This recipe for Instant Pot Carrots is so easy and delicious. It makes the perfect healthy side dish for a holiday meal or for an ordinary weeknight. This 20-minute vegetarian recipe is made without sugar.

Instant pot cooked carrots in white casserole dish with thyme.

If you’re like me, you’re always looking for an easy vegetable side dish to go with dinner. I tend to make a simple green salad or steamed or roasted vegetables. These steamed carrots are sweet, perfectly cooked and delicious.

Isn’t it great that it only takes 2 minutes to cook carrots in a pressure cooker? That does not include the approximate 10 minutes for the pot to come up to pressure or the 5 minutes of prep time. Still, this dish can be done start to finish in less than 20 minutes.

Why You Need This Recipe

  • This super easy recipe is a great side dish that goes with almost any main dish. It’s simple enough to serve everyday, but you can also add it to your Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter menu.
  • It’s vegetarian, vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and made without sugar! This recipe tastes delicious with coconut oil instead of butter for a flavorful vegan version. You can also use a vegan butter for dairy allergies or other dairy-free diets.
  • It’s done in 20 minutes. The only thing you have to prep are the carrots but you can buy baby carrots and sidestep prep work altogether if you like (see my related recipe for Air Fryer Baby Carrots).

Key Ingredients

Ingredients for instant pot carrots

Carrots cook perfectly in the instant pot and have a natural sweetness that goes well with creamy ghee and earthy thyme. For dairy-free diets, use coconut oil instead of ghee or butter.

Carrots are available all year round and are a great budget-friendly food item (see all of my tips for eating clean on a budget). You can even use frozen carrots in this recipe (see my guide on how to freeze carrots).

Fresh thyme or dried thyme adds floral and earthy notes to the sweet cooked carrots. Feel free to use your favorite herbs including rosemary, oregano, or a combination of them.

Ghee, butter, vegan butter, or coconut oil adds a rich and decadent buttery flavor that pairs so nicely with carrots. If you aren’t on a dairy-free or vegan diet, you can use regular butter.

Recipe Steps

How to make carrots in the instant pot

Step One

For this easy Instant Pot recipe, wash two pounds of carrots and chop them into about 1-inch chunks. You can cut them on the diagonal to make them prettier.

You can also use baby carrots, if you prefer. Baby carrots do not need to be chopped for this recipe. 

As always, please do see the recipe card at the end of this post for the exact ingredients and measurements.

Step Two

Place the chopped carrots in a 6-quart Instant Pot with one cup of water and set the cook time to 2 minutes on high pressure. Be sure your steaming vent is set to sealed.

You don’t need the trivet or a steamer basket for this recipe.

Step Three

Once the cooking time is complete, drain the carrots to get rid of the water.

Step Four

Lastly, toss them with ghee, butter, vegan butter, or coconut oil, and fresh thyme, and you’re done!

If you don’t have fresh thyme on hand, you can always use dried thyme or any other fresh herb you like.

A close up of cooked carrots with fresh thyme on top.

Recipe Tips & Substitutions

  • Use baby carrots in this recipe, if you prefer. Baby carrots do not need to be chopped so this will save you time.
  • The Instant Pot is a pressure cooker that uses steam to cook food. So, steaming vegetables in the Instant Pot is a perfect fit. You generally only need about 0-3 minutes of cook time at high pressure to create a perfectly-steamed non-starchy vegetable (unless you’re cooking Instant Pot Artichokes, those need a lot more time).
  • Are you new to cooking in an Instant Pot? See my guide to using the Instant Pot Duo.

Recipe FAQs

How do you cook vegetables in the Instant Pot for zero minutes?

For delicate vegetables like Instant Pot Broccoli that you don’t want to overcook, you would set the time for 0 minutes. Then, you would use the quick-release after the pot beeps and you’re done. Because carrots are a lot harder than broccoli, I recommend cooking them for two minutes.

Do you need the trivet or a steamer basket for this recipe?

No, you do not. Just place the carrots and water directly into the pot.

Can I make Instant Pot glazed carrots?

Yes, just toss a tablespoon of honey or maple syrup to the serving dish with the cooked carrots if you want the recipe to be sweeter.

cooked instant pot carrots in casserole dish.

More Easy Instant Pot Side Dishes You Might Like

I hope you make this recipe! If you do, please leave a comment and a starred review below.

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bowl with cooked carrots topped with fresh thyme

Instant Pot Carrots

This recipe for Instant Pot Carrots is so easy and delicious. It makes the perfect healthy side dish for a holiday meal or for an ordinary weeknight. This 20-minute vegetarian recipe is made without sugar.

  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 2 pounds fresh carrots, washed
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or dried thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon melted ghee, butter, or coconut oil*

Instructions

  1. Chop the carrots into approximately 1-inch chunks.
  2. Place the water in the base of a 6-quart pressure cooker. Add the carrots.
  3. Lock on the lid and make sure the valve is set to seal. Set the cook time to 2 minutes on high pressure.
  4. When the cooking time is complete, carefully quick-release the pressure.
  5. Remove the lid and pour the carrots and water into a colander.
  6. Add the drained carrots to a serving dish and pour over the melted ghee or coconut oil. Toss with the thyme and serve hot or at room temperature.

Notes

  1. *Use coconut oil or vegan butter to make this recipe vegan.
  2. Use baby carrots in this recipe, if you prefer. Baby carrots do not need to be chopped so this will save you time.
  3. The total cooking time includes 10 minutes for the pot to come up to pressure.
  • Author: Carrie Forrest, MPH in Nutrition
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Instant Pot pressure cooker
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Keywords: pressure cooker carrots, instant pot vegetables, instant pot steamed vegetables

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