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Best Instant Pot Potatoes and Carrots

Buttery, herby, garlicky, oniony potatoes and carrots. The instant pot does a great job with this easy comfort food side dish. Not fancy. Just delish.

I was skeptical about this recipe and had to make it 3 times until I got it right. Now I’m in love with it. 

bowl of cooked potatoes and carrots with herbs on black table

There are two ways to go with this carrot and potatoes recipe:

  1. Plain and simple: These will taste just like boiled potatoes and carrots. Add a little bit of butter and salt after they are cooked and you’re good to go. These are perfect if you’re serving a main with a gravy like pot roast.
  2. Flavor packed (as per the recipe): These have a big boost in flavor from vegetable broth, sautéed onions, garlic, butter and lots of fresh herbs. Yes, a few more ingredients, but worth it. 

Why cook potatoes and carrots in an instant pot?

  • The potatoes come out creamy soft and the carrots perfectly tender.
  • You free up space on your stove top or oven
  • You don’t need a steamer basket for this recipe (only the instant pot)
  • With a short cooking process and minimal liquid added, you retain more nutrients than with boiling.

Tips for success

  1. Cut the potatoes and carrots approximately the same size for even cooking. I cut the carrots a little bit smaller since they take longer to become tender.
  2. Cook time for instant pot veggies depends on the size and density of the vegetable as well as how soft you like your veggies. For me, 5 minutes is perfect for potatoes and carrots cut to about 1 inch/2.5 cm in size (I like the potatoes soft and creamy and the carrots soft with a slight bite). Use 4 minutes if you like your veggies firmer. After the first time making this recipe, you will know your sweet spot. Some recipes suggest a 10 minute natural pressure release, but I’m too impatient and find the quick release (releasing the pressure immediately) works perfectly.
  3. Don’t discard all the liquid after cooking as there are lots of nutrients in the liquid. I keep a couple of tablespoons of liquid which get absorbed on standing.
  4. Amplify the flavors with:
    • a flavorful broth or stock instead of water. My favorite vegetable stock is Better Than Bouillon vegetable base. I up the flavor by using a bit more than a teaspoon of base to 1 cup of water (237 ml). Chicken broth works well too.
    • fresh herbs mixed with green onion
    • sautĂ©ed, caramelized onions
    • butter

How to make instant pot carrots and potatoes

fingerling potatoes, carrots, herbs, garlic, butter, oil, broth, salt, pepper
Ingredients: whole carrots, waxy potatoes, onion, broth, chopped herbs, garlic, oil, butter, salt and pepper.
diced onions, bit sized carrots and potatoes
Dice onions. Cut potatoes and carrots into bite-sized pieces (carrots slightly smaller than potatoes).
sauteed onions in instant pot
Sauté onions until lightly browned.
sauteed carrots and onions in instant pot
Add carrots and sauté 2 more minutes. Stir in garlic.
carrots, potatoes, onions, broth in instant pot
Add potatoes and broth. Close lid and set manual setting to high pressure for 5 minutes.
pressure cooked potatoes and carrots in instant pot
Instant pot will take 9-10 minutes to come to pressure, then start the 5 minute count down. When finished, do a quick release and open lid carefully.
herbs and butter on top of cooked potatoes and carrots in instant pot
Gently stir in chopped herbs/onions and butter. Last step – taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
bowl of cooked potatoes and carrots with herbs 2
Transfer to a serving bowl and serve immediately.
bowl of cooked potatoes and carrots with herbs p3

Recipe FAQ

Are baby carrots just small regular carrots?

Yes and no. They are not grown small. Baby carrots are created from larger regular carrots. They are mechanically cut to a small size and shaped like a smaller carrot. Some say they are sweeter.

What should a beginner know about using an instant pot?

Check out these useful tips when cooking with an instant pot by Tasting Table.

Is a potato and carrot medley a healthy side dish?

Both vegetables contain carotene which have significant antioxidants. The recipe also has good fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C and potassium.

Can I half the recipe or double the recipe?

Yes, you can half the recipe or double the recipe with the same amount of cooking liquid and the same amount of cooking time. Here’s an article on how to cut instant pot recipes in half.

Tailor To Your Taste

Here are a few variations and substitutions you can try.

Potatoes: Use any unpeeled waxy potato. My favorite are fingerlings, yukon gold potatoes, red potatoes or baby potatoes. No need to peel them. Although not the same as yukon gold, yellow potatoes can be used as well. I don’t suggest using russet potatoes for this recipe – they tend to fall apart and need to be peeled.

Carrots: You can use baby carrots instead of regular carrots if you prefer. Just cut them in half or thirds, depending on their size. 

Broth or stock: Use a base of powder or paste with water or a ready made broth in a box. If using a base, try adding a little extra for deeper flavor. Chicken or vegetable stock or broth work well. In a pinch, just use water.

Herb mixture: I chop together green onion with fresh herbs. Great herbs options are dill, parsley, cilantro, chives. Choose what you like or have on hand. You can substitute some dried herbs for fresh. Or use frozen herb cubes.

Serving variation: Instead of serving the carrots and potatoes in large pieces, you can mash them together after cooking in the instant pot. Yum.

Shortcuts

  • Keep it simple with potatoes, carrots and water or broth. Skip the chopping of onions and herbs. Skip sautĂ©ing the onions and carrots. This options if fine with a main dish that has gravy or a sauce.
  • Use baby carrots cut in half – no peeling and less chopping.
  • Use frozen cubes of herbs and garlic instead of fresh (no chopping).

What to serve with this buttery, herbed potatoes and carrots recipe

This is a perfect side dish for:

To serve the potatoes and carrots as a vegetarian main dish, try adding a can of rinsed, drained black beans topped with salsa and a dollop of sour cream.

Make ahead

  • To make a few hours ahead, let the completed dish sit at room temperature until ready to serve. Then warm it in the microwave on high for 2-3 minutes covered.
  • To store leftovers, place the cooled dish in the fridge in an airtight container, then microwave covered for 3-4 minutes, stirring gently half way through.
  • Do not freeze.

If you love a potato and carrot combination, try this other great side dish – root vegetable mash.

bowl of cooked potatoes and carrots with herbs on black table
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Rate this recipe here

5 from 3 votes

Best Instant Pot Potatoes and Carrots

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
time to pressure9 mins
Total Time24 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 5 -6
Author: Cheryl, Two Kooks In The Kitchen

Equipment

  • instant pot or pressure cooker (6 or 8 quart)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 cup chopped onions (or more) about 1/2 an onion
  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and cut, Note 1 1/2-3/4 inch pieces (1.3-2 cm)
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, cut into 1 inch/2.5 cm pieces, Note 2
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or broth, Note 3 (or chicken broth)
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onion and fresh herbs, Note 4
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • SAUTÉ ONIONS AND CARROTS: Press SAUTÉ mode on Instant Pot or Pressure Cooker. Once heated (it will say HOT), add oil and onions. SautĂ© for 5 minutes until slightly browned and caramelized to add great flavor. Add carrots and sautĂ© another 2 minutes. Press CANCEL, then stir in garlic.
  • PRESSURE COOK: Add potatoes and broth to instant pot. Place lid on top. Turn to SEALING, then set PRESSURE to high for 5 minutes (use + and – buttons). Note 5. The instant pot will take 9-10 minutes to come to pressure, then start the 5 minute count down. When you hear the beep, do a QUICK RELEASE of pressure but turning the knob on the lid to VENTING, careful to keep your fingers and face away from the spouting steam. Press CANCEL on Instant Pot.
  • FINISH: Remove lid. Pour out most of liquid accumulated at the bottom of the pot. I leave in a little bit ( 2-3 tablespoons) for extra nutrition. Add butter and herbs. Stir gently. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed (I use ~1/2 tsp kosher salt and 1/4 tsp pepper). Serve immediately.

Notes

  1. Carrots: 1 pound/450 grams carrots = 4-5 medium carrots. Carrots take a little longer to cook than potatoes so I cut them into slightly smaller pieces. You can use baby carrots if you prefer (no need to peel) and cut them in half or thirds, depending on their size. 
  2. Potatoes: Use waxy potatoes such as fingerling potatoes, yukon gold potatoes, red potatoes or baby potatoes. No need to peel them. I don’t suggest using russet potatoes for this recipe – they will fall apart and need to be peeled. 
  3. Broth: Use powder or paste with water (equivalent to 1 cup/250 ml) or a ready made broth in a box. My favorite is Better Than Bouillon vegetable broth or chicken broth – rich in flavor. If it calls for 1 teaspoon per 1 cup water, I use a little more than a teaspoon for extra seasoning. 
  4. Herb mixture: I use one large green onion (or 2 small) with fresh herbs, chopped, equivalent to 1/2 cup total. Great herbs options are dill, parsley, cilantro, chives. You can substitute some dried herbs eg. use green onion, parsley and a bit of dried herbs like Italian seasoning or thyme or coriander. (1 tablespoon fresh chopped herbs = approximately 1 teaspoon dried). 
  5. Cooking time: Timing depends on the size of the cut vegetables and how you like them cooked. For about 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces to become soft and tender, I cook them at 5 minutes. If you like your veggies and bit firmer, use 4 minutes. 
  6. Make ahead:
    • To make the potatoes and carrots a few hours ahead, let the completed dish sit at room temperature until ready to serve. Then warm it in the microwave on high for 2-3 minutes covered.
    • For leftovers, store the dish in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days, then microwave covered for 3-4 minutes, stirring gently half way through. To freshen it up, you can add additional chopped herbs just before serving. 
    • Do not freeze.
 
Nutrition values are estimates. 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Best Instant Pot Potatoes and Carrots
Amount Per Serving
Calories 236 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 4g25%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 12mg4%
Sodium 534mg23%
Potassium 941mg27%
Carbohydrates 36g12%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 15904IU318%
Vitamin C 42mg51%
Calcium 65mg7%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    Going to get some more carrots for this! Never remember to get out the instant pot.

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