This Instant Pot broccoli recipe is the quickest way to get perfectly steamed vibrant green broccoli florets with zero minutes of cook time! Tossed with zingy lemon juice, a little olive oil and freshly grated parmesan cheese, this broccoli makes a super tasty side.
It’s as easy as bringing the Instant Pot to pressure, which takes a mere 5 minutes, and the broccoli is ready to be garnished and served.
I love this broccoli side dish with Air Fryer Frozen Chicken Breast because I can put a healthy meal on the table in 20 minutes or less.
If you have more time on your hands, this Chicken Leg Quarters Recipe is a simply spiced chicken dinner that goes perfect with the broccoli and is super easy to make.
I also use this Instant Pot broccoli with Air Fryer Sesame Chicken. I just leave off the parmesan.
- Olive oil
- Fresh lemon juice
- Freshly grated Parmesan or a similar hard cheese like Pecorino Romano
- Salt + pepper to taste
How to steam broccoli in an Instant Pot:
- Cut the broccoli into florets.
- Add water to the pot.
- Add an even layer of broccoli to the steamer basket.
- Put the lid on and seal.
- Pressure Cook, low, 0 minutes.
- Hear the beep and hit cancel.
- Do a quick release.
- Open the lid carefully, remove broccoli.
- Toss with oil, lemon juice, cheese, salt and pepper and enjoy!
Literally the time it takes the Instant Pot to come to pressure, the broccoli is steamed to perfection!
You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.
- Cut the broccoli into florets of equal size. This ensures that it cooks evenly. But don’t cut them so small that they will overcook.
- Wait to season the broccoli until after you remove the broccoli from the Instant Pot. This makes the broccoli more flavorful and makes for easier cleanup.
- If your Instant Pot doesn’t allow you to set the 0 minute cook time, you can set it for 1 minute. Then quickly cancel the cooking cycle as soon as the cook time displays 1, and the pot reaches pressure. Once you’ve hit cancel, do a quick release immediately; otherwise, the broccoli will continue to cook, and it will be mushy.
- As soon as the steam has escaped and the pin drops, carefully open up the Instant Pot.
- If you do not have a steamer basket, keep reading for some options that you may already have at home.
That’s right, zero minutes of cook time!
When you set the instant pot on low for 0 minutes, it will come to pressure then turn off. When you hear the beep, it means it has come to pressure, and you can then stop cooking the broccoli.
So hit cancel and do a quick release.
It’s hard to believe, but basically the pressurizing steams the broccoli to perfection.
My Instant Pot doesn’t come with a steamer basket.
The reason you want to use a steamer basket in the Instant Pot is to keep the broccoli above the water level. If you don’t use a steamer basket, then you will be boiling the broccoli rather than steaming. This could leave you with dull, lifeless broccoli.
More than likely a steamer basket was not included with the purchase, but never fear – I bet you have one that will make due.
If you have a fine-mesh sieve, you can probably make that work as long as it is made of all metal or silicone and fits into the pot with the lid securely placed.
If the sieve is made of plastic or has a plastic handle, you will need to go to plan B since plastic will most likely melt in the instant pot.
If you have a collapsible vegetable steamer made of stainless steel, great! It will definitely work. It’s a versatile steamer option because it fits inside just about every pot.
The metal trivet that comes in some Instant Pots is also called a ‘steamer’, so you could put the florets on that but you might want to make them a little larger and cut them to bite size once they’ve cooked.
If you’re wanting to purchase a steamer basket, Corrie Cooks has a guide that will give you tons of options specifically for the Instant Pot. She even tells you how to make one at home with aluminum pie plates!
Why use an Instant Pot?
Instant Pots are great for soups and those one-pot meals. It just makes it hands-off and easy.
I made this Instant Pot Turkey Soup with Noodles after Thanksgiving and it was terrific. One thing I love is to make a big batch and freeze some for later.
I think it’s one of the easiest ways to cook healthy side dishes like this Instant Pot Potatoes Colcannon! It’s a healthy mashed potato made with hidden greens like cabbage or kale and is surprisingly delicious.
Cooking broccoli in the instant pot is similar to steamed broccoli and it makes the broccoli crisp yet tender and retains important nutrients. The big difference is I don’t even have to check the broccoli in an Instant Pot, and it will remind me when it’s done!
For me, the easier the better, but it has to also taste great.
Can I use frozen broccoli in the Instant Pot?
Sure! Just follow the same directions you would to cook fresh broccoli in an Instant Pot.
If you find broccoli on sale, you can even freeze it at home if you like. This post has loads of info on how to cut and freeze Blanched Broccoli.
How to cook this broccoli on the stovetop:
You can, of course, steam broccoli on the stovetop. It’s easy to do but can take a couple of tries to get it just right.
To steam the broccoli in a pot on the stovetop, just place a steamer basket with about an inch or two of boiling water. It should have a well-fitting lid so that the steam doesn’t escape from the pot.
It takes about 3 ½ minutes and will turn bright green. You can then shock the broccoli by dunking it into an ice bath to stop the cooking so that the florets are nice and crisp. Or serve it hot.
Is it good to cook vegetables in a pressure cooker?
It is! Steam that is inside the Instant Pot speeds up the cooking process which makes vegetables retain their color, texture and taste. And more importantly, the nutrients and fiber stay intact.
We’ve all eaten limp, overcooked broccoli I’m sure. It’s void of most nutrients and is a lifeless, pitiful excuse for a healthy side dish.
So pressurizing the broccoli in the Instant Pot just ensures that the broccoli is perfectly done, retaining healthy nutrients and makes a superb side dish for your family meal. It also keeps the stove free for your main dish, like this Chicken Dijon!
How do you cook broccoli without losing nutrients?
Boiling broccoli by submerging it in water is the best way to rid the broccoli of everything it has to offer. Nutrients are lost and vitamins are leached into the water, so this for me is a no-no!
Steaming is the best way to retain the goodness of the vegetable and there’s no quicker, easier way than with the Instant Pot.
Benefits of broccoli:
Broccoli is terrific! It’s easy to incorporate into your diet, it’s not expensive and it’s good for you!
Broccoli is high in many nutrients, vitamin C, vitamin K, iron and potassium. And it has more protein than most vegetables.
It has a decent amount of fiber which is good for gut health. And is loaded with vitamin C which is an antioxidant that helps immune function and is great for your skin.
It helps to prevent many cancers, lowers cholesterol levels, and is good for eyesight.
To me, it’s a great addition to add to weekly meals.
Other Instant Pot recipes:
If you like this Instant Pot Broccoli, you might also like these recipes:
Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Dip,
Instant Pot Tortellini Soup, and
Instant Pot Hot Chocolate.
Or this Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Soup from my other blog, Texanerin Baking! I think this Instant Pot Rice-a-Roni Chicken also looks fantastic and would go great with this broccoli! As would this Chicken Vindaloo, even though it’s not a typical side dish.
What is your favorite Instant Pot recipe? Enjoy this Instant Pot Broccoli and if you make it, leave a comment and let us know how it turned out!
Instant Pot Broccoli
- about 1 pound 450 grams broccoli, cut into about 1.5" (4cm) florets
- 3/4 cup 177ml water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice from about 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 cup 25 grams freshly grated Parmesan (or a similar hard cheese like Pecorino Romano, etc.)
- salt + pepper to taste
- Pour 3/4 cup (177ml) of water (use 1 cup (236ml) for an 8-quart Instant Pot) into the inner pot of the Instant Pot.
- Place steamer basket into the pot.
- Add the broccoli in an even layer.
- Put on the lid and make that the valve on the lid is sealed.
- Choose Pressure Cook (or Manual on some models), low, 0 minutes. That means it will come to pressure and then turn off. It'll beep when it comes to pressure.
- Once it beeps, hit cancel and then immediately do a quick release. As soon as it’s done, carefully open the lid and carefully remove the broccoli to a bowl so that it doesn't continue cooking.
- Toss the broccoli with the oil, lemon juice, cheese, salt and pepper.