Instant Pot beets, or pressure cooker beets, are the easiest, hands-free way to cook whole beets perfectly tender in under 30 minutes.
Perfect beets in the Instant pot
Pressure cooker beets are game changer for beet lovers! This easy, hands-free recipe steams the beets perfectly tender, with almost no effort, in about 30 minutes. The only prep required to cook beets in the Instant Pot is to scrub to remove dirt and, if preferred, remove the stems. That's it!
These delicious beets are cooked perfectly for refrigerator pickled beets. We also use them for snacking, salad toppings, or a healthy side for entrees like broiled salmon, baked chicken thighs, air fryer chicken breast, and skillet pork chops.
Why we love pressure cooker beets
- easy and quick - Cooking beets in the Instant Pot is so easy, you literally set whole beets in the pot and add water. Poof! Even large beets are perfectly tender in about 30 minutes!
- cook as many beets as you can fit into the pressure cooker – or cook as few as you like.
- no babysitting - This Instant Pot recipe doesn't require your attention, so you can do other things while your beets get perfectly cooked.
- the kitchen stays cool - No more heating up the whole kitchen to boil beets.
- less mess - Pressure cooking whole beets in the Instant Pot means there's no prep required. No peeling or chopping, so everything stays clean. I even included my pro tip on how I peel pressure cooked beets without staining my hands.
- diet-friendly - This Instant Pot beet recipe is naturally vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, and approved for whole30 and paleo diets.
Only 2 ingredients needed
The ingredient amounts are listed in the recipe card below.
- fresh whole beets - Use red or yellow beets of any size. This recipe includes a guide for how to pressure cook them perfectly tender.
- water - The Instant Pot needs water to come to pressure, which is what will steam these beets perfectly.
How to cook beets in the Instant Pot
Scrub beets to remove any surface dirt. If they have tops and stems, you can cut them off, but it's not necessary because they'll fall right off once the beets are pressure cooked.
Stack beets using a trivet or inside a silicone steamer basket. Or simply stack beets inside the cooker without either. Add water, secure lid, and pressure cook beets (using the guide in the recipe card below) and allow a natural steam release.
Test for doneness by inserting a knife into the center. If there's no resistance, they're done. To peel the beets, allow beets to cool down enough for safe handling. Then, rinse beets under cool water, and rub the skins until they fall off. This prevents your hands from getting stained.
Cooking guide for different sized beets
Firm beets with some crunch
- small beets - 1 to 2-inch diameter = pressure cook beets 10 minutes
- medium beets - 2 to 3-inch diameter = pressure cook beets 15 minutes
- large beets - 3-inch diameter - pressure cook beets 20 minutes
Soft beets with no crunch
- small beets - 1 to 2-inch diameter = pressure cook beets 15 minutes
- medium beets - 2 to 3-inch diameter = pressure cook beets 25 minutes
- large beets - 3-inch diameter = pressure cook beets 30 minutes
Always allow a 10 minute NPR = natural pressure release. This is a slow release of steam from the pressure cooker so there's no need to touch the pot right after it cooks.
Use storebought beets or seasonal beets acquired from farmers market or your own garden.
Use any size cooker - I cook beets in my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo, but any size will work as long as you keep the beets below the 'max fill' line.
The colander isn't required, but it makes it easier to lower and lift beets in and out of the cooker.
Don't bother peeling or chopping before pressure cooking beets. In fact, once they're cooked, the skins fall right off and they're much easier to cut.
Test beets for doneness - Pressure cooker times can vary, so always test cooked beets by inserting a sharp knife into the beet center. Soft-cooked beets will not require any force, so if more time is needed, repeat pressure cook process in two-minute intervals until the texture is to your liking.
How to prevent staining your hands - When peeling cooked beets, hold them under running water to wash away beet juice as you peel.
How to use cooked beets
Instant Pot Beets Recipe
- 6 Beets (any variety), medium sized, about 3 lbs
- 1 cup Water
- Wash BEETS and stack on a trivet or steam basket in the Instant Pot. Pour in WATER. (no need to peel the beets yet)
- Secure the lid and turn pressure release valve to "Sealing". Select MANUAL or PRESSURE COOK on HIGH:Firm beet texture (with some crunch)small beets - 1 to 2-inch diameter = pressure cook beets 10 minutesmedium beets - 2 to 3-inch diameter = pressure cook beets 15 minuteslarge beets - 3-inch diameter - pressure cook beets 20 minutesSofter beet texture (with little or no crunch)small beets - 1 to 2-inch diameter = pressure cook beets 15 minutesmedium beets - 2 to 3-inch diameter = pressure cook beets 25 minuteslarge beets - 3-inch diameter = pressure cook beets 30 minutes
- When cook cycle completes, let the pot sit undisturbed for a 10-15 minute natural pressure release (NPR) until float valve drops. Turn pressure valve to "venting" to release any remaining steam.
- Open the lid and insert a sharp knife into the center of the beet. If there is little to no resistance, the beets are adequately cooked.Note: If more time is needed, you can pressure cook the beets in additional 2 minute cook cycles until they're to your liking.
- Carefully transfer beets out of the pot and rinse under cool water. Gently rub the skins and they'll fall right off. The water prevents the beets from staining your hands too!
- To store cooked beets, allow them to cool completely and refrigerate (whole or chopped) in an airtight container up to 5 days.
Traci's Recipe Notes
Nutrition data provided as courtesy estimates using unbranded ingredients from a nutrition database. Please consult preferred resource for precise data.