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Food & Recipes

Instant Pot Brussels Sprouts: Speedy Recipe for Sweet + Tender Veggies in 2 Minutes

Here are 2 ways to prepare this delicious side, even during busy weeknights

We liken cooking Brussels sprouts to a delicate dance: Too much heat makes them too soft, while not enough results in too firm veggies. Thankfully, cooking the sprouts in an Instant Pot removes any guesswork and unlocks the veggie’s flavor and texture potential. This all-in-one appliance quickly softens the sprouts (in as little as 2 minutes) without turning them into mush. Even better, you’re not limited by how you can cook this veggie in the machine. You can steam or air fry the Brussels sprouts until they’re piping hot and tender. Keep reading for tips on cooking Brussel sprouts in the Instant Pot!

What are Brussels sprouts?

Brussels sprouts are vegetables that belong to the cabbage family. They look like mini green cabbages, though they’re typically sweeter than their large-sized cousins. In addition to their appearance and flavor, Brussels sprouts are full of nutrients. A ½ cup serving of cooked sprouts contains 28 calories, 2 grams of protein and 48 milligrams of calcium. This is good news since protein is associated with maintaining muscle mass, while calcium helps support healthy bones. Another perk of this veggie is that it can be cooked in a variety of ways, especially using the Instant Pot.

Why you should cook Brussel sprouts in the Instant Pot

An Instant Pot is an appliance that uses steam and high amounts of pressure to cook food fast. While this machine boasts steaming capabilities like other pressure cookers, many models also have an air fryer function. So, you can steam the sprouts for about 2 minutes to enjoy as a quick side, or air fry them for 15 minutes to achieve a tender yet crispy texture. Additionally, a 6-quart Instant Pot can fit 2 pounds of sprouts — allowing each one to cook quickly and evenly. Although this machine offers a hassle-free way of cooking this veggie, be sure to prep it correctly to nail the best flavor and texture.

How to prepare Brussels sprouts for cooking

Before cooking the veggie, you’ll want to follow these four steps from Elizabeth Mehditach, chef, TV host and founder of Lēza, so they’re cleaned, trimmed and ready to use for the recipe.

  1. Thoroughly wash all of the sprouts, removing any dirt on the surface.
  2. Pat dry to eliminate excess moisture.
  3. Peel away any yellowing leaves  
  4. Trim the stem and cut the sprouts in half. (Note: If your sprouts are different sizes, you may have to quarter some for equal cooking time.)

2 ways to cook Brussel sprouts in an Instant Pot 

Below, Mehditach shares how to cook Brussels sprouts in your Instant if you want them steamed or air fried. Both recipes guarantee delicious and tender veg that will earn rave reviews at your dinner table!

2-Minute Recipe: Steamed Brussels Sprouts

Steamed Brussels sprouts cooked in an Instant Pot


  • 2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, halved
  • ¾ cup water
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Juice from ½ lemon


  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
  1. In large bowl, toss sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper until coated.
  2. Pour about water in bottom of 6- to 8-quart Instant pot and place trivet or steamer basket in machine. Add Brussels sprouts and secure lid on top (as recommended in instructions manual).
  3. Allow sprouts to pressure cook on high about 1 to 2 minutes, until they’re soft but retain a slightly firm texture. Use quick release function to remove pressure from lid.
  4. Transfer sprouts to bow and toss with lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve.
  5. If you don’t have an Instant Pot: Follow the recipe as listed above, except the steam sprouts in batches on the stove for about 5 minutes each.

15-Minute Recipe: Crispy Brussels Sprouts

Air fried Brussels sprouts cooked in an Instant Pot


  • 2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, washed, dried and trimmed
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese + more for serving
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil + more for greasing
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Juice from ½ lemon + more for serving


  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
  1. In large bowl, mix together all ingredients — making sure sprouts are fully coated.
  2. Grease bottom of air fryer basket for 6- to 8-quart Instant Pot with layer of olive oil. Place Brussels cut side down in basket. (Note: You may have to do this in batches for a smaller Instant Pot.)
  3. Close lid and air fry at 375°F around 15 minutes (as suggested by instructions manual). When machine beeps halfway through, flip sprouts and continue cooking remaining time. If this feature isn’t available on your machine, set timer to about 7 to 8 minutes and then flip. Cook another 7 to 8 minutes.
  4. Once sprouts are crispy and tender, release pressure and scoop into serving bowl. Taste for seasoning, adding more lemon juice or Parmesan if desired. Enjoy!
  5. If you don’t have an Instant Pot: After tossing raw sprouts in ingredients, divide between 2 parchment-lined baking sheets and spread into an even layer. Roast in the oven at 375°F for 20 to 30 minutes, until they’re golden brown and fork-tender.

5 additional ways to flavor Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts absorb the flavors of other ingredients beyond salt, pepper and lemon. Try adding these five ingredients before or after the sprouts are cooked for extra tasty veg!

1. Chili flakes

A generous sprinkle of chili flakes infuses the sprouts with a peppery kick.

2. Honey

Drizzling honey enhances the veggie’s sweetness and balances its natural earthiness.

3. Balsamic vinegar

This vinegar packs a sweet and tangy punch — perfect for your batch of Brussels sprouts.

4. Garlic

Minced garlic’s pungent taste is pleasant without being overpowering for the vegetable.

5. Cooked bacon

Bacon bits provide the hearty sprouts with a layer of saltiness and smokiness.

Continue reading for more genius ways to cook your favorite vegetables!

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