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How to Cook Beets in a Pressure Cooker

You’re thinking beets would be perfect on your menu but you don’t want to dial up the oven or watch a pot on the stove for an hour? The solution? Bring out the pressure cooker. This post explains how to cook beets in 20 minutes–in an Instant Pot or stovetop pressure cooker!

Red beets and greens for how to cook beets in a pressure cooker

Pressure cookers are the pots that spare the cook. Not only do they conserve time and energy by requiring minimal liquid, pressure-cooked ingredients retain more nutrients and the flavor is more concentrated.

Click here to PIN How to Cook Beets in a Pressure Cooker:

Beets in Instant Pot ready to cook

How to cook beets in a pressure cooker–straightforward directions :

  • Choose 3 or 4 medium to large beets. (5 to 8 ounces each) ** The larger the beets, the more cooking time.
  • Scrub the beets well but do not peel. Trim off any root “hair”. Once your beets are cooked and cool enough to handle, you’ll need just your fingers to easily slip off the skins.
  • Place a steamer basket in the pressure cooker and add water, a little more than a cup. Arrange the beets on the rack. Lock the lid in place.
  • In the Instant Pot, press Manual and adjust the timer for 15 minutes.
  • In a stovetop pressure cooker, bring to pressure over high heat. When the pressure guage starts to hiss or zizzle, lower the heat just enough to maintain high pressure. Cook the beets 12 to 15 minutes.
  • If you have a few extra minutes, allow the pressure to come down naturally. The Instant Pot will shut off at the designated time and the pressure will come down naturally if you don’t do anything.
  • To quick release the Instant Pot, turn the tab to Vent and let the steam escape.
  • To quick release stovetop pressure cookers, remove from the heat and place the pressure cooker in the sink, letting cold water run over the edge. (Check your owner’s manual for more precise directions—various models operate differently.)
  • Beets should be tender all the way through when pierced with a metal carving fork. When they are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins and slice or dice as you wish.

Golden Beets ready to sell at the Farmer's Market

Just so you know, these pressure cooker and Instant Pot links are affiliates. When you purchase products via my links, it doesn’t cost you anything and I earn a tiny commission, which helps me continue to provide free content here on Letty’s Kitchen. Thank you!!

OK. I own 3 pressure cookers–my newest is an Instant Pot. (affiliate link.)  I can’t find a reason to part with my treasured stovetop pressure cookers though.

My Kuhn-Rikon 7 quart pressure cooker (affiliate link) is still my serious kitchen workhorse. And what if I want to pressure cook a 2nd something while the Instant Pot is in action? Like artichokes for appetizers and kale risotto for the main course. While pressure cooking cooking garbanzo beans, beets could be in another pressure cooker speed cooking away–maybe for a salad.

My friend Barbara at Pressure Cooking Today convinced me that I needed the Instant Pot electric pressure cooker. Good advice. Still, I’m not giving up my other pressure cookers, because they’re both high quality Italian- and Swiss-made stainless steel pressure cookers. I’ve owned the Italian one since I was about 10 years old so it’s a sentimental thing. Bottom line–a pressure cooker is a quick and easy way to cook beets!


My two stovetop Pressure cookers - Swiss-made on the left and Italian-made on the right

My second favorite thing to cook in a pressure cooker is beans.

You will love how quick and easy it is to cook risotto in a pressure cooker.

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These pressure cooker links are Amazon affiliate links. When you purchase products via my links, it doesn’t cost you anything and I earn a tiny commission, which helps defray the costs of Letty’s Kitchen blog. Thank you for supporting Letty’s Kitchen.

24 comments

  • I’ve just got a pressure cooker so am finding my way. This post was very useful. Reply · 30 September, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Sue. I love my pressure cooker. For more pressure cooker recipes, search my recipe pulldown. Click on the “other” category for another drop down with pressure cooker recipes. Have fun! Reply · 30 September, 2014

      • Louise

        I am a senior citizen and i dont need such a large pot but j think that’s a great idea. I would really like to know what seasoning to use on my beets. Reply · 29 February, 2020

        • Thank you for your note. Beets are delicious with so many seasonings. to name a few: garlic, fresh ginger, curry powder, tarragon, dill, and parsley. Try pairing them with orange and avocado. Beets are a delicious addition to salads–awesome with a cumin dressing. (There is one on my blog.) Beets go well with many cheesees, feta and goat especially. Walnuts and beets have good afinity too. Enjoy! Reply · 29 February, 2020

  • Abi

    I live at altitude in Northern Peru so this was great advice as everything takes so long to cook here! Reply · 14 October, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Abi.
      I bet I use my pressure 3 times a week. Always for soups. I am at 7,000 feet above sea level. I don’t know what that is in meters. Reply · 14 October, 2014

  • Letty,
    Thanks for this recipe! I’ve added it to the Farm Fresh Feasts Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks who love to eat from the farm share.
    I appreciate it! Reply · 18 June, 2015

    • Letty

      Appreciate you back Kirsten! Reply · 18 June, 2015

  • ….just an additional tip when using the steamer basket and/or round metal trivet–a little bit of vinegar added to the water will save the pressure cooker from discoloration. Maybe not all models do, but mine does discolour when I have metal inside it. Reply · 16 August, 2015

    • Letty

      Thanks Lance. Is your pressure cooker made of stainless steel? I haven’t had that problem, and mine is stainless steel–Mom’s was aluminum. Reply · 16 August, 2015

  • Mary

    Love beets cooked in the pressure cooker! Do you have any recipes on how to cook the greens too? Reply · 8 November, 2015

    • Beet greens cook so quickly that we need to be cautious not to over-cook. Don’t even bring to pressure–just lock the lid in place and cook about 3 minutes. Reduce any pressure that built by running under cold water.
      For Collards and Kale, the sturdier greens, bring to pressure and cook 1-2 minutes, depending on the green’s relative tenderness. Reduce pressure immediately. Reply · 9 November, 2015

    • SHARON L GATHAGAN

      WASH, PAT DRY, CUT BITE SIZE STEMS AND ALL. SAUTE IN OLIVE OIL AND MINCED GARLIC. Reply · 3 weeks ago

  • marnie

    Can I cook 8 beets instead of 4?
    AND….
    Do I need twice the amount of:
    Water and
    twice the amount of time? Reply · 4 August, 2017

    • Hi Marnie,
      Yes, you can cook 8 beets. You can use the same amount of water and the same cooking time–no need to double those.
      Letty Reply · 4 August, 2017

  • Pegg

    Only over a cup of water, instead of a whole pot full, and 20 minutes instead of bringing all that water to a boil love my insta- pot Reply · 22 September, 2017

  • Me too! Just got mine and I did 65 lbs of beets on my mothers stove top for 5-6 hrs!!! Now just bought another 20 lb bag of beets and I’m gonna try it in my instant pot Thai weekend! Tonight oatmeal for the morning! Haha Reply · 22 September, 2017

    • Can’t wait to hear your success story–20# beets. Did you cook them in several batches–say 10 beets each round? Reply · 23 September, 2017

  • My P.C. is the type with a gauge.
    How many lb. pressure should I use?
    Should I use only 1/2 C. water?
    After the air has escaped, I will attach the gauge when I know how much pressure to use. Thank You. Reply · 18 October, 2017

    • Hi Mary Anne,
      You want about 11 pounds pressure. I would use closer to 1 cup of water–the water level should almost to the level of the steamer basket or trivet that holds the beets.
      A note about your pressure gauge–make sure it is correctly calibrated. Especially if you use pressure cooker for canning. Call your county or state agricultural extension agency for help checking pressure gauges. Reply · 19 October, 2017

  • Dear Letty, I still have an old fashioned pressure cooker that is supposed to “whistle”. Your instructions do not help me with that part. How many whistles and how long to whistle?
    Thanks for a prompt reply. Reply · 18 December, 2017

    • Hi,
      I found an article on Hip Pressure cooking on pressure cookers that whistle. Here’s the link. From that, I learned that the first whistle indicates that the cooker has reached pressure. Start your timer then. I have an almost 40 year old (I guess that would be old-fashioned) Italian made pressure cooker.(My sounds more like a hiss than a whistle.) When the hissing sound begins on mine, I start the timer. Is yours from East India or Europe? What brand?
      Good luck and let me know if this helps! Reply · 19 December, 2017

  • Courtney Corda

    Why do you leave the peels on? Reply · 8 May, 2020

    • Courtney,
      Basically it’s less work. Once the beets have cooled enough to handle, you use your hands to easily slip the skins off. Reply · 8 May, 2020

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