2019-11-08




A whole head of steamed cauliflower is great for slicing into cauliflower steaks, chopping into florets, or drizzling with sauce for a beautiful vegetarian dish. It’s easy and just takes a few minutes to steam it in the Instant Pot / pressure cooker. 

Cauliflower is really having its 15 minutes of fame. Cauliflower rice, cauliflower gnocchi…this vegetable is being transformed into all sorts of things. Frank and I were served a whole head of cauliflower in a rich butter sauce two years ago in Paris that inspired this Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Butter Caper Sauce. (That recipe was the most popular thing I shared on Instagram all of last year!) 

The easiest way to steam cauliflower that also insures it is tender all the way through to the center, is to steam it in the Instant Pot / pressure cooker. Here’s how to do it.
Step 1: Rinse and Remove Leaves 
Rinse the cauliflower and peel off the outer leaves from the head of cauliflower. (Note: This is optional. If you want to leave a few or all of the leaves intact, you can, just make sure to peel them back and rinse well since dirt can hide behind the leaves.)
Step 2: Add Cauliflower to Instant Pot Rack with Water 
Pour water in the bowl of the slow cooker. Place head of cauliflower on the trivet that came with the Instant Pot (or in a steamer basket), stem-side down. Lower it into the Instant Pot. 


Step 3: Steam for 1 Minute
Use the “Steam” button on the Instant Pot set for 1 minute to cook the cauliflower. When done, quick release the pressure.


Step 4: Cool and Use
Remove the head of cauliflower and let it cool slightly. Then serve it however you’d like. Keep it whole, slice into “steaks”, or remove the florets. If you want to use the florets individually, you can just use your hands or a small knife to pop them off, leaving the core in place. Add some sauce or just toss the florets with some salt and pepper.
Ways to Use Steamed Cauliflower Whole Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon Butter Caper Sauce – I mentioned it above, but this fun recipe for a whole head of cauliflower in delicious sauce is worth mentioning again.  Warm Cauliflower and Herbed Barley Salad – The steamed cauliflower can be added right into this warm salad with beans, barley, and fresh herbs.  Cauliflower Fried Rice – Pulse the cooked rice in a food processor and then use it to make fried rice. (The rice will need even less cook time than mentioned in the recipe since it’s steamed first.) Favorite Tools 6 Quart Instant Pot Duo – Most heads of cauliflower will fit right inside of the 6 quart slow cooker. If you have a particularly large head of cauliflower, slice it in half down the middle to make it fit or just trim the edges of the sides. 

How to Steam a Whole Head of Cauliflower in the Instant Pot


A whole head of steamed cauliflower is great for serving whole, slicing into cauliflower steaks, or chopping and using in other recipes. It’s easy and just takes a few minutes to steam it in the Instant Pot / pressure cooker.


1 head Cauliflower ((16 to 22 oz)) 2 cups Water
Rinse the cauliflower and peel off the outer leaves from the head of cauliflower. (Note: This is optional. If you want to leave a few or all of the leaves intact, you can, just make sure to peel them back and rinse well since dirt can hide behind the leaves.)

Pour 2 cups water in the bowl of the slow cooker.

Place head of cauliflower on the trivet that came with the Instant Pot (or a steamer basket) stem-side down. Lower it into the Instant Pot. Close and lock the lid.

Use the “Steam” button on the Instant Pot set for 1 minute to cook the cauliflower.

When done, quick release the pressure.

Remove the head of cauliflower and let it cool slightly.

Serve the cauliflower however you’d like. Keep it whole, slice into “steaks” or remove the florets. If you want to use the florets individually, you can just use your hands or a small knife to remove them, leaving the core in place.



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The post How to Steam a Whole Head of Cauliflower in the Instant Pot appeared first on Inquiring Chef.
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