoes and carrots at the same time!
Swiss Steak is a classic comfort food that never goes out of style! Tender round steak smothered in a rich, perfectly spiced tomato gravy. It's a meal the whole family will love!
Especially when you can add a side of garlic smashed potatoes and some perfectly cooked carrots AND get it all done in under an hour. That makes this delicious Swiss steak recipe a great choice for any day of the week.
Frequently Asked Questions
Swiss steak is usually made with round steak and it is in a tomato sauce, while Salisbury steak is made with ground beef patties and is in a brown gravy.
Round steak is most common and since it is an inexpensive cut of meat, it's a great choice for this economical meal. However, you can use other cuts of meat, like a chuck roast, if you prefer. Just make sure to cut the chuck roast into 2" pieces if you want it to cook in the time stated in this recipe. Beef cube steak would be another alternative cut of beef to use.
Swiss Steak is the ultimate comfort food and goes really well with egg noodles or mashed potatoes. My favorite way to serve is over a bed of garlic smashed potatoes with a side of carrots. In this recipe, I used an electric pressure cooker to cook everything in one pot for a super easy meal.
You can also serve your Swiss Steak over rice.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Round steak is what is typically used when making Swiss Steak, but you can use any cut of beef you like. If you want to make Swiss Steak with a more tender cut of beef, like a ribeye or even a filet, you absolutely can. You can cut the pressure cooking time back to just 2-3 minutes since the steak doesn't need to be tenderized through longer pressure cooking time.
You can also use a tougher cut of meat, like a bottom round or a chuck roast cut into strips and PC 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of your strips.
Fire Roasted Tomatoes
I love the added flavor of fire roasted tomatoes and really encourage you to use them (they aren't spicy), but you can use regular diced canned tomatoes as well. If you wanted to use regular tomato sauce instead, you would need to increase your thin liquid (beef broth) to avoid getting the water notice when using thicker tomato sauce. I would suggest increasing the beef broth to ½ cup.
Seasonings & Thin Liquids
I used a combination of Worcestershire sauce, red wine vinegar, and beef broth for the thin liquid in this recipe. The Worcestershire sauce is for depth of flavor, the red wine vinegar is to help with tenderizing the meat as well as providing balance in the dish, and the beef broth is for added thin liquid. Feel free to change any of these ingredients to your liking, just try to have at least ¼ cup of thin liquid total. If you omit the Worcestershire sauce, you may find that you need to add more salt to adequately season the dish.
The seasonings I used are fine grind sea salt, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. This basic blend of spices can be adjusted to your liking.
Carrots, Potatoes, & Garlic
The carrots and potatoes are completely optional. I wanted to create a type of one-pot or 360 meal and the best choices I found to do that with is carrots and potatoes. I add the carrots in stages so I have some that are very soft and help to flavor the tomato gravy and then some added later that aren't as soft that I use as a side vegetable.
The potatoes I used are a combination of Russet and Yukon gold, but you can use any type of potatoes that you like. I leave the skin on them, but if you want to peel them, then I would add them during the second pressure cooking time to avoid them falling apart and dropping into the gravy.
These potatoes are chunky, so if you want a smooth and creamy texture, you might want to follow this recipe: Creamy Mashed Potatoes
The bulb of garlic is very mild in the potatoes because of the long cooking time. It's similar to a bulb of roasted garlic in flavor, but is totally optional.
How Can I Thicken the Swiss Steak Tomato Gravy?
There are several ways to thicken your tomato gravy, any of these suggestions will work just fine.
You can make up a roux ahead of time and mix it in after the pressure cooking time. A roux is made from equal parts of a fat and flour. I usually use butter and flour and then cook it over medium heat until it is a pale color and the flour is cooked.
You can also use a cornstarch slurry, which is combining cold water (beef stock or broth is okay as well) with cornstarch. I would start with 2-3 tablespoon of cold liquid mixed with one tablespoon cornstarch. Stir it in the tomato gravy AFTER pressure cooking and then use sear/sauté to bring to a simmer which will thicken the sauce.
The way I thicken the Swiss Steak gravy, is with tomato paste. Start with 2 Tablespoons of tomato paste added after the pressure cook time and add more tomato paste until it is thickened to your liking. I also will use sear/sauté.
Can I make Swiss steak without a pressure cooker?
Yes, absolutely. You can make the recipe in a slow cooker, stovetop, or a slow braise in the oven.
Here are my suggestions based on the cooking method you chose.
Slow Cooker Instructions
Flour and sear the round steak in a skillet and place them on the bottom of your slow cooker pot. Add in the carrots, tomatoes, onion slices, red wine vinegar, and worcheshire sauce.
Set the slow cooker on high for 6-8 hours or until the round steak is fork tender. If your sauce is getting too thick, add some beef broth. If it is too thin at the end, thicken with one of the methods mentioned above.
The recipe is basically the same, except you will want a large skillet or pot and instead of pressure cooking, you will simmer at a lower temperature for a long time. You will also have more evaporation, so you will want to add in more liquid than when pressure cooking.
Flour and sear the round steak per recipe instructions. Deglaze with 1-2 cups of beef broth. Add remaining ingredients (except potatoes and garlic and extra carrots) and cover. Reduce the heat to medium or medium low so the liquid is simmering.
Simmer for 45 minutes and check for tenderness. If the meat is fork tender, then remove the lid and simmer until it is the consistency you desire.
I recommend flouring and searing the round steaks and then lining a casserole dish or a dutch oven with the steak. Cover in diced tomatoes, onions, and carrots. Add about 1-2 cups of beef broth, enough so the steaks are completely covered.
Bake on 350℉ for 3-4 hours or until the round steak is fork tender.
How to Make Swiss Steak in your Pressure Cooker with Garlic Smashed Potatoes & Carrots
If you want to make Swiss Steak in your electric pressure cooker and want to skip the potatoes and extra carrots, simply follow the directions and after adding in the onions and 2 carrots, put the pressure lid on and PC for 25 minutes. When the pressure is up, allow for a natural release for 10 minutes and then manually release any remaining pressure. Serve and Enjoy.
For the full recipe with Garlic Smashed Potatoes & Extra Carrots, here are the detailed steps.
I always recommend getting your ingredients measured out ahead of time so that you can seamlessly move through the recipe and thankfully, there is on a tiny of bit of prep in this recipe.
In a shallow container or plastic bag, mix the flour with the salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
The ideal thickness of round steak for this recipe is between ¼" and ½" thick and it is customary to pound out or "Swiss" the steak before cooking. Pressure cooking does such a great job of tenderizing the tougher cuts of meat that you can skip this step as long as your steak is less than ½" thick.
For thicker steaks, I do recommend pounding them thinner before dredging in the flour.
Coat both sides of the steaks with the flour and seasoning blend. Set aside.
Peel and cut the ends off of the carrots. Slice the onion into strips.
Cut the top off of the bulb of garlic
Wash the potatoes, but leave them whole with the skin on them. If you prefer to peel your potatoes, then I would either peel them after the PC time or peel them and only pressure cook them during second pressure cooking time so they don't fall apart.
Turn the Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot on high sear/sauté and add 1-2 Tablespoons of olive oil or oil of choice. When the oil is hot add the steak in a single layer in the bottom of the inner pot. Sear for three minutes and flip and then sear the other side for 2 minutes.
If you have more than 4 round steaks, then you may have to sear in batches.
Once the round steaks are seared on both sides, you can either leave them in the inner pot or remove them while you deglaze the pot.
To deglaze, which means to loosen any brown bits that might be stuck on the bottom, simply add the beef broth and scrape along the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or something else that is safe for non-stick surfaces if using the Ninja Foodi ceramic pot.
Add in the tomatoes, worcestershire sauce, and red wine vinegar. If you aren't going to proceed with layering right away, turn the pressure cooker off to avoid burning off the liquid needed for pressure cooking.
Keep the rounds steak on the bottom and covered with liquid and tomatoes. Add the onions on top, along with 2 whole carrots.
Place the reversible rack in the low position or any trivet in the pot. You may have to move some food around to get the rack nestled in the pot correctly. If the handles stick up slightly over the lip of the pot that is fine, the pressure lid will still go on. Just make sure to move the rack handles so they are not obstructing the pressure release valve or pin in the back.
Add the bulb of garlic and whole potatoes on the rack.
Once all the ingredients are in the inner pot and on the rack, put the pressure lid on and pressure cook on high for 13 minutes.
When the time is up, do an immediate release. You don't have to worry about the meat drying out because it will be submerged in liquid and we are only adding in the carrots.
Add the carrots on the rack and close the pressure lid. Turn the valve to seal and pressure cook on high for 5-7 minutes (5 minutes for firmer carrots and 7 minutes for softer.) When the time is up, naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes and then manually release any remaining pressure.
Open the lid and remove the garlic bulb, potatoes, and carrots from the rack. Remove the rack and set aside.
Garlic Smashed Potatoes
Place the potatoes in a bowl for smashing. Add 3 Tablespoons of butter to the potatoes and squeeze out the cloves from the bulb of garlic. Mash the potatoes and add some cream if desired. Salt and pepper to taste.
Add some butter and salt to the carrots and wrap in foil to keep warm until serving.
Thickening the Sauce
Add in about ¼ cup of tomato paste and you can turn on the sear/sauté on high or medium high to simmer the sauce until it reaches the consistency you like.
Place the round steak in a serving dish and spoon over some of the tomato gravy. Add the carrots and the smashed garlic potatoes to the side. Serve with a bowl of tomato gravy for extra sauce.
Swiss Steak with Mashed Potatoes & Carrots
- Pressure Cooker
- 2 Tablespoon olive oil
- 2-3 pounds round steak About six ½" round steaks
- ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon fine grind sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ cup beef broth
- 14.5 ounces Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1 Onion any kind
- 2 carrots
- ¼ cup tomato paste
Smashed Garlic Potatoes
- 1½ pounds potatoes combination of Russet and Yukon gold, whole and not peeled.
- 1 bulb garlic
- 3 Tablespoon butter
- 1-2 Tablespoons heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6-8 carrots
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pound or tenderize the round steak if desired. This is not necessary when using the pressure cooker. Combine flour, salt, black pepper, onion & garlic powder. Dredge the steak
- Prepare and measure all the other ingredients.
- Turn the Ninja Foodi or Instant Pot on sear/sauté on high. Add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil or oil of choice.
- When the oil is hot, add 3-4 of the flour coated round steak to the bottom to sear. Let it cook about 3 minutes and flip and cook an additional 2 minutes. If you are making 3 pounds of round steak you may need to cook in batches.
- Deglaze the inner pot with the beef broth and make sure to scrape the bottom to loosen any brown bits that may be stuck on the bottom. Add the can of fire roasted tomatoes with the juice, the Worcestershire sauce and red wine vinegar. Add the steak back in if you removed it. Add the onion and 2 carrots. If you are only cooking the Swiss steak without potatoes and additional carrots, put the pressure lid on and set the time to 25 minutes. When the time is up, allow the pot to natural release for 10 minutes and then release the remaining pressure and remove the lid. Thicken the sauce with tomato paste if desired. Serve & Enjoy! If you are making the potatoes and extra carrots proceed to the next step.
Garlic Smashed Potatoes & Extra Carrots
- Place the reversible rack on low or your trivet on top of the steak. Place the whole and unpeeled potatoes on the rack. Cut the top off of a bulb of garlic and set it on the rack. Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Set the pressure on high for 13 minutes. When the time is up do an immediate release.
- Open the lid and add in the extra carrots. Put the pressure lid on and turn the valve to seal. Set the pressure on high for 5-7 minutes. 7 minutes will be a softer carrot. When the time is up, allow the pot to natural release for 10 minutes. Release the remaining pressure and open the lid.
- Remove the whole potatoes and place them in a bowl for mashing. Remove the garlic and carrots and set aside. Remove the rack and add in the tomato paste for thickening. Turn the sear/sauté on high if needed to reduce the sauce.
- Squeeze the garlic cloves out of the bulb of garlic into the bowl of potatoes. Add the butter. Smash them and add cream if desired. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Salt and pepper the carrots. Serve & Enjoy!
ABOUT THE RECIPE AUTHOR, LOUISE LONG
Louise is a full-time recipe creator and food blogger @ The Salted Pepper. She has over 30 years of experience with cooking and recipe development. She owned a restaurant for several years and was a full-time RN until retiring to blog full-time.
She published her first cookbook in the Fall of 2018 and is very interested in writing several more.
Louise is also the creator of an online Ninja Foodi Pressure Cooking Course with over 100 instructional step-by-step videos. People absolutely rave about the course and all the value they have received from it.
Louise has several very active Facebook groups that help people with the basics of cooking and getting the most out of the Ninja Foodi.
Louise is also a YouTube creator and you can find most of her recipes in video format on The Salted Pepper YouTube channel.
She is very responsive to messages and eager to help in any way she can. Get more Information about Louise & contact information
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