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Instant Pot Broccoli + FAQ & Step-by-Step

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Instant Pot broccoli is a staple at my house. Learn how to make Instant Pot Broccoli that isn’t mushy or crunchy, with or without a steamer basket.

Instant Pot Steamed Broccoli

I make about 3 pounds of steamed broccoli in my Instant Pot each week! We LOVE it! (Well, I do and supposedly the kids will enjoy it one day after 1,000,000 exposures).

The Instant Pot makes it so easy to prep broccoli for weeknight dinners or (keto or low carb) lunches. I love that I can have it cooked and ready in the fridge to add to any meal or recipe through the next couple days.

I try and eat veggies for every single meal (including breakfast!) so it’s always nice to have it cooked.

a bowl of broccoli on a white napkin

Instant Pot pressure cooker broccoli

Sometimes I fear I’m oversharing the same boring thing, because I always talk about making Instant Pot broccoli on Instagram. Yet every single time I mention it, I get no less than 5 people ask how I make it.

This is one of those “back to basics recipes” that everyone should know, because it’s SO simple and easy! This is how I “meal prep” a large batch of broccoli

essential Instant Pot recipe

Making broccoli in the Instant Pot is an essential recipe every Instant Pot owner needs to know (like Instant Pot Rice!), which is why I included it in my latest Youtube video. Make sure you watch how to make Instant Pot broccoli and 6 other Instant Pot recipes you need to know!

Can I use any steamer basket in instant pot?

You can make Instant Pot broccoli with or without a steamer basket, and any steamer basket that is all metal or silicone will work in a pressure cooker. Check the label on any product to ensure it is compatible. This is the steamer basket I recommend.

Use the code IPCOOKING10 for 10% off!

How to Steam Broccoli in the Instant Pot

  • Wash and cut broccoli into uniform pieces. Make sure they aren’t too small, otherwise they may overcook (see my tips below if you want to keep them small). It’s important to cut them into similar sizes so they cook evenly.
  • I use the 3lb bag of broccoli florets at Costco. Some of the pieces are really large, so I cut them down (especially the big stems).
Broccoli florets in an instant pot steamer basket
Water in the Instant Pot
  • Add ¾ cup of water to the Instant Pot liner for a 6 quart pot. (½ cup for 3 quart and 1 cup for 8 quart). Don’t do more than 1 cup! You can read why you don’t want to add extra water to delicate foods in my Instant Pot Bacon Green Beans post.
uncooked broccoli in the instant pot pressure cooker
Instant Pot Lid in sealing position
  • Lock the lid, turn the knob to sealing.
0 minute cook time on Instant Pot
  • Cook on manual high pressure for 0 minutes. Yup, you heard me right. Press the (-) adjust button until you hit 0 minutes.
Lapsed 0 minutes on Instant Pot
  • As soon as the pressure cooking has completed, an L0:00 will appear for LAPSED time.
Quick release on Instant Pot
  • Do a quick release right away by turning the knob to VENTING.
Instant Pot Steamed BroccoliInstant Pot Steamed Broccoli
  • Open the lid, and test the broccoli with a fork to see if it is tender enough. If you fill up a big basket like mine, you may have some pieces that are undercooked in the center.
    • I don’t mind this, because I use the parts that are cooked first. The rest gets reheated in the days following and they stay crisp and not overcooked.
    • For the best, most consistent results throughout, fill the basket halfway.
  • Once you get the texture you’re looking for, remove the broccoli/basket as soon as possible and serve immediately.

Instant Pot Broccoli without Steamer Basket

If you do not have a steamer basket, you can still make Instant Pot Broccoli. Simply use the trivet that your Instant Pot came with (this is the metal “rack” that keeps food out of the water on the bottom).

Place the trivet in the Instant Pot, along with 3/4 cup water for a 6 quart, 1/2 cup water for a 3 quart, and 1 cup for an 8 quart Instant Pot.

Stack the broccoli on top of the trivet and keep it out of the water as much as possible. Cook as directed, and quickly remove the broccoli to a serving plate with tongs or a large spoon.

You can also dump the entire thing in a colander or strainer, but be careful since the trivet will fall out as well.

What accessories do I need for my instant pot?

Check out my comprehensive post on the BEST Instant Pot Accessories to buy (and AVOID)! I give some really weird advice before buying accessories, so make sure you read!

lisa childs and caitlin burchill on ksl studio 5 talking instant pot accessories
I shared my favorite Instant Pot accessories on KSL Studio 5. Watch my segment HERE

What if my broccoli is mushy?

If you follow this method and you’re still getting mushy broccoli, follow some of these troubleshooting ideas:

  • Cut your broccoli pieces larger next time.
  • Use the Low Pressure setting (not available on LUX models)
  • While prepping your broccoli, add the water to the Instant Pot and turn it to HIGH SAUTE. This will get the water hot and your broccoli will cook much quicker. After you put the broccoli in the Instant Pot, hit CANCEL to stop Saute mode. Then, follow the steps as listed (0 min high pressure, quick release).
closeup of broccoli

What if my broccoli is still hard or unevenly cooked?

  • Cut your pieces into smaller, more uniform pieces next time.
  • If your broccoli is still not quite tender enough, replace the lid on the Instant Pot for 2-3 minutes. You can shake up the broccoli in the basket (if you have a lot). The residual heat and steam will continue to cook the broccoli with the Instant Pot on KEEP WARM mode
  • Check the broccoli after a couple of minutes until you get the texture you’re looking for.
  • DO NOT PRESSURE COOK AGAIN.

How to serve Instant Pot Broccoli

  • Drizzled with Browned Butter, salt, and Mizithra cheese (just like at Spaghetti Factory!)
    • Read THIS post to learn how to make browned butter
    • Mizithra cheese can be found at most grocery stores with a gourmet cheese section. I find mine (in Utah) at Smiths or Harmons (though I prefer the one at Smiths much better)
  • Chop it up into smaller pieces and add to a breakfast omelet
  • Plain, with salt and pepper
  • Sprinkled with some parmesan cheese on top
  • Tossed with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Crisp in the Air Fryer at 400 degrees for 2-4 minutes. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice. SO GOOD.
  • Reheat cold broccoli in the Air Fryer at 350 degrees for 5 minutes (shaking halfway). Perfect as a side dish for any dish or on a salad
  • Throw it into any soup (like my famous Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup) in the last couple minutes of cooking to add some extra veggies!
  • As a side dish to Instant Pot Ribs, 4 Ingredient Instant Pot Country Style Ribs, or Pork Tenderloin

Instant Pot Vegetable Dishes

Best Instant Pot To buy

Lisa Childs of Tried, Tested, and True Instant Pot Cooking Blog

Read my recommendation on the best Instant Pot to buy and which Instant Pot accessories to buy (and avoid!). This is the Instant Pot I have 4 of, and love! Also, don’t forget that I’m on Youtube where I teach Instant Pot Inspiration and Confidence!

Don’t Forget to Pin this Post!

Graphic of Instant Pot Broccoli with one picture of broccoli.

About Lisa

Lisa childs holding an instant pot lid with a mickey instant pot

Lisa Childs is the food blogger behind Tried, Tested, and True. Join the hundreds of thousands of people each month that learn from Lisa-

Subscribe to her website, follow her on Instagram at @tried_tested_true, follow her on Pinterest, and find her on Youtube at Tried Tested and True. She is passionate about giving home cooks confidence using their Instant Pots. Make sure to sign up for our email newsletter to hear from personally from her weekly! Learn more about Lisa.

Instant Pot Steamed BroccoliInstant Pot Steamed Broccoli

Instant Pot Broccoli

Yield: 1 lb
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Instant Pot broccoli is a staple at my house. Learn how to make Instant Pot Broccoli that isn't mushy or crunchy, with or without a steamer basket.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb fresh broccoli florets, washed and cut into uniform pieces
  • 1/2-1 Cup Water

Instructions

  1. Place cut broccoli into a steamer basket. (See alternative instructions in notes without a steamer basket)
  2. Add 1/2 cup water for 3 quart Instant Pot, 1 cup water for 6 quart Instant Pot, and 1 cup water for 8 quart Instant Pot.
  3. Transfer broccoli to the Instant Pot pressure cooker.
  4. Lock the lid, turn the knob to SEALING, and pressure cook on manual high pressure for 0 minutes by pressing the Pressure Cook button, then using the (-) button to adjust the time to zero minutes.
  5. As soon as the pot beeps and pressure cooking has completed (the screen will say "L0:00", do a quick release by turning the knob from Sealing to VENTING and releasing all the pressure. Remove the lid as quickly as possible to avoid overcooking. Remove the broccoli and check for tenderness with a fork.
  6. If the broccoli is underdone, return the broccoli to the Instant Pot and replace the lid. Do not pressure cook again. The residual heat from the pot will continue to cook the broccoli for 2-4 minutes, until the desired texture is achieved.

Notes

  1. If you do not have a steamer basket, you can still make Instant Pot Broccoli. Simply use the trivet that your Instant Pot came with (this is the metal "rack" that keeps food out of the water on the bottom).
  2. Place the trivet in the Instant Pot, along with 3/4 cup water for a 6 quart, 1/2 cup water for a 3 quart, and 1 cup for an 8 quart Instant Pot.
  3. Stack the broccoli on top of the trivet and keep it out of the water as much as possible. Cook as directed, and quickly remove the broccoli to a serving plate with tongs or a large spoon.
  4. You can also dump the entire thing in a colander or strainer, but be careful since the trivet will fall out as well.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 40Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 48mgCarbohydrates: 8gNet Carbohydrates: 0gFiber: 4gSugar: 2gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 3g

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me @tried_tested_true on Instagram!

LInda

Wednesday 19th of February 2020

I like to cook my green beans and some other vegetables in my Instant Pot on a higher heat with the glass lid "Southern Style." When I put it on steam or saute, it turns off after a while all by itself. Do you know what setting I need to put it on so it won't turn off?

Lisa Childs

Monday 2nd of March 2020

Hi, Linda! the default setting on the saute setting is 30 minutes. You can just push the Saute button again to reset it!

Annita Dewyse

Saturday 15th of February 2020

This blog about Instant Pot Broccoli + FAQ , Troubleshooting, Step-by-Step Pictures! helps me a lot in my diet. You can have the best Custom Keto Diet plan here: https://s96.me/keto-diet Kiss you all!

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Tuesday 26th of November 2019

[…] Instant Pot Broccoli […]

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Monday 25th of November 2019

[…] My favorite way to serve this for a holiday meal is to cover with browned butter and mizithra cheese. It’s a family favorite and such a fancy way to serve Instant Pot broccoli! […]

Jenny

Monday 25th of February 2019

Would love this cookbook. I use the instant pot almost everyday to make soups and my 4 year old is on the Keto diet due to health reasons. I’m Always searching recipes to make for her especially in an instant pot. I have a 6 qt and an 8 qt.

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