These Instant Pot carrots make a delicious vegetable side dish for an everyday meal or holiday meal. They take only 15 minutes to make, have a fresh, naturally sweet taste and require only a few ingredients and minimal seasoning.
Steamed carrots make an easy and delicious side. It wasn't until recently I started using the Instant Pot to cook them along with other veggies, including beets and cabbage, which made it even easier to make a batch when I'm busy.
After all, the simplest recipes truly are the best because we end up making them on a regular basis.
It takes about 12 minutes to cook carrots in the pressure cooker. This includes the amount of time it takes to build up pressure, about 10 minutes and the 2 minutes of cooking time.
How to cook carrots in the Instant Pot
1. Prepare the carrots: Rinse and peel the carrots. Slice off the ends and slice diagonally.
2. Add ingredients to Instant Pot: Place carrots in the Instant Pot and add water.
Note: This recipe doesn't use a steamer basket. If you'd like to use one, place it inside the insert before adding the carrots.
3. Cook the carrots: Close the Instant Pot and set the pressure cooker to cook for 2 minutes. Once completed carefully quick-release the steam and drain the carrots.
4. Add dressing (optional): In a bowl, toss the carrots with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs, if using. Serve and enjoy.
Storing and reheating
To store: Store the leftover carrots in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3-4 days.
To reheat: Gently reheat them on the skillet or the microwave.
Substitutions and variations
Carrots are so versatile and it's easy to cook a batch and create various flavors. The following are a few variations:
- Buttery herbed carrots: for a buttery flavor, replace the olive oil with melted grass-fed butter. Add fresh herbs and toss. Pro-tip: it's best to melt the butter before adding it to the carrots.
- Honey cinnamon carrots: replace the fresh herbs and pepper with ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon of honey, to taste. Add a pinch of salt.
- Honey herb carrots: replace the olive oil with melted grass-fed butter and 1 teaspoon of honey, to taste. Omit the pepper.
- Garlicky lemon carrots: combine the olive oil (or butter), salt, and pepper with minced or crushed garlic cloves and lemon juice for a delicious garlicky lemon flavor.
Top tips and suggestions
- Cut the carrots into equal sizes so they cook evenly.
- I find that thicker carrots work best as skinny carrots may fall apart when stirring.
- Baby carrots don't require any slicing or chopping. Simply rinse the baby carrots and place them in the Instant Pot with the water.
- Since the cooking time can be affected by the thickness of the carrots, if you find the carrots too firm, simply reseal the Instant Pot and cook for another 1 minute. Add more water, if needed.
Frequently asked questions
Can I cook the carrots with any other vegetables? Yes, however, note that cooking time may vary for different ingredients. For example, broccoli cooks faster than carrots. Also, be sure to cut any other vegetable to be about the same size.
Do I need a steamer basket? No, you do not need a steamer basket to cook carrots in the Instant Pot. In this recipe, I omit using a steamer basket since the Instant Pot doesn't come with one and requires a separate purchase.
However, if you do have a steamer basket and would like to use it, simply add the water and place the steamer basket before arranging the carrots on top.
More easy Instant Pot recipes
If you enjoy using your pressure cooker, check out the following recipes:
- Butternut Squash Soup
- Instant Pot Wheat Berries
- How to cook chickpeas in the Instant Pot
- How to cook Lentils in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Quinoa
- Instant Pot Hard-Boiled Eggs
Did you make this Instant Pot carrots recipe? Leave a comment below and rate the recipe to let us know how it turned out. Be sure to tag me on Real + Vibrant’s Instagram to show me your carrots.
- 1 lb carrots
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- fresh herbs, parsley, chives, cilantro
- Rinse and peel the carrots. Slice off the ends and slice diagonally.
- Add water to the Instant Pot and arrange carrots.
- Close the Instant Pot lid, set the valve on "sealing", and cook on high pressure for 2 minutes. Once completed carefully quick release the steam, remove the lid, and drain the carrots.
- In a separate bowl, toss the carrots with extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and fresh herbs (if using). Serve and enjoy.
- Storing leftover: Store the leftover carrots in a sealed container in the fridge for about 3-4 days.
- Reheat: Gently reheat them on the skillet over medium heat or the microwave.
- Baby carrots: While this dish calls for sliced carrots, baby carrots are another great option. If you have a steamer basket, feel free to use it.
- Softer carrots: If you prefer softer carrots, I suggest cooking on high pressure for 3 minutes instead.
- Crisp carrots: If you prefer crisper carrots, cook for 1 minute instead.
- Size: Cut the carrots into equal sizes so they cook evenly.
- Thicker carrots: I find that thicker carrots work best as skinny carrots may fall apart when stirring.
- Cook longer, if needed: Since the cooking time can be affected by the thickness of the carrots, if you find the carrots too firm, simply reseal the Instant Pot and cook for another 1 minute. Be sure not to drain the water.