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Instant Pot Steamed Vegetables (Quick and Easy)

Instant Pot Steamed vegetables make a perfect healthy side dish. They are very easy to make, and you can create your own favorite vegetable medley. If you have some fresh vegetables on hand, you can make these Instant Pot vegetables in just a few minutes.

Instant Pot steamed vegetables on a white platter. Two silver serving spoons on the left side.

Why I Prefer Steaming Vegetables in the Instant Pot

Steaming is one of the healthiest methods of cooking fresh vegetables and can be a real lifesaver for those busy weeknight dinners.

But steaming in the microwave or on the stovetop can be quite annoying because you always have to watch the water level while doing other things. Not to mention increasing the humidity in your kitchen or even getting a blast of steam in your face.

This is why I prefer steaming vegetables in the Instant Pot.

This method has only one disadvantage – you can’t check on the vegetables while they are cooking because the lid of the Instant Pot is closed.

The solution to this problem is steaming vegetables in the Instant Pot a few times until you get consistent results.

Ingredients for the Instant Pot Steamed Vegetables

Here is the list of vegetables you can steam together in an Instant Pot. You can mix and match them to create your own vegetable medley:

  • broccoli florets
  • cauliflower florets
  • green beans
  • zucchini
  • bell peppers
  • Brussel sprouts
  • asparagus
  • fresh peas
  • carrots
  • turnips
  • sweet potatoes
  • fresh corn on the cob

Fresh sliced vegetables arranged in layers over marble background. The vegetables are labeled as follows: peas, zucchini, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, bell pepper, turnip, sweet potato, asparagus, corn.

How to Prep the Vegetables

Cooking vegetables in an Instant Pot is very easy. But you do have to prep the vegetables first.

Before you start, make sure to wash and clean the veggies. Remove leaves and any spoiled and/or dry bits.

Here is how to prep the veggies for steaming in an Instant Pot:

  • Broccoli: Cut the broccoli into florets. You can also peel the stem and slice it into 1/2-inch pieces.
  • Cauliflower: Cut the cauliflower into florets.
  • Green beans: Trim the ends. If your green beans are very long, slice them in half.
  • Zucchini: Slice in half lengthwise. Cut each half into 3-4 large chunks.
  • Bell peppers: Remove the stem and seeds. Cut the bell pepper into large chunks.
  • Brussel sprouts: Trim the ends and remove the outer leaves from each Brussels sprout. If the sprouts are large, slice them in half. If they are small, you can leave them as is.
  • Asparagus: Break off the tough ends. If your asparagus spears are long, cut them in half.
  • Fresh peas: Not much to prep other than rinsing the peas if needed.
  • Carrots: Peel and cut each carrot in half crosswise. Slice the thin part into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Then slice the thick part in half lengthwise and cut each half into 1/2-inch thick half-moons.
  • Turnips: Peel and cut into large chunks.
  • Sweet potatoes: Peel and slice into 1/2-inch cubes.
  • Fresh corn on the cob: Slice crosswise into 3 to 4 pieces.

How to Use This Recipe for Meal Prep

  • Cook the vegetables ahead of time to reheat later. Steamed vegetables can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can reheat them as needed.
  • Prep and chop the vegetables ahead of time, store the fresh veggies in the refrigerator, and steam as needed. This way, you will always have freshly steamed vegetables and don’t need to worry about reheating them.
  • Cut and chop the vegetables and place them into the Instant Pot. Use the Delay Start function or turn on the pressure cooker before setting the table for dinner. You can leave the fresh vegetables in the Instant Pot for up to 8 hours.

Mixed steamed vegetables.

How Do You Steam Vegetables In an Instant Pot?

  1. Prep the vegetables for cooking.
  2. Add 1 cup of cold water to the cooking pot of the 6-quart Instant Pot.
  3. Place the metal trivet on the bottom of the inner pot. Place the steamer basket on top of the trivet. Place the vegetables into the steamer basket. (If your steam basket has legs, you don’t need the trivet and can put the basket directly into the cooking pot).
  4. Close and lock the lid. Make sure the steam release handle is in the sealing position.
  5. Select “Pressure Cook.” Ensure the pressure level is set to “High Pressure” and the “Keep Warm” function is off. Set the cooking time to zero.
  6. When the time is up, open the Instant Pot pressure cooker using “Quick Release.”

How Long Does It Take to Steam Vegetables in an Instant Pot?

Although this recipe tells you to set the pressure cooking time to zero minutes, the actual cooking time is about 10 to 15 minutes.

This is because the vegetables are being steamed as the pressure cooker is building pressure.

For this reason, the volume of the vegetables in the Instant Pot is also important.

In my experience, it should be filled to at least 1/2 to 3/4 of the capacity. Otherwise, the pressure cooker will come to pressure too quickly, and the vegetables won’t cook through.

Can I Steam Vegetables in an Instant Pot Without a Steamer Basket?

If you are planning to steam vegetables in the Instant Pot regularly, I highly recommend purchasing a steamer basket. But if you want to try and see if steaming in Instant Pot is for you, you can still make steamed vegetables in the Instant Pot without it.

As far as I know, all Instant Pot models are sold with a metal trivet. So, you can use the trivet to elevate the vegetables above the water. I recommend placing large slices of firm vegetables such as carrots or cauliflower over the trivet and then place the rest of the vegetables on top of it.

The large pieces should prevent the smaller pieces from dropping to the bottom of the cooking pot.

Steamed vegetables on a white platter.

What to Keep in Mind When Steaming Vegetables in the Instant Pot

  • Most vegetables should be sliced into relatively large chunks; otherwise, they might overcook. The exceptions are dense vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes. Slice dense vegetables into 1/2-inch thick pieces.
  • Fill up the Instant Pot to at least 1/2 to 3/4 of the capacity. Otherwise, it will come to pressure too quickly, and the vegetables won’t cook through.
  • Do a “Quick Release” as soon as the Instant Pot finishes cooking; otherwise, the vegetables will overcook.
  • If you open the lid and the vegetables are still undercooked, close the lid, and the residual heat will steam the vegetables some more.

How to Serve Instant Pot Steamed Vegetables

For a healthy and light lunch or dinner, serve these Instant Pot Steamed Vegetables with this Pan Fried Rainbow Trout, these Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kebabs, or this Chicken and Green Lentils Casserole.

Steamed vegetables also taste great as a part of veggie and grain bowls together with barley or black rice.

How to Store Steamed Vegetables

These Instant Pot steamed vegetables store quite well. Keep them in the refrigerator in an airtight glass container for up to 2 to 3 days.

Can Steamed Vegetables Be Reheated?

Steamed vegetables can be reheated but keep in mind that reheating vegetables also cooks them further, so make sure not to overheat them.

I find the easiest way to warm up steam vegetables is in the microwave.

You can also reheat them on the stovetop or in the oven.

Instant Pot Steamed Vegetables Recipe

Instant Pot Steamed Vegetables Recipe

Yield: 4-6 portions
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes

A healthy Instant Pot Recipe to add to your collection! The best way to steam vegetables for a healthy side dish. Quick and easy.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup green beans, cut in half if needed
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into large chunks
  • 1 bell pepper, cored and sliced into large chunks
  • 6-8 Brussel sprouts, cut in half
  • 24 asparagus spears
  • 2 corn on the cob, cut crosswise into 3-4 pieces
  • 1 carrot, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 turnips, pilled and cut into large chunks
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup fresh peas

Instructions

  1. Prep the vegetables for cooking.
  2. Add 1 cup of cold water to the cooking pot of the 6-quart Instant Pot. (You might need more or less water depending on the size of your Instant Pot.)
  3. Place the metal trivet on the bottom of the inner pot. Place the steamer basket on top of the trivet. Place the vegetables into the steamer basket. (If your steamer basket has legs, you don't need the trivet and can put the basket directly into the cooking pot).
  4. Close and lock the lid. Make sure the steam release handle is in the sealing position.
  5. Select "Pressure Cook". Make sure the pressure level is set to "High Pressure" and the "Keep Warm" function is off. Set the cooking time to zero.
  6. As soon as the vegetables are finished cooking, open the Instant Pot Pressure cooker using "Quick Release".
  7. To serve, add some fresh herbs and season with salt and pepper.

Notes

Choose any vegetables from the ingredient list.

The amounts of vegetables are optional. But make sure to fill up the Instant Pot to at least 1/2 to 3/4 of the capacity. Otherwise, it will come to pressure too fast, and the vegetables won't cook through.

Nutrition Information
Yield 5 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 162Total Fat 2gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 1gCholesterol 0mgSodium 170mgCarbohydrates 34gFiber 10gSugar 11gProtein 9g

Nutrition facts provided on this website are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a qualified health care provider for personalized diet advice and make sure that each of the ingredients is allowed in your diet.

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