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Instant Pot Steamed Broccoli

A healthy and delicious side dish for any meal, this recipe for Instant Pot steamed broccoli is simple to prepare and takes just minutes to cook. Perfect for a busy weeknight.

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Instant Pot steamed broccoli.
Instant Pot steamed broccoli.

How to steam broccoli in an Instant Pot

Perfectly steamed broccoli is a great side dish to any meal. It’s healthy, tasty, and easy to make. This recipe for steaming broccoli in the Instant Pot is simple and delicious. No more losing all the nutrients into the cooking water. And the best part is it is completely hands-off once you have put it in the Instant Pot.

One of the many benefits of the Instant Pot is that you can cook vegetables quickly and easily. Most of them have only a very short cook time once the Instant Pot has come up to pressure (this recipe actually has a 0 minute cook time!). Try my recipe for Instant Pot steamed carrots, and Instant pot steamed potatoes.

If you are really short on time and can’t wait for the pressure cooker then you can also try steaming vegetables in the microwave (though they won’t be quite as tasty as pressure cooker steamed veggies!).

Scroll down for the printable card for this easy Instant Pot steamed broccoli recipe, or read on for all the details. 

What you need

An Instant Pot, a steamer basket, a jug of water, and a head of broccoli.
What you need to steam broccoli in an Instant Pot.

Equipment

Instant Pot

This recipe uses an Instant Pot, but you can use any brand of electric pressure cooker or multicooker with a pressure cook function.

Steamer basket

The easiest way to steam broccoli in an Instant Pot is to use a steamer basket. You can use any type of steamer basket. I have a silicone one and a stainless-steel one, both of which work fine in my Instant Pot. This is optional, but if you want to steam broccoli rather than boil it you will need to find a way to hold the broccoli florets up out of the water during cooking.

If you don’t have a steamer basket, see below for more ideas on how to steam broccoli in an Instant Pot without a steamer basket.

Ingredients

Broccoli

I normally use fresh broccoli, but you can also cook frozen broccoli florets in the Instant Pot. If using fresh broccoli, one medium head of broccoli is usually a good amount for four servings.

Cold water

Steaming requires water, and pressure cookers require water to get up to pressure. You will need to use at least one cup of water. However, all pressure cookers will have a minimum amount of water that they require to operate, so check your manual if you are unsure what this is for your pressure cooker, and adjust the amount if needed. 

Directions

1. Cut the broccoli into florets. Rinse the broccoli, and cut it onto florets.

2. Place the broccoli florets into the Instant Pot inner pot in a steamer basket. The broccoli needs to be elevated out of the water so that it cooks in the steam rather than by boiling in the water. 

Broccoli in the instant pot.
Place broccoli in Instant Pot inner pot in a steamer basket.

3. Manual pressure cook broccoli on HIGH for 0 minutes. Yes, that’s right, zero minutes. The pressure cooker will heat up and create steam as it comes to pressure, and the broccoli will cook while that is happening. Because it is a tender vegetable it doesn’t take long to cook, and so will be perfectly steamed by the time the Instant Pot gets to full pressure. I do love a zero-cook time recipe!

4. Use Quick Release to open the Instant Pot when the pressure cooking cycle finishes. If the broccoli florets remain in the Instant Pot for longer they will end up overcooked, so don’t use natural pressure release.  

Steamed broccoli in the Instant Pot.
Steam broccoli in Instant Pot until it reaches full pressure, then manually release.

Instant Pot steamed broccoli without steamer basket

If you are wondering how to steam broccoli in the Instant Pot without a steamer basket, there are a few options you can try. You just need to find a way to elevate the florets out of the water so that they cook in the steam rather than in the boiling water. 

The metal steamer rack or trivet that comes with all Instant Pots can be used. The spaces between the bars may be too large for broccoli depending on the size of your florets (meaning they may fall through into the water. You can try placing the larger florets directly on the trivet, with the smaller florets on top.

There are a few other options to improvise a steamer basket. You can actually just steam broccoli in a bowl inside the instant pot if you have a heat-proof bowl with sides high enough to be above the waterline.

Alternatively, you can place a small plate or bowl onto the Instant Pot trivet and steam the broccoli on that, or roll up balls or logs of aluminum foil that will elevate the florets out of the water.

Broccoli in a glass bowl in Instant Pot.
You can steam broccoli in an Instant Pot without a steamer basket.

Serving suggestions

To serve this steamed broccoli, season with salt, top with herb butter or cheese sauce, or drizzle with pesto and add a sprinkling of flaked almonds.

Storage and reheating

Store any leftover broccoli in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, and use within 3 days.

To reheat the broccoli, I would recommend microwaving it for 1-2 minutes in a microwave-safe bowl. If you try to reheat it in the Instant Pot it is likely to end up overcooked and very soft.

Alternatively, toss the florets in olive oil and roast them in the air fryer: air fryer roasted broccoli.

Recipe Card

Instant Pot steamed broccoli.
Yield: 4 servings

Instant Pot Steamed Broccoli

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Pressurizing: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

How to steam broccoli in an Instant Pot (with or without a steamer basket).

Ingredients

  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. Rinse the broccoli and cut into florets.
  2. Add the water to the Instant Pot inner bowl. Place steamer basket into the inner Instant Pot bowl [Note 1], and add the broccoli florets.
  3. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and close the valve (turn to 'Sealing').
  4. Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on High for 0 minutes.
  5. When the cooking time is up, use the 'quick release' method to open the Instant Pot and carefully remove the broccoli.

Notes

1. To cook broccoli in the Instant Pot without a steamer basket, either:

  • Use the Instant Pot trivet with a small plate on top,
  • Place the broccoli florets into a high-sided heatproof bowl and place in the water, or
  • Place 4 balls of aluminum foil in the instant pot for the broccoli to sit on

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 42Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 52mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.

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Welcome to Love Food Not Cooking!

I’m Eliza, busy mom, home cook, and blogger. My goal is to help everyone cook good food. Whether you are short on time, skills, or motivation, there is something here for you! We have dozens of quick and easy recipes for dinner, lunch, side dishes, and more. Our recipes use everyday ingredients, for quick delicious meals your family will love! Read more…

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