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.
Broccoli is not only healthy and a favorite vegetable of many, but it’s extra tasty when served with a simple cheese sauce too.
A printable recipe card is at the bottom of the post!
Instant Pot 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, I personally prefer not to use the microwave and in my opinion, the flavor of the instant pot steamed broccoli was just better!
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 or soft with a bit of crispness. Make sure to read our notes below on our two broccoli in instant pot tests.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Steamed Broccoli
Not much is required for making instant pot broccoli, basically just a head of broccoli and water. You can substitute something like chicken broth instead of water if you prefer.
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.
- 1 head of broccoli (ours were 18-20 oz)
- 1 cup of water
- 1 batch of easy cheese sauce (optional)
How to Make Broccoli in Instant Pot
Chop the broccoli
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. Here’s a photo of what size we cut the broccoli. If you separate the stalks and some are larger than you’d like, just cut those in half lengthwise.
And the stalk itself is definitely edible and tasty too and do not cut that from the broccoli head.
Add your water
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 1/2 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.
Insert the steamer basket
Insert a regular round steamer basket. We’ve found that just an inexpensive classic steamer basket we already had in our cupboard works well in our pressure cooker.
While you can use the rack that came with your instant pot in a pinch, it’s harder to pull out of the pot with a head of broccoli inside, plus some of the broccoli pieces could fall through the holes also.
If you don’t already have one of the basic kitchen steamer baskets, another alternative is an instant pot specific steamer. Ironically this even costs less than online that a regular folding vegetable steamer.
Add and steam broccoli in instant pot
Add the broccoli making sure it’s been distributed in the steamer basket.
When thinking about how many minutes to steam broccoli in instant pot, you’ll be surprised to learn that you set the pot to pressure cook on manual for zero minutes.
Doesn’t that seem odd at first? A 0 minute recipe?
How is this possible? Yes, you literally enter in 0 minutes on your instant pot.
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.
Quick Release ASAP
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, 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.
Crisp or Soft Broccoli?
Are you a soft broccoli fan or a soft-with-a-little-crisp broccoli fan?
Depending on your preference, that determines whether you want to set your instant pot to manual low or manual high. We made the broccoli in an instant pot ultra, which has both a low and high-pressure setting. I’m fairly certain you can change the pressure setting on a Duo also.
Looking at the photo above, the instant pot steamed broccoli on the left was cooked on LOW. It has a bright green color and still has a little bit of crisp.
The instant pot broccoli on the right was steamed on HIGH. It’s perfectly soft and you can see that it’s lost some of the green colors.
Keep in mind, the steamed broccoli will continue to cook a little after you remove it from the pressure cooker.
Both were delicious! And I’m going to admit here, I happened to make instant pot steamed broccoli recipe when I was home alone and over a 3 day period, literally ate both heads all by myself.
If I HAD to make a choice, I preferred the little bit crisp broccoli that was cooked on the low setting.
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese
If you’re looking for a way to jazz up your instant pot broccoli, I can’t think of anything better than drizzling it, serving it, or dipping it in easy cheese sauce.
The simple cheese sauce recipe is basically a homemade alfredo sauce recipe but it’s made with cheddar cheese instead. Serving classic baked chicken on the side with either cheddar sauce or alfredo sounds divine to me!
The cheese sauce we used is a separate stovetop recipe, it is not an instant pot recipe at this time. Soon we will be testing it in the instant pot also, but on the stovetop, it still only takes 5 minutes.
Can I Make Instant Pot Broccoli Without Steamer Basket?
If you’re hoping to make instant pot broccoli without 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 steamer basket and no rack, that’s definitely not recommended. You’ll most likely end up with mushy broccoli.
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
- 1 head of broccoli, 18-20 oz
- 1 cup of water
- Cut the broccoli into medium-sized pieces
- Add 1 cup of water to the bottom of the pressure cooker
- Insert a steamer basket and add the broccoli
- Set the instant pot to a manual cook time of 0 minutes
- Cook the broccoli on low for soft-crisp broccoli and cook it on high for soft broccoli.
- The broccoli will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure, when the pot beeps to let you know it's ready, instantly press quick release.
- Carefully the broccoli and steamer basket.
- Serves 4 as a side dish.
- Tastes great with homemade cheddar cheese sauce!
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