Cooking whole beets in the Instant Pot is the easiest way to prep this healthy veggie! Simple and quick, steaming beets in your pressure cooker is perfect for having them on hand for salads, soups, sauces, smoothies, or however you love to eat them! Cooking times for different sized beets included.

A plate of Instant Pot beets cut into slices  with a spoon and topped with pistachios.

Why cooking beets in the Instant Pot is great!

Beets were one of those veggies that I used to always end up with in my CSA but kinda had no idea what to do with. I knew they were good for you, but they seemed so fussy to cook, messy, and what did I even do with them? Over the years of my veggie-loaded journey, I have learned that making beets didn’t have to be time consuming or result in me and my kitchen being covered in bright red beet juice. And beets, in fact, are wildly versatile and downright delicious in so many recipes!

And this Instant Pot Beet recipe is the quickest and easiest way to cook up your beets. Done in 35 minutes (start to finish) with almost no prep, cooking beets in your pressure cooker is perfect as part of meal prep so you can add this healthy veggie to meals all week long.

And since I use nothing but beets and water, this recipe is vegan, vegetarian, Paleo, Whole30 friendly, gluten free and everything in between. So no matter your eating style, these beets will work for you!

Also check out How to Roast Beets!

Fresh beets on a cutting board with a knife.

Tips and tricks

  • Wash beets well before cooking. They are a root veggie, after all, and those suckers can be quite dirty. Give them a good scrub so you don’t find dirt in your dinner later.
  • Don’t bother peeling them before cooking. I find that beets peel super easy after they have been cooked and peeling before cooking beets in your Instant Pot doesn’t have a benefit. SO save yourself the hassle.
  • Measure those beets. Mother Nature doesn’t create beets to fit a cookie cutter size, so how long it takes to cook your beets depends on how big or little they are. I have included a size chart to help you figure out how long to cook them for, but measure so you know for sure!
  • Make a big batch of Instant Pot beets. They store great in the fridge for 3-4 days or you can even freeze them to enjoy later.

What is the difference between red beets and golden beets?

Red beets are the beets you typically see and think of when you think of beets. And they are, you guessed it, red in color.

Golden beets are much more yellow and orange in color. Not only is their color different, but golden beets have a mellower, less earthy flavor than red beets.

Both red and golden beets cook at the same rate and temp. So, regardless of if you are cooking red or golden beets in your Instant Pot, this recipe will work for you.

A graphic showing three different sizes of beets with text next to each beet telling how big they are and how long to cook them in the Instant Pot

How long does it take to cook beets in a pressure cooker?

The time it takes to cooked beets in the Instant Pot (which is an electric pressure cooker, for those wondering) all deeply depends on the size of your beets.

Beets can range in size from very small to huge! If you are cooking smaller beets, they will cook much faster than a larger one. Luckily, making beets in your Instant Pot is easy, regardless of size, and typically takes between 15-40 minutes for most sizes.

  • Small beets (2” diameter) – 20 minutes
  • Medium beets (2 1/2” diameter) – 25 minutes
  • Large beets (3” diameter) – 35 minutes

If your beets are smaller than 2″ in diameter, cook for 12 minutes on HIGH pressure, checking if they are fork tender after releasing the pressure. If they need more time, cook for an additional minute.

If your beets are larger than 3″ in diameter, cook for 40-45 minutes on HIGH pressure, checking if they are fork tender after releasing the pressure. If they need more time, cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.

What is the healthiest way to cook beets?

Whatever you get excited about eating beets! I mean, beets however you enjoyed them, is better than no beets at all.

But in all seriousness and to answer this question, beets that are steamed (like in your Instant Pot) or roasted hold onto their nutrients more than beets that have been boiled. Boiled beets seep their juices (with nutrients) into the water and, thus, don’t have as many of the health benefits that beets have to offer.

How to peel beets

While you can peel beets when they are raw, I find it so much easier to peel them after they have been cooked.

So easy, in fact, that the skin of a cooked beet literally rubs off with a paper towel. Which is also helpful in avoiding fingers getting stained from beet juice.

To peel a cooked beet: Place the cooked beet in a piece of paper towel. Use one end of the paper towel to rub the peel off the beet and continue removing pieces until it is removed entirely.

Two hands holding a cooked beet in a paper towel and peeling it.

How to store cooked beets

You can store cooked beets in your fridge for up to 3 days in an air tight container.

You can also freeze cooked beets after cooking them. Peel and cut to desired size before placing them in a freezer safe container and freezing for up to 2 months. To thaw, place in the fridge to defrost overnight and enjoy.

Beet recipes

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A plate of Instant Pot beets cut into slices  with a spoon and topped with pistachios.
5 from 3 votes

The Easiest Instant Pot Beets

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Cuisine: American
Course: Side Dish
Cooking whole beets in the Instant Pot is the easiest way to prep this healthy veggie! Simple and quick, steaming beet sin your pressure cooker is perfect for having them on hand for salads, soups, sauces, smoothies, or however you love to eat them! Cooking times for different sized beets included.

Ingredients
 

  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 6 medium beets, greens trimmed off

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Instructions
 

  • Wash beets well, being sure to remove any dirt and debris.
  • Place the stainless steel trivet in your Instant Pot and arrange the beets on top of the trivet in a single layer. Pour water into the Instant Pot.
  • Place the lid on your Instant Pot and lock it into place. Be sure the release valve on the top is closed.
  • Using the manual mode, cook the beets on HIGH pressure for 25 minutes for medium beets. See time chart below for cook time for beets of varying sizes.
    It will take your Instant Pot about 10 minutes to get up to pressure.
  • Once cook time is up, carefully quick release the pressure by switching the valve to venting (again, careful to avoid the steam)
  • Once the pressure is completely released, carefully unlock and remove the lid of your Instant Pot.
    Check to make sure your beets are done by seeing if they are fork tender. If they can be easily speared with you fork, the beets are done. If they are not yet fork tender, place lid back on your Instant Pot and cook for 1-3 more minutes. Since beets don't come in uniform sizes, the cook time will vary based on size.
  • Once done cooking, carefully remove beets with tongs or a large spoon. Allow beets to cool, peel, and enjoy or store. Cooked beets should be stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days or freezer for up to a month.

Notes

Adjust your cooking time based on the size of your beet
  • Small beets (2” diameter) – 20 minutes on HIGH pressure
  • Medium beets (2 1/2” diameter) – 25 minutes on HIGH pressure
  • Large beets (3” diameter) – 35 minutes on HIGH pressure
Serving: 1beet, Calories: 73kcal, Carbohydrates: 16g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 136mg, Potassium: 553mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 56IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 29mg, Iron: 1mg