This Instant Pot carrots recipe is an easy side dish that takes just minutes to make. By using your electric pressure cooker, you can make fork-tender carrots for a simple side dish recipe. Perfect for a weeknight dinner or holiday meal, this healthy side dish is one the whole family will love.
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Why These Steamed Carrots Are The Best!
Using an Instant Pot is a great way to steam carrots. If you are still waiting to purchase an Instant Pot, I promise you it's the best way to steam vegetables for a healthy side dish.
By using the high pressure of pressure cooker to steam the carrots, you can make a great side dish in just a few minutes. Plus you can flavor the carrots to your liking, whether you want sweet brown sugar carrots or savory carrots to accompany your dinner.
Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker- there are many different models of Instant Pots that have slightly different features and sizes. I like this model for steaming, sauteing and pressure cooking food fast!
Stainless Steamer Basket- I have this stainless steel steamer basket that fits perfectly inside the Instant Pot. There are other models to choose from. Some are even silicone and hold larger amounts of veggies almost like a basket. Choose what works the best for your family's needs.
How To Steam Carrots Without a Steamer Basket
If you do not have a steamer basket, you can still steam vegetables in your Instant Pot. Use the steamer rack that comes with the Instant Pot. A few smaller carrots may fall through, but they will still cook well and just be a tad more cooked since they are directly in the broth.
Carrots are classified as root vegetables along with potatoes, celery and turnips. It is said that carrots are the perfect health food.
They are rich in beta-carotene, a compound our body converts into vitamin A, which is good for your eyes. It actually protects our eyes from the sun and lowers the chance of cataracts and other eye issues.
If that didn't convince you to eat your carrots, they are also full of antioxidants that lower your risk of cancer, lower blood pressure and boost your immune system! With all of the evidence on carrots health benefits, I know all of you moms are wanting to get your family to eat more carrots!
The good news is that people actually love to snack on raw carrots because they are sweet and crunchy. If you want to incorporate cooked carrots into your dinner menu, steaming carrots is the healthiest way. By steaming instead of boiling your vegetables, you actually retain more of the nutrients.
carrots- you can use regular carrots or baby carrots for this recipe.
chicken broth-adds a little extra flavor to the steamed carrots. Of course you can always use a cup of water or for a vegetarian option use vegetable broth.
If using regular carrots, you will need to wash, peel and chop into more bite sized pieces. It is important to get the carrots in a uniform size so that they cook evenly.
If you are using baby carrots, there is no need to cut them.
Place carrots in the steamer basket that fits inside the Instant Pot. Pour the broth or liquid of your choice inside the inner pot that goes inside the Instant Pot. This step is very important, because an Instant Pot cannot work without liquid. Consult your model to use the recommended amount of liquid, which is usually around 1 cup.
Nestle the steamer basket inside the pot over the chicken broth. Secure the lid on the top of the Instant Pot. Mine makes a little noise to indicate that its on.
Make sure that you have the steam release value set to the sealing position. This way the steam stays inside and cooks the food.
how Long To Steam Carrots in an Instant Pot
Next, select the pressure cook mode. Set the cook time for 2 minutes. Remember that it will take several minutes for the instant Pot to come up to pressure before it begins to cook the food. You will know it is working because you can hear it begin to make hissing noises.
Whether you are steaming baby carrots or whole carrots, the cooking time is the same. Just make sure to cut large carrots into smaller bite sized pieces so that the cook evenly.
Once the Instant Pot comes up to pressure, it will begin to count down the cook time. When it is finished the screen will show an "L" and it will begin to naturally release the pressure.
Now if we wait for the natural pressure release, our carrots will probably be overcooked. It is best to do the quick pressure release method. Use a wooden spoon to move the steam release valve to venting. Stand back because it will let out all of that hot steam. Of course, if you prefer softer carrots, you can let the Instant pot naturally release the pressure. This will take a few extra minutes.
How To Serve Cooked Carrots
When carrots are cooked it brings out the natural sweet flavor. You really do not need a lot of seasonings, but here are a few suggestions. This really depends on whether you want a more savory or sweet side dish.
- olive oil
- brown sugar, maple syrup or honey are great sweeteners
- fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme, or rosemary
If you have leftover carrots they can be stored and reheated. Once they have cooled completely store the carrots in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Reheat in the microwave for 30-60 seconds.
Researchers have found that steaming carrots keeps the most nutrients in the vegetable while boiling releases some of the nutrients into the water.
It is completely safe to eat the peel on a carrot as long as you thoroughly scrub and wash the carrot first.
Looking For Other Instant Pot Recipes? Try These!
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Easy Instant Pot Steamed Carrots Recipe
- Instant Pot
- 2 cups baby carrots or regular carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup chicken broth
- If using regular carrots, peel and cut into uniform bite sized pieces.
- Add the carrots to the steamer basket.
- Pour chicken broth or water inside the inner pot of the Instant Pot.
- Nestle the steamer basket inside the pot over the chicken broth. The carrots will be lifted out of the liquid so they are steamed.
- Secure the lid onto the Instant Pot, turn the steam release valve to the "seal" position and set the Instant Pot to pressure cook for 2 minutes. Remember the pressure cooker will take several minutes to come to pressure. It will make hissing noises as it builds pressure.
- Once the Instant Pot has come to pressure, the 2 minutes will count down. When it has finished cooking, the screen will show a "L" which means that it is releasing the pressure.
- Do a quick release of the pressure by using a wooden spoon handle to move the steam valve to "venting" position. Stand clear of the steam as it escapes to prevent from being burned.
- Carefully remove the lid and the steamer basket. The broth can be saved to use for another steamed vegetable recipe in the week.
- Season the carrots to your taste using fresh herbs, butter, brown sugar, or spices.