This Instant Pot oxtail soup features succulent fall-off-the-bone tender meat, a rich and flavorful broth, and tender vegetables, all cooked to perfection. Learn how to make this easy oxtail soup recipe in your pressure cooker today!
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Instant Pot Oxtail Soup
This is the pressure cooker version of my slow cooker oxtail soup, with a few modifications! I think this recipe turned out even better than the slow cooker version!
Also, this is the recipe that really changed my mind about the Instant Pot!
I had been avoiding the sauté function because I saw it as too much extra work and wasn’t sure that an Instant Pot (IP) could really yield the same results as pan searing meats or cooking veggies stir-fry style on the stove.
I took a poll on Instagram and 75% of my followers said that they loved using their IP’s sauté function, so I was determined to test it out!
I was extremely impressed by the sauté function, however, and will definitely be incorporating it in more of my recipes in the future! (If you are curious about which Instant Pot I use, the Instant Pot Duo 6 Quart 7-in-One version that you see below.)
*Note: If you have a 3-Quart Instant Pot, this recipe will yield too much and your Instant Pot may overflow! This recipe works with 6-Quart and 8-Quart Instant Pots. If you have a 3-Quart you will need to adjust the recipe.
What is oxtail?
Oxtail soup, or 牛尾汤/niúwěi tāng, as it is called in Mandarin Chinese, is a soup made using the tail of the ox.
The first time my husband introduced me to this soup, I have to say I wasn’t totally on board.
For a girl who grew up thinking fish sticks = seafood and McDonald’s = fine dining, oxtail was never on my radar — nor did I want it to be!
Once I opened my mind and embraced the various global cuisines, I realized that oxtail soup is hearty and delicious! Now I am even happy to chow down on the cartilaginous portions, when before I wouldn’t touch the stuff!
Even my kids love the succulent meat portion of the oxtail — I pull the meat off the bone and serve it to them with the soup so they don’t complain about the cartilage and bones. 😉
If you are looking for more amazing Instant pot recipes you have to check out this collection of the best Instant Pot recipes (with over 1 million shares!) and delicious Korean ribs, made in the IP!)
Selecting and cooking oxtail
Nowadays oxtail can be found at many local supermarkets and grocery stores, but if you have trouble finding it there the best place to look will be an Asian market. Our local Asian market has pre-packaged oxtail as well as whole oxtail that they can cut to your specifications.
When selecting oxtail for this oxtail soup recipe, get around 2.25-3 lbs. This will be around 6 pieces of oxtail (you can always put in more, it’s never a bad thing to have more meat, right?)
Because of the high quantity of bones and cartilages in oxtail, it typically takes a long time to cook oxtail sufficiently and get fall-off-the-bone meat. This Instant Pot oxtail soup recipe gives you perfectly cooked oxtail in a fraction of the time!
This recipe is also packed chock-full of hearty vegetables, including carrots, daikon, cabbage, onions, and potatoes. The rich tomato-based broth has a delicious acidity that helps cut and complement the fattiness of the oxtail.
Oxtail Soup Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you will need to make oxtail soup:
For the oxtail soup base:
- 2.5-3 lbs of oxtail
- 1 medium onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 whole tomatoes
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp ground thyme
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups beef broth + 2 cups water
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb potatoes
- 1 lb daikon
- 1/4 cabbage
- 1 lb carrots ( used rainbow carrots because rainbows FTW)
*Note that I use the Better Than Bouillon Reduced Sodium Beef Base — if you choose a different beef broth, you may need more or less salt depending on the sodium content. Always start with less salt and you can add more later after cooking to adjust the flavor!
How to cook oxtail soup in the Instant Pot
Here is how to cook oxtail soup easily in your Instant Pot.
1. Prepare the oxtail and vegetables
Rinse the oxtail to remove excess blood and any bone shards and pat dry. Chop the vegetables according to the recipe instructions below.
2. Season the oxtail
Take half the salt and the pepper and season the oxtail pieces liberally on all sides.
3. Sauté the oxtail
Turn the Instant Pot (IP) to the “sauté” function and allow to heat a few minutes. Once the IP is hot, add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Use a spatula to spread the olive oil around the bottom of the IP.
Once the bottom is coated with oil, add all of the oxtails to the IP and begin to sear the meat. Turn the meat to brown all sides of the oxtail (since they are oddly shaped, roll them around to get all sides as best you can).
Once all sides of the oxtail are browned, remove and set aside. (This took around 7 minutes for me).
4. Saute the garlic and onions
After removing the oxtail, immediately add the garlic and onions to the IP and sauté until the garlic begins to brown and the onions begin turning translucent (around 5 minutes).
(If things start to look burn-y don’t hesitate to add a bit more oil or to drop in some of the beef broth to deglaze the bottom of the pan and get all that lovely flavor off the bottom.)
5. Add the soup base ingredients
Once the onions and garlic are browned, add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and spices.
Stir to coat the onions and the garlic with the spices and cook for 3 more minutes or until the tomatoes have softened.
6. Add the oxtail and broth
Once the tomatoes have started to soften and break apart, add the liquid (2 cups beef broth + 2 cups water) and used your spatula to deglaze the bottom of the pan and stir everything together.
Next, add the oxtail back into the IP and close and lock the lid.
7. Cooking instructions for the Instant Pot
Now set the IP to “Pressure Cook” at high pressure (I also set the mode to “normal”). Cook at high pressure for 40 minutes.
Once the oxtail soup has cooked for 40 minutes in the pressure cooker, immediately release the steam valve (wear an oven mitt and do this carefully) and let the steam quick-vent.
Once the steam has vented, remove the lid and skim as much fat off the top of the soup as you can with a ladle — place in a separate bowl to discard.
Once you have removed as much fat off the top as possible, add all the chopped vegetables. Smoosh them down with your ladle as much as possible to submerge them in the liquid (they are going to fill up the IP and should be just barely covered by the liquid) and then cover the IP with the lid again.
Cook 10 more minutes at the same pressure setting. Allow the steam to natural vent for 5 minutes, then quick release pressure until quiet.
Serve hot with brown rice, a splash of soy sauce, some cilantro and parsley, or however you like!
I hope you enjoyed this recipe!
If you have questions or comments, drop them below!
If you tried this and liked it PLEASE take the time to leave me a review! I live for your reviews.
*Calorie data is approximate. This data was calculated using Nutritionix on 5/4/2019
Instant Pot Oxtail Soup (Easy Pressure Cooker Recipe)
This Instant Pot oxtail soup features succulent meat and hearty vegetables in a rich broth. Learn how to make oxtail soup in your pressure cooker today!
- 2.5 lbs oxtail
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 whole tomatoes, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp ground thyme
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 lb potatoes, chopped into 1-inch cubes
- 1 lb carrots, chopped into 1-inch rounds
- 1 lb daikon, chopped into 1-inch cubes
- 1/4 cabbage, chopped into long shreds
Prepare the oxtail and veggies
- Rinse the oxtail to remove excess blood and any bone shards and pat dry. Chop the vegetables.
- Take half the salt and the pepper and season the oxtail pieces liberally on all sides.
Sauté the oxtail
- Turn the Instant Pot (IP) to the “sauté” function and allow to heat a few minutes. Once the IP is hot, add 1 tbsp of olive oil. Use a spatula to spread the olive oil around the bottom.
- Brown all sides of the oxtail, rolling them around as needed. (Around 7 minutes).
- Once oxtail is browned, remove and set aside.
Sauté the garlic and onions
- Add the garlic and onions to the IP and sauté until the garlic begins to brown and the onions are turning translucent (around 5 minutes).
- (If things start to look burn-y don’t hesitate to add a bit more oil or to drop in some of the beef broth to deglaze the bottom of the pant and get all that lovely flavor off the bottom.)
Add the soup base ingredients
- Once the onions and garlic are browned, add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and spices. Stir to coat the onions and the garlic with the spices and cook for 3 more minutes or until the tomatoes have softened.
- Add the broth + water and deglaze the bottom of the pan. Then add the oxtail into the broth and cover with the lid to cook.
Cook the oxtail soup
- Now set the IP to “Pressure Cook” at high pressure (I also set the mode to “normal”).
- Cook at high pressure for 40 minutes.
- After 40 minutes immediately quick-release the steam valve (wear an oven mitt and do this carefully) and let the steam vent.
- Remove the lid and skim as much fat off the top of the soup as you can with a ladle — place in a separate bowl to discard.
- Once you have removed the fat, add all the chopped vegetables. Smoosh them down with your ladle as much as possible to submerge them in the liquid and then cover the IP with the lid again.
- Cook 10 more minutes at the same pressure setting. Allow the steam to natural vent for 5 minutes, then quick release pressure until quiet.
- Serve hot with brown rice, a splash of soy sauce, some cilantro and parsley, or however you like!
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Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer
All Natural Reduce Sodium Beef Base 8oz
GLOUE Silicone Spatula Set-4-piece 450oF Heat-Resistant Baking Spoon & Spatulas - Ergonomic Easy-to-Clean Seamless One-Piece Design - Nonstick - Dishwasher Safe - Solid Stainless Steel-Multicolor
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 350Total Fat: 28gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 174mgSodium: 890mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 6gSugar: 8gProtein: 56g
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Julie Briones says
Your recipes are always so complete and helpful. This oxtail soup looks super yummy!
Thanks, Julie, glad you like my directions! If you give it a try make sure to leave me a review. 😉
Im just making this now , got a new instant pot so oxtail in the making . Thanks for the recipe
Enjoy, have fun with your new Instant Pot!
Nancy Lopez says
This recipe is so flavorful and satisfying. I am so glad you gave great instructions for the Instant Pots we are all using now.
Wonderful! Glad you enjoyed, Nancy. 🙂