This Instant Pot Broccoli is my go-to cooking method for perfectly steamed broccoli florets. All you need is a head of fresh broccoli, a steamer basket, and your pressure cooker. Have this healthy side dish on the table in a matter of minutes.
📋 About the Recipe
- 15 minute side dish. If you’ve been looking for super easy ways to serve your family veggies at dinner, look no further! You can get this Instant pot broccoli cooking with less than 10 minutes of prep work and feel good about everyone getting more greens in their diet.
- Kid-friendly! No one likes mushy broccoli, especially kids. Pressure cooking your broccoli for a couple of minutes helps prevent it from getting mushy. This bright green broccoli is still slightly crunchy and the perfect texture for young eaters.
- Simply seasoned. I stuck to the classic butter/olive oil and salt and pepper. This keeps this simple side dish easy to make any night of the week, no matter how bare your pantry and fridge are!
A few notes about the ingredients:
- Broccoli - I developed this recipe using a fresh head of broccoli and wouldn’t recommend substituting frozen. Frozen broccoli contains a significant amount of excess moisture and are much more likely to become soggy.
- Water - Do not forget the water in the bottom of the pressure cooker! This is essential to cooking the broccoli and helping the pot come to pressure. Without any liquid, you will get a burn notice and a smoky Instant Pot.
- Butter or olive oil - This is optional, but I love adding a small amount of butter or olive oil, salt, and pepper to hot broccoli to help flavor it.
⁉️ Substitutions and Alterations
- Use this method on cauliflower: If you’ve got some cauliflower you need to use up, chop it into florets and cook it for the same time as you would broccoli florets. Or, do a mix of both for a simple vegetable medley.
- How to make crispier broccoli: If you want your Instant Pot broccoli to be a little crispy on the edges, spread the cooked broccoli onto a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil or butter and place it under the oven broiler for 2 to 3 minutes, or until crisped up to your liking.
- Use pre-cut broccoli florets. Skip the prep work and start with a pre-cut bag of broccoli florets. All you’ll have to do is give them a good rinse and throw them in the Instant Pot. Even quicker and easier!
- Prep the broccoli. Thoroughly rinse the crown of broccoli, removing any visible dirt, then chop into florets.
- Prep the Instant Pot. Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the Instant Pot, then place a metal steamer basket overtop. This water in the bottom is what will steam the broccoli under pressure.
- Add broccoli. Spread the broccoli evenly in the steamer basket.
- Cook. Cover the pressure cooker with the lid, then set the valve to the “sealing” position and pressure cook 1 minute on high (for crisp, bright green broccoli) or 2 minutes on high (for more tender, slightly darker broccoli). As soon as the timer beeps, switch the valve to “venting” and manually release the pressure.
- Serve. Serve Instant Pot broccoli warm with optional melted butter or olive oil, salt, and pepper.
🍽 Serving Suggestions
Broccoli is one of the most classic dinner sides! It goes with just about anything. Here are my top 5 dinners to pair broccoli with:
- Healthy Ground Chicken Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes Without Milk.
- Air Fryer Almond Chicken in Honey Soy Sauce
- Chinese Chicken Dumplings with Sesame Soy Sauce and Sushi Rice.
- One Pot Lemon Ricotta Pasta
- Teriyaki Salmon Stir Fry
❄️ How to Store
To store uncooked broccoli: Uncooked broccoli crowns will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Once they are chopped into florets, they will keep for less time, about 3 days. For best results, store your fresh broccoli in the crisper drawer away from fruits. Fruits will cause the broccoli to go bad more quickly.
To store cooked broccoli: Pressure cooked broccoli florets will keep for about 3 days when stored in an airtight container.
To reheat: Steamed broccoli is best reheated in the microwave, or air fryer for crispier results. If using the air fryer, preheat the air fryer to 350 degrees F, then add the broccoli florets to the basket and air fry for 3 to 5 minutes, or until warmed through.
🔍 Recipe FAQs
Absolutely! Broccoli can be eaten raw in dishes like salad or simply dipped in hummus. Some people find broccoli easier to digest once cooked, so if you have a sensitive stomach, you may prefer Instant Pot broccoli florets over raw.
If your broccoli has slight yellow or brown discoloration, it is still edible as long as it is not slimy and does not have a strong odor. Once it becomes overly brown or soft, it is better to throw it out.
Broccoli freezes very well. If you are freezing raw broccoli, you will want to blanch it first for color and texture preservation. Read this in depth article on How to Freeze Broccoli for best results.
If you are freezing broccoli florets after they have been cooked in your pressure cooker, blanching is not needed. Simply spread the cooled broccoli on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in the freezer until frozen solid. Then, transfer the broccoli florets to a large freezer safe container.
Unfortunately, for this recipe you’ll need a steamer basket! Without one, the broccoli would pressure cook directly in the water and become soggy.
💭 One More Tip
Cut the florets into even sizes. This does not need to be perfect, but the more uneven the florets are in size, the more uneven the cook results will be. Do your best to keep them about the same size for even, consistent cooking.
🍴 More Vegetable Recipes
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Instant Pot Broccoli
- 1 bunch fresh broccoli (about 4 cups of florets)
- 1 cup water
- melted butter or olive oil, optional
- kosher salt, optional
- black pepper, optional
- Rinse broccoli. Cut into florets.
- Add water to the bottom of the instant pot. Place a metal steamer basket at the bottom.
- Add broccoli florets to the basket.
- Cover instant pot with the lid. Set the valve to the “sealing” position and pressure cook 1 minute on high (for crisp, bright green broccoli) or 2 minutes on high (for more tender, slightly darker broccoli). As soon as the timer beeps, switch the valve to “venting” and manually release the pressure.
- Serve broccoli warm with optional melted butter or olive oil, salt, and pepper.
- When enjoying the broccoli on its own, I prefer to cook it for 1 minute for a crisper bite. However, when enjoying the broccoli mixed into things, like on a baked potato, in pasta, or cooked into a quiche, I prefer to cook it for 2 to 3 minutes for a softer texture.
- This recipe provides you with perfectly steamed broccoli. However, for added flavor feel free to add your favorite seasonings.
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