Learn How to Steam Vegetables in Instant Pot: A Step-by-Step Guide




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Ever been disappointed by a plate of limp vegetables that started with such promise? Trust me, we’ve all been there. It’s like navigating through an epic saga in the kitchen—full of trials and triumphs.

Yet, no hero emerges more victorious than my Instant Pot when it comes to delivering vegetables cooked to crispy perfection. My culinary adventures have led me to unlock the power of pressure cooking, and I’m here to spread the word.

Swapping out your old steamer for an Instant Pot isn’t merely about convenience; it’s about elevating your game. This stellar appliance doesn’t just cook food fast—it preserves those vibrant hues and snappy textures we all love in our veggies.

Whether you’re aiming for tender-crisp asparagus or hearty squash that still has some bite, this method is your ticket to consistency.

Remember that satisfying crunch of garden-fresh produce? That’s what you’ll be getting every time now! With a few tricks up our sleeves (and maybe even some fun along the way), prepare yourself for dishes where even humble root vegetables dazzle on the dinner table.

So grab your favorite apron—we’re about to revolutionize how you steam veggies with some serious finesse!

Key Takeaways

  • You can steam a wide range of vegetables in an Instant Pot, like broccoli, carrots, and green beans. Use 1 cup of water and cook for 0 minutes for crunchy veggies or 1 minute for softer ones.
  • Prepare the vegetables by washing them, cutting into pieces, and season if you want. Place them on a trivet or steamer basket inside the pot to keep them out of the water.
  • Quick release the pressure after cooking to stop the veggies from overcooking. This keeps their color bright and nutrients intact.
  • If you don’t have a steamer basket, try other methods like using a bowl on the trivet or aluminum foil as a sling.
  • Serve your steamed vegetables right away or store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze blanched veggies for later use.

Why Steam Vegetables in the Instant Pot?

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s dive into the reasons for using an Instant Pot to steam vegetables. Steaming in an Instant Pot is quick and easy. It preserves nutrients and flavor better than many other cooking methods.

You need minimal effort to get delicious results. Just add water, arrange your veggies on a trivet or in a basket, and let the appliance do its magic.

With an Instant Pot, steamed veggies turn out perfect every time. The pressure builds up inside, creating steam even if you set the cooking time to zero minutes for crunchy veggies or one minute for softer ones.

This method saves energy too since it cooks food faster than traditional methods. Plus, it keeps your kitchen cooler without heating up like an oven does during steaming tasks.

How to Steam Vegetables in the Instant Pot: A Step-by-Step Guide

To steam vegetables in the Instant Pot, you’ll need some fresh veggies, water, and your Instant Pot. After prepping the vegetables and adding them to the steamer basket, it’s a simple process of setting the cooking time and releasing the pressure once done.

Ingredients and Supplies Needed

To steam vegetables in the Instant Pot, you will need the following ingredients and supplies:

  1. Fresh vegetables of your choice, such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, or green beans.
  2. Water, which is essential for creating steam in the Instant Pot.
  3. A trivet or steamer basket to keep the vegetables above the water while they steam.
  4. Optional: Seasonings like salt, pepper, or herbs to add flavor to the steamed veggies.
  5. A glass lid that fits your Instant Pot to cover the vegetables while they steam.
  6. An Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker) to cook and steam the vegetables efficiently.

Prepping the Vegetables

To prepare the vegetables for steaming in the Instant Pot, follow these steps:

  1. Wash the vegetables thoroughly under running water.
  2. Peel and cut them into evenly sized pieces to ensure even cooking.
  3. For leafy greens like spinach or kale, remove any tough stems or veins.
  4. If using root vegetables like potatoes or carrots, scrub them clean and trim off any blemishes.
  5. Pat the vegetables dry with a clean kitchen towel to remove excess moisture.
  6. Season the vegetables with your choice of herbs, spices, or a drizzle of olive oil for added flavor.
  7. Place the seasoned vegetables in a steamer basket or on a trivet inside the Instant Pot.

Steaming Process

After prepping the vegetables, now let’s move on to the steaming process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to steaming vegetables using your Instant Pot:

  1. Add 1 cup of water to the Instant Pot.
  2. Place a steamer basket or trivet inside the pot to keep the vegetables above the water level.
  3. Arrange the prepared vegetables in the basket or on the trivet, ensuring they are spread out evenly.
  4. Close and lock the lid of the Instant Pot, ensuring the steam release handle is set to “Sealing.”
  5. Select “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode and set it to 0 minutes for crispier vegetables or 1 minute for softer texture veggies.
  6. Once done, perform a quick pressure release by turning the steam release handle from “Sealing” to “Venting” using a long-handled spoon or tongs.
  7. Carefully open the lid away from your face, and your perfectly steamed vegetables are ready to be served.

Cooking Time Chart

Now that we’ve covered the steaming process, let’s dive into how long you should steam your veggies to achieve that perfect texture. Here’s a handy chart that outlines the cooking times for a variety of vegetables when using your Instant Pot.

VegetableTime (0 min for crunch, 1 min for soft)
Broccoli, florets0-1 minutes
Cauliflower, florets0-1 minutes
Carrots, sliced2-3 minutes
Green beans0-1 minutes
Peas0-1 minutes
Potatoes, cubed2-3 minutes
Squash, sliced1-2 minutes
Asparagus0-1 minutes
Spinach0 minutes
Corn on the cob2-3 minutes
Bell peppers, sliced0-1 minutes
Brussels sprouts, halved1-2 minutes
Zucchini, sliced0-1 minutes

Tips for Perfectly Steamed Veggies

To ensure perfectly steamed veggies in your Instant Pot, always use the recommended amount of water for generating steam. Place the vegetables on a trivet or in a steam basket to prevent them from getting too soggy and maintain their texture.

A quick release of pressure after steaming helps to avoid overcooking, preserving the vibrant color and nutrients of the vegetables.

Steaming veggies using an Instant Pot retains more nutrients than boiling and is quicker than traditional stovetop methods. It’s essential to know your preferred vegetable cooking times for achieving the desired tenderness while maintaining their nutrients.

By following these simple tips, you can enjoy perfectly steamed and nutritious veggies with minimal effort.

Alternative Methods for Steaming Veggies in the Instant Pot

To steam vegetables in the Instant Pot without a steamer basket, use a bowl filled with water and place it on the trivet. Another method is to use aluminum foil to make a sling for lowering the vegetables into the Instant Pot.

You can also steam veggies directly in the Instant Pot by adding water, placing a trivet, and stacking vegetables on top of each other. If you prefer not using pressure cooking settings, some models have a “Steam” function that allows for traditional steaming.

Alternatively, you can utilize heat-safe glass or silicone containers to hold the vegetables instead of using a steamer basket.

Serving Suggestions and Storage Tips

To preserve the flavor and texture, serve the steamed vegetables immediately after cooking. Here are some serving suggestions and storage tips:.

1. Serve the steamed vegetables with a sprinkle of lemon juice and a dash of black pepper for added flavor.

2. Drizzle some olive oil or melted butter over the steamed veggies to enhance their taste.

3. Store any leftover steamed vegetables in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

4. Reheat the leftover steamed veggies by lightly sautéing them in a pan with your choice of seasoning.

5. Use any remaining steamed vegetables in salads, soups, or as a side dish for other meals.

6. To freeze extra servings, blanch the vegetables before freezing to maintain their quality and color.


In conclusion, mastering the art of steaming vegetables in an Instant Pot is a game-changer. You’ve learned efficient methods for perfect vegetable steaming – from prepping to serving.

Apply these practical tips with confidence and witness the transformative impact on your culinary prowess. How do you plan to incorporate these strategies into your meal preparation routine? This simple yet impactful technique can elevate the nutritional value and flavors of your meals.

Explore further possibilities by experimenting with various veggies and seasonings to personalize your dishes. Let’s embrace this effortless cooking approach, discovering joy in creating wholesome, vibrant meals!


1. How do I steam vegetables in an Instant Pot?

To steam vegetables in an Instant Pot, add water to the pot, place your veggies in a steamer basket inside, and cook for a few minutes using the pressure cooker function.

2. Can you tell me some quick and easy vegetable steaming tips for my Instant Pot?

Yes! For quick and easy steaming, chop your vegetables into similar sizes for even cooking and check our step-by-step guide or vegetable steaming times to prevent overcooking.

3. Is it possible to steam soft texture vegetables like those needed for baby food using an Instant Pot?

Certainly! The Instant Pot is great for cooking soft texture vegetables perfect for baby food; just adjust the cooking time to get the right tenderness.

4. Do I need a special accessory to steam veggies in my pressure cooker?

While having a steamer basket helps when using an electric pressure cooker like the Instant Pot, it’s not necessary—you can improvise with a heat-proof dish or foil balls at the bottom of the pot.

5. What are some health benefits of instant pot-steamed vegetables?

Steamed vegetables preserve more nutrients compared to other cooking methods making them healthier; plus, they’re delicious when prepared well following our nutritious meals recipes available in many Instant Pot guides.

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