Instant Pot Rabbit Stew

This rich, rustic rabbit stew tastes straight out of a French bistro, but it's surprisingly easy to prepare thanks to our favorite modern appliance: the Instant Pot. Our Test Kitchen professionals were amazed by this recipe, and said that it was the most tender rabbit they had ever tasted, and that it was so easy to prepare. Spring vegetables and herbs including leeks, peas, carrots, thyme, and tarragon add freshness and color to this dish, while sherry and crème fraiche add richness. The rabbit can be served on the bone on top of the stew for an elegant presentation, or the meat can be shredded and stirred back into the stew for easier eating. If rabbit is not available at your local butcher shop, you can order it from specialty foods company D'Artagnan or substitute bone-in skin-on chicken thighs. Perfect for a dinner party or special meal, Instant Pot Rabbit Stew needs nothing more than a bottle of crisp white wine and some crusty bread to mop up the delicious sauce.

Instant Pot Rabbit Stew
Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis; Food Styling: Rishon Hanners
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 1 rabbit leg, 2 cups stew)


  • 3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 4 (8-oz.) rabbit legs

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 3 cups unsalted chicken stock, divided

  • 4 cups sliced fresh shiitake mushroom caps (from 12 oz. whole mushrooms)

  • 2 cups sliced leek (from 1 large [1 1/4 lb.] leek)

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped carrots (from 12 oz. carrots)

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) dry sherry

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen sweet peas, thawed

  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche

  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon


  1. Select SAUTÉ setting on a programmable pressure multicooker (such as Instant Pot). (Times, instructions, and settings may vary according to cooker brand or model.) Select HIGH temperature setting, and allow to preheat 3 minutes. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the salt evenly all over rabbit legs. Add oil to cooker. Working in 2 batches, add rabbit; cook until lightly browned, turning once, 10 to 12 minutes per batch. Transfer to a plate. Press CANCEL.

  2. Whisk together flour and 1/2 cup of the stock in a small bowl until smooth. Add browned rabbit, flour mixture, mushrooms, leek, carrots, sherry, thyme, 1 teaspoon of the salt, and remaining 2 1/2 cups stock to cooker. Cover cooker with lid, and lock in place. Turn steam release handle to SEALING position. Select MANUAL/PRESSURE COOK setting. Select HIGH pressure for 15 minutes. (It will take 18 to 22 minutes for cooker to come up to pressure before cooking begins.)

  3. Carefully turn steam release handle to VENTING position, and let steam fully escape (float valve will drop). (This will take 2 to 3 minutes.) Remove lid from cooker.

  4. Transfer rabbit to a plate; let cool 10 minutes. Remove and discard skin and bones; shred meat into bite-size pieces. Stir shredded meat, peas, crème fraîche, mustard, parsley, tarragon, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt into cooker. Ladle stew evenly into 4 bowls; garnish with additional parsley.

Chef's Note

As an alternate to shredding the rabbit meat, you may instead ladle the stew over whole rabbit legs.

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