How To Cook Frozen Vegetables In The Instant Pot

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Instant Pot Frozen Vegetables. How to cook frozen vegetables in the Instant Pot Pressure cooker. Including useful information for cooking frozen broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, brussel sprouts and leeks in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.

How To Cook Frozen Vegetables In The Instant Pot
How To Cook Frozen Vegetables In The Instant Pot

Instant Pot Frozen Vegetables

Instant Pot Frozen Vegetables is a fantastic idea when it comes to cooking in your Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.

You can grab frozen vegetables from the freezer, steam them in the Instant Pot and like MAGIC you have delicious Instant Pot steamed vegetables.

Depending on the vegetable that you’re cooking from frozen in the Instant Pot, the time can differ between 0 minutes at pressure and 1 minute.

It is so much quicker than cooking with fresh vegetables and so convenient too.

Testing Instant Pot Frozen Vegetables

Can I confess until now that every vegetable I have ever cooked in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker has been fresh vegetables.

It’s not that I HATE frozen vegetables, it is just that fresh has always been there for me.

My grandad (and my aunt), had their own allotment so fresh vegetables was everywhere and why pay for frozen vegetables when you can get fresh for free?

Over the years the only frozen vegetables that I would buy, would be frozen peas and frozen spinach. Just for the convenience.

There is no messing around with pea pods and I hate how little spinach you get from a fresh bag.

But I decided to see what it was like to cook frozen vegetables in the Instant Pot and to see what the quality was like.

We tested out:

  • Frozen Brussel Sprouts
  • Frozen Broccoli
  • Frozen Cauliflower
  • Frozen Carrots
  • Frozen Leeks

All in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.

Instant Pot Frozen Brussel Sprouts

How To Cook Frozen Vegetables In The Instant Pot

Instant Pot Frozen Brussel Sprouts is my all time favourite. That is because for US it is a very seasonal and often expensive vegetable to source.

Growing up in England they were always cheap and readily available but here in Portugal it is a different story.

Normally, we buy them just for Christmas, but now looking at the price frozen it is worth thinking about for the rest of the year.

How To Cook Frozen Brussel Sprouts In The Instant Pot? We cooked half a bag of frozen Brussel Sprouts in the Instant Pot.

It took just 1 minute, and we cooked them inside of our steamer basket. We also included a cup of water into the bottom of the inner pot. Opinion: They were perfect, and the taste was just as good as fresh Brussel Sprouts. We will be buying them every week now and it is nice to have an all year-round supply.

Instant Pot Frozen Leeks

How To Cook Frozen Vegetables In The Instant Pot

Instant Pot Frozen Leeks is one of those vegetables in my opinion that gets forgotten about. It just isn’t as popular as the likes of carrots, broccoli or cauliflower.

BUT it is an amazing vegetable and cheap for grabbing a freezer bag of them for cooking with later.

We go through phases when it comes to buying leeks and tend to buy them more when we have plans for a stew or a veggie bake, but they are fantastic for day to day cooking.

How To Cook Frozen Leeks In The Instant Pot? We cooked half a bag of frozen leeks in the Instant Pot.

We placed a cup of water into the bottom of the Instant Pot inner pot and placed the leeks in a steamer basket on top of the trivet.

instant pot bucketlist extract

We then cooked the leeks on the steam setting for 0 minutes. Opinion: They were delicious and shout out QUICK. You could load up some leeks into your Instant Pot and then when done, smother them with Philadelphia soft cheese and then lightly season with salt and pepper.

You then have an addictive cheesy side dish for dinner to serve with your favourite meat or fish.

Instant Pot Frozen Broccoli

How To Cook Frozen Vegetables In The Instant Pot

Instant Pot Frozen Broccoli is my most eaten vegetable. It is just always there and so easy to cook with in a range of dishes.

I always worried about buying broccoli frozen that it would lose its flavour or come out like mush once cooked.

Broccoli is not always in season, making it a good plan B for having in your freezer when you have a craving for it.

How To Cook Frozen Broccoli In The Instant Pot? We cooked half a bag of frozen broccoli in the Instant Pot.

We placed a cup of water into the bottom of the Instant Pot inner pot and placed the broccoli in a steamer basket on top of the trivet.

We then cooked the broccoli on the steam setting for 0 minutes. Opinion: They were NOT mushy, as that was my biggest worry. 0 Minutes was the perfect setting and they had a delicious flavour to them.

A little salt and they are perfect for the dinner table.

My only complaint is that from brand to brand the shape of broccoli can alter and when steaming there is a worry that some pieces will be overcooked and some undercooked.

Instant Pot Frozen Cauliflower

How To Cook Frozen Vegetables In The Instant Pot

Instant Pot Frozen Cauliflower is fantastic for cooking from frozen under pressure. It saves looking for fresh cauliflower and chopping it up and is perfect for using in a lot of different dishes.

If you follow Paleo, or similar diets then it is perfect for you, as how often do you see a recipe that uses cauliflower to make something unusual.

Think of all those times you see a recipe for cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza or even cauliflower mash.

One evening I was making Pressure Cooker Corn Chowder, was out of potatoes and subbed the potatoes for frozen cauliflower.

It was delicious and made me realise what a good backup frozen cauliflower is.

How To Cook Frozen Cauliflower In The Instant Pot? We cooked half a bag of frozen cauliflower in the Instant Pot.

The cooking time and method is the same for doing frozen cauliflower as it is frozen broccoli.  

You simply, place a cup of water into the bottom of the Instant Pot, add your trivet and add your steamer basket that is loaded up with frozen cauliflower.

Set the Instant Pot to 0 minutes on the steam setting and let the Instant Pot do its Opinion: Cauliflower is the BEST for last minute cooking plans.

It can be used in so many dishes and it allows you to be a lazy cook. I love how flavoursome it is for a frozen vegetable.

Instant Pot Frozen Vegetables Medley

How To Cook Frozen Vegetables In The Instant Pot

Instant Pot Frozen Carrots is something I really don’t see the need in buying. After all, I pay such a small amount for fresh carrots, to buy them frozen seems like a waste of money. In fact, I noticed that frozen carrots is 3 times the price of fresh carrots.

But you can also consider how much time is spent on peeling and slicing carrots.

Instead you can just throw them into the Instant Pot and job DONE.

Though I should mention instead of just pressure cooking frozen carrots, we went with a medley of cauliflower, carrots and broccoli.

A great idea too as most people have a mixture of these vegetables on the dinner plate at some point during the week.

How To Cook Frozen Carrots In The Instant Pot? We cooked ¾ of a bag of frozen cauliflower, carrots and broccoli.

We we’re concerned that cooking carrots which is a hard root vegetable with soft vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower would be a problem.

We adjusted it by overloading the basket so that there was less breathing space for the broccoli and also put it on for just 1 minute.

This means that after placing the mixed carrot, broccoli and cauliflower into the steamer basket and cooking them on steam, that we cooked them for 1 minute. Opinion: When I tried them, the broccoli was not mush and the carrots were soft. That’s an achievement!

All three of the vegetables were delicious and with a little salt and pepper were perfect. It also makes a fantastic side for some frozen fish that you’re eating.

What Instant Pot Frozen Vegetables Would I Buy?

After my experiment with frozen vegetables in the Instant Pot, I am sure you want to know which ones I would buy and recommend to you for cooking in the Instant Pot?

  • Frozen Brussel Sprouts
  • Frozen Cauliflower
  • Frozen Leeks
  • Frozen Peas
  • Frozen Spinach
  • Frozen Corn

This is because for price, taste and ease of use, these are the nicest in the Instant Pot. They only require a little bit of salt and you can use them in a lot of Instant Pot recipes.

Apart from Brussel Sprouts that require a minute to cook, the rest of them require 0 minutes and are perfect for bulking up a dish.

Mix white potatoes with frozen corn and frozen cauliflower for cauliflower corn chowder, or use Brussel Sprouts in my Instant Pot Brussel Sprouts Gratin.

Instant Pot Frozen Vegetable Tips

How To Cook Frozen Vegetables In The Instant Pot

Before you start cooking frozen vegetables in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker here are a few tips to get you started:

#1 Time

Most frozen vegetables require 0-1 minutes depending what it is. Remember this when cooking them in the Instant Pot as you don’t want a plate of mush.

We learnt that:

  • Instant Pot Frozen Leeks = 0 Minutes
  • Instant Pot Frozen Broccoli = 0 Minutes
  • Instant Pot Frozen Cauliflower = 0 Minutes
  • Instant Pot Frozen Carrots = 1 Minute
  • Instant Pot Frozen Brussel Sprouts = 1 Minute

#2 The Overloading Method

If you want to cook vegetables that require different cooking times, then place the longest at the bottom and the shortest at the top and overload it.

This slows down the cooking time of the top vegetable and the long vegetable is in the lowest part and getting more exposure to the pressure.

Also, because it is overloaded it makes it harder for the top vegetable to cook.

#3 Change The Water

Often with the Instant Pot you will cook one meal and then another. You might be cooking Instant Pot Rotisserie Chicken and then planning to cook broccoli straight after.

By replacing the water at the bottom of the Instant Pot and adding a cool 1 cup of water, it slows down the process. Otherwise your broccoli will go to pressure too fast and be done too soon.

#4 Easy Recipe Adjustment

Do you have Instant Pot Recipes that you want to try that call for fresh vegetables and you want to use your frozen? Then just adjust the time they call for with the vegetable to these new frozen times.

For example:

If you have a recipe for Instant Pot Broccoli that uses fresh broccoli and takes 2 minutes, then swap it for frozen broccoli and cook for 0 minutes instead.

#5 Run A Price Comparison

Before deciding what you will be/won’t be cooking from frozen in the Instant Pot, then think about how much they will cost you and how much your family likes them.

That is how we decided what to cook in the Instant Pot from frozen.

  • Frozen Brussel Sprouts – 80% cheaper buying frozen
  • Frozen Cauliflower – Same price when its in season, but rest of the time much cheaper.
  • Frozen Leeks – Slightly cheaper but suits us. When you want a small amount of leek in a dish you can just grab a handful.
  • Frozen Corn – 20% cheaper than canned corn and just grab as much as you need.

I will also continue to buy frozen peas and spinach like I have always done.

#6 You NEED A Steamer Basket

A steamer basket is essential for the Instant Pot when cooking vegetables. It keeps them at the correct height and is perfect for loading all your vegetables over it and cooking efficiently.

The Instant Pot Steamer Basket below is the one we recommend:

Instant Pot Accessories. Read all about the best accessories for the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker including this Instant Pot Steamer basket.

Final Thoughts!

I feel like I have completely educated myself in frozen vegetables. I have always stayed away from the freezer section of the supermarket and never realised what an amazing range of frozen vegetables are available to us.

Or the health benefits associated with frozen vegetables. This is because like canned food, the food is time locked at that moment when it is at its best nutritionally.

Making it often healthier to opt for frozen carrots over buying carrots from the supermarket.

Plus, as we all know, when we buy vegetables from the supermarket, they are often loaded with chemicals to make them last longer.

From this point forward, I am sure our freezer will be loaded with our favourite frozen vegetables ready to be cooked in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.

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How To Cook Frozen Vegetables In The Instant Pot

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11 thoughts on “How To Cook Frozen Vegetables In The Instant Pot”

    • Hi Caroline,

      Can i ask which Pressure cooker you are using because they should not take 4 minutes to cook.

      Many Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Larry,

      For a big bag of frozen peas I would recommend a cook time of 0 minutes and a qpr.

      Kind regards


  1. Y’all probably call them lima beans, but we call ’em butter beans. They are fab in the instant pot. Here in NC, we eat all kinds of peas/beans – crowder peas, field peas and for me tiny butter beans or butter peas. Frozen is so much better than canned and quicker than dried. With the ham hock as above or in a pinch some bacon and bacon drippings. Yum! Thanks for telling me how to do them in my new instant pot. I have been using my grandmom’s pressure cooker for years. This really ups my easy, quick side dish game!

    • Hi Cindy

      Thanks for the lovely comment. Glad we are able to help in any way 🙂 We do love quick and easy dishes!

  2. Thanks Recipe This. I can only get frozen right now and looking forward to trying this in the instant pot.

  3. Thanks Recipe This. My frozen vegetables turned out perfectly. Just right not mushy and much better than i would have expected.

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