Steaming whole artichokes using the Instant Pot cuts the cooking process down by half compared to the regular stovetop method! The pressure cooker tenderizes the delicious artichoke in a fraction of the time which means they're in your tummy even faster which is always a good thing!
Artichokes look impressive enough as an appetizer to your guests but are so easy to make for an everyday snack with your choice of dip. They're so much fun to eat, even my kid looks forward to days when artichokes are on the menu!
One of the great things about using the Instant Pot to cook whole artichokes, besides the quick cooking time, is that once they're in the pot, it's hands-off and hassle-free. The Instant Pot does the work and you can walk away to focus on your main meal. The entire thing takes just under 1 hour, including the time it takes to come to pressure.
This recipe for artichokes uses just a few simple pantry staples to enhance the already flavorful vegetable. I infuse it with lemon and then serve it with melted garlic butter for dipping. It's so good, I know you'll enjoy it as much as we do!
What Are Artichokes?
Artichokes are a flower bud! They're the yet-to-bloom bud from a thistle plant and are an extremely delicious and highly nutritious vegetable, loaded with fiber, antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium among many other nutrients.
Initially, they're quite tough and fibrous, but once cooked, they become soft, tender, and meaty. The innermost part of the artichoke, the artichoke heart is also edible. It's the portion of the artichoke that you'd most often find marinated in jars at your local grocery store.
They may look a bit puzzling at first glance, but this step-by-step foolproof recipe is going to walk you through the simple process of cooking whole artichokes so you can enjoy them exactly as they were meant to be.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Being able to save time and effort throughout the cooking process by using the Instant Pot is a no-brainer. Especially when the results are the same, if not better, than any other method.
- Artichokes are one of the healthiest veggies on the planet, so if I can cook a vegetable that my kid finds fun to eat and is highly nutritious, you can bet I appreciate a recipe that is quick and easy.
- If you're enjoying them as a starter to the main meal, using the Instant Pot takes no room on the stove which means you can use it for the other parts of your meal. Super efficient!
- Artichokes - You'll need about 3-4 medium artichokes. If you are doubling or tripling the recipe for a crowd, cook in batches.
- Lemon - Cut in half, it is used to prevent browning on the leaves once they've been cut and exposed. You can even add them to the cooking water to get a bit of the lemon flavor infused into the artichokes as they steam.
- Garlic, unsalted butter, and salt -Melted and combined these ingredients will make up the delicious melted garlic butter for dipping and eating!
Preparing the Artichokes
- Using a sharp kitchen knife, trim the stems off of the bottom of the artichoke and cut about an inch off the tops of the artichokes.
- Peel any brown or dry outer leaves.
- Take half of a lemon and rub the exposed edges of the artichokes to prevent oxidization so they won't turn brown. This is a neat trick to keep handy especially if you're preparing your artichokes ahead of time.
How to Steam Artichoke Using Instant Pot
Step 1: Add water to the Instant Pot and place the trivet (or steam basket) inside. Position the artichokes so that the tips are facing up. If you're using a smaller pot, you may need to stack them slightly.
Step 2: Close the lid, set the valve to sealing, and pressure cook (or manual, depending on your model) for 10 minutes.
Step 3: Once the Instant Pot beeps, leave it alone and let it naturally release for 10 minutes. Then, carefully move the valve to the venting position to release the remaining pressure.
Step 4: In the meantime, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stir in the grated garlic and salt and simmer for just a minute before removing it from the heat.
Step 5: When the pressure has been fully released and the pin has dropped, carefully open the lid. Remove the artichokes carefully with tongs (they'll be quite soft at this point) and transfer them to serving plates.
Serve with lemon wedges and individual serving dishes of melted garlic butter for dipping.
How to Choose an Artichoke
First off, you'll want to choose artichokes that are similar in size so they cook evenly. My preference is to use medium-sized artichokes, so I can fit about 3-4 into the pot at once.
Next, look for ones that are nice and green, heavy, and closed tightly. They are flower buds which means if they are not closed tightly, they have started to bloom. Artichokes that are in full bloom are no longer edible, and although we're not at that point yet, it's still a sign that they're not as fresh.
More mature artichokes will have little thorny bits on the outer leaves, which is fine, you just want to make sure to trim them ahead of time.
Other Dipping Sauces
You really can't go wrong here! There are so many amazing dip ideas because artichokes pair well with so many flavors and textures whether thick and creamy or light and zesty. Below are just a few ideas for inspiration:
- Mayo and lemon juice
- Tzatziki sauce
- Garlic aioli
- Melted butter
- Hollandaise sauce
- Dijon mustard and mayo
- Pesto sauce
Once steamed, the outer leaves can easily be pulled off. One by one, you take a leaf, dip it in garlic butter (or your dip of choice) and slide it through your teeth, pulling off the inner meaty portion as you go. Discard the petal. Continue doing this with all the outer leaves.
Once you get to the artichoke heart, remove the hair and discard, but enjoy the heart. Some people claim it's the best part!
Whether or not they're properly stored you still want to eat them within 1 week of purchasing the artichokes. A great way to preserve them is to cut a bit of the stem off and sprinkle it with water. Sort of the same way you prepare flowers for a vase. Then, store it in an airtight container or ziplock bag until you're ready to use it.
Don't wash them beforehand, otherwise, you'll trap too much moisture in the container.
Instant Pot Artichoke
- Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker
- 3-4 medium artichokes
- 1 lemon, halved
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- Prepare the artichokes by trimming the stems. Peel away any browned or dry outer leaves. Chop off the tops of the artichokes (about one inch of the way down). Rub the cut edges of the artichokes with the cut half of the lemon to prevent the leaves from browning.
- Pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot. Place the metal steam rack/trivet or steamer basket inside. Set the artichokes upright on the rack, stacking them if necessary. Place the lid on and turn the steam release valve to Sealing. Press the Pressure Cook or Manual button and set the cook time to 10 minutes.
- When the Instant Pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then carefully switch the steam release valve to Venting.
- Meanwhile, gently melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stir in the grated garlic and salt, and simmer for 1 minute. Remove the garlic butter from the heat.
- When the pressure is fully released, open the lid. Use tongs to carefully remove the artichokes to serving plates. Serve the artichokes with lemon wedges and individual dishes of melted garlic butter for dipping.