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How to Steam Broccoli in the Microwave

How to Steam Broccoli in the Microwave

Learn how much water to use and how long to cook broccoli in the microwave.

Broccoli is a super nutritious vegetable that tastes especially delicious when steamed. The best part is that you can easily make steam in just a few minutes using your microwave. In this article, we’ll give you step-by-step instructions on how to steam your broccoli and get it nice and tender. Read on for cooking!

[Edit]things you should know

  • Cut the broccoli into small pieces and place them in a microwave safe bowl.
  • Pour 2 tablespoons (29 mL) of water into the bowl and cover it with a microwave-safe lid.
  • Microwave the broccoli for 2 minutes, check with a fork whether the broccoli is tender or not.
  • Microwave the broccoli for another 1 to 2 minutes, checking every 30 seconds for tenderness, until it is done to your liking.


[Edit]Cut broccoli into small pieces.

  1. Clean the head of broccoli and cut it into equal pieces. Soak broccoli in water for 5 to 10 minutes. Then place it on the cutting board. Chop the broccoli using a kitchen knife. Remove the flowers from the stems, cut them into even, bite-sized pieces.[1]
    Steam Broccoli in the Microwave Step 1.jpg
    • If you like broccoli stalks, include those as well. Just cut them into small pieces too.
    • How big or small you cut your broccoli pieces is really up to you. However, larger pieces take longer to cook than smaller, bite-sized pieces.

[Edit]Add water and broccoli to a microwave safe bowl.

  1. Pour 2 Tbsp (29 mL) of water into a ceramic or glass bowl. Then, add broccoli.[2][3]
    Steam Broccoli in the Microwave Step 2.jpg

[Edit]Microwave the broccoli on high for 2 minutes.

  1. Place a microwave safe cover over the bowl and set in the microwave. Use a silicone microwave cover or a glass or ceramic plate to cover the bowl and trap in the steam. Then, set the microwave on high for 2 minutes.[4][5]
    Steam Broccoli in the Microwave Step 3.jpg
    • If you don’t have a lid, use wet paper towels. Instead of pouring 2 Tbsp (29 mL) of water into the bowl, wet 1 to 2 paper towels and wring them out so they are damp. Then, place them on top of your broccoli.[6]

[Edit]Check whether the broccoli is cooked or not.

  1. Pierce the broccoli with a fork to see if the broccoli is steamed well. If your broccoli is cooked, you should feel a little resistance from your fork. Broccoli will also turn from a dull, dark green to a vibrant, bright green.[7]
    Steam Broccoli in the Microwave Step 4.jpg
    • If the broccoli is still hard and not very vibrant, it may need more steaming time.
    • If you’re steaming with paper towels, be careful when lifting them. They’ll likely be hot, so wear oven mitts or lift the paper towels with a fork.

[Edit]Microwave the broccoli for another 1 to 2 minutes.

  1. Steam the broccoli in 30-second increments until it is tender and has the desired texture.[8] Continue checking the broccoli for tenderness with a fork after every 30-second increment until it’s done.[9]
    Steam Broccoli in the Microwave Step 5.jpg
    • Lower wattage microwaves between 600 and 800 require more time to cook broccoli, while microwaves with wattage over 900 usually steam broccoli in under 2 minutes.[10]
    • If your broccoli needs more time, microwave it in 15-second increments until it’s tender.
    • Microwaving broccoli with a paper towel usually takes longer than with a lid, so an additional 1 to 2 minutes may be needed.

[Edit]Season the broccoli after it is steamed.

  1. Remove the broccoli from the microwave and sprinkle salt over it. Use a pair of oven mitts to take the broccoli out of the microwave. The broccoli will be steaming, so be careful when removing the lid. Then, season the broccoli with salt to taste.[11]
    Steam Broccoli in the Microwave Step 6.jpg
    • To make broccoli tastier, add a little butter or a little olive oil. Then, squeeze some lemon over the top or add garlic powder, red pepper flakes, or Parmesan cheese.
    • Steamed broccoli is great on its own or as a healthy side dish for chicken, pork chops or fish. It’s also perfect in pastas, salads, and quiches.

[Edit]Keep leftover broccoli in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.

  1. Place any leftover, cold broccoli in a storage container in the refrigerator. Use plastic or glass containers to store your raw broccoli in the fridge. When you’re ready to eat it, simply heat it in the microwave on high for 1 to 2 minutes. Steamed broccoli keeps well for about 7 days before being thrown away.[12]
    Steam Broccoli in the Microwave Step 7.jpg
    • If you don’t have any storage containers, plastic bags work great too.

[Edit]Freeze leftover broccoli for 6 to 8 months.

  1. Freezing broccoli is a great alternative if you can’t eat it right away. Place your cooled broccoli on a parchment-covered baking sheet in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours. Once the broccoli is frozen, transfer it to a freezer bag or plastic or glass storage container. Most frozen broccoli will stay good and fresh for about 6 to 8 months.[13]
    Steam Broccoli in the Microwave Step 8.jpg
    • When you’re ready to eat your frozen broccoli, refrigerate it overnight. Then, microwave it on high for 1 to 2 minutes.
    • If you don’t want to wait overnight, place the frozen pieces in a microwave-safe bowl with ΒΌ cup (59 mL) water. Cover the bowl and microwave the broccoli for about 4 minutes. If the broccoli isn’t hot enough, microwave it for another 1 to 2 minutes.


  1. https://www.insider.com/guides/kitchen/how-to-steam-broccoli
  2. [v162213_b01], 27 January 2023.
  3. https://spoonuniversity.com/how-to/how-to-steam-broccoli-in-the-microwave
  4. [v162213_b01], 27 January 2023.
  5. https://spoonuniversity.com/how-to/how-to-steam-broccoli-in-the-microwave
  6. https://dormroomcook.com/microwave-steamed-broccoli/
  7. https://www.insider.com/guides/kitchen/how-to-steam-broccoli
  8. [v162213_b01], 27 January 2023.
  9. https://spoonuniversity.com/how-to/how-to-steam-broccoli-in-the-microwave
  10. https://bestrecipebox.com/microwave-broccoli-recipe/
  11. https://bestrecipebox.com/microwave-broccoli-recipe/
  12. https://dormroomcook.com/microwave-steamed-broccoli/
  13. https://40aprons.com/how-to-freeze-broccoli/


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