Instant Pot Steamed Vegetables are an easy way to get delicious, tender crispy veggies on your plate with little time and effort. Serve Instant Pot vegetables with melted butter and a sprinkling of Everything Bagel Seasoning and even your kids will be asking for more!
If you’ve been around for a while you’ll know how much I love my Instant Pot. Learning how to eat healthy using an Instant Pot does not only mean eating vegetables! This extensive collection of healthy Instant Pot recipes proves that you can have a complete, healthy, and delicious meal so easily!
Table of contents
- Ingredients for Steamed Veggies in Instant Pot
- How to Steam Vegetables in Instant Pot
- How Long to Steam Veggies in the Instant Pot?
- Why Is the Cooking Time for Steamed Veggies Zero?
- What Veggies Are Best to Steam?
- Health Benefits of Steaming vs Boiling
- More Tips
- Seasoning Variations
- Serving, Storing and Reheating
- More Instant Pot Recipes
Instant Pot steamed vegetables are a game-changer when it comes to meal planning. I already shared recipes for Instant Pot corn on the cob, Instant Pot beets and Instant Pot baked potatoes. And now it’s time to master a simple way to get delicious soft flesh veggies on your plate in a hurry! We all know how tempting it can be to skip them when we’re in a rush to get dinner on the table, but now you’ll have no excuses (sorry, not sorry)! Perfectly steamed veggies tossed in melted butter and everything bagel seasoning is a hit with even the kids!
Choosing to steam your veggies may not be your first choice, and I get it. When not done properly they can be mushy and overdone and so, roasted cauliflower or roasted brussels sprouts might be more to your speed. But this foolproof guide on how to steam vegetables in Instant Pot will result in perfectly cooked veggies every time, trapping all of the nutrients and natural sugars inside. Gone are the days of mushy bland veggies, because these are so good!
Whether you need a quick and easy weeknight dinner side dish or you’re planning a menu for a crowd, these Instant Pot vegetables come to the rescue. You can choose whichever combination of veggies you want to use, and the simple seasoning goes with anything from a fancy main dish to wholesome comfort food. And if you need more healthy sides, check out these 65 side dish ideas!
Ingredients for Steamed Veggies in Instant Pot
This Instant Pot steamed vegetables recipe is as flexible as you need it to be! Use any veggies you like and only 3 other ingredients! As easy to make as Instant Pot eggs and Instant Pot yogurt recipe.
- Vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, baby carrots, green beans, asparagus, zucchini coarsely chopped.
- Water: You want the water cold, to heat up along with the veggies. Adding hot water will steam the veggies too quickly. See my Instant Pot guide for other 15 tips.
- Butter: Adding melted butter to steamed veggies is drool-worthy. It’s the only way to eat them!
- Everything bagel seasoning: To taste. Add as much or as little as you’d like. You can use store-bought or whip up this homemade Everything Bagel Seasoning.
How to Steam Vegetables in Instant Pot
Once you learn how to steam veggies in Instant Pot, buy pre-chopped and trimmed cauliflower, broccoli, green beans and baby carrots, and steam them for a healthy and quick side dish any day!
- Prep Instant Pot. Add cold water and trivet or basket with vegetables.
- Pressure cook the veggies. Close the lid, set the valve to Sealing, and press the Manual or Pressure Cook button. Pressure Cook the vegetables until done.
- Do a quick release. Turn the valve to Venting immediately to quickly release the steam.
- Drizzle and serve. You don’t want to use the keep warm function for these veggies. Transfer vegetables onto a serving plate immediately, so they don’t continue to cook in the pot and turn to mush. Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with tasty seasoning. Serve immediately while the veggies are at their best!
How Long to Steam Veggies in the Instant Pot?
For tender, yet crispy veggies, follow these guidelines. How long to steam vegetables in Instant Pot? Depending on the size of your pressure cooker, times may vary slightly. Size of the pot matters a lot when steaming veggies in Instant Pot because its volume will dictate how long pot comes to pressure, thus cooking vegetables at same time.
- 3 quart Instant Pot: 1 minute on High Pressure.
- 6 quart: 0 minutes on High Pressure.
- 8 or 10 quart: 0 minutes on Low Pressure.
Pro Tip: If your Instant Pot doesn’t have low pressure, cook on High Pressure and Cancel as soon as it pressurizes.
Why Is the Cooking Time for Steamed Veggies Zero?
Raw veggies, especially ones that have been cut into smaller pieces, will cook pretty quickly using steam. Because Instant Pot takes the time to build up pressure, it’s already steaming while it’s doing that. So, by the time it reaches full pressure, the veggies have already finished cooking. Neat, isn’t it?
What Veggies Are Best to Steam?
Basically, any that will hold its shape and remain sturdy when steaming. Asparagus, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans are all great choices. Dark leafy greens are also great for steaming, but as we know they don’t take much time at all, and can usually wilt in the residual heat. Check out my grilled lettuce recipe, you will be blown away!
Health Benefits of Steaming vs Boiling
No matter how you cook your vegetables, you’re bound to lose some nutrients along the way, just because of the heat. The longer they cook, the more nutrients escape. Even still, veggies are always a source of nutrients.
Veggies that are cooked using steam, use the residual heat from boiling water but don’t actually make any contact with the water. They’re steamed and then removed from the heat, capturing their crisp texture and flavour. Boiling is when food is immersed in the water, making direct contact, sometimes at the expense of flavor and texture when boiled for longer periods of time.
- Amount of veggies you can cook: The weight of the veggies makes no difference to the cooking time. This means that you can basically add in as many veggies as you want and they’ll still be evenly cooked. Perfect for serving a bigger crowd.
- For very soft veggies: Increase cook time to 1 minute for softer veggies. Great for batch preparing baby food.
- Steaming vs Pressure Cooking:
- Fresh or frozen: You can steam either fresh vegetables or frozen vegetables in Instant Pot! I recommend the same cooking time for frozen veggies because Instant Pot will take longer time to come to pressure. If you would like to cook veggies more, just close the lid and let them sit for 5 minutes with pressure cooker turned off. Vegetables will get cooked with residual heat.
Experimenting with different oils and even vegan butter substitutes is fun and makes Instant Pot steamed veggies taste different. Even if you do not follow a strict plant-based diet.
- Vegan butter: I personally love butter and bagel seasoning. You can also use extra virgin olive oil as the most flavorful and nutrient dense olive oil variety (also garlic olive oil dip will go will here). Or your favorite vegan butter.
- Lemon pepper: A sprinkling of lemon pepper seasoning adds a nice hint of citrus. Or squeeze half of lemon over cooked veggies.
- Salt and pepper: This combination is always a classic. For maximum flavor and health benefits, I recommend to use coarse sea salt or himalayan pink salt and freshly cracked pepper. You will be surprised how much flavor these simple seasonings add to plain vegetables!
- Spice: A dash of red pepper flakes, hot sauce like Frank’s or Valentina, or Sriracha to add some heat.
- Homemade dressing: For a creamy addition, keep a batch of healthy ranch sauce or peanut sauce on hand. Either lasts in the fridge for at least 1 week.
Serving, Storing and Reheating
Steamed veggies are lightly seasoned so they will pair nicely with any main dish. I highly recommend to prep veggies but coo kthem last minute because “fresh is best” with Instant Pot steamed vegetables.
Serve on the side of:
- Chicken: With seasoned, coated in almond flour and crispy almond chicken or healthy fried chicken for a nice balance. Steamed veggies will also pair nicely with spicy saucy chicken curry served over plain rice.
- Beef & lamb: Try freshly cooked veggies with sirloin tip roast or boneless leg of lamb roast.
Store: Once cooled completely, these will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze them for up to 2 months. Upon thawing, however, you may find them very mushy.
Reheat: To reheat steamed veggies there are a few different ways. You could toss them in the oven at a low temperature to warm them through, pop them in the microwave, or heat them on the stovetop, using a bit of oil or butter.
More Instant Pot Recipes
- Pressure cooker mashed potatoes
- Pressure cooker spaghetti squash
- Pressure cooker refried beans
- Pressure cooker poached eggs
Instant Pot Steamed Vegetables
- 1 lb vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, baby carrots, green beans, asparagus, zucchini coarsely chopped
- 1 cup cold water
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- Everything bagel seasoning to taste
- In Instant Pot, add cold water and trivet or basket with vegetables.
- I like veggies holding their shape, soft but not mushy. Here are instructions for this type of veggies. Close the lid, set valve to Sealing and press Manual or Pressure Cook button:°3 quart: 1 minute on High.°6 quart: 0 minutes on High.°8 or 10 quart: 0 minutes on Low. If your Instant Pot doesn't have low pressure, cook on High and Cancel as soon as it pressurizes.
- Release pressure immediately by turning valve to Venting and remove vegetables onto a plate. Drizzle with melted butter and sprinkle with seasoning. Serve immediately as that's when veggies taste best. So good!
Store: I do not recommend to use Keep Warm function because veggies will keep cooking and become limb and mush. Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- Amount of veggies you can cook: Any as long as it fits into your Instant Pot. Cook time is the same regardless the weight.
- Seasonings: I personally love butter and bagel seasoning. You can also use olive oil or vegan butter.
- For very soft veggies: Increase cook time to 1 minute. Perfect for baby food.
- Potatoes: This recipe is for soft flesh veggies like cauliflower, broccoli etc. Potatoes need about 10 minutes cook time. Check out pressure cooker mashed potatoes recipe for instructions.
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