Home » Blog » How to Cook Perfectly Steamed Broccoli in Instant Pot

How to Cook Perfectly Steamed Broccoli in Instant Pot

Sarah Pyle



Share this post!

Don’t put up with mushy, over-cooked broccoli. Steam it perfectly in the Instant Pot in minutes for tender-crisp florets that you can season anyway you like. Instant Pot Steamed Broccoli will be your newest go-to for an easy, healthy side dish.

Instant pot steamed broccoli in tan bowl with title text

This post contains affiliate links.

If you’re in need of an easy side dish, this Instant Pot Steamed Broccoli is a great choice.  You can use fresh or frozen broccoli and it cooks up so quickly!  Season to your family’s preference (I’m partial to butter, salt, pepper, and garlic powder), and you’ve got a healthy side dish to pair with your favorite main dishes.

For another easy Instant Pot side, try our Instant Pot Collard Greens recipe!


Broccoli bunch and steamer basket in front of an instant pot.

Broccoli: One head of fresh broccoli equals about 2 cups of cut florets. Cook as much or as little as you need with the same cooking time. You can also use frozen cut broccoli, but note that it will be a softer texture than fresh.

Water: Steaming with water is most traditional and makes for basic steamed broccoli.  You can top your cooked broccoli with any seasonings, butter or cheese that you desire.  If you plan on serving your broccoli with chicken, you may choose to use chicken stock for your steaming liquid.  

Equipment for Steaming Vegetables in Instant Pot

How to Steam Broccoli in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

Steaming broccoli and other vegetables in your Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker is so easy!  Simply cut the florets off of the broccoli stem into pieces about the size of a golf ball.  You do not want to cut into smaller florets.  If you have a piece that is too big on its own but too small separated into small florets, cut across the floret to create two wide-flat pieces of the same size.

cut broccoli in steamer basket with instant pot in background

And that is all the prep you need to do.  Once your florets are all cut up, place the inner pot in the Instant Pot and add one cup of water in the bottom of the pot.  Then, insert your steamer basket or trivet.  Place your broccoli in the basket/trivet, and then close the lid.  Make sure that the seal of your pressure cooker lid is placed correctly and in good shape.  

Close the vent valve so that it is sealed, and press High Pressure and set time to zero minutes.  Do this by pressing the minus (-) button until the count goes to zero.  I know the cooking time sounds crazy, but it really works and makes for tender crisp broccoli.  If you prefer your broccoli soft, set the cook time to 1 minute.  It will take about 10 minutes for the Instant Pot to come to pressure.  

Once the timer goes off, very carefully quick release open the vent.  I like to use a wooden spoon so that my hands do not get close to the steam.  It will take about 15 seconds for all of the pressure to release and the pin will drop.  You will want to remove the broccoli immediately.

instant pot filled with broccoli in steamer basket

​Can you steam in the Instant Pot without a steamer basket?

Yes, you can.  If your Instant Pot did not come with a steamer basket, you can use the metal trivet that is included.  When using the trivet, you will want to make sure that you cut the broccoli florets into larger pieces so that they do not fall through.  Alternatively, you can cut and place a piece of parchment paper on the trivet.  The parchment paper allows the steam to still get to the broccoli and prevents florets from falling through the trivet.  Lastly, you can place the broccoli florets directly in the steaming liquid without a trivet or steamer.  Note that the broccoli will absorb some water going this route and will have a softer texture.

Can you steam frozen broccoli in a pressure cooker?

You sure can!  For both fresh and frozen florets, you will pressure cook for 0 minutes.  Do not thaw if you are using frozen.  You will steam from frozen.  I do need to let you know that the texture of Instant Pot-steamed frozen broccoli is softer than fresh.  It isn’t a deal-breaker, but want you to know up front.

How to Serve Steamed Broccoli

Once your pressure cooker broccoli is finished cooking, you can season in a variety of ways to compliment the rest of your meal.  

If you are using the steamed broccoli in a salad or other cold preparation, you will want to cool the broccoli in an ice bath right when you remove from the Instant Pot.  This will stop the cooking immediately and retain the nice bright green color of the broccoli.

If serving as a side to your dinner, you have a few options.  Steamed broccoli is very healthy and delicious on its own, but we all know everything is better with a little bit of fat.  Toss your broccoli with a bit of butter or olive oil and season with salt and pepper for a very basic preparation.

Additionally, you can top with crushed red peppers, parmesan cheese, and/or lemon juice.  For a more Asian flavor, you can use toasted sesame oil instead of olive oil and top with sesame seeds and some soy sauce.  However you choose to serve it, you’ve got perfectly tender broccoli that still has some crispness for the perfect texture.

A bowl of steamed broccoli in front of an instant pot.

More Easy Side Dish Recipes

Instant Pot Broccoli Recipe

Yield: 2-4 servings

Instant Pot Steamed Broccoli

instant pot steamed Broccoli in a bowl on a table.

Ready in minutes, this Instant Pot Steamed Broccoli is perfect for busy nights when you want something wholesome without the hassle.  Top with your favorite seasonings for the ultimate healthy side dish.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 cup water


  1. Remove the stem from your broccoli and cut the florets into 1 1/2 inch pieces, about the size of a golf ball, and place in a steamer basket or on a parchment paper-lined trivet.
  2. Pour 1 cup of water into the inner pot of your Instant Pot.
  3. Set the steamer basket or trivet in the Instant Pot.
  4. Close the lid and seal the vent valve.
  5. Cook on high pressure for 0 minutes. (Yes, zero. Set to zero by pressing minus (-) button until it reaches 0.)
  6. Once the timer goes off, carefully quick release the pressure and open the lid.
  7. Remove the steamed broccoli and top with your favorite seasonings.


You can easily add more broccoli depending on how many servings you need. One head of broccoli yields about 2 cups of florets. Plan on 1/2 cup to 1 cup of florets per person. You'll still use one cup of water and pressure cook for zero (0) minutes.

If planning to use your steamed broccoli in a cold salad, place the cooked broccoli in an ice bath immediately after cooking. This will cool the steamed broccoli quickly and retain the bright green color.

If serving your steamed broccoli hot, top with your favorite seasonings. Some great options are butter or olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red peppers, or parmesan cheese. For an Asian flair, use sesame oil and top with soy sauce and sesame seeds.

Steamed broccoli will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 32Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 40mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g

Share this recipe on Pinterest!

If you loved this recipe or you're excited to try it, make sure to pin the recipe on Pinterest!

And don’t forget to tag @feastforafraction if you try this recipe!

Share this post!

By on January 9th, 2024

About Sarah Pyle

Hi, I'm Sarah. The voice behind Feast for a Fraction. I've been a penny-pincher all my life, but still have a taste for nice things. I'm here to show you that you can eat (and live) well on a budget. From recipes and DIY tips to ways to make extra money, we'll be in control of our budgets together!

More posts by this author.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Skip to Recipe