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    The Easiest Instant Pot Cauliflower Recipe Fitnessnacks

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    This Instant Pot cauliflower is so easy to make. It’s a healthy side dish recipe, and you can’t beat a zero minute cook time! (vegan, gluten-free)

    This Instant Pot cauliflower is so easy to make. It’s a healthy side dish recipe, and you can’t beat the zero minute cook time! (vegan, gluten-free)

    Instant Pot cauliflower in a bowl

    I love cauliflower in all its forms. From savory roasted cauliflower to cauliflower pancakes and curry, this humble vegetable can take on so many different personalities.

    For those nights when I’m short on time, this quick Instant Pot cauliflower is the ideal side dish. It cooks while the pot comes to pressure (5 to 10 minutes), so it only needs a cook time of zero minutes for a perfectly tender result. This method works for many other vegetables as well, including broccoli and asparagus.

    Step by Step Instructions for Instant Pot Cauliflower

    Head of cauliflower on a cutting board

    Plain cauliflower florets in a bowl

    Step One: Prepare the Cauliflower Florets

    Cut the head of cauliflower into evenly-sized florets, and place them in a large bowl. Each floret should be about one to two inches.

    Cauliflower in a bowl with spices

    Step Two: Season the Cauliflower

    Mix together the smoked paprika, salt, and chili powder in a small bowl. Sprinkle the mixture over the cauliflower, and stir to coat evenly. 

    Instant Pot cauliflower in the pressure cooker before cooking

    Step Three: Pressure Cook the Cauliflower

    Transfer the cauliflower to a steamer basket that will fit in your pressure cooker. Place 1 cup of water in the Instant Pot, then put the steamer basket in the pot. Cover the lid and turn the valve to Sealing.

    Set the pot to Manual High Pressure for 0 minutes. The cauliflower will be cooked by the time the pot comes to pressure. Use a quick release by turning the vent after the 0 minute cook time. Carefully remove the steamer basket from the pot immediately after the pot comes to pressure. Serve warm.

    Tips and Frequently Asked Questions about Instant Pot Cauliflower

    How long does it take to cook vegetables in a pressure cooker?

    You can use a zero minute cook time to cook many types of vegetables in the Instant Pot. The vegetables get steamed while the pot comes to pressure. One important tip for making Instant Pot cauliflower is to release the pressure immediately when the pot beeps after coming to pressure, and quickly remove the cauliflower from the pot. If you leave it in for a few extra minutes, it’ll be mushy.

    Can you cook cauliflower directly in the Instant Pot water?

    I recommend using a stainless steel steamer basket to cook your cauliflower. You can also use the trivet that comes with the Instant Pot, but if you cut your veggies too small, they’ll fall through the gaps in the rack into the water. Cut them a bit larger if you’re using the trivet. I don’t recommend cooking the cauliflower directly in the water.

    What spices go well with cauliflower?

    I like to season the cauliflower with smoked paprika, chili powder, and salt before cooking it. You can also sprinkle on the seasoning after cooking if you’d prefer. Adjust the spices according to your family’s tastes, adding more or less chili powder as desired. You can also use garlic powder, parmesan cheese, or lemon juice for other delicious flavors. Cauliflower absorbs a variety of flavors well.

    Can I make Instant Pot cauliflower to cook it for another recipe?

    If you’re making a cauliflower mash, cauliflower soup, or cauliflower rice for another recipe that calls for steamed cauliflower, this is the easiest way to prepare it. Just skip the seasonings in this recipe and follow the Instant Pot cooking instructions below.

    What’s the best way to mash steamed cauliflower?

    There are several ways to mash this Instant Pot steamed cauliflower. First, make sure it’s tender enough to mash. You may need to leave it in the pot for an extra minute to achieve the right texture. Then you can use a fork, potato masher, food processor, or immersion blender to mash the steamed cauliflower.

    Why is Instant Pot cauliflower better than the stovetop version?

    It’s fine to cook cauliflower on the stovetop, but I prefer to use the Instant Pot because it comes out perfectly every time with this cooking method. Sometimes when I make cauliflower on the stove, it gets overcooked because of the variation in timing depending on how high the burner is set.

    Kids will enjoy this cauliflower dipped in Ranch dressing, but it’s also delicious on its own. It’s so easy to make this pressure cooker cauliflower on a busy night!

    Prep Time:5 mins

    Cook Time:10 mins

    Total Time:15 mins

    • 1 head cauliflower (about 2 lbs)
    • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp chili powder
    • Wash the cauliflower and cut it into bite-sized florets. Place it in a large bowl.

    • In a small bowl, combine the smoked paprika, salt, and chili powder. Sprinkle the mixture over the cauliflower, and stir to coat evenly. Transfer the cauliflower to a steamer basket that will fit in your Instant Pot.

    • Place 1 cup of water in the Instant Pot, then put the steamer basket in the pot. Cover the lid and turn the vent to Sealing.

    • Set the pot to Manual High Pressure for 0 minutes. The cauliflower will be cooked by the time the pot comes to pressure. Use a quick release and carefully remove the steamer basket from the pot immediately after the pot comes to pressure. Serve warm.

    • Leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for several days.

    Calories: 18kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Sodium: 168mg | Potassium: 219mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.3mg

    Servings: 8

    Calories: 18kcal

    Cost: $.39 per serving

    Instant Pot Cauliflower Price Breakdown

    This recipe costs $3.08 to make, or $.39 per serving. Enjoy this easy pressure cooker cauliflower on a busy night.

    Note: This recipe was originally posted in 2018, and it was updated in 2022.



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