Healthy Instant Pot Cauliflower Recipe for Busy Weeknights

Welcome to my Instant Pot Cauliflower Recipe! As a chef who specializes in Vietnamese and Asian cuisine, I understand the importance of incorporating healthy and nutritious ingredients in my recipes. This recipe is the perfect example of that.

Cauliflower has been a popular vegetable among health-conscious individuals for years now. Not only is it low in calories and high in fiber, but it’s also loaded with essential vitamins and minerals to fuel your body. Plus, it’s incredibly versatile and can be used in various dishes such as soups, curries, and even baked goods!

In this recipe, I will show you how to cook perfectly tender cauliflower in just 2 minutes using your Instant Pot. Cooking cauliflower has never been easier with this fast and easy method that requires only cold water, a steamer basket, and some simple ingredients.

Whether you’re looking for a quick side dish or a flavorful addition to your favorite curry or soup recipe, this Instant Pot Cauliflower Recipe is the way to go. Get ready to enjoy some delicious and healthy cauliflower that’s steamed to perfection every time.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Instant Pot Cauliflower
Instant Pot Cauliflower

Hey there foodies! I’m so thrilled to share with you my recipe for Instant Pot Cauliflower that will surely satisfy your cravings for a nutritious and delicious meal. You might be wondering, “Why should I give this recipe a try?” Well, let me tell you why!

Firstly, cooking cauliflower has never been quicker with the Instant Pot. With just two minutes of high-pressure cook time, you can have perfectly tender cauliflower every time without worrying about overcooking. Unlike other cauliflower recipes that may take up to 10 or more minutes to cook, the Instant Pot cuts down the time in half, making it a fast and easy dish to prepare.

Secondly, this recipe is highly versatile! Transform your plain steamed cauliflower into an array of dishes that will excite your taste buds. You can make Buffalo Cauliflower for a spicy kick, or even add cauliflower florets to a soup recipe like Roasted Cauliflower Soup for a creamier texture.

Lastly, this cauliflower recipe fits perfectly with different diets – whether you’re vegetarian, vegan or keto-friendly. By just substituting olive oil instead of butter and cheese, you can still achieve the same flavorful dish without compromising your diet restrictions.

Overall, cooking cauliflower in the Instant Pot is an excellent alternative compared to traditional methods. It is a healthy and nutrient-packed ingredient that doesn’t sacrifice any taste. So why not give this recipe a try and start incorporating this superfood into your meals? Trust me; you won’t regret it!

Ingredient List

 Bite into a crispy and savory cauliflower with our Instant Pot recipe.
Bite into a crispy and savory cauliflower with our Instant Pot recipe.


  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ½ cup of cold water
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)


  • Buffalo sauce, for serving
  • Grated cheese, for serving

This Instant Pot Cauliflower recipe requires only a few simple ingredients that you can easily find in your kitchen. The star ingredient in this recipe is the cauliflower which will be transformed into a delicious dish with a perfectly tender texture. To cook this recipe, you will need the use of an Instant Pot. You can garnish your cooked cauliflower with buffalo sauce or grated cheese for added flavor.

The Recipe How-To

 This dish is perfect for anyone who wants to add more vegetables to their diet.
This dish is perfect for anyone who wants to add more vegetables to their diet.

Step 1: Prepare the Cauliflower

  • Take a cauliflower head and cut it into florets. To do this, remove the outer leaves and any stems that stick out of the cauliflower. Cut the head into quarters, then cut each quarter into smaller florets.

Step 2: Steam the Cauliflower

  • Add ½ cup of cold water to your Instant Pot and place the trivet at the bottom. If you don’t have a trivet, you can use a steamer basket.
  • Place the cauliflower florets in a steamer basket or directly on the trivet. You can press them down gently so that they fit into the pot.
  • Close the lid of your Instant Pot, set it to high pressure, and cook for 2 minutes. Use the quick-release pressure valve to release all steam. This will prevent overcooking and make sure that your cauliflower is perfectly tender.
  • Remove the lid (use tongs if necessary) and your steamed cauliflower is ready!

Step 3: Optional – Sautéed Cauliflower

  • If you prefer, you can also sauté your cauliflower after cooking it in high pressure for 2 minutes.
  • To do so, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to your Instant Pot and switch it to sauté mode.
  • Once hot, add the steamed cauliflower florets and sauté them for around 3-4 minutes, until they are slightly golden brown.

That’s it! With this recipe, you can easily cook instant pot cauliflower fast and easy, and enjoy its perfectly tender texture. Use this technique as a base for other cauliflower recipes such as buffalo cauliflower, roasted cauliflower soup, curry or even tikka masala.

Substitutions and Variations

 Make healthy eating easier with this delicious cauliflower recipe.
Make healthy eating easier with this delicious cauliflower recipe.

There are several ways you can customize this Instant Pot Cauliflower recipe to fit your taste preferences or dietary restrictions. Here are a few substitutions and variations to consider.

– Steamed Cauliflower: If you don’t have an Instant Pot or prefer to steam your cauliflower in the stovetop, simply place a pot with a steamer basket over high heat. Add about 1 inch of cold water to the pot, place the cauliflower florets in the steamer basket, and cover with a lid. Steam for about 5-10 minutes until the cauliflower is tender.

– Whole Cauliflower: For a beautiful presentation, you can cook a whole cauliflower head in the Instant Pot. Simply remove the leaves and trim the stem of the cauliflower, place a trivet at the bottom of the pot, and then place the cauliflower on top. Add 1 cup of water to the pot, set it to high pressure for 10 minutes, and do a quick release.

– Roasted Cauliflower: If you prefer roasted cauliflower over steamed, toss the florets in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast in a preheated oven at 400°F for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.

– Buffalo Cauliflower: Give your Instant Pot Cauliflower a spicy kick by tossing steamed or roasted florets with buffalo sauce and serving with blue cheese dressing.

– Cauliflower Rice: You can easily turn your cooked Instant Pot Cauliflower into rice by pulsing it in a food processor until it reaches a rice-like consistency. Sauté with some garlic and onion for added flavor.

– Cauliflower Cheese: For a creamy and cheesy twist on this recipe, mix steamed or roasted cauliflower with some cheddar or Parmesan cheese and bake in the oven until bubbly and golden brown.

These are just some ideas to get you started. Feel free to experiment with different spices, herbs, sauces, or toppings to create your own unique cauliflower recipe.

Serving and Pairing

 Impress your friends and family with this flavorful and beautiful dish.
Impress your friends and family with this flavorful and beautiful dish.

This Instant Pot cauliflower recipe is a delectable side dish that pairs perfectly with a variety of main courses. You can serve it as a side to grilled meats, roasted chicken, or as part of a vegetarian meal. This dish is versatile and can be transformed into a main course by adding some protein of your choice such as tofu, grilled shrimp or sliced chicken.

For a lighter meal, you can pair this dish with a hearty salad or some steamed vegetables. The nutty and earthy flavor notes in this dish also pair well with grains like quinoa, farro and brown rice which will add texture and volume to your meal.

To complement the flavors in this dish, I recommend pairing it with a white wine like Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. If you prefer red wine, a crisp Pinot Noir would work well too. Alternatively, you can enjoy it with something refreshing like an iced tea or lemonade.

If you’re feeling adventurous and want to experiment further with cauliflower recipes, try serving this Instant Pot cauliflower alongside buffalo wings to balance out the spicy flavors. Alternatively, create a wholesome soup by blending the cooked cauliflower florets in some vegetable stock and seasonings for an unforgettable roasted cauliflower soup recipe.

Overall, this Instant Pot cauliflower recipe offers plenty of options when it comes to pairing and serving. So go ahead and explore the exciting possibilities that await- whether it be roasted cauliflower cheese, curries or even tikka masala, there’s something for everyone!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Cooking with an Instant Pot is fast, easy and convenient.
Cooking with an Instant Pot is fast, easy and convenient.

Once you’ve cooked your Instant Pot Cauliflower, you may want to store some of it for later use. This recipe can easily be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge or freezer for future meals.

To Store: Let the cooked cauliflower cool down completely before storing it in an airtight container. You can keep the cooked cauliflower in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To Reheat: If reheating from frozen, let the cauliflower thaw first. Then, you can reheat it in a microwave-safe dish or on a stovetop pan with a splash of olive oil until warmed through. If reheating from the fridge, either microwave it or heat it on a stovetop pan over medium heat until warmed through.

Meal Prep Tip: You can make extra batches of this Instant Pot Cauliflower Recipe and use it as a base for different recipes throughout the week. For example, you could add it to soups, salads, stir-fries, or even make buffalo cauliflower bites out of them!

No matter how you choose to store and reheat your leftover cauliflower, make sure you don’t overcook it so that it retains its texture and flavor. Enjoy the convenience of having delicious cauliflower ready to go whenever you need it!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Flavorful seasonings like garlic, paprika, and thyme elevate the natural taste of cauliflower.
Flavorful seasonings like garlic, paprika, and thyme elevate the natural taste of cauliflower.

Now that you know how to make Instant Pot cauliflower, let me share some tips to ensure it comes out perfectly every time.

Firstly, always use cold water when steaming cauliflower in the Instant Pot. This will help generate steam faster, which in turn will reduce the cooking time and keep the cauliflower from becoming too soft and mushy.

Another important tip is to use a steamer basket or trivet when cooking cauliflower in the Instant Pot. This will allow the steam to circulate around the cauliflower evenly, resulting in perfectly tender cauliflower florets.

Also, be mindful of the amount of liquid used when pressure cooking cauliflower. Adding too much water can result in overcooked and soggy cauliflower. Typically, ½ a cup of water is enough to create sufficient steam for pressure cooking.

If you want to infuse some flavor into your cauliflower, consider adding herbs or spices like garlic or cumin to the water. Alternatively, you can brush olive oil over the top of whole or cut up cauliflower before cooking for a little extra flavor.

Lastly, if you prefer slightly crunchy cauliflower, try pressure cooking it for just 2 minutes on high pressure with a quick release. If you like your cauliflower more tender, extend the cook time by setting your Instant Pot to cook on high pressure for 5-10 minutes.

By following these tips, you’re sure to create an Instant Pot Cauliflower dish that’s both delicious and textured perfectly!


As with any recipe, you may encounter some questions or uncertainties along the way. Don’t worry, I have got you covered! Here are some common FAQs about this Instant Pot cauliflower recipe to help you achieve the best results possible.

What foods should not be cooked in an instant pot?

When using an Instant Pot for cooking, it’s important to be mindful of certain ingredients that may not work well with this appliance. For instance, creamy sauces can become too thick and dairy-based dishes can curdle or separate. Fried chicken requires a specific texture that may not be achieved with an Instant Pot, and burgers can be tricky because they need to stay together on the grill. Similarly, cookies and pie may not turn out as desired if baked in an Instant Pot. Lastly, steak, which needs a good sear, may not be the best option in an Instant Pot.

Why do you soak cauliflower before cooking?

To ensure the cleanliness of your organic cauliflower, an effective technique is to immerse the head in salt water for around 30 minutes before cooking. This method will eliminate any potential critters such as worms or insects, guaranteeing a pest-free outcome. Once the cauliflower has completed its saltwater spa treatment, rinse thoroughly with cool water to remove any excess salt.

Is it better to boil or steam cauliflower?

Did you know that when cauliflower is boiled, it tends to lose a significant amount of its nutrients? This is because the nutrients tend to seep out into the cooking water, with the exception of vitamin B-12. While minerals are more heat-resistant than vitamins, boiling still results in a loss of about 5 to 10 percent of all mineral content. The best way to ensure that you retain all of the minerals in cauliflower is to steam it instead.

Should you rinse cauliflower before cooking?

It is necessary to cleanse cauliflower before cooking it, and an effective method is to give it a proper wash with cold water.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Instant Pot Cauliflower Recipe is a game-changer in the world of cauliflower recipes. It not only takes away the hassle of cooking cauliflower for an extended period of time using traditional methods but also helps you achieve perfectly tender and cooked cauliflower every time. The recipe is fast, easy, and can be customized to your liking with different seasonings and variations.

With its versatility, this recipe opens up a world of opportunities for incorporating cauliflower into your meals in different ways to accommodate different dietary needs and preferences. Whether you’re looking for a quick side dish, a delicious vegetarian main course, or a nutritious addition to your meal prep, this recipe ticks all the boxes.

Additionally, this recipe is also great for those who are looking to add more veggies to their diet but are short on time. The Instant Pot steam releases quickly, meaning you can have a nutritious meal ready in less than 30 minutes.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your Instant Pot and start experimenting with all the different cauliflower recipes out there! From buffalo cauliflower to roasted cauliflower soup, curry, tikka masala, cauliflower rice, and even cauliflower cheese – the possibilities are endless. Give this Instant Pot Cauliflower recipe a try today – I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!

Instant Pot Cauliflower

Instant Pot Cauliflower Recipe

This is from Amy + Jacky
No ratings yet
Prep Time 1 min
Cook Time 14 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Fusion
Calories 36.8 kcal


  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1/2 cup cold water


  • Pour 1/2 cup cold water into Instant Pot.
  • Place steamer basket into Instant Pot.
  • Add in cauliflower florets.
  • Pressure Cook at High Pressure:
  • 2-3 cups of Cauliflower Florets: 0 minute + Quick Release.
  • 1 cup Cauliflower Florets: Crunchy - 1 minute + Quick Release; Tender: 2 minutes + Quick Release.
  • Serve Instant Pot Cauliflower: Remove the cauliflower immediately to prevent overcooking, then serve.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 176gCalories: 36.8kcalCarbohydrates: 7.3gProtein: 2.8gFat: 0.4gSaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 45mgFiber: 2.9gSugar: 2.8g
Keyword < 15 Mins, Easy, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, Vegetable
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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