See how easy it is to make Instant Pot broccoli, or other vegetables like carrots and/or cauliflower. I’ve included tips if you don’t have a steamer basket!
I think the perfect dinner might be one where I hit “go” on the Instant Pot, walk away for the day and come back to dinner being done. Doesn’t that sound nice?
Instead, I rely on my pressure cooker to make meal COMPONENTS that I can easily mix and match to make dinner quickly during the week. And since every healthy dinner needs vegetables, I figured out how to make Instant Pot steamed vegetables!
I can make a whole chicken in the Instant Pot too, and now that I know I can make Instant Pot steamed vegetables, I can get pretty darn close to that goal of hitting “go” and walking away!
Instant Pot Steamed Vegetables… without a Steamer Basket?
I used to make Instant Pot steamed vegetables WITHOUT a steamer basket, using a small pyrex bowl instead, but that didn’t give me consistent results.
The vegetables at the top of the bowl were steamed, but the ones at the bottom – the ones that weren’t really getting any air circulation – weren’t.
So that left me with some steamed vegetables… and more work to do in the kitchen.
I dug around into the best steamer basket for the Instant Pot and decided on this one. I love that it…
- Is affordable
- Fits perfectly into my 8-quart Instant Pot (here’s one for the 6-quart Instant Pot and one for the 3-quart Instant Pot too)
- Has a silicone handle so I can easily remove the basket without burning myself
- Has silicone “feet” so it doesn’t slip around on my counter top
- DOESN’T require any cutting or bending or any alterations whatsoever in order to fit in my Instant Pot
- Is dishwasher safe!
So while you CAN steam vegetables in an Instant Pot without a steamer basket, I don’t recommend it. Splurge and treat yourself – your future self will thank you!
Note: You need a glass lid in order to use the steam function on the Instant Pot, not the Instant Pot lid, and odds are you already have one that works! If you have a cookware set with different sizes of pans (similar to this set) try using a larger lid that fits your instant pot.
How to Steam Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots) in an Instant Pot
It’s important to consider what you’re actually cooking when you’re steaming vegetables in an Instant Pot.
- Broccoli cooks fast on the stove, so it will cook fast in the Instant Pot too.
- Carrots take longer on the stove, so they’ll take longer in the Instant Pot as well.
- Cauliflower falls somewhere in the middle, depending on how tough the stem of the florets is.
As a general rule of thumb, the harder it is to poke a fork through a vegetable RAW, the longer it will need to take to cook in the Instant Pot.
For example, it takes some effort to stick a fork through a raw carrot. But it’s much easier to poke the stem of a piece of broccoli. And you can stick a fork through a broccoli floret without any issue at all.
I haven’t tested every vegetable known to man, but here’s what I’ve tested so far for STEAMING vegetables:
- Baby Carrots: 16 minutes
- Cauliflower Florets: 16 minutes
- Broccoli: 1 minute
Instant Pot Steamed Vegetables Recipe… or Formula?
The key to using your Instant Pot to steam vegetables AND TO BE EFFICIENT AT THE SAME TIME is to put the vegetables that take the longest to cook in the steamer basket FIRST.
Then, cook them for their total time MINUS however long it takes to cook the next vegetable.
For example, when I made Instant Pot steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots, I put the carrots and cauliflower in first and let them steam for 15 minutes.
Then I carefully added the broccoli, put the lid on top and set the timer for 1 minute. When the timer went off, all of the vegetables were done at the same time!
What to Serve with Instant Pot Steam Vegetables
Here are a few other Instant Pot staple recipes that I make often and keep in the freezer to help make weeknight dinners easier:
- Instant Pot whole chicken
- Instant Pot brown rice
- Instant Pot beans
- Instant Pot quinoa
- Instant Pot sweet potatoes
And here are a few “main meals” I make in the Instant Pot, that steamed vegetables (also made in the Instant Pot) would go perfect with!
- Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken
- Instant Pot Korean Beef
- Instant Pot Beef Brisket
- Instant Pot BBQ Chicken
- Instant Pot Beef & Broccoli
Instant Pot Steamed Vegetables
Instant Pot steamed vegetables make an easy side dish for any recipe, even without a steamer basket! Use a broccoli and carrot medley, or root vegetables.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 16 mins
- Total Time: 21 mins
- Category: Sides
- 1–2 cups raw baby carrots
- 1–2 cups raw cauliflower florets
- 1–2 cups raw broccoli florets
- 1 cup of water
- Pour the water into the bottom of the Instant Pot. Place the steamer basket inside the Instant Pot and add the carrots and cauliflower.
- Place a glass lid on top and set the timer for 15 minutes.
- When the timer goes off, CAREFULLY lift the lid and use caution as the hot steam will escape quickly! Check for doneness by piercing the vegetables with a fork. They should be *almost* easy to pierce. Add additional cooking time, one minute at a time ONLY if necessary.
- Add the broccoli and replace the lid. Set the timer for one minute.
- When the timer goes off, remove the lid again and pierce the broccoli to check for doneness. Again, ONLY if necessary, add additional cooking time one minute at a time.