Perfectly steamed Instant Pot asparagus drizzled with a sweet and tangy balsamic glaze.
This easy recipe for Instant Pot steamed asparagus is the most reliable method for cooking tender asparagus in a pressure cooker.
What you'll also love is the easy, luscious balsamic glaze that can be drizzled over your steamed asparagus.
The glaze is sweet and tangy and takes just 5 minutes to make.
If you want plain, steamed Instant Pot asparagus you can make that too! Just follow the same cooking method outlined in the recipe card below. Or, top the asparagus with butter, lemon juice or parmesan cheese.
Lots of options here, to make sure you can have whatever type of asparagus you crave!
Asparagus: Medium-thick spears steam better than very thin spears. Very thin asparagus spears cook very quickly, and are likely to get overcooked when steamed in a pressure cooker.
Balsamic Glaze Ingredients: Balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and butter simmer together and reduce into a glossy glaze to drizzle over the asparagus.
- Pour 1 cup of water into the pressure cooker. Set a steamer basket with asparagus over the water.
2. Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Set aside.
3. Program the Instant Pot to cook for "0" minutes on LOW pressure. When the steaming time is complete (L0:00) and the pressure cooker beeps, immediately release the pressure.
Low pressure steams at a slightly lower temperature, making it more likely that the asparagus won't be overcooked. The Instant Pot defaults to high pressure, which is more likely to result in overcooked asparagus.
4. Take the steamer basket of asparagus out of the Instant Pot. Press the "saute" button and add the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and brown sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes into a thick glaze, then add a pat of butter.
5. Drizzle the balsamic glaze over the asparagus and serve
Is a steamer basket necessary?
Yes, if you want pressure cooker asparagus to have a perfectly cooked texture you need to use a steamer basket in the Instant Pot. If you set the asparagus directly in the water, it will boil not steam.
This can result in overcooked, soggy or limp asparagus.
If necessary, you can use the metal trivet that comes with the Instant Pot. However, the asparagus might fall through the large gaps and it's harder to lift out once the veggie is cooked.
Pro Tips for Perfectly Cooked Instant Pot Asparagus
- Use a steamer basket
- Cook for "0" minutes, then use a quick release
- Cook on low pressure
- If the cooked asparagus is too firm, just set the lid back on the Instant Pot and the stalks will continue to steam in the residual heat
Seasonings and Sauces
Balsamic glazed asparagus has sweet and tangy flavor. A glaze is simply a sauce that's simmered long enough to concentrate the flavor and thicken the consistency.
The balsamic glaze in this recipe is made from balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and butter. It's salty, tangy, & sweet and has a silky, syrupy texture. Yum!
This asparagus is an easy side dish and flavor-packed green vegetable that's perfect for dinner.
You can also use the recipe below to make plain asparagus in a pressure cooker. Nothing more is needed to flavor the steamed veggie than a little butter or olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
To add more flavor, you can top plain steamed asparagus with one or more of these ingredients or sauces:
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Crumbled goat cheese or feta
- Black pepper or red pepper flakes
- Slivered almonds
- Curry powder + mayonnaise = tasty dip
- Creme fraiche and mustard sauce
- Cucumber yogurt sauce
- Best-Ever Thai Peanut Sauce, from Feasting at Home
Depending on how fresh the asparagus is when it's purchased, uncooked asparagus will stay fresh for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator. After 5 days, it might begin to dry-out and shrivel and/or droop and become limp.
To keep asparagus as fresh as possible and extend the 3 to 5 day window, trim the bottoms and then wrap the bottom of the stalks in a damp paper towel. Just the ends need to stay moist, not the whole stalk.
After being steamed, asparagus really does tastes best and have the best texture if eaten immediately or within a day. It will stay fresh for several days, but the texture will get limp.
More Instant Pot Steamed Veggies
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