Easy, fresh & tasty Steamed Cauliflower made in the Instant Pot (Pressure Cooker). Enjoy this low carb healthy vegetable made in less than 15 minutes. A perfect side to any meal!
I love the convenience of steaming vegetables in the instant pot. They get done perfectly in no time and without any active monitoring. Now who wouldn't love that?
My family loves cauliflower in any form, be it steamed, roasted, stir fry, soup, or a curry! Here are some of our favorite recipes - Healthy Turmeric Cauliflower Soup, Aloo Gobi Curry, and Cauliflower Tikka.
This post follows the Amazing Steamed Broccoli I shared some time back. So here I am sharing how to steam cauliflower in the instant pot to perfection. It takes pretty much no time to get perfectly cooked cauliflower. We like steamed cauliflower seasoned with just salt and pepper or sautéed in garlic, herbs, and butter. Change it up each time, and enjoy it the way you like!
Why steam veggies in the Instant Pot:
- Dump and go, take care of other chores.
- Perfectly cooked each time (if you know the cooking time ?)
Check out other Instant Pot Basics recipes – Cooking Chickpeas, Cooking Beets, Boiling Potatoes, and Pumpkin Puree.
Health Benefits of Cauliflower
Firstly, it is tasty. I love cauliflower as a side along with my meal. Other than that, cauliflower has great nutritional benefits.
- Low-carb (Keto friendly)
- Low in calories, just 29 calories in 1 cup (Weight-loss friendly)
- High fiber content, about 3 grams in one cup
- High in vitamin C and contains many other vitamins & minerals
- Great source of antioxidants.
How to cut cauliflower into florets?
We get cauliflower in our grocery shopping almost every week. However, I used to be lazy to cut it into florets until I found the right way to do it 🙂
Start with washing the cauliflower and removing any leaves at the bottom of the cauliflower. Then at the center, make a cut from the top of the crown to divide the cauliflower into 2 pieces. Now take each of the pieces and divide it into 2 again (now you have 4 quarters).
Lay each cauliflower quarter on the cutting board with the knife angled such that it cuts out the core.
Now you can easily pull apart the florets. If any florets are larger in size, you can cut them even further as needed.
I love this method to cut the cauliflower, as it hardly takes any time to get from a cauliflower head to the florets!
How to cook cauliflower in Instant Pot?
Now on to how to steam cauliflower in the instant pot. Just like broccoli in the Instant Pot, cauliflower cooks perfectly in zero minutes.
If you are new to the instant pot, check out this quick setup guide.
The best way to steam cauliflower in the Pressure Cooker is by using a Steamer Basket. I found a steamer basket in my kitchen that fit perfectly in the instant pot, so I did not purchase one. However, if you want to purchase a steamer rack, here is a recommended one on Amazon.
Add a cup of water to the instant pot insert and place the steamer basket with the cauliflower florets in the insert.
Pressure cook for 0 minutes at high pressure. Yes, zero minutes is a thing with the instant pot. The cauliflower is cooking in the time the pressure cooker takes to come to pressure, and then we will release the pressure manually (Quick Release) so it does not get overcooked. Basically, the time to cook cauliflower is the time it takes to come to pressure, which is less than 10 minutes.
Remove the steamer basket carefully as it is hot. You can place this basket under cold water for 2-3 minutes to stop the cooking (optional), give an ice bath or eat the cauliflower right away.
Season with salt, pepper and enjoy.
Pro tips to get perfectly cooked Cauliflower
I have heard lots of comments that vegetables can get mushed in the instant pot. So here are some tips to get perfectly cooked cauliflower:
√ Cut the cauliflower florets in almost equal sizes so they all cook consistently.
√ Pressure cook for zero minutes at high pressure. For an even crunchier cauliflower, try zero minutes at low pressure.
√ Don't forget to quick-release; else the cauliflower will get overcooked.
√ Place the steamer basket with the cooked cauliflower under cold water or in an ice bath to stop additional cooking.
√ Season well, and Enjoy!
I would love to hear how you like this steamed cauliflower. And if you love vegetables, don’t forget to check out my Instant Pot Basics Series for Steamed Carrots, Baby Potatoes, Pumpkin Puree, and more!
Amazing Steamed Cauliflower - Instant Pot
- 1 Cauliflower head
- 1 cup Water
- Salt to taste, optional
- Black Pepper to taste, optional
- Wash the cauliflower and cut it into equal large size florets (see recipe post for how to easily cut a cauliflower).
- Add water to the instant pot insert. Place the steamer basket in the instant pot insert with the cauliflower florets.
- Start the instant pot and set it on manual or pressure cook mode for 0 minutes on high pressure with vent in sealing position. (Update: Many readers enjoy crunchier cauliflower, for which 0 minutes at low pressure works great)
- When the instant pot beeps, quick release the pressure manually. Remove the steamer basket carefully as it is hot.
- You can place this basket under cold water for a couple of minutes to stop the cooking, give it in an ice bath (optional) or just eat the cauliflower as is.
- Season with salt, pepper and enjoy.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
Wow, who would have thought 0 minutes on low would be so great!
John Conway says
Thank you, Zero min is the answer. I'm back in the pre historic ages before they figured out Zero. Can't wait to try it with the Zero time.
Benedict Porkins says
Unfortunately mine came out with a lot of crunch even after I let it sit for a minute before the quick-release. I have Instant Pot Duo Plus 6 qt and with 1 cup of water it comes to pressure in ~5 minutes (timed), that's most likely the reason for the failure - not enough time being steamed.
But thanks for guidance.
Meeta Arora says
Hi Benedict - Sorry to hear the cauliflower was not as tender as expected. Feel free to increase the steaming time to get the desired tenderness. Thank you for sharing back your feedback.
Steamed with a bit of firmness left, so a good fit for my cauliflower gratin. Cuts casserole cooking to 15 minutes. Also a good consistency to purée with lemon juice and roasted garlic.
This totally works, it’s my new “go to“ steamed cauliflower recipe! I used the rack that came with my IP as I don’t have a steamer that fits it. I think you could even do it without a steamer or rack, but didn’t try.
Meeta Arora says
Hi Angie - Glad the cauliflower was steamed perfectly. Thank you for sharing back your review!
Jennifer Gombas says
I have the duo Mini which doesn’t have a manual setting. How do I pressure cook for 0 minutes with just a “pressure cook” button option?
Meeta Arora says
Hi Jennifer - Manual button is the same as pressure cook in newer versions of instant pot. For 0 minutes, just press "-" until the timer goes down to 0.