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How To Perfectly Steam Vegetables In An Instant Pot?

Steaming vegetables in an instant pot is a quick and easy way to prepare your favorite vegetables. With just a few simple steps, you can turn fresh or frozen vegetables into tender, delicious dishes packed with nutrients and flavor.

Why cook vegetables in the Instant Pot?

There are many benefits to cooking vegetables in an instant pot, including the convenience and speed of this cooking method. Instant pots allow you to quickly and easily prepare your favorite vegetables without using a traditional stovetop or oven.

In addition, steaming vegetables in an instant pot helps to retain their nutrients and flavor, so you can enjoy all the health benefits of your favorite veggies with every bite.

Ingredients and equipment

  • Instant pot or other steaming appliance
  • Fresh or frozen vegetables of your choice (e.g., broccoli, green beans, carrots, asparagus, Brussels sprouts)
  • Steaming rack or basket
  • Olive oil or fresh herbs for seasoning (optional)

Seasoning for steamed vegetables

Some popular flavor combinations include a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice, and freshly chopped herbs such as parsley, cilantro, or dill.

You can also add some grated cheese or a sprinkling of toasted nuts for extra texture and richness. No matter how you season your vegetables, the key is to let their natural flavors shine through.

Instant Pot Vegetable Recipes

Looking for inspiration in the kitchen? Here are some delicious and easy vegetable recipes you can make with your instant pot.

Steamed Broccoli with Lemon and Garlic

This simple side dish takes just a few minutes to make and is full of flavor with these ingredients:

  • 1 lb fresh broccoli florets
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Place the steaming rack inside your Instant Pot and add the water to the bottom of the pot.
  2. Add the broccoli florets, garlic, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to a steamer basket or rack and arrange on top of the water.
  3. Close the lid of your Instant Pot and set it to steam mode. Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender and bright green.
  4. Remove the steamed broccoli from the pot and serve immediately, garnished with fresh herbs or a drizzle of olive oil if desired.

Best Instant Pot Potatoes & Carrots

This simple side dish is the perfect way to enjoy tender, flavorful potatoes and carrots in minutes, with:

  • 2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp salt


Add the potatoes and carrots to a steaming rack or basket in your Instant Pot and pour in the water or broth. Season with salt, if desired.

Close the lid of your Instant Pot and set it to pressure cook mode. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and easily pierced with a fork.

Serve the hot potatoes and carrots immediately, topped with fresh herbs or a drizzle of olive oil if desired.

Several different options with Instant Pot

Green Bean Stir Fry: If you’re looking for a healthy dinner option, try this green bean stir fry recipe. Simply sauté 1 lb green beans and 1 sliced red pepper in a tablespoon of olive oil until tender, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over cooked rice or quinoa, garnished with chopped cashews or sesame seeds if desired.

Roasted Asparagus: Try roasting asparagus in your instant pot for a simple and delicious side dish. To make, toss 1 lb asparagus spears with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes. Arrange the asparagus on the steaming rack of your instant pot, then cook on steam mode for 3-5 minutes. Serve hot, sprinkled with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.

How to stream frozen vegetables in Instant Pot?

One of the easiest and most convenient ways to steam frozen vegetables in your Instant Pot is by using the preset steam function.

Simply add your frozen vegetables to a steaming basket or rack inside your pot, along with any seasonings or flavoring ingredients you may wish to use.

Then seal the lid and set the Instant Pot to cook on its steam function for the desired time.

The steam setting on your Instant Pot will automatically maintain a consistent temperature and pressure, ensuring that your frozen vegetables are cooked to perfection every time.

When the cooking cycle is complete, remove the steaming basket or rack from the pot and enjoy your perfectly steamed frozen vegetables!

As with fresh vegetables, you can also experiment with various seasonings and flavorings to find your favorite combinations. Some tasty options include a sprinkling of fresh herbs or grated cheese, or a drizzle of olive oil or melted butter for added richness.

Instant pot vegetable side dish recipes

Here’s the perfect dish for busy weekend evenings or when you need a quick and easy side dish that the whole family will love. One of our favorites is an easy vegetable stir fry that can be made with any combination of fresh or frozen vegetables.

To make a basic veggie stir fry in your Instant Pot, simply heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the pot and add 1 lb of your favorite vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, or green beans. Sauté the veggies until they are tender and slightly charred on the edges, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

If you prefer a more flavorful dish, add some aromatics to your stir fry, such as fresh ginger, garlic, or shallots. Simply sauté these ingredients in the oil before adding the other vegetables, then stir to coat and cook until fragrant.

Once your veggies are cooked to your liking, you can serve them hot with a drizzle of soy sauce or sesame oil for added flavor. Or, for an easy side dish packed with protein, add some cooked tofu or scrambled eggs to the stir-fry at the end of cooking.

So if you’re looking for a quick and easy way to steam fresh or frozen vegetables in your Instant Pot, why not try our vegetable stir fry recipe? You’ll love how simple and delicious this dish is, and your family will also love how tasty it is!

FAQs of Quickly Instant Pot Vegetables: 

  1. Is it better to pressure cook or steam vegetables?

There is no definitive answer to this question, as different vegetables may cook better using different cooking methods. Generally speaking, pressure cooking is a great option for tender and delicate veggies like green beans or thin asparagus spears, while steaming tends to be the preferred method for firmer or heartier vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower.

  1. How can I get the best results when cooking vegetables in my Instant Pot?

There are several key factors to keep in mind when cooking vegetables in your Instant pot, including how tender you like your veggies, how much liquid is required for steaming or pressure cooking, and how much time you have available for cooking. Experiment with different timing and cooking methods to find the perfect combination that works for your favorite vegetables.

  1. Do vegetables get mushy in Instant Pot?

It is possible for some vegetables like zucchini or tomatoes to get mushy when cooked in the Instant Pot, especially if overcooked or undercooked. To help prevent this, be sure to choose your cooking time carefully and check on your veggies regularly to avoid accidental over- or undercooking.

You can also try adding a little bit of acid to your cooking liquid, such as lemon juice or vinegar, which can help prevent vegetables from getting mushy during the cooking process.

  1. How much water do you put in the Instant Pot to steam vegetables?

The amount of water you will need to add when steaming vegetables in your Instant Pot will depend on how much liquid is required for pressure cooking or steaming, as well as how tender you like your veggies. For most recipes you should aim for 1 to 2 inches of water in the bottom of the pot, with a little more added if needed to ensure that your veggies are covered. You can always add more water as needed while cooking, so it is usually best to start with less and then add more if necessary.

  1. How long does it take to steam vegetables in an Instant Pot?

The cooking time for steamed vegetables will depend on how tender you like your veggies, as well as how much liquid is required and how full the Instant Pot is. For most recipes you should aim for between 5 and 15 minutes of pressure cooking or steaming time, depending on your preferences. However, it’s always a good idea to check in with your veggies regularly to avoid overcooking or undercooking them.

  1. Is it possible to stop an Instant Pot and add vegetables?

Yes, if you need to pause an Instant Pot while cooking vegetables it is usually possible to stop the cycle and add more ingredients or liquid. Be sure to check with your specific recipe for instructions on how to do this, as each recipe may vary slightly. Some models of Instant Pot also allow you to use the “keep warm” function after cooking, which can be a great way to add ingredients or adjust cooking times while your veggies are still hot and ready to go.

Just keep in mind that this function may use more energy than regular pressure cooking, so it is best to use it sparingly, as needed.

  1. Can you use canned potatoes in the instant pot?

While it is possible to use canned potatoes in the Instant Pot, they may not work as well as fresh or frozen potatoes. Canned potatoes are often pre-cooked and high in salt content, which can impact how your vegetables cook or how much liquid is required for steaming.

If you do want to try using canned potatoes, be sure to read the cooking instructions carefully and add a little extra liquid as needed to avoid burning or undercooking your Instant Pot.

Overall, it is usually best to stick with fresh or frozen potatoes when preparing vegetables in your Instant pot for the best results.


Whether you are looking for an easy side dish or a healthy weeknight dinner, steaming your vegetables in an instant pot is a great way to enjoy your favorite vegetables any time of year. With so many tasty and nutritious options to choose from, the possibilities are endless when it comes to steamed veggies! So why wait? Give steaming vegetables in an instant pot a try today and start reaping the benefits of this healthy cooking method.