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Luau Stew Made Quick and Easy in the Instant Pot

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This recipe for luau stew is made quick and easy in the Instant pot. Say what? What used to take hours to make can now be made in just about 45 minutes.

close up of luau stew in white bowl

Juicy, tender beef chunks with vibrant green luau or kalo (taro) leaves pressure cooked in a beef broth come together in this classic Hawaiian dish. Growing up in Hawai’i meant always having this yummy meal at family gatherings.

Looking for other Instant Pot recipes? Check these out

What are luau leaves?

Luau leaves come from the kalo (taro) plant and are used in various Hawaiian dishes. Luau leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals which can cause throat and mouth itching if not cooked down thoroughly. This is why stove top cooking usually takes 2-3 hours to get the leaves to an edible state. Not to fear though, this recipe uses the Instant Pot and speeds up the whole process.

luau stew ingredients

Where can I find luau leaves?

Here in Hawai’i they can be found in the produce section of your local grocery stores. If you are in the mainland it may be a little harder to do so. Leave it to good old Amazon to find just about anything you could ever need, including luau leaves. I’ve found other sites online that also ship luau leaves.

If you can not find luau leaves you can try spinach or collard greens.

luau leaves

How to clean luau leaves?

Remove the stems from the leaves and any thickened raised veins. Rinse leaves in cool running water and dry before use.

Are luau or taro leaves healthy?

Yes. Luau leaves are rich in vitamin A and C

What type of meat is used in luau stew?

I like to use beef stew chunks.

luau stew

Let’s talk about what goes well with luau stew

How to store luau stew?

Once cooled, place in a airtight container and store in the fridge for a few days.

two bowls of luau stew

Can you freeze luau stew?

Yes. Make a big batch and freeze the extras for another night. It will keep for a few months.

How to make luau stew?

Set Instant Pot to saute mode. Trim off stems and thick veins from luau (taro) leaves. Rinse leaves well. Roll up leaves and cut into strips. To the Instant Pot add beef, ginger, Hawaiian salt, beef paste, and water. Then add luau leaves. Place lid on Instant Pot and set valve to sealing. Cook on manual high pressure for 25 minutes. Allow natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then quick release the remainder of the pressure.

instant pot luau stew

Instant Pot Luau Stew

Relle Lum
Juicy, tender beef chunks with vibrant green luau (taro) leaves pressure cooked in a beef broth come together in this classic Hawaiian dish.
4.59 from 140 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Instant Pot
Cuisine Hawaiian
Servings 8 cups
Calories 183 kcal


  • 1 pound luau taro leaves
  • 1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat
  • 4 slices ginger
  • Hawaiian salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Beef Base
  • 1 cup water


  • Set Instant Pot to saute mode.
  • Trim off stems and thick veins from luau (taro) leaves. Rinse leaves well. Roll up leaves and cut into strips.
  • To the Instant Pot add beef, ginger, Hawaiian salt, Better Than Bouillon Beef Base, and water. Then add luau leaves. Place lid on Instant Pot and set valve to sealing. Turn off saute mode. Cook on manual high pressure for 25 minutes. Allow natural pressure release for 10 minutes, then quick release the remainder of the pressure.


*You can replace Better Than Bouillon Beef Base with 1 cube beef bouillon.
* If you can not find luau (taro) leaves, you can replace this with spinach or collard greens. This will change the taste of the recipe, however still yummy.
* Add salt to taste. Start with less. You can always add more. If adding Hawaiian salt after the dish has completed cooking be sure it is still hot and stir well to disolve the large crystals.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 183kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 28gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 219mg
Keyword beef instant pot recipes, beef recipes, easy instant pot recipes, Hawaii food, Hawaiian food, Instant Pot, instant pot luau stew, instant pot recipes, keeping it relle, luau stew
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instant pot luau stew

By on October 1st, 2019

About Relle

Aloha, my name is Relle and welcome to my little home on the internet where I like to share all my favorite Hawaiian recipes (and local ones too).

I am a wife, mom of two, and nurse practitioner here in the beautiful state of Hawai’i. I was born and raised in Hawai’i and I am of native Hawaiian descent. In my spare time I love to cook and bake and I have compiled many of my favorite recipes here for you to enjoy.

More posts by this author.

72 thoughts on “Luau Stew Made Quick and Easy in the Instant Pot”

  1. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for not ruining your stew luau with coconut milk! Maybe squid luau, but NOT beef (or chicken). This recipe is simple and basic…the way it’s supposed to be. Mmm…YUMMY!!!

  2. I cannot get luau leaves where I am. Has anyone tried it with the spinach or collard greens? Which is most like the luau stew?

    • Hi Steph. You definitely can use spinach or collard greens. It will change the taste of the recipe. Do you live in the mainland? There is an online company that will ship lu’au leaves out.

      • What is the online company? I live in WA and I’ve found one market that has fresh taro leaves but it’s kind of far from me. Thanks!

      • Aloha Relle! I 💙 cooking w/ a passion! Can I have the website to order luau leaves also? Mahalo plenty! I do live in the 9 th island but don’t have a Kawika! Will though when I move to my new country! Aotearoa when I turn 69! So… that’s 2 yrs away. Thanks again.

    • I was only able to find Frozen Taro leaves. How can those be incorporated into the recipe. Should I even try to attempt with that? It’s say the leaves can’t be thawed before cooking so I’m worried it’s gonna have a ton of liquid. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Dawn. Great question. Yes you can, however I have a 6qt Instant Pot and it’s pretty filled to the max with the 1lb of leaves as you can see in the video. If you have the 8qt you could definitely fit more in there. Have a great day!

    • Hi Char. I also meant to add that a tablespoon of Hawaiian salt by volume generally has less sodium than a tablespoon of regular table salt. This is mainly due to the fact that the Hawaiian salt crystals are larger than that of table salt and therefore less crystals will fit in to the measuring device. But again adjust accordingly.

  3. This recipie is easy and delicious! I tweeked it a little, I just leave out the hawaiian salt, that beef bullion takes care of the flavor! My new go to for something fast and comforting! My family loves this dish and it has been requested on the regular.

  4. I can only find dried luau leaves on the east coast. Do you know how long cooking time would be and would I follow the same recipe?

    • Hi Victoria. Unfortunately I have never tried cooking it with dried leaves. I’d say try it with the same recipe and see if it works out. Thanks for stopping by.

    • I was wondering the same thing. Were you able to try it? There is a Filipino dish that uses the dried taro leaves. We have to let it simmer on top of the liquids in a pot without stirring for an hour, allowing the leaves to steep and soak up the liquids all in their own and once it’s rehydrated completely soaked up the cooking liquid then we stir it. Really wondering how to use the dried leaves for her recipe.

      • Hi Michelle. If the leaves were cooked then dried down then they would just have to be hydrated. If still raw it would have to go through the same cooking process so that the calcium oxalate crystals can be broken down and no longer cause the mouth/throat itch.

  5. yay. I finally found an ideal Youtube recipe channel. You only give pertinent info, and no more pointless yakking. For details, we can look in the description box or go to this website. What a perfect combo! thank you.

  6. Made this today and love how easy it was. I had a little trouble with the salt though. Do you have a measurement for how much Hawaiian salt you initially put in the pot? At first it wasn’t salty enough, so I added more salt when it was pau and then it was too salty 😭.

  7. Perfect recipe! Simple and delicious! Ono no!
    Luau leaves straight from my garden into my ‘opu!
    Mahalo for this recipe!
    I wish I could post a picture here.

    • It really depends on the size of the leaves. Smaller leaves would require more and larger ones may use less. It does not need to be exactly 1 pound. Some people prefer more or less lu’au leaves.

  8. I LOVE luau stew. Unfortunately I’m actually allergic to the leaf no matter how long it’s cooked. So I can eat a couple bites, but much more than that, I have a reaction. Thankfully we started making it with collared greens and while it’s not the same, it’s close enough for me! Excited to try this instant pot recipe!

  9. 4 stars
    Mahalo Relle! Luau stew was ono and I like my instantpot again. So easy and fast. I liked the way you cut the luau leaves. Will be doing it this way from now on.

  10. Soooo good! Instead of beef broth I threw in some oxtail and bone marrow bones. Love the simplicity of this. Bowl of rice and all good 🤙🏼

  11. 5 stars
    I want to make it more soupy like my Mom use to make it, How can I do it without making it too watery or lose flavor?
    Mahalo Nui Loa

  12. 5 stars
    Awesome recipe Relle, Mahalo for sharing and for putting so much heart in all you do! Aloha!

  13. If im trippling up the recipe (3x the amount), how long more do I leave it in the instant pot? Is it still 25 minutes?

  14. If I want to make it with pork instead of beef, what cut of pork would work best? And would I use the same amount as it written using beef?

    • You can use any protein you wish. The leaves will take the same amount of cook time, but the proteins will vary. So you may have to add in the middle of cook time.

  15. I’m thinking of making this as a side dish for some friends to go with a meal of mac salad and kalua pork. What would you suggest to take the place of beef? tofu? Taro cubes? Sweet potato? Open to all suggestions. Also, should I add it later in the cooking cycle (maybe quick pressure release and then cook a gain for a few minutes)? Any thoughts welcome and mahalo in advance!


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