When you want a healthy vegetable side dish, there’s nothing better than Instant Pot steamed carrots. Carrots go with everything, they are sweet and delicious, and they cook in no time in your Instant Pot.
Why you’ll love this recipe
Steamed carrots are a healthy, flavorful side dish that make a great accompaniment to any meal. I personally prefer to steam carrots in my Instant Pot pressure cooker. It’s quick, easy, and convenient, and a few simple tips will give you perfect results every time.
Steaming carrots is the healthiest way to cook them, but steaming them on the stove-top is intensive and requires close watching to make sure they don’t get overcooked, or boil dry.
Since I learned how to steam carrots in my Instant Pot, this is now my favorite way to cook them. I love set-and-forget cooking.
Scroll down for the printable card for this Instant Pot steamed carrots recipe, or read on for all the details.
What do you need?
This recipe uses an Instant Pot, but you can use any brand of electric pressure cooker or multicooker with a pressure cook function.
The easiest way to steam carrots 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 steamed carrots (rather than boiled), you will need to find a way to hold the carrot pieces up out of the water during cooking.
Carrots or baby carrots
You can use baby carrots, or regular carrots cut into ~2-inch sticks, or rounds. You can use frozen carrots, but add 1 minute to the pressure cooking time.
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.
How to steam carrots in the Instant Pot
This recipe is very simple, there are just a few steps to getting it just right:
- Cut the carrots to the right size. Cut the carrots into sticks approx. 2 inches long, by 1 inch wide, and around ½-inch thick. Or you could cut them into slices ¼-inch thick. Baby carrots do not need to be cut, though if there are any particularly large ones you could cut them in half lengthways. The carrots need to be the right size to ensure that they get perfectly steamed.
- Place the carrots in the Instant Pot in a steamer basket. The carrots need to be elevated out of the water so that they cook in the steam rather than by boiling in the water.
- Manual pressure cook carrots on HIGH for 1-2 minutes:
- 1 minutes for fork-tender carrots
- 2 minutes for melt-in-the-mouth carrots
- Use Quick Release to open the Instant Pot when the pressure cooking cycle finishes. If the carrots remain in the Instant Pot for longer they will end up overcooked, so don’t use natural pressure release.
Instant Pot steamed carrots without steamer basket
If you are wondering how to steam carrots in Instant Pot without steamer basket, there are a few options you can try.
You just need to find a way to elevate the carrots 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 when steaming some foods, but the spaces between the bars are probably going to be too large for carrots (unless you are cooking whole full-sized carrots), which will fall through into the water below.
If you have another steaming basket you can use it in your Instant Pot, the silicone kind are great, and also the metal ‘petal-style’ steamer baskets are good (I have both).
There are a few options to improvise a steamer basket. You can actually just steam carrots 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 trivet and steam the carrots on that, or roll up balls or logs of aluminum foil that will elevate the food out of the water.
To serve these steamed carrots, season with salt, top with herb butter, or try drizzling with maple syrup for a fun holiday side dish.
Storage and reheating
Store any leftover carrots in an air-tight container in the refrigerator, and use within 3 days.
To reheat the carrots, you can either microwave them for 1-2 minutes, or cook them in the Instant Pot (in a steamer basket with 1 cup of water) for 1 minute. They will be a little softer than the first time they were cooked, but no less delicious.
>> Related post: How To Steam in an Instant Pot
Instant Pot Steamed Carrots
- 4 large carrots approx. 12 oz/ 340g
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon butter to serve optional
- Scrub or peel carrots. Cut into 2-inch long sticks, or rounds ¼-inch thick. Baby carrots do not need to be cut.
- Add the water to the Instant Pot bowl. Place steamer basket into the inner Instant Pot bowl [Note 1], and add the carrot pieces.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot and close the valve (turn to ‘Sealing’).
- Set the Instant Pot to pressure cook on High for: 1 minute for fork-tender carrots, or 2 minutes for melt-in-the-mouth carrots [Note 2].
- When the cooking time is up, use the ‘quick release’ method to open the Instant Pot and carefully remove the carrots.
- Use the Instant Pot trivet with a small plate on top,
- Place the carrots into a high-sided heatproof bowl and place in the water, or
- Place 4 balls of aluminum foil in the instant pot for the carrots to sit on
Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.