Our Instant Pot broccoli recipe is just the solution for picky eaters.
We all have our favorite foods, but for most people we bet broccoli doesn’t even make the top ten. However, there’s no need to hate on broccoli— if it’s done the right way, it tastes absolutely divine.
So today we want to share the magic of how we turn otherwise bland broccoli into delicious eats. The florets are steamed then sautéd to ensure a good drenching in flavors, and as you bite into one, it oozes savory goodness.
To get the ingredients list and picture-illustrated how-to, If you’re interested in some broccoli trivia, read on.
Is This Recipe Healthy?
Broccoli is a healthy vegetable. It contains plenty of vitamins C and K, and vast amounts of other micronutrients that help make up a healthy body.
Broccoli also packs plenty of antioxidants. These nutrients can support the immune system— reducing inflammation and helping the body fight against infections.
Like most vegetables, broccoli is low in calories and yet fulfilling. Including more vegetables into your diet has been shown to be a good way to manage calorie intake.
Another element to consider is how it’s prepared which can both enhance or reduce its healthy attributes. To avoid reducing health benefits, we treated our broccoli with care:
First, we steamed our broccoli and only stir-fried it very quickly. It has been proven that exposing foods to hot oil for a long time can produce a cancer-promoting substance, and we try our best to avoid this.
We then season the broccoli with a very little salt and butter. These ingredients contain plenty of sodium and saturated fats, which the USDA suggests we limit in our diets.
Experience has taught us that bad food is often the result of insufficient seasoning. We want to help you avoid that.
When you cook broccoli, it’s crucial to have first caramelized your garlic and onions. Just cooked garlic and onions might not do much, but caramelized golden garlic and onions pack tremendous flavors including a sweet element.
If you accidentally add the broccoli too soon, you can fix it by adding garlic and onion powder.
Yellow onions are typically used, but we found that red onions have a stronger, more pungent fragrance. Plus, they add a beautiful hue to the green broccoli.
After we cooked up our onions and garlic, we added butter. Butter complements all sorts of vegetables in both flavors and fragrance, resulting in a more satisfying dish.
We finished the dish with a touch of salt, pepper (of course), parmesan, and chili flakes. A little heat makes any food more enjoyable and a little salty-savoriness from the parm makes a world of difference too.
All combine to turn a humble ingredient into a beautiful dish. And just like that, you’re ready to make this tantalizing broccoli.
What to Do With Leftover
Cooked broccoli florets can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. If you wish to store them longer than that, divide them into Ziploc bags and place them in the freezer.
If there’s plenty of raw broccoli left, you can preserve it in the freezer. It also makes other flavorful salads and a good oven-roasted side for steaks, pasta, stews, you name it.
How to Steam Broccoli in an Instant Pot
Steaming broccoli in the Instant Pot requires a rack. The one that came with our Instant Pot couldn’t hold little florets, so we had to use a different one.
You can compromise by cutting out a circle piece of parchment paper and placing it onto the Instant Pot’s rack. The parchment will hold the florets, saving you from purchasing a new rack.
We steamed our broccoli for 5 minutes, then took it out and used the same pot to brown the aromatics. Once they were ready, we added the broccoli back in, as well as the seasonings and a little butter.
Before serving, we topped the broccoli with grated parmesan and chili flakes.
Using Frozen Broccoli in the Instant Pot
We use fresh broccoli in our recipe, but frozen broccoli can be a more convenient option, especially since it can be cooked straight away from the freezer. All it needs is two or three additional minutes of steaming, and it’s almost as fresh as just chopped out from a stem.
Love This Recipe? There’s More!
There are so many ways to whip up delicious meals with broccoli that it’d be a shame not to learn a few more. We have lots of ideas you may love:
Select the “steam” mode on the Instant Pot. Add 1 cup water, a steaming rack, and place 12 oz broccoli on top of the rack. Seal the lid and steam for 5 minutes. Place a piece of kitchen cloth on the vent and use a spoon to turn the valve to “release”. Place the broccoli into a bowl, and discard the water.
Select the “sauté” mode. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tsp garlic and 2 oz onions, and stir-fry them for 2 minutes.
Add 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, and broccoli, and give it a good, gentle stir.
Add 1 tbsp butter and gently stir for another minute.
Plate the broccoli and sprinkle it with 0.5 oz cheese and 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes.
Instant Pot Broccoli
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 107Calories from Fat 72
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 3g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Vitamin A 587IU
Vitamin C 77mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Lizzie Streit is a Minneapolis-based dietitian and founder of It’s a Veg World After All. She completed her MS in Human Nutrition from Drexel University, and is an expert in culinary nutrition, recipe development, and nutrition communications. Lizzie’s philosophy is centered around making nutrition recommendations, and especially the advice to eat more vegetables, approachable and realistic. She is excited to be working with the team at Healthy Recipes 101 to ensure that their recipes are both nutritious and delicious.