This post may contain affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission if you purchase something I recommend - at no additional cost to you! Thank you for supporting this blog!
Instant Pot Broccoli is a staple at my house. Learn how to make perfect steamed broccoli that isn’t mushy or crunchy. This recipe works with or without a steamer basket.
I make about 3 pounds of steamed broccoli in my Instant Pot each week.
INSTANT POT PRESSURE COOKER BROCCOLI
The Instant Pot makes it so easy to meal prep broccoli for weeknight dinners or (Keto or low carb) lunches. I love that it’s cooked and ready to use throughout the next few days.
I try to eat veggies with every single meal (including breakfast!). Steaming a big broccoli batch makes it easy to add to any meal or recipe.
This is one of those “back to basics recipes” that everyone should know. It’s SO simple and easy! In this post, I answer all your questions about steaming broccoli in the Instant Pot.
essential Instant Pot recipe
Making broccoli in the Instant Pot is an essential recipe every pressure-cooker owner needs to know (like Instant Pot Rice!). Make sure to watch my YouTube video 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 this recipe with or without a steamer basket.
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. I recommend this steamer basket. You can read more about how much I love it in my article Best Instant Pot Accessories to buy (and AVOID!).
I also have a blog post sharing 12 Ways to Use an Instant Pot Steamer Basket.
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 from Costco. Some pieces are really large, so I cut them down (especially the big stems).
- Transfer the broccoli to a steamer basket or net. Although you don’t need one in order to make this recipe, it certainly makes it easier!
Before I had my basket, I would simply layer the broccoli on top of the trivet and hope it didn’t fall through.
I love using it for sweet potatoes, salt potatoes, hard boiled eggs, ribs, mashed potatoes, artichokes, corn on the cob, spaghetti squash, as a colander for my No-Mold Berry hack, and all other veggies!
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.
- Place the steamer basket filled with broccoli florets in the liner.
- Lock the lid, turn the knob to sealing.
- Press the Manual (or if you have a newer model, it will say Pressure Cook.) Cook on manual high pressure for 0 minutes. Yup, you heard me right. Press the (-) adjust button until you hit 0 minutes.
Instant Pot broccoli time is 0 minutes because the pressure cooker essentially “preheats” while it comes to pressure. The steamed broccoli cooks while the Instant Pot is pressurizing. This process takes about five minutes, which is all the broccoli needs to reach the perfect texture!
- As soon as the pressure cooking has completed, an L0:00 will appear for LAPSED time.
- Do a quick release right away by turning the knob to VENTING.
- 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 and pack it super tight, you may have some pieces that are undercooked in the center.
I don’t mind this. I use the parts that are cooked first. The rest gets reheated in the following days and stays crisp, not overcooked. For the best, most consistent results, only fill the basket halfway.
- Once you get the texture you’re looking for, remove the broccoli as soon as possible and serve immediately.
HOW TO STORE INSTANT POT MEAL PREP BROCCOLI
Broccoli may be stored in any airtight container in the refrigerator for about 2-5 days. Note that the broccoli will start to break down a little bit, and may get softer as the days go by.
Cooked broccoli also lets off sulforaphane, a gas that may smell unpleasant in the fridge.
Reheat the broccoli in the microwave, on the stove, or use cold.
Sometimes, I even reheat cold broccoli in the Air Fryer at 350 degrees for 5 minutes (shaking halfway.) Perfect as a side dish or on a salad!
Read how to make roasted Air Fryer Broccoli.
Instant Pot Broccoli without Steamer Basket
You can still make this recipe with no steamer basket. Simply use the trivet that your Instant Pot came with (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. Then quickly remove the broccoli to a serving plate with tongs or a large spoon.
You can also dump the entire thing into a colander or strainer, but be careful since the trivet will fall out as well.
FROZEN BROCCOLI INSTANT POT
While fresh broccoli in the Instant Pot is definitely best, frozen broccoli that is purchased at the grocery store may also be pressure cooked.
Frozen broccoli sold at the store is already par-cooked, so it will cook very quickly. The florets are also usually very small, so I recommend placing them in a steamer basket or net.
Cook the frozen broccoli for 0 minutes, as written in this post for fresh broccoli. Do a quick release, and then check the broccoli. Frozen broccoli is very easy to overcook.
I would check the broccoli at 0 minutes, and if it is almost done, replace the lid and let it steam through using the residual heat of the Instant Pot.
Do NOT pressure cook again.
What if my broccoli is mushy?
If you follow this method and you’re still getting mushy broccoli, consider 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.)
What if my broccoli is still hard or unevenly cooked?
- Cut your broccoli 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 on Keep Warm mode.
Check the broccoli after a couple minutes, until you get the texture you’re looking for.
- DO NOT PRESSURE COOK AGAIN.
How to serve Instant Pot Broccoli
- Chop it up into smaller pieces and add to a breakfast omelet.
- Plain, with salt and pepper.
- Air Fryer Broccoli. Toss broccoli 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 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!
- Serve as a side dish to Instant Pot Ribs, 4 Ingredient Instant Pot Country Style Ribs, or Pork Tenderloin.
INSTANT POT BROCCOLI AND CHEESE
- Drizzle broccoli with browned butter, salt, and Mizithra cheese. (Just like at the 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.
- For a simple Instant Pot Broccoli and Cheese recipe, just sprinkled broccoli with some parmesan cheese after cooking.
CAN YOU STEAM INSTANT POT BROCCOLI WITH OTHER VEGETABLES?
Yes, I often steam broccoli with other vegetables in the Instant Pot. When steaming two foods together, keep in mind that they need to be similar sizes and cook for the same amount of time.
If one food needs to cook for a longer time, you can pressure cook it first, then add raw broccoli in the Instant Pot and then pressure cook for 0 minutes.
I generally will pressure cook whatever needs to cook longer first, then add raw broccoli and let it steam through using the residual heat.
BROCCOLI AND CAULIFLOWER
Cauliflower and broccoli are very similar, but they cook at slightly different times. Cauliflower is a bit tougher, so it takes about 1 minute to pressure cook.
If you would like to cook them together, cut the cauliflower florets about half the size of the broccoli and cook for 0 minutes with a quick release.
BROCCOLI AND POTATOES
Potatoes require more time to cook than broccoli in the Instant Pot. If you cut up the potatoes into small pieces (a small dice), potatoes still take about 5 minutes with a quick release.
I recommend cooking potatoes first, then adding raw broccoli and letting it steam through using the residual heat.
BROCCOLI AND CHICKEN
Chicken and broccoli cook at vastly different times. I recommend using the same method as Instant Pot broccoli and potatoes above (cook chicken first, then add broccoli after pressure cooking).
I use this technique in my Instant Pot Chicken con Broccoli – Olive Garden Copycat recipe.
BROCCOLI AND CARROTS
Carrots and broccoli cook great together in the Instant Pot. You will need to cut your carrots slightly smaller to ensure they’ll be fully cooked. I recommend cutting carrots 1/4 inch thick, and placing them in the water (not in the steamer basket.) Place a steamer basket of broccoli on top of the carrots.
Cook for 0 minutes on high pressure with a quick release. If the carrots are not tender enough, replace the lid and let the carrots steam in the water for about 3-5 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.
Instant Pot Vegetable Dishes
- Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
- Instant Pot Baked Potatoes
- Pressure Cooker Spaghetti Squash + FAQ
- Instant Pot Carrots
- Instant Pot Artichokes
- Perfect Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Salt Potatoes from Syracuse/Upstate, New York
- Instant Pot Sweet Potato Casserole with Pecan Streusel (Ruths Chris)
- Tomato Basil Soup (Instant Pot or Crock Pot!)
BROCCOLI FOR BABY
Broccoli is a great first food for babies because it’s a nutritional powerhouse! It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. This supports growth, development, and digestion.
Steamed broccoli helps maintain the nutrients, in comparison to boiling or microwaving. It’s the perfect soft food for tender baby gums, and easy to puree if slightly overcooked.
Solid starts, my favorite baby feeding resource, recommends introducing broccoli (cooked until soft) as soon as the baby is ready to start solids, which is generally around 6 months of age.
- 1 pound fresh broccoli florets, washed and cut into uniform pieces
- 1/2-1 cup water
- Place cut broccoli into a steamer basket. (See alternative instructions in notes without a steamer basket.)
- Add water to the Instant Pot liner. 1/2 cup water for 3 quart Instant Pot, 3/4 cup water for 6 quart Instant Pot, and 1 cup water for 8 quart Instant Pot.
- Transfer broccoli to the Instant Pot pressure cooker.
- 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.
- 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. Release all the pressure, until the pin drops. Remove the lid as quickly as possible to avoid overcooking. Remove the broccoli and check tenderness with a fork.
- 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.
- 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 (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 liner into a colander or strainer, but be careful as the trivet will also fall out.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Steamer Rack Trivet with Handles Compatible for Instant Pot 6 & 8 qt Accessories - Great for Lifting out Springform Pan / Cheesecake Pan
Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, Sterilizer, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Saute, Yogurt Maker, and Warmer, 6 Quart, 14 One-Touch Programs
717 Industries Steamer Basket, Stainless Steel Mesh Strainer Compatible Instant Pot Other Pressure Cookers, Fits 6 & 8 Quart Pots (Grey Silicone Handle)
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