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Steamed Vegetables in the Instant Pot {Fast & Flavorful}

Steaming veggies is a great way to get important nutrients on the dinner (or lunch or breakfast) table without spending hours in the kitchen. My absolute favorite method?? Steamed vegetables in the Instant Pot!

You might be thinking, “Okay, Katie, I can see using the Instant Pot for cooking a whole chicken, but steaming veggies on the stovetop is so simple – why do I need to use the Instant Pot for this?”

Easy – consistent results without tying up a stovetop burner or heating the kitchen in those hot summer months when fresh vegetables are most abundant!

woman carrying an armful of freshly picked garden veggies

Getting Started Steaming in the Instant Pot

One of the best things about this Instant Pot technique is you need next to no special accessories to get the best results.

The required equipment is as follows –

  • An Instant Pot – other electric pressure cooker brands will work too
  • A steamer insert – one likely came with your Instant Pot, but if not, this steamer insert looks like a great option – I like the silicone handle to make it easy to lift the basket out of the pot and the silicone feet to keep it steady on the counter. A steamer basket with multiple layers can be helpful if you want to steam different veggies at the same time and don’t want to mix them.
  • Whatever food you wish to steam – obviously veggies, but hard-boiled eggs are great in the Instant Pot as well.
  • Water

That’s it! It really is that simple.

RELATED: Roasted Vegetable Recipe for Seasonal Fall Salad with Fresh Herbs

Where to Buy an Instant Pot

This is the 6-quart Instant Pot I started out with. After a few years, we added an 8-quart partly because I knew I would use two at the same time often enough, partly because it was the Prime Day sale, and also because I wanted more space for certain recipes. Both are a pretty basic model and you don’t need more bells and whistles than that!

If you’re deciding on size, most people say it’s better to get a deal on the 6-quart and just have 2 rather than go big, BUT if your family has 5 or more people or you really like to batch cook or do more than a pound of beans, the 8-quart may be the best choice. My full Instant Pot review and buying guide for features, size, and model.

If you’d like to shop directly at Instant Pot’s website instead of Amazon (or just compare prices), check them out here.

You can even get a carrying case to travel with it! See my review of the Instant Pot carrying case we have.

If you’re still on the fence about adding an Instant Pot to your kitchen appliance arsenal here are my Instant Pot pros and cons.

How to Steam Vegetables in the Instant Pot

I like al dente steamed vegetables, where they’re just really bright but not too mushy. So I usually only steam them in the Instant Pot for one minute. Then I immediately try to release the steam and get the vegetables out so that the hot water doesn’t continue to cook them.

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steamed vegetables - broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots - on a circular wooden plate

Steamed Vegetables in the Instant Pot

  • Author: Katie Kimball
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 minute
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Varies
  • Category: Side Dish, Vegetables
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Various


Super simple steamed vegetables in the Instant Pot + a fifth burner equivalent!


  • Vegetables of your choosing
  • Water
  • Desired seasonings like salt (Use the code kitchenstewardship for 15% off of your first purchase), extra virgin olive oil, herbs and spices, or even parmesan.

ship kroger


  1. Prepare veggies to steam by cutting into equal-sized chunks – shoot large to prevent overcooking.
  2. Pour one cup of water under the steamer insert and arrange veggies on the basket.
  3. Lock in the lid and make sure the valve is closed.
  4. Cook on “Manual” for one minute. Manual will default to high pressure; if you’re steaming less than a whole head of cauliflower or broccoli, something small like green beans, or you simply prefer “al dente” steamed veggies, I would try low pressure for one minute.
  5. It will take about 10 minutes to get up to (high) pressure.
  6. After the one minute cook time, open the valve with a long-handled wooden spoon or something similar to quick release the pressure (this will take about 3-5 minutes).
  7. Remove the steamed veggies (immediately) and serve warm with any desired seasonings!


Keep in mind that some veggies will take longer to cook than others. A good rule of thumb is that the harder the vegetable is when it’s raw, the longer it will take to steam. You can mitigate this a little by chopping the harder veggies into smaller pieces.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, if you find that even one minute at low pressure is turning your broccoli florets to mush, you can set the timer down to zero. Then it will just come up to pressure and then shut off.

Keywords: Instant Pot Steamed Veggies, Steaming in the Instant Pot, Steam Vegetables in the Instant Pot

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steamed vegetables - broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots - on a circular wooden plate

Helpful tip: If you don’t want to remove your steamed veggies to yet another dish because you don’t have a dishes fairy at your house, you can carefully take the steamer basket out, hold the vegetables to the side and use oven mitts to pour out the steaming water.

Give your Instant Pot insert a quick rinse with cold water to cool it down, and then your vegetables can go back into the pot. Give it a few minutes before putting the lid back on, though, or they will continue to cook and might get too mushy for your liking.

Also, check out this post on homemade cauliflower rice in the Instant Pot for another time-saving hack when steaming cauliflower.

You’re Just *7 Days* Away From Easier Meals with Your Instant Pot

Whether you have a few fav meals in your Instant Pot or still aren’t using it regularly yet, I can show you the secrets to SAVE time (and money) with my favorite appliance!

May I send you my best hacks to maximize my fav appliance so you can spend more time with your family AND nourish them well?

Get IP hacks in short emails and transform the way you serve dinner:

Creative Ways to Serve Steamed Vegetables

Now that you’ve mastered the technique, maybe you’re looking for a way to entice your family to add a few more steamed veggies to their plates. Check out these great ideas.

Steamed vegetables in the Instant Pot - fast, fresh, and flavorful!

From Steaming Veggies to Instant Pot Super User!

So many people leave their Instant Pot in the box for a month or six months or even a year before they get it out. It’s just one of those appliances that intimidate people. Really, setting up an Instant Pot isn’t that hard, and my kids even show you how to do it.

My funny story is that I got an Instant Pot as a free product review sample. I should have been so excited to dig into it, because it was really new, getting some good buzz, but definitely nowhere near as big as it is now. Many people hadn’t even heard of it.

I was busy.

I’m easily overwhelmed by new appliances.

I don’t like reading directions.

And I didn’t want to mess it up. I knew that with pressure cooking, there were some safety issues, so I was nervous.

Then along came summer and a huge birthday party for all four of my kids and 30 or 40 family members. The night before the party, I was trying to plan how I would keep everything warm and have everything cooked for this cool baked potato bar we were serving.

I was running out of burners, slow cookers, and options.

I remembered that I had that Instant Pot in the basement. I ran down and grabbed it, quickly skimmed the directions for how to steam broccoli, and packed it up to take to my in-laws’ house the next day.

heads of broccoli on a white plank table

I’m sure I did not set up the Instant Pot right and definitely didn’t run a cycle without food in it. I’m so embarrassed to admit this. I completely overcooked the broccoli because I didn’t read the instructions well at all. But nothing exploded.

And that at least started me off on my path to learn more about this awesome appliance and how to use it. Now I own two Instant Pots and use at least one of them on a near-daily basis.

RELATED: How to Use an Instant Pot + 10 Basic Techniques

If I had to do it again, I would bring both my Instant Pots to the party and use one to steam vegetables and the other to keep something warm.

Have you tried steaming in the Instant Pot?
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