Instant Pot Steamed BroccoliInstant Pot Steamed Broccoli

Instant Pot Broccoli + FAQ & Step-by-Step


Author: Lisa Childs

Comments: 33

Air Fryer Recipes

Published Date: February 21, 2019

Updated Date: November 16, 2022

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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.

Instant Pot Steamed Broccoli

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.

a bowl of broccoli on a white napkin

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!

Serve Instant Pot steamed broccoli with my Instant Pot Ribs, 4 Ingredient Instant Pot Country Style Ribs, or Pork Tenderloin. Yum!

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).
Broccoli florets in an instant pot steamer basket
  • 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!

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
  • 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!

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 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.

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, 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.)
closeup of broccoli

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!

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.

Read Instant Pot Cauliflower Soup

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.

Read Instant Pot Baked Potatoes

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

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.

Graphic of Instant Pot Broccoli with a picture of a bowl of broccoli
Instant Pot Steamed BroccoliInstant Pot Steamed Broccoli

Instant Pot Broccoli

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

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

Ingredients

  • 1 pound 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 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.
  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. 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.
  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 (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 liner into a colander or strainer, but be careful as the trivet will also fall out.

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

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Leave a Reply

  1. I’d love this recipe book! I’m still new to the instant pot and learning a lot. I’m trying a keto diet because it’s helped me in the past. I’m pre-diabetic and carbs are really tricky for me. This recipe book feels like the best of both worlds. Being in grad school full time is exhausting and time consuming and I’m hoping instant pot keto recipes can help relieve some stress!

  2. Broccoli is a staple at our house too! I’ve been wanting to start KETO bc our friends are eating such delicious, nutritious meals on KETO and losing weight. I want in on that!

    Instagram: @englek

  3. I’m doing keto because I have a slew of health conditions (pcos, obesity, etc) and keto has helped me get control of a lot of symptoms. I still have a long way to go but hoping this will be my cure all!

  4. My husband and I just finished our first week of Keto. I had a baby 3 months ago and we are trying to drop some weight together. Plus we watched the documentary “Magic Pill” on Netflix and want to experience the health benefits of a keto lifestyle! It’s hard work cooking this much with a family of 4 so I would love more instant pot keto recipes!

  5. My kids actually order broccoli at restaurants and the wait person always looks at them like, “Did I hear them correctly?” Lol!! I’ve recently been looking into Keto to see if it is a lifestyle change I can make?! This cookbook would be helpful!

  6. I want to incorporate more keto recipes into our diet to help focus on healthy low carb meals. We aren’t strictly keto, but I think we need to refrain from too many processed carbs.

  7. My husband has been trying To lose weight for a long time now. Unfortunately everything he tries doesn’t work. Maybe this would be something I could do to help him lose weight!

  8. Hi,
    I’m new to keto dieting and just purchased an instant pot a week ago! I am excited to try this new lifestyle! It would be wonderful to try out these recipes as well as share them with my coworkers who use instant pots themselves and have been actively on the keto diet.
    Thank you!

  9. I’ve lost 40lbs so far by following an eating plan similar to Keto. I would love this Keto recipe book – to help me use my IP more often while eating Keto. Keto in an Instant Pot is a dream come true – one pot, convenient, quick, healthy food!! 🙂

  10. Hi,
    I am new to keto dieting and just purchased an instant pot a week ago. I am excited to incorporate these healthy habits into my family’s lifestyle. It would also be wonderful to share recipes and techniques with my coworkers who are actively keto-ing and have convinced me to purchase an instant pot.
    Thank you!

  11. My husband and I have been eating Keto ever since he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2017. Supposedly cancer cells feed on sugar, so we’ve been trying to cut it out of both our diets. He’s doing very well and his tumor isn’t growing, which is amazing! I personally feel more energized after switching to Keto. Since I’m the cook in the family, and I have so much love for my instant pot, I would love to win this book!

  12. I want to learn the Keto way of eating and living to become a healthier person. I very tired of the aches and pains because of the sugars and not not eating enough vegetables. I want to live a long time and need y’all help. Please help. Please teach me. Thank you for your time and help. God Bless you all.
    Debbie
    [email protected]

  13. My son’s FAVORITE is broccoli. He always eats it first off his plate! Keto is great to help me feel better have more energy to do the things I love.

  14. I would love this cookbook because I am currently on the Keto diet. I convinced my sister who is fighting cancer right now to try the Keto diet & I love sharing recipes with her. Since going keto, she said she feels better than ever. This cookbook would be a blessing and encouragement for both of us.

  15. I have been obsessed with my IP! We were gifted it to us as a wedding gift. As a military family, we have finally been able to live in the same city after 4 years of being a apart! So having our dinners together are so special to us! My husband knows something yummy is for dinner when he sees the IP out! I’ve even been able to get him to use it to cook as well! The IP is something we both can use and feel successful at. We enjoy finding new recipes, especially from your posts!
    Over a month ago, we started Keto! And sadly, my IP’s use has been used mostly for making hard boiled eggs or baked egg dishes! I know there are so many other options for us to discover! I think the IP+Keto friendly recipes is are the ingredients to a happy and healthy keto life! Going through this Keto journey has been something we can do together. For others, a diet can seem so trivial or insignificant. But to us, being a part for so long, it’s very special to us. We would love to receive a copy of the Keto IP cook book!

  16. Hello!
    I want to do keto because I have Pcos and pre- diabetic. It’s been so hard to find a diet my husband and I can stick too. I have heard so many great things about keto and this cookbook could help us jump start the lifestyle change we need.

  17. We’re newlyweds and I feel this book would contribute greatly to our home. We’re no strangers to the instant pot. And with a 5-2pm schedule, we need quick but nutritious meals to get us through the night and leftovers for the next day. Less time in the kitchen equals more time spent together. But Google can only go so far for us and we find ourselves eating the same things over and over sometimes.

    The reason why I’ve tried keto friendly meals is because my husband’s family has a history of the being diabetic. I love, love, love carbs but I also live him too much to only eat what I’d crave for. This book would help me a lot to carve down on the carbs and extend a healthy life for the both of us. Thank you so much for sharing this book with us.

  18. My boyfriend and I are doing keto along with another couple friend to eliminate the risks of some health problems and to feel better overall. My parents got us an instant pot for Christmas and we’ve been using ever since, but i haven’t tried steaming broccoli yet! Can’t wait to try!

  19. I’m just starting to do keto again because I need to get my weight and sugars in-line as I am borderline type 2. I love cooking with the instant pot and just also bought the 6qt air fryer from Costco too! Thanks

  20. I’ve been doing Keto because I was told my blood sugar was high. My blood sugar was high due to having PCOS which many woman suffer from. I am on the spectrum of weight gain and higher chance for type 2 diabetes. I didn’t have a menstraul cycle for months at a time and this caused me constant pain. Doing Keto saved my body and helped me regulate my body again and also have a healthier body. I was so uncomfortable with my weight and it upsets me that it took this to happen in order for change but I’m thankful that I was able to make the change(: I’ve followed your instantpot cooking page for a long time and I have learned so many different techniques to elevate my food(: constantly referring to your page❣️ @leeannauchiha

  21. First off, I’m so glad I stumbled onto your IG! So many great recipes! I have had fear of my IP since I got it but I’m getting more adventurous 🙂 I’m doing Keto to shed the baby weight! I had my 6th baby 2.5 months ago and summers quickly approaching. I also feel so much better when I eat well. I really feel it when I indulge in carbs and not in a good way.

  22. I would love this cookbook because I am a new instant pot user and I am trying keto to help with autoimmune disease. Can’t wait to see more recipes!

  23. 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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  26. 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?

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Hi! I'm Lisa!


I founded Tried, Tested, and True in 2019 to help moms like me develop confidence and joy in the kitchen.

Since then, I have taught millions of home cooks around the world through our tried and true recipes and Youtube tutorials.

In 2021, I wrote my first book called, “I Love My Instant Pot: Cooking for One”!