If you've been wondering how to steam broccoli in an instant pot, or wondering if you should just stick to the stovetop or microwave, you'll be thrilled to know instant pot steamed broccoli makes it perfect every time! With a surprising cook time of 0 minutes, you'll start to prefer steam broccoli in your pressure cooker over other methods.
Instant Pot Steamed Broccoli
I admit that I'm an avid broccoli fan, and actually, if you look at my recipes, I have more vegetable recipes with broccoli than any other type by far!
While making steamed broccoli on the stovetop or microwave is easy too, we loved having a variety of methods based on what else is happening in the kitchen. We also have a quick recipe for learning how to steam broccoli in the microwave too!
We've also done the testing for you and have perfected how to get the broccoli just right whether you're looking for soft broccoli florets or soft with a bit of crispness. Make sure to read our notes below on our two broccoli in instant pot tests in your quest for the perfect pressure cooker broccoli.
Broccoli is not only healthy and a favorite vegetable of many, but it's extra tasty when served with a simple homemade cheese sauce.
Why you’ll love Instant Pot Steamed Broccoli
- Perfectly steam broccoli in your instant pot in just 0 minutes!
- With 2 options to choose from, you can opt for soft, well-done broccoli florets or get a more al dente finish.
- Instant pot steam broccoli is the easiest way to get perfectly steamed broccoli every time.
- Perfect for a variety of healthy lifestyles, our pressure cooker broccoli recipe works for gluten-free, low-carb, keto, paleo, Whole 30, vegetarian, and vegan lifestyles. Oh, and both sugar-free and dairy-free eating plans as well!
The instant pot makes pressure cooking all of your vegetables to perfection so super easy! Be sure to try our instant pot sweet potatoes, pressure cooker corn on the cob, and instant pot spaghetti squash the next time you want to make the best vegetable sides.
Ingredients Notes for Steamed Broccoli
Not much is required for making instant pot broccoli, basically just a head of fresh broccoli and some water.
We purchased 2 heads of broccoli from the grocery store, one was 18 oz and the other was 20 oz. I recommend to buy broccoli that's about that size since using more or less could change how to broccoli turns out in the pot.
- head of fresh broccoli - ours were 18-20 oz
- optional - cheese sauce
Instant Pot Broccoli variations
- Water - You can substitute something like chicken broth instead of water if you prefer.
- Broccoli - You can also use the same cooking method to steam fresh cauliflower in your instant pot.
A Pressure Cooker - This is the Instant Pot model that we used.
How to Steam Broccoli in Instant Pot
Chop the broccoli into medium-sized pieces that are about the same size.
Take one head of broccoli and cut it up into equal-sized pieces with the stock attached. Most grocery store broccoli seeds are only about 1 pound up into about 20 ounces or so.
The cook time will still be the same regardless of the size of the broccoli head you purchased. What matters the most is cutting the broccoli into uniformly sized pieces.
Pour 1 cup of water into your instant pot.
Insert the steamer basket.
Add the broccoli to the steamer basket, distributing it as evenly as possible.
Place the cover on your pressure cooker.
With the cover on your instant pot, make sure the valve is set to sealing.
Set the pressure cooker one of the two following ways:
- For crisper broccoli: Set the pressure cooker to 0 minutes, manual low.
- For softer broccoli: Set the pressure cooker to 0 minutes, manual high.
Your pressure cooker is going to take about 10 minutes to come to pressure and by the time it does that, your broccoli is already perfectly sealed and done! So technically you don't even need to "cook" it.
As soon as your pressure beeps that it's come to pressure, INSTANTLY do a quick release and open your lid as soon as the valve drops.
Broccoli is very delicate and cooks fast, so you want to remove it from the pot as quickly as possible. Be sure to remove the steamer basket with an oven mitt since it'll be hot.
How to Steam Broccoli without Instant Pot
Steaming broccoli is simple and can be done without special appliances like an Instant Pot too.
- Prepare the Pot: Fill the pot with a few inches of water. You want the water level to be below the bottom of your colander or steamer basket.
- Bring the Water to a Boil: Place the pot on the stove over high heat and bring the water to a boil.
- Add the Broccoli: Once the water is boiling, place your colander or steamer basket with the broccoli florets into the pot. Ensure that the water is not touching the bottom of the colander or basket.
- Steam the Broccoli: Cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to medium. Let the broccoli steam for about 4-5 minutes, or until it reaches your desired level of tenderness. A fork should easily pierce the stem of the broccoli when it's done.
What to serve with Steamed Broccoli
- Grilled or Baked Chicken: A simple grilled or baked chicken breast or thigh can be a perfect match for steamed broccoli. Add a lemon herb sauce or a creamy garlic sauce for extra flavor.
- Steak: Whether it's a grilled rib-eye or a pan-seared sirloin, steak pairs well with steamed broccoli.
- Fish: Steamed or baked fish, like salmon or cod, can make for a light and healthy meal with steamed broccoli.
- Pasta: You could serve steamed broccoli alongside a pasta dish, such as spaghetti with marinara or Alfredo sauce.
- Tofu: For a vegetarian option, consider a flavorful tofu dish, such as tofu stir-fry or baked tofu.
- Side dishes: rice, quinoa, potatoes, or a green salad.
- Cheese Sauce: A simple cheese sauce can make steamed broccoli even more appealing, especially for kids.
- Lemon and Garlic: A drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and a sprinkle of garlic can add a lot of flavor to steamed broccoli.
- Sesame Soy Dressing: For an Asian-inspired flavor, consider a dressing made from soy sauce, sesame oil, and a little bit of sugar or honey.
How to store Steamed Broccoli
The best way to reheat Steamed Broccoli
Reheating steamed broccoli can be done in a couple of ways, but the key is to avoid overcooking it, which gives you a mushy texture and loss of nutrients.
Microwave: Place the steamed broccoli in a microwave-safe dish. Sprinkle a little water over the top to create some steam during the reheating process. Cover the dish loosely with a microwave-safe lid or a microwave-safe plastic wrap to trap the steam. Microwave on medium power for 1-2 minutes, checking after each minute to see if it's heated to your liking.
Stovetop: Heat a pan over medium heat and add a small amount of water or broth. Add the steamed broccoli to the pan. Cover and let it steam for a couple of minutes until it's heated through. You can use a steamer basket if preferred.
Steamed Broccoli Instant Pot Recipe Tips
- How much water to put in the instant pot for broccoli? This question might be debatable. The generally accepted practice in the pressure cooker world is to always use one cup of liquid to make sure your pot can fully come to pressure. Yet, I've seen other instant pot broccoli recipe tips say ½ cup is fine. Personally, it makes it easier to just stick with the gold standard practice of adding 1 cup of liquid. It's possible it makes the pot take an extra minute or two to come to pressure, but that's not something we've minded. In total, the pressure cooker will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure.
- Steamer Basket Options. You can use a regular round steamer basket or this instant pot specific steamer. While you can use the rack or trivet that came with your instant pot in a pinch, it's harder to remove your steamed vegetables.
- Soft vs Crunchy Broccoli? This truly is a matter of personal preference. If you are planning on serving your steam broccoli instant pot recipe as a side dish, cook on high or low pressure to get the consistency you most prefer. If you are planning on using your steamed broccoli in a casserole that is going to be baked, we do recommend making the crunchier broccoli so it will hold up to additional cooking.
Steaming Broccoli Common Questions
Stored in a covered container in the fridge, leftover pressure cooker steamed broccoli florets will last for 4-5 days.
If you're hoping to make instant pot broccoli without a steamer basket the best way to do that is by using the rack that came with your instant pot. The rack will work in a pinch but I'd suggest using tongs to help get the broccoli out after it's cooked. But if you're hoping to make instant pot steamed broccoli without a steamer basket and no rack, that's definitely not recommended. You'll most likely end up with mushy broccoli.
Steaming is generally considered the best method for cooking broccoli since it retains the broccoli nutrients.
When you boil broccoli, some of the vitamins like vitamin C and some B vitamins – leach out into the cooking water. Steaming, on the other hand, minimizes this leaching, as the broccoli is not directly submerged in water.
More Broccoli Recipes You'll Love
- Keto Broccoli Fritters
- Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup
- Roasted Broccoli
- Homemade Cheese Sauce
- How to Make Riced Broccoli
- Cold Broccoli Salad with Bacon
- Chicken Casserole with Broccoli
- How to Steam Broccoli in the Microwave
V V V