Vegetables & Salad

Vegetables & Salads

Vegetables are lovely when done in the Instant Pot. Everything from asparagus to mashed potatoes to spaghetti squash can be cooked in a fraction of the time. Just put 1 1/2 cups water in the pot, add the trivet or a steamer basket, close and cook for a very few minutes. Then a quick release of pressure and KAZANGO! Perfection.

Vegetables with a high water content like asparagus or broccoli crowns cook in zero or one minute. Denser vegetables like turnips or potatoes need a few more minutes, but it's always a quick release of pressure at the end. Then try one. If it needs another minute, just close it up and add the time you think it needs. Check out the vegetable chart on the next page. And maybe add an extra minute for frozen vegetables. You’ll find what works best for you.

Cut yourself some slack when learning how to cook vegetables in the Instant Pot. They are delicious but they cook in no time. You might have some fails at first until you get the hang of it. After all, it's hard to believe you can cook cauliflower in one minute.

The Zero-minute cooking method is excellent for delicate vegetables like asparagus and corn on the cob takes only two or three minutes. Potatoes take from three minutes (new potatoes) to twenty-five minutes for those big, dense russet bakers.

Vegetable Cook Times

Artichoke, whole & trimmed10 - 14
Beans, green, yellow or wax1
Beets, depends on size12 – 25
Broccoli crowns/florets0 - 1
Broccoli, stalks2
Brussel sprouts2
Cabbage, shredded2
Cabbage, wedges3
Carrots, sliced or shredded2
Carrots, whole or chunked4
Cauliflower florets1
Collard Greens5
Corn (kernels)2
Corn on the cob3
Eggplant (slices or chunks)3
Onions 2
Parsnips 3 – 4
Peas or pea pods1
Potatoes, new, cubed3 - 4
Potatoes, chunks, for mashing7
Potatoes, small, whole9
Potatoes, large, whole20 - 25
Pumpkin, in pieces (dep. on size)3 – 6
Rutabaga, in chunks5
Acorn squash slices3
Butternut squash slices or chunks4 - 6
Sweet Potato, cubes or slices4 - 6
Sweet Potato, whole15 - 20

Zero Minute Vegetables

Many vegetables do well with a quick cooking method known as the Zero Minute method. If you like tender-crisp vegetables, this is the perfect method. Vegetables like: asparagus, broccoli, green beans, peppers, zucchini, bok choy, fennel, radishes and other delicate "plantage."

Things like potatoes, carrots, turnip and beets are sturdy and dense and need more time, but these delicate vegetables need a gentle touch.

Here's how it works. Put the vegetables and liquid in the pot and set the cook time to zero. The time it takes the Instant Pot to heat up and come to pressure is enough time and heat to steam delicate vegetables to perfection.

Put 1 1/2 cups cold water in the Instant Pot. Put the trivet or a steamer basket in and add the vegetables. Close the lid and set the valve to Sealing. Push Pressure Cook (or Manual) and adjust time using the + and - buttons to get to 0. When it beeps that it's done, immediately flip the valve to Venting for a quick release and when the pin drops, remove the vegetables.

You might prefer to give some veggies like green beans, broccoli or cauliflower one minute or even two, but it depends on how tender or soft you like them. And because it's a quick release, you can try one piece as a test and if it needs a little more time, close the pot and give it another minute or so.

I like to empty the pot and add 1 – 2 tablespoons of butter and a good squeeze of lemon juice. The heat from the pan will melt the butter. Then I toss the vegetables in and stir to coat them. You could also add some minced garlic if you like. Add salt and pepper to taste and some fresh herbs such as parsley,, basil, or whatever you have on hand.

Or, hit Saute to the clean, dry pan and add butter and a couple of tablespoons of sliced almonds. Saute until light, golden brown and pour over the vegetables.

Try a little sesame oil and seeds and a dash of soy sauce for an Asian flavour. Use your imagination – you know what your family likes.