If you’re ready for a culinary challenge, I am sorry to say, you should keep scrolling. These succulent treats may appear daunting, but Instant Pot Artichokes are remarkably simple. Paired with a bright, tangy lemon dipping sauce, these little weirdos might just become a regular guest at your table.
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Repeat after me: “I am not afraid of artichokes.” In the pantheon of weird foods, the artichoke is practically wholesome. I mean, we all know what it is – it’s not like it’s romanesco or sea urchin. Yet, most of us tend to side-eye whole, fresh artichokes like we’re being asked to prepare and cook an armadillo.
The big secret is there’s not really a big secret. They’re ridiculously tasty and shockingly easy to prepare. In fact, you don’t even need to batter and fry them (though, to be fair, pretty much everything is better battered and fried) to unlock their deliciousness – salt, water, and lemon is all it takes.
Reader, I hope you know I’m not going to steer you wrong. If this was complicated, I’d tell you to roll up your sleeves and call for backup. Instead, I am skipping the screed about “how my grandma used to make them” and just telling you to put them right in your Instant Pot. No tricks or hacks or workarounds – just prep ’em (simple instructions below) and steam ’em (again, simple instructions below).
I really do encourage you to give these a whirl and share your thoughts in the comments below. If you don’t like the taste or texture, so be it. But if it’s just the preparation that you found daunting, hopefully these will set you on the path to future artichoke discovery.
How to Prepare Artichokes
Invest in a decent pairing knife and decent pair of kitchen shears – they’re all you need for artichoke preparation (and lots of other culinary adventures!).
- Trim the tips of the outer leaves with kitchen scissors, then slice 1” off the top.
- Remove any smaller leaves around the base, and any leaves that have shriveled.
- Rinse under cold water and slightly loosen the leaves in the center.
- Rub lemon onto the exposed leaves to slow oxidation and browning, and add flavor.
How to Cook Artichokes in the Instant Pot
Time to demystify one of our most mysterious vegetables. Instant Pot Artichokes are as easy as they are delicious. Nutty and buttery in taste, and soft and creamy in texture, the tender leaves balance perfectly with a sweet-tart Lemon Dipping Sauce. Follow the simple, fear-free prep instructions for best results.
- Add water, 3-4 lemon slices, and a bay leaf to the inner pot. Fit with a steamer basket or trivet.
- Place the artichokes on basket, stack as needed.
- Seal lid and cook on HIGH Pressure for 9 minutes. Quick release when done.
- Test the artichoke – if they aren’t done, cook another 1-2 minutes.
- Remove with tongs.
- Make dipping sauce while artichokes cook.
- Season with salt and pepper before serving.
How Long to Cook Artichokes?
Nine minutes was perfect for my 4″ artichokes in a 6-quarter instant pot at high pressure. While your milage may vary, this is a good starting point. If your artichokes are smaller, start with 7 minutes, and if larger, try 10 minutes.
There are two ways to tell that the artichokes are fully cooked through: (1) test by plucking off a leaf – if it removes easily with no resistance, they’re ready; (2) insert a pairing knife into the base of the artichokes – if it meets little resistance, they’re cooked through.
Dipping Sauces for Steamed Artichokes
Artichokes are most traditionally served with melted butter, but there are definitely more ways to dip and dip again:
- Hollandaise Sauce
- Garlic Aioli
- Lemon Mayonnaise (mayonnaise with a bit of lemon juice mixed in)
- Pesto Sauce
Frequently Asked Questions
Bottom line – yes. Artichokes are relatively high in many nutrients, the big ones being fiber (a whopping 7 grams per serving!), iron, Vitamins C & K, and folate. They’re low calorie (60 cal. for a medium artichoke) and surprisingly high in protein (4g) for a vegetable, but be forewarned – despite all that fiber, these are not without carbs (about 14 grams).
If your brain goes straight to the vinegary-tang of brined, marinated artichoke hearts from antipasto, you’re going to have to retrain yourself. Super bitter if eaten raw, steamed artichokes actually have a somewhat mild, nutty taste – think properly-cooked asparagus or brussels sprouts.
The most important thing to remember when eating is that you’re essentially scraping the soft artichoke flesh off the tougher leaf (and then discarding the leaf) with your teeth.
March through June is peak season.
More Instant Pot Vegetables
Did you try this recipe for steamed instant pot artichokes? I’d love to know how they turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below.
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- 4 whole artichokes
- 1 lemon, sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup water or broth
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp ground pepper
Lemon Dipping Sauce
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Slice a lemon into wheels.
- Prep artichokes – trim stem. Trim the tips of the outer leaves with kitchen scissors, then slice 1” off the top. Remove any smaller leaves around the base, and any leaves that have shriveled. Rinse under cold water and slightly loosen the leaves in the center. Rub the ends of the lemon onto the exposed leaves to help slow oxidation and browning and to flavor the artichokes.
- Pour the water into the inner pot, along with 3-4 lemon slices and a bay leaf. Fit with a steamer basket or trivet.
- Place the artichokes onto the steamer basket. You can stack if necessary.
- Secure the lid and ensure the pressure valve is set to sealing. Pressure cook on HIGH for 9 minutes. Perform a quick release to release all pressure.
- Test the artichoke – you should be able to pull off one of the outer leaves easily. If the artichokes aren’t done yet, cook another 1-2 minutes depending on toughness. These artichokes were 4” inches in diameter, and took 9 minutes.
- Remove the artichokes with tongs. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt and ground pepper just before serving.
- Make the dipping sauce – combine the lemon juice, olive oil, dijon mustard, oregano, honey and salt in a jar and whisk or shake until emulsified.
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