Instant Pot Steamed Artichokes

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instant pot steamed artichokes

The tender, savory leaves of an artichoke make a great side dish or appetizer, especially when served with your favorite dipping sauce. Instant Pot Steamed Artichokes take a fraction of the time compared to steaming them on the stovetop. 

If I had to choose a favorite food, it would probably be steamed artichokes. Since I was a teenager, this spiky, strange-looking vegetable was at the top of my request list for my birthday dinner each year. Now Frank makes them for me every April when they’re in season. We stand around the kitchen counter, dipping the tender artichokes leaves in rich hollandaise sauce and sighing over the goodness of it all.

dipping steamed artichokes into hollandaise

The one problem that has haunted us year after year is the unpredictable time for steaming these vegetables. Whole artichokes are easy to steam on the stovetop, but the cook time can vary dramatically. Fresh, smaller artichokes can steam fast but larger, older artichokes can take an hour or more! Many a year, we ate my birthday artichokes long after the rest of the meal was done and put away because those sneaky little veggies had to keep cooking. 

But that’s not a problem we have anymore. Instant Pot to the rescue!

The Instant Pot / pressure cooker takes steaming artichokes from a lengthy process with lots of lifting the lid to check in on the vegetables to a 10-30 minute, totally hands off proposition.

5 whole artichokes lying on a white table

Just prep the artichokes, load them in the Instant Pot, cover and cook. While the artichokes are steaming, whip up some hollandaise or garlic butter for dipping. 

Here’s how to do it.

How to Prep an Artichoke for Steaming

If you’ve never prepped an artichoke it can feel intimidating. This is quite a strange vegetable. The good news is that, once you’ve done it, it will never feel intimidating again. 

artichoke lying on a white table

First, rinse the artichoke well, letting water run between the leaves.

cleaning an artichoke under the faucet

Next, place it on a cutting board and slice off the stem. You’ll want to slice off enough of the stem that it can sit upright.

Then slice off the top of the artichoke to expose the layers of color on the inside of the vegetable. This will remove any spikes on the top of the leaves and will make the leaves easier to peel off later when you serve it.

an artichoke with the top sliced off next to a knife on a white table

Remove any remaining small, tough leaves on the outside of the artichoke. If any of the remaining leaves have thorns at the end, use kitchen shears to slice off the thorns. (Sometimes these thorns are removed before the artichokes are sold, so you may be able to skip this step.)

trimming an artichoke on a white table with scissors

That’s it – these artichokes are ready to be steamed!

squeezing a lemon over artichokes in an instant pot

artichokes and lemons in an instant pot

How to Eat an Artichoke

As intimidating as it can feel to prep a whole artichoke for the first time, it can feel equally as confusing to eat it. The most fun way is to enjoy it leaf-by-leaf.

pulling a leaf off of a steamed artichoke in an instant pot

Peel off the leaves, one at a time, and dip the tender lower portion of each leaf in sauce. Gently scrape the “meat” of that lower portion of the leaf off with your teeth. Discard the rest of the leaf.

Instant Pot Steamed Artichoke on a white plate, next to a small white bowl of hollandaise sauce

When you reach the middle of the artichoke, the leaves will get very soft and it will be difficult to peel them off. At this point, you’ll want to remove the choke and eat the last bit of the artichoke with a fork.

Instant Pot Steamed Artichoke on white plate next to a bowl of hollandaise sauce

This fuzzy center (“choke”) should NOT be eaten. See the photo below. The choke (top) should be discarded and the remaining tender base of the artichoke (bottom) is delicious to eat.

the choke of a steamed artichoke on a white plate

Best Sauces for Artichokes

  • Fresh Basil Pesto
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Hollandaise Sauce (recipe coming later this week!)
  • Sriracha Mayo
  • Garlic Butter
  • Ranch Dressing (or your other favorite creamy dressing)

More Great Vegetable Sides

Favorite Tools

  • 6-Quart Instant Pot Duo – This is the Instant Pot / pressure cooker I use to test all meals on this site. It easily makes enough to serve the 5 members of our family (3 are young kids). 

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Artichokes and lemons in an instant pot
4.80 from 10 votes

Instant Pot Steamed Artichokes

The tender, savory leaves of an artichoke make a great side dish or appetizer, especially when served with your favorite dipping sauce. Steamed Artichokes in the Instant Pot take a fraction of the time compared to steaming them on the stovetop.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 24 minutes
Total: 34 minutes
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • 6-quart Instant Pot / pressure cooker
  • Instant Pot Trivet (usually comes with the pressure cooker)

Ingredients 

  • 2 large Artichokes (see note)
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 Lemon, halved
  • Dipping Sauce, for serving (like pesto, hollandaise, or garlic butter)

Instructions 

  • Prepare artichokes: Rinse and drain artichokes, being sure to rinse between the leaves. Slice off enough of the stem so that the artichokes can sit upright. Slice off the top of the artichokes to remove the thorns at the top of the leaves. (Note: Sometimes all thorns are removed before the artichokes are sold in stores, but if any remain after you sliced off the top, use kitchen shears to remove them) Remove and discard any of the small, tougher leaves near the base of the artichoke.
  • Add water to the bowl of an Instant Pot / pressure cooker.
  • Add the trivet that came with the machine.
  • Place the artichokes on top of the trivet, stem-side down.
  • Squeeze the juice from the lemons over top of the artichokes and then tuck the remaining lemon peels around the artichokes (the lemon peels will continue to flavor the artichokes as they cook).
  • Close and lock the lid.
  • Set the pressure valve to Sealing.
  • Cook on manual / high pressure, using the following timeframes as a guide (use the weight of the heaviest single artichoke as a guide):
    * 8 oz Artichoke - 10 minutes
    * 12 oz Artichoke - 14 minutes
    * 16 oz Artichoke - 18 minutes
  • At the end of the cook time, manually release the pressure.
  • Test one artichoke by peeling off an outer leaf. (The leaf should easily pull away. If it does, the artichokes are done. If not, leave the artichokes to the pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Again, manually release pressure.)
  • Serve artichokes with dipping sauce of choice.

Notes

2 large artichokes (about 12 to 16 oz each) is a good amount to be shared by 4 people as a side dish. Alternatively, you can serve one artichoke per person, but aim to get smaller artichokes around 8 to 10 oz each. Try to get artichokes of a similar size so that they finish cooking at the same time, and use the guide in the recipe above to determine how long to steam / pressure cook the artichokes.

Nutrition

Calories: 50kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 80mg | Potassium: 349mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 48mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $6.50
Calories: 50
Keyword: instant pot, steamed vegetable
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About Jess Smith

Jess is the recipe creator and photographer at InquiringChef.com. She spent nearly a decade as the Chief Recipe Developer for the award-winning meal planning app Cook Smarts. Her colorful, healthyish recipes have been featured in popular online publications including Parade, Hallmark, and HuffPost.

4.80 from 10 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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3 Comments

  1. Do you cook the artichokes 10 minutes per artichoke or for two. For instance, if I have 2 12oz artichokes, do I cook them for 14 minutes or 28 minutes?
    Teresa

    1. Great question Teresa – we’ll update the recipe to clarify. The cook time is based on the weight of the heaviest artichoke of the bunch, but won’t change if you cook more than one. If the heaviest artichoke you have is 12 oz, use 14 minutes as a guide, even if there are several artichokes in the pot.