Instant Pot Broccoli

This Instant Pot broccoli is so fast, it’s got a zero minute cook time! It comes out perfectly steamed in the pressure cooker.

Instant Pot broccoli

Want the fastest way to cook broccoli? Steaming it in the Instant Pot! Yes, this recipe has a zero minute cook time. When Alex told me that, I did a double take. A zero minute cook time? Is that even a thing? Turns out, you set the Instant Pot timer for 0 minutes. After about 5 minutes of “preheating” your broccoli is done! No real cooking required. This means this Instant Pot broccoli takes under 10 minutes. As the final flavoring, Alex and I added olive oil, red onion, and optional feta (see below). It’s basically the easiest side dish we’ve ever made!

How to make Instant Pot broccoli: a tutorial

Now, there’s really hardly anything to say about making Instant Pot broccoli because it’s really that simple. This one isn’t actually that much faster than steaming broccoli on the stovetop: they’re both very quick! But the Instant Pot method is even more hands off: all you have to do is chop the broccoli and press Go. It’s one of our favorite broccoli recipes because it’s just that easy!

Step 1: Chop the broccoli into florets.

Use a Chef’s knife to cut the broccoli into bite-sized florets. Here we used 2 large heads broccoli, which is enough for 4 small servings. Feel free double it: it’s still the same cook time!


Step 2: Place the broccoli in the Instant Pot with water. Pressure cook on High for 0 minutes!

Add the florets to the Instant Pot with 1/2 cup water. Then here’s the fun part: set the timer to 0 minutes! It sounds counter-intuitive, but if you’re an Instant Pot pro you’ll know how it works.

Every time the Instant Pot cooks something, it has to come up to pressure: kind of like “preheating”. Each recipe takes a different amount of time to preheat, depending on how much volume is in the pot. In this case, it’s about 5 minutes for the pressure cooker to come up to pressure. Once it does, the building pressure in the pot has already cooked the brocolli! The Instant Pot will beep and you can move to Step 3, which is…

Instant Pot broccoli

Step 3: Quick release, and add flavorings as desired.

Then you’ll perform a quick release by immediately letting all the steam out of the top valve. Once it’s come out, you can open the lid and taste your broccoli. It comes out perfectly steamed, bright green and crisp tender! Keep reading for how we flavored it for this recipe.

Easy side dish

Serving steamed broccoli as a side dish

After you’ve made your Instant Pot broccoli, how to serve it? Alex and I have created this recipe to show you how to quickly dress up steamed broccoli as a side dish. It takes just a few simple ingredients to transform this veggie from good to incredible! Here’s what we did here:

  • Olive oil & kosher salt. We mixed in olive oil and just enough kosher salt to perfectly flavor it. You could of course substitute your favorite type of oil or butter.
  • Feta cheese. What veggie’s not better with a tiny bit of cheese? A modest amount of feta cheese takes it up a few notches. You could also use Parmesan cheese or goat cheese.
  • Red or green onion. Onion adds just the right savory flavor and crunch! If you use red onion, we suggest soaking it in water while you make the recipe: it removes the onion breath! Or use thinly sliced green onion as a substitute.
Pressure cooker steamed broccoli

Want more easy side dish recipes?

This Instant Pot broccoli is one of our very favorite easy side dishes! A few more we might recommend: our Parmesan potato wedges are seriously good, this BEST kale salad is delightful, and these Instant Pot Brussels sprouts are super quick. And then of course, our best green salads are always a hit.

What kind of Instant Pot to use?

All pressure cooker brands vary! Here’s the brand we use: an Instant Pot 6 Qt Programmable Pressure Cooker. This recipe is customized for a 6 quart pressure cooker. We also can’t speak to other brands and types of pressure cookers. For example, Instant Pot Mini works differently, so use it at your own risk! Let us know if you make this pressure cooker broccoli in the comments below!

More ways to cook broccoli? Try our Sauteed Broccoli, Roasted Broccoli, and Boiled Broccoli. Head to How to Cook Broccoli for more.

This Instant Pot broccoli recipe is…

Vegetarian, gluten-free, plant-based, dairy-free, and vegan (without the optional feta).

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Instant Pot broccoli

Best Instant Pot Broccoli

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (52 votes, average: 4.21 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 3 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 8 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


This Instant Pot broccoli is so fast, it’s got a zero minute cook time! It comes out perfectly steamed in the pressure cooker.



  • 1 1/2 pounds (2 large heads) broccoli
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup red onions, thinly sliced (or substitute green onion)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese (optional)


  1. Chop the broccoli into florets. Add it to the Instant Pot with the water. Lock the lid of the Instant Pot. Place the pressure release handle (vent) in the “Sealing” position.
  2. Cook on high pressure for 0 minutes: Press the Pressure Cook button, making sure the “High Pressure” setting is selected, and set the time of 0 minutes. Note that it takes about 5 minutes for the pot to “preheat” and come up to pressure. (Avoid touching the metal part of the lid.)
  3. Meanwhile, very thinly slice the onion. Place it in a bowl of water while you’re making the rest of the recipe, then drain. (This helps to reduce onion breath and remove some of the spicy bite. If you use green onion, skip this step!)
  4. Quick release: Once the timer beeps, vent the remaining steam from the Instant Pot by moving the pressure release handle to “Venting”, covering your hand with a towel or hot pad. Never put your hands or face near the vent when releasing steam. Open the pressure cooker lid.
  5. Carefully remove the broccoli to a bowl. Toss with the olive oil, kosher salt, feta cheese (optional), and drained red onions.

  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: Vegetable

Keywords: Instant Pot Broccoli, Pressure Cooker Broccoli

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    April 25, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    I can’t wait to try this. I never realized I could make broccoli in the IP without one of those steamer baskets!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      April 25, 2020 at 1:47 pm

      Yes! So quick and easy :)

  • Reply
    April 25, 2020 at 10:25 pm

    The bottom of my insert burned with a half cup of water…. Needed to be a full cup.

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      April 27, 2020 at 1:24 pm

      We haven’t had this issue, what size is your Instant Pot?

  • Reply
    Marsha Maxwell
    May 12, 2020 at 10:02 pm

    I was skeptical about this, because other methods I’ve tried made the broccoli mushy. But this came out perfect!

  • Reply
    June 27, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    I followed the directions but mine came out quite soft. Medium and smaller pieces were mush. Do you use the trivet inside when cooking or right into the liner pot with liquid?

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      June 27, 2020 at 8:06 pm

      Hi! WE cook the straight in the pot. I’m sorry it didn’t work for you!

  • Reply
    July 13, 2020 at 7:18 pm

    This was great! I have a 6qt and a 1/2 cup of water looked a bit thin on the bottom of the pan so I used 1 cup and it came out perfect! Will be making this on a regular basis.

  • Reply
    Nancy E. Frias
    July 17, 2020 at 8:36 pm

    This makes so much sense!!! I have had such a hard time getting broccoli to cook at the exact right setting. It’s just my husband and I so we use the 3 quart for most things (and the 8 quart for large roasts, etc.) So I often have to guess on cooking times, since very rarely is it the same for the usual 6 quart. I used a bit more water, and set it for 1 minute. It came out so good! But I probably could have done 0 minutes, which I will do next time. We like our vegetables to be tender enough to eat, not mush like so many recipes end up. It would have be perfect if I had done 0 minutes! I will check out more of your recipes. Thanks so much!!!

  • Reply
    August 21, 2020 at 8:14 am

    Excellent recipe.

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