Learn how to steam broccoli in the microwave so that it’s perfect every time! In less than 5 minutes you can have a healthy broccoli recipe without your stovetop or oven by simply broccoli the easy way. And we are going to show you how to do it using water, a silicone steamer basket, and microwave Ziplock bags making this a super versatile recipe perfect for fresh or frozen vegetables.
Cooking Broccoli in the Microwave
Not only is broccoli super tasty, and really good for you, it’s really versatile. Whether we are steaming broccoli in the microwave, roasting it in the oven, or popping some in our air fryer, broccoli never fails to impress.
Broccoli is high in many nutrients that our bodies need such as fiber, iron, potassium, and several vitamins. This powerhouse vegetable packs all of that into a low calorie and low carb food that works for most lifestyles. Knowing how to steam broccoli in the microwave is a perfect way to stay on track for gluten-free, low-carb, vegetarian, and vegan eaters alike. It’s also great for those who follow both Whole30 and paleo lifestyles, as well as keto fans.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Quick, easy, and healthy, you can a side dish of fresh broccoli in less than 10-minutes!
- With just 2 main ingredients, it makes the easiest side dish ever.
- Add garlic to the bowl prior to microwaving or top with cheddar cheese sauce after cooking to increase flavor.
Once you know how to steam broccoli in the microwave you can choose to enjoy it as-is or add this seriously amazing cheese sauce for broccoli. Or try some of our other recipes include oven-roasted broccoli and instant pot steamed broccoli.
When selecting your broccoli florets, look for an even, dark green color on the florets and leaves that are not wilted on the stalk. The stalks should be moist rather than dried out.
- Fresh Broccoli – 1 bunch that’ll get cut into broccoli florets – a bunch typically has 2 raw broccoli heads bundled together wrapped in plastic. If you buy crowns without the stem attached, you’ll want 2 of them (16-18 oz).
- Minced garlic, optional
Serve with lemons, melted butter, salt and pepper, or our cheese sauce for broccoli
- A microwave
- 2.5 qt covered dish– microwave safe
- (Optional) a silicone steamer basket – cooking broccoli in a microwave steamer isn’t critical, but is a nice option. You can also try the microwave ziplock bags for steaming.
Making Microwave Steamed Broccoli
Quick and simple, you will be amazed how easy it will be to serve fresh broccoli once you know how to steam broccoli in the microwave.
On a cutting board, cut the crown from the stem. Break the broccoli spears into bite-sized pieces with clean hands or cut them with a knife.
Most people discard the stem, but the broccoli stem also works great when steaming broccoli in the microwave. Simply peel it and cut it into small pieces.
Add 3 Tbsp of cold water to the bottom of the dish you’re using, whether it’s a glass/porcelain microwave-safe baking dish OR a silicone microwave steaming basket.
Place the sections into the bottom of the dish. If you are using a glass dish, the broccoli will go directly into the water. If you have a silicone steaming basket, then the water goes in the bottom section and the veggie will lay on top in the vegetable compartment.
Put the lid on the container. Covering the bowl or dish is essential to make sure the broccoli florets steam properly, just make sure you’re using a microwave safe lid.
You’ll be steaming the broccoli in the microwave on high for 3-4 minutes, depending on how you prefer it to get cooked. You’ll have microwave steamed broccoli that’s al dente after 3 minutes and it’ll be crisp-tender after about 4 minutes.
If you’ve cooked it for 4 minutes and it’s still not soft enough for your liking, continuing cooking the vegetable in 30-second increments until it’s just right.
Drain any remaining water that’s left in the dish and serve the broccoli immediately.
- Add 1tsp of fresh minced garlic to the broccoli before microwaving if you are a fellow garlic lover.
- You can easily steam other vegetables in the microwave using the same steps such as cauliflower, carrots, and asparagus.
- Top your broccoli steamed in the microwave with cheddar cheese sauce or serve the sauce on the side for dipping (a great way to get your kids to eat their veggies!).
- If using a glass dish to steam your microwaved broccoli, be sure the broccoli sits directly in the water.
- If using a steamer basket, the water will sit below the broccoli.
- Using microwave Ziplock steamer bags allow you to steam your broccoli without any additional water.
- Chopped broccoli can. be cooked instead of florets, just reduce the cooking time by 1-2 minutes and cook until the broccoli is tender.
How to Store?
Your steamed broccoli can be stored for up to 4-5 days in the fridge in an air-tight container. You can also freeze your steamed broccoli for up to 3-months.
How to Steam Frozen Broccoli in the Microwave?
If you are starting with frozen broccoli you can still steam it in the microwave! Because frozen broccoli is parboiled before being frozen, the cook-time is the same 3-4 minutes as fresh broccoli.
More Broccoli Recipes
- Instant Pot Steamed Broccoli
- Oven Roasted Broccoli
- Air Fryer Broccoli
- Pan Fried Broccoli Cakes
- Riced Broccoli
Please leave a review if you make our recipe! We love feedback from readers, plus it helps others too.
And pin the recipe for later on Pinterest so you can easily get back to it!
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- 1 bunch Broccoli
- 3 Tbsp Water
- 1 tsp Minced garlic, optional
- On a cutting board, cut the broccoli crown from the stem. Break the broccoli spears into bite-sized pieces with clean hands or cut them with a knife.
- Add 3 Tbsp of cold water to the bottom of the dish you're using, whether it's a glass/porcelain microwave-safe baking dish OR a silicone microwave steaming basket.
- Place the broccoli sections into the bottom of the dish. If you are using a glass dish, the broccoli will go directly into the water. If you have a silicone steaming basket, then the water goes in the bottom section and the broccoli will lay on top in the vegetable compartment. Put the lid on the container.
- Microwave for 3-4 minutes, depending on how you prefer your broccoli to get cooked. You'll have microwave steamed broccoli that's al dente after 3 minutes and it'll be crisp-tender after about 4 minutes.
- If you've steamed the microwave broccoli 4 minutes and it's still not soft enough for your liking, continuing cooking the vegetable in 30-second increments until it's just right.
- Drain any remaining water that's left in the dish and serve the broccoli immediately.
Add our cheese sauce recipe if desired, or serve with butter, oil, or lemon.
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