Balsamic Glazed Instant Pot Asparagus

a plate of asparagus drizzled in balsamic glaze

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 6 reviews

Perfectly steamed Instant Pot asparagus drizzled with a sweet and tangy balsamic glaze. You can also use this recipe to make plain Instant Pot steamed asparagus. 

Total Instant Pot Cooking Time: 5 minutes to reach pressure + 0 minutes cooking time + quick release (plus 5 more minutes to simmer the glaze)


Units Scale
  • 1 pound asparagus (you can steam a smaller amount if you like)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (regular or lower sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salted butter


  1. Trim the bottoms off of the asparagus
  2. In a small bowl mix together the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and brown sugar. Set aside.
  3. Pour 1 cup water into the Instant Pot. Place a steamer basket over the water and set the asparagus inside the basket.
  4. Program the Instant Pot to cook on low pressure for zero minutes: First, press the "manual" or "pressure cook" button and then the "pressure" button to switch the pressure level to "low" instead of high. Then press the minus button "-" until the cooking time goes down to zero. (see the step-by-step photos in the blog post above)
  5. It will take between 4 to 8 minutes for the Instant Pot to reach pressure, depending on how much asparagus is stacked in the steamer basket. 
  6. Once the Instant Pot reaches pressure, it will then it will cook for zero minutes and immediately start beeping to alert you that the cooking time is done.
  7.  Immediately initiate a quick release of the pressure by moving the steam release knob to “venting”
  8. Lift out the steamer basket and spread the asparagus out on a serving plate. It's best to spread the asparagus out on a plate; if it stays stacked up in the steamer basket it will continue to steam itself and the texture will get softer. 
  9. Pour the water out of the insert
  10. Press the saute button (set on "normal" heat). Pour in the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and brown sugar. Simmer for 4 minutes, stirring frequently with a heat resistant spatula. You'll notice the glaze thickening and become more syrupy as it simmers.
  11. After 4 minutes, add the butter. Stir the glaze for another 30 to 60 seconds as the butter melts,  then immediately pour the glaze into a bowl, using the spatula to scrap the glaze from the bottom of the Instant Pot.  The balsamic glaze should have the thick, sticky consistency of molasses.
  12. Drizzle the glaze over the asparagus, and serve. The glaze thickens very quickly. If it becomes too thick to pour over the asparagus, just warm it for 10 seconds in the microwave. 


This recipe was tested in a 6-quart Instant Pot

 It’s important to instantly release the steam when the 0 minutes of cooking time is complete, otherwise the asparagus will continue to cook and soften. For this reason, I always set a timer for 4 minutes after I secure the lid, so that I’m paying attention and ready to release steam as soon as the Instant Pot beeps. 

To use the "normal"heat level for sautéing, press the Saute button then press the Adjust button until the red light is under "normal" instead of "less" or "more"  

Storage: Steamed asparagus tastes best and has the best texture if eaten immediately or within a day. However, even if the texture is softer it will stay fresh for up to 5 days if kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

If you prefer plain, steamed asparagus just follow the steaming instructions and skip the balsamic glaze. 

Trimming Asparagus

Many home cooks (including me!) trim asparagus by snapping off the bottom of the spear. This method is quick and easy and works especially well with firm spears. However, you’re throwing away more asparagus than necessary.

To waste less of the stalk, use a knife and only chop off the very tip, or any part of the stalk that is white. If the asparagus has tough, woody ends even after being trimmed, you can use a vegetable peeler to peel off the tough outer skin, instead of chopping off more.