Self-assembled InAs quantum dots (QDs) grown on different InxGa1-xAs/InP matrixes by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition with fast nucleation rate and atomic layer epitaxy in pure nitrogen ambient have been studied. It has been found that the InAs QD formation efficiency is enhanced when the dots are grown on the strained InxGa1-xAs/InP matrix compared with the dots grown on an unstrained InxGa1-xAs/InP matrix. By changing the indium composition x of the InxGa1-xAs barrier from 0.53 to 0.72, the 77 K photoluminescence (PL) emission wavelength of the InAs QD structures is redshifted by 220–300 nm. The transition energy of the InAs/InGaAs/InP QD structure has been calculated by using the eight-band k∙p theory with consideration of the strain effect from QD’s upper InxGa1-xAs barrier layer. The calculated E1-HH1 transition energies agree with the measured PL emission peaks quite well.