Learn How to Cook Beets in the Instant Pot in 30 minutes which is much faster than any other method! This easy-to-follow Instant Pot beets recipe results in easy to peel, fork-tender beets every time!
We also love to make Instant Pot borscht with beets!
Table of Contents
- Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Ingredients for Instant Pot Beets
- Tips for Buying Beets
- How to Cook Beets in Instant Pot
- How Long to Cook Beets in Instant Pot?
- How to Peel Cooked Beets
- Tips for Best Results
- Uses for Instant Pot Beets
- How to Store
- More Recipes with Beets
- More Basic Instant Pot Recipes
- How to Cook Beets in Instant Pot Recipe
Cooking beets in the Instant Pot is a game-changer! I remember my grandma boiling beets for hours on the stove, then cooling them on the balcony for a few more. Beets took a day to cook back then!
My all-time favorite way to eat beets is in borscht – the best, most delicious soup ever!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Less mess: We know beets stain but cooking beets in an Instant Pot contains it.
- Budget friendly: This Instant Pot recipe makes a lot at once, which is great for batch cooking and meal prep.
- Delicious: Their natural sugars are brought out when cooked which makes them one of the sweetest and best-tasting root veggies out there!
- Quick and easy: Beets take a long time to cook on the stovetop. The pressure cooker does this in a fraction of the time.
- Freezer-friendly: Make lots, freeze the rest. It makes things even easier down the road when you have them already cooked!
- Healthy: According to Healthline, beets contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals and are loaded with folate, manganese and copper. They may help to lower the blood pressure and contain little calories.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Beets
All it takes to make this Instant Pot beets recipe is 2 simple ingredients.
- Beets: I use about 2 pounds of medium to large beets. I cut large beets in half to make sure they cook evenly. Wash and trim the root and leafy parts. Don’t throw out the greens, you can use them!
- Water: Added to the bottom of the pot to create steam. Just a cup of cold water will be enough to cook the beets.
Tips for Buying Beets
- Stem: To get the most bang for your buck, look for beets that still have a bright green stem. Not only does it tell you it’s still fresh but you can use that stem as an ingredient in soups, salads, and more.
- Color: When buying red beets (yes, beets come in other colors too), they should be of deep dark red color, have unblemished outer skin and should look robust.
- Root: Beets must still have the large root attached. Not little hairs which are an indication that it is getting old.
- Size: Small beets are sweeter and will typically need less cook time. Medium beets and large beets will take a little longer but in the end, you’ll get more out of it.
How to Cook Beets in Instant Pot
Here is a quick overview how to cook beets in the Instant Pot. Full recipe card is located below. Once the beets are cooked to perfection you can then season and use them as you like!
- Prep beets. Wash and scrub beets well, trim roots and greens, and slice larger beets in half or quarters to match smaller ones.
- Pressure cook beets: To Instant Pot, add 1 cup water, trivet or steamer basket (so it’s easier to remove the beets), close the lid, turn valve to Sealing position and cook beets on high pressure for 20 minutes. Release pressure right away using Quick Release by turning sealing valve to Venting. You can also use Natural Pressure Release.
- Beets are done when a knife inserted in the middle goes in smoothly, like butter.
- Cool off beets under cold running water for a few seconds, drain them and then add a little bit more cold water until safe to handle. The goal is to remove beets from hot Instant Pot to cool off faster.
How Long to Cook Beets in Instant Pot?
How long to cook beets in Instant Pot depends mostly on their size. If you need beets whole or prefer not to cut large beets to match the size of smaller beets, like I do, follow this handy cooking time table for perfectly tender beets in Instant Pot every time:
|Beets size||Pressure cooking time|
|Extra small (Under 2″ diameter)||12 minutes|
|Small (2″ diameter)||20 minutes|
|Medium (2.5″ diameter)||25 minutes|
|Large (3″ diameter)||35 minutes|
|Extra large (4″ and over diameter)||45 minutes|
In any case, if your Instant Pot beets come out a bit undercooked, you can always re-close the lid and pressure cook them for another 5-10 minutes. No harm in that.
How to Peel Cooked Beets
The choice to peel the beet is up to you. It’s possible to eat it, but some find it to be much like eating the skin on a russet potato. It’s not great.
Peel beets by holding a paper towel and scrubbing beets with it over the bowl or sink. Peel should slide right off.
The skin should peel off easily, however, they do stain, so be careful. If you’re like me and don’t want to use disposable gloves, peel off using a compostable paper towel.
People sometimes use gloves to avoid getting the red color on their hands, however, I am not a fan of using plastic gloves for environmental reasons. You can compost paper right with the last peels.
Tips for Best Results
- Use a trivet or steamer basket for easy removal of pressure cooker beets from the pot. It will be hot!
- Beets will be very hot to the touch: Be very careful taking them out of the pot. If you are not using a steamer basket for easy lifting, make sure to use tongs to lift them out one by one.
- Beets should be fork tender: Don’t be afraid to close the lid and cook for a few extra minutes if need be.
- Yellow beets: Despite possibly having a harder time getting your hands on some golden beets, if you can, grab them! They’re essentially the same as red beets, however, they are sweeter. Use the same cooking method for both!
- When beets are fresh they are typically sweeter: The earthy flavor comes from beets that are slightly older. It doesn’t mean they can’t be eaten, it’s just good to be aware of the difference in taste when you want to use them in other recipes.
- Organic vs. conventional beets: Whenever you can, it’s a good idea to invest in organic beets. Sometimes they appear on the Dirty Dozen list.
- If you got beet stains: If your hands are slightly red after peeling the beets, rub them with lemon and beet stains should disappear.
Uses for Instant Pot Beets
- Salad: I absolutely adore beet salad with arugula and feta cheese. If you are into Ukrainian cooking, try this traditional vinegret salad.
- Side dish: You can always serve pressure cooker beets as a side dish with a drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil or toasted sesame oil, a sprinkle of coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper. Or stir in fresh garlic.
- Quickly marinated beets (pictured above): Cook, chop and toss beets in 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and grated garlic clove. Beets can be refrigerated like this in an airtight container for up to 10 days. Then toss with a handful of toasted pine nuts and fresh dill. Beets with goat cheese and pine nuts is a variation on this!
- Snack: Make beet hummus and serve with raw veggies and crackers for dipping.
- Beet greens: Once you’re done using up your steamed beets, don’t forget to use those greens! They are slightly bitter along the same lines as kale, chard, or collard greens so you’ll want to sauté them in a bit of oil with a simple salt and pepper seasoning. Add a little minced garlic and red pepper flakes for heat. Squirt a little lemon juice on it and you’ve got a quick and easy super healthy side dish to your side dish!
How to Store
Store: You can refrigerate cooked Instant Pot beets for up to 5 days. Peeled or not peeled, sliced or whole. I like to get the mess out of my way right away and store prepped beets for easy and quick meals.
Make sure you use airtight container, so beets do not dry out. I also recommend to put them in a glass container because they will stain any plastic container.
Freeze: Cooked beets freeze so well. I recommend to cut them up to how you intend to use them after thawing. Then freeze in any resealable container or Ziploc bag (remove as much air as possible) for up to 3 months. Thaw on a counter for a few hours or in the fridge overnight.
Yes, wash beets with cold water and remove any soil and debris before cooking. Most supermarket beetroot comes pre-washed, so all they need is a quick rinse.
No, you don’t have to peel beets before cooking. The skin will just slide off of beets cooked in Instant Pot. In fact, I do like to keep the skin on, so it acts like a shell protecting the vegetable from losing moisture and color. You can peel beets before cooking in a pressure cooker, if you like.
The health benefits of this hearty vegetable are made even more abundant with the help of the Instant Pot. They never touch the boiling water which means as much of the nutrients as possible are contained.
While steaming beets is the best way to keep as much of the nutrients from getting lost during the cooking process, the difference is slight enough to know that no matter how you eat your beets, they’re always going to be good for you! Each method results in a different texture and has so many different uses in a variety of recipes.
More Recipes with Beets
More Basic Instant Pot Recipes
- Instant Pot garbanzo beans
- Instant Pot applesauce
- Instant Pot spaghetti squash
- Instant Pot black beans
- Instant Pot corn on the cob
- Instant Pot steamed vegetables
Browse all healthy Instant Pot recipes.
How to Cook Beets in Instant Pot
- 2 pounds beets or more up to 5 pounds
- 1 cup water
- Wash beets and trim off the root, leafy green and top part.
- I used medium to large beets. To make sure they cook evenly, I cut large beets in half or you can follow cooking time table in the recipe notes.
- In Instant Pot, add 1 cup cold water. Place beets into a steamer basket and inside the Instant Pot. If you don't have a basket, add trivet and place beets on top.
- Close the lid, turn pressure valve to Sealing and cook on High Pressure or Manual for 20 minutes.
- Release pressure immediately using Quick Release method by turning valve to Venting and open the lid. Test beets for doneness by poking with the knife. If the knife pierces flesh without much resistance, beets are ready. It should feel like cutting soft butter. If not, close the lid and cook for 10 more minutes.
- Cool off beets under cold running water for a few seconds right in the basket. And then a little bit more until safe to handle. If not using steamer basket, use tongs and remove into a bowl. The goal is to remove beets from hot Instant Pot to cool off faster.
- To peel beets, use paper towel or parchment paper and scrub beets with it. Peel should just slide off.
- Your beets are ready. Enjoy as a side dish and in salads.
- Store: You can refrigerate cooked beets for up to 5 days. Peeled or not peeled, sliced or whole. Make sure the container is airtight, so beets do not dry out.
- Freeze: Cut them up to how you intend to use them after thawing. Freeze in resealable container or Ziploc bag (remove as much air as possible) for up to 3 months. Thaw on a counter for a few hours or in fridge overnight.
- Cooking times for whole beets: Small (2″ diameter) – 20 minutes, medium (2.5″ diameter) – 25 minutes, large (3″ diameter) – 35 minutes.