[Instant Pot] Pressure-Steamed Artichokes

The artichoke: nature’s finger food.

Au naturale. Simply steamed. Is any other plain vegetable quite so botanically romantic? Maybe it’s the delicately sweet flavor. Maybe it’s because they love cool, salty California air, like I do. Maybe it’s because you’re literally eating a dang flower! Whatever it is, sitting down to share an artichoke is something special.

Unfortunately, the things have a reputation for being a pain to prepare – their tough structures definitely need some cooking before they’re ready to melt in your mouth. On the stove top, you’re looking at upwards of 40 minutes of babysitting the pot, making sure the water level doesn’t boil too low. This is where Instant Pot* comes in. With my favorite set-and-forget pressure cooker on hand, the task really isn’t fussy at all.

Instant Pot Pressure-Steamed Artichokes
Just chop off the tops, set the guys up on your steam rack, dump in a cup of water, seal it up, and set the cooker to 20 minutes on high pressure. Simple!

The trickiest thing about artichokes is that they seem to vary in their toughness. Some are a little fresher and more supple, and don’t need to cook as long. Others are extra fibrous and ornery, and benefit from extra cooking time. Mine were closer to the latter, so take that into account. I have a hard time imagining the flesh getting too deliciously soft and creamy, but if you’re worried about overcooking you can always start low and turn the cooker back on for a couple of extra minutes if needed.

Instant Pot Pressure-Steamed Artichokes
By the way, I know my lemon wedges are looking a little ragged, but I kind of like it; I picked the fruit off a tree by my apartment, so I’m embracing the realness.

If you need a crash course in eating the thing, I’ll refer to the experts. When you pluck the leaves, you can dip them in warm garlic butter or something mayonnaise-y. I dipped a few into Trader Joe’s Champagne Vinaigrette, which has a nice dijonnaise flair. Next time I’m tempted to try something like chimichurri or green goddess dressing. Be creative and have fun with it!

It’s just such a delight to serve up a steamy artichoke as a first course – a simple luxury. Now that I know how easy it can be, I’m seeing a lot more of them in my future. There’s no reason to save it for special occasions!

Instant Pot Pressure-Steamed Artichokes

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: Serves 2-4 as an appetizer

2 medium-sized whole artichokes (mine were about 5 1/2 ounces each)
1 lemon wedge
1 cup water

Rinse the artichokes with water and remove any damaged outer leaves. Using a sharp knife, carefully trim off the stem and top third of each artichoke. Rub the cut top with a lemon wedge to prevent browning.

Set the steam rack or a steamer basket into the Instant Pot's cooking insert, place the artichokes on top, and pour in a cup of water. Close the lid and ensure that the valve is set to sealed position. Select "Manual" mode and adjust the time to 20 minutes. For larger or smaller artichokes, adjust the time up or down by 5 minutes.

When the cooking time is up, hit "Cancel" to turn off the warming function. Wait 10 minutes, then open the valve to release the remaining pressure. Use tongs to remove the artichokes from the cooker and serve warm with the dipping sauce of your choice.


*Affiliate link, not sponsored – I just love Instant Pot!

13 thoughts on “[Instant Pot] Pressure-Steamed Artichokes

  1. People need to know about cutting out the fuzzy choke thing too, when they’re chopping away at it.

    1. Good point! This is covered in the “how to eat” link” – I actually don’t bother to remove it first when I pressure-steam them whole like this. After eating the fleshy petals, you can scoop out the fuzzy choke in the center (not good eats!) to get to the tasty heart underneath!

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