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How to Cook (Almost) Every Veggie in Your Instant Pot

You can cook just about anything in the Instant Pot, but it does an especially good job at cooking fresh, summer vegetables. They'll retain their nutrients and cook up in a flash!

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Colorful fruits and vegetables backgroundAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

Whip up your vegetable side dishes using an Instant Pot, and they’ll be ready in a fraction of the time it would take to cook them in the oven or on the stovetop. It’s as easy as adding 1 cup of liquid to the pressure cooker, adding your vegetables and sealing the lid.

Unless otherwise noted, use the trivet included with the Instant Pot as a steamer basket and cook everything using the Manual mode set to high pressure.

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Organic red beets with green leaves on an old wooden table. Rustic styleViktory Panchenko/Shutterstock

Beets

Start by scrubbing the beets and slicing off the top and bottom. You don’t have to peel them; the skins will slip right off after they’re cooked. Whole, medium-sized beets take 15 minutes, but baby beets or quartered beets cook in 8 minutes.

Use the cooked beets to top a roasted beet salad.

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BroccoliSea Wave/Shutterstock

Broccoli


This cruciferous vegetable cooks so quickly, you can actually set the Instant Pot to zero minutes. (Yep—you can do that.) By the time the pressure builds, the broccoli will be bright green and perfectly steamed. Make sure to manually release the pressure as soon as possible to prevent the veggie from overcooking.

Turn your perfectly cooked broccoli into simple side dish or toss it with bacon, garlic and Parmesan.

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Fresh and sweet carrot on a grey wooden table5 second Studio/Shutterstock

Carrots

Instant Pot carrots turn out soft and sweet, every time! Cut them into 1-inch pieces and cook them for 2 minutes, or keep them whole and set the pressure cooker to 4 minutes.

Turn your cooked carrots into glazed carrots, or keep things simple with one of these recipes.

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Organic cauliflower on wooden backgroundTim UR/Shutterstock

Cauliflower

If you’ve chopped your cauliflower into very small florets, you can follow the broccoli technique and pressure cook it for zero minutes. Or, quarter the cauliflower and steam it for three minutes.

Instant Pot cauliflower is soft enough to puree into a mash. You can also toss it with smoky spices and serve it as a side dish.

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Fresh corn on cobs on rustic wooden tableAll for you friend/Shutterstock

Corn

Corn on the cob becomes an effortless side with the help of a pressure cooker. Just remove the husks and silk, place the whole cobs on the trivet, and set the timer to 3 minutes.

Use the cooked corn in any of our top fresh corn recipes or simply enjoy with butter.

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Sliced eggplant on wooden cutting boardAhanov Michael/Shutterstock

Eggplant

Make an easier, healthier version of eggplant Parmesan by using your Instant Pot. Instead of filling the bottom with water, combine sliced eggplant with marinara sauce (about 1 cup of sauce for each large eggplant). Set the pressure cooker for 10 minutes and release the pressure manually. Top each eggplant slice with mozzarella to make it feel authentic.

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Lemony green beansTaste of Home

Green Beans

Skinny green beans are another quick Instant Pot vegetable. They’ll be tender-crisp after 1 minute, or fully soft in 3 minutes.

Once they’re cooked, toss them with garlic for an easy side or turn them into a lemony, cheesy side salad.

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Close up on raw yellow and red bell peppers for fajitas, in a barbecue grill basketVDB Photos/Shutterstock

Peppers

Cooking sliced peppers in the Instant Pot softens them without making them mushy, giving them the consistency of fajita veggies. All you need is 2 minutes on high pressure to get there.

Or, make stuffed peppers by filling cored peppers with a beef or sausage mixture. Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes.

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Twice baked sweet potatoTaste of Home

Potatoes & Sweet Potatoes


Baked potatoes and sweet potatoes take an hour to cook in the oven, but you’ll only need 15 to 18 minutes when cooking under pressure. Just make sure to prick around the outside with a fork to keep them from exploding!

If you want these Instant Pot vegetables to cook even faster, dice the potatoes into small, 1-inch pieces and cook for 4 minutes for sweet potatoes and 7 minutes for russet potatoes.

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Fresh zucchinialicja neumiler/Shutterstock

Summer Squash & Zucchini

Summer squash is naturally soft and tender, so it won’t take long to cook. Cut into 1-inch pieces and cook for 1 minute. They’ll be ready to serve as a quick vegetable side in no time.

Find more Instant Pot recipes here.

Lindsay D. Mattison
After years of working in professional kitchens, Lindsay traded her knives in for the pen. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to turn local, seasonal ingredients into beautiful meals for her family.

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