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Instant Pot Steamed Carrots

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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.

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Instant pot steamed carrots in a grey bowl.
Instant Pot steamed carrots.

How to steam carrots in an electric pressure cooker/ Instant Pot

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. 


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. 

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. 

How to steam carrots in an Instant Pot PERFECTLY

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 
  3. Manual pressure cook carrots on HIGH for 1-2 minutes:
    • 1 minutes for fork-tender carrots
    • 2 minutes for melt-in-the-mouth carrots
  4. 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. 

Pressure cooker carrots in a grey bowl.
Instant Pot pressure cooker carrots.


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.

Instant Pot steamed carrots recipe card

Instant pot steamed carrots in a grey bowl.
Yield: 4 servings

Instant Pot Steamed Carrots

Cook Time: 2 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes

How to steam carrots in an Instant Pot.


  • 4 large carrots (approx. 12 oz/ 340g)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter to serve (optional)


  1. Scrub or peel carrots. Cut into 2-inch long sticks, or rounds ¼-inch thick. Baby carrots do not need to be cut.
  2. Add the water to the Instant Pot bowl. Place steamer basket into the inner Instant Pot bowl [Note 1], and add the carrot pieces.
  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: 1 minute for fork-tender carrots, or 2 minutes for melt-in-the-mouth carrots [Note 2].
  5. When the cooking time is up, use the 'quick release' method to open the Instant Pot and carefully remove the carrots.


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

  • 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

2. For frozen carrots: pressure cook for 2-3 minutes.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


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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About Eliza

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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