Home Articles How to Steam Broccoli in the Microwave (Easy Method)

How to Steam Broccoli in the Microwave (Easy Method)

To steam broccoli in the microwave, place it in a microwave-safe dish. Add a splash of water. Then, cover it with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap, leaving a small vent. Microwave it on high for 4-6 minutes, checking for desired tenderness. (Be cautious when removing the cover due to steam.)

This culinary cheat code is a new way to enjoy veggies while saving time.

steamed broccoli

In addition to learning how to steam broccoli, I have some hacks to make it even better. From simple steps to flavor variations and storage tips, you’ll be a pro!

Ready? Pop that broccoli in the microwave and relax while it gets beautifully steamed!

Microwave Broccoli

Microwaved steamed broccoli is a lifesaver in the kitchen. It’s a secret weapon for a quick and healthy side dish. 

It sounds pretty simple, right? Because it is! And the best part, it’s just as delicious as the traditional stovetop steamed version.

Microwaved broccoli works excellent as a side dish, a stir-fry ingredient, or tossed into salads. You can store or freeze it for months.

And if you’re feeling adventurous? Add lemon zest, Parmesan, chili flakes, or toasted breadcrumbs to jazz it up. 

plate of steamed broccoli

Ingredients

  • Broccoli – The star ingredient. It has a fresh, slightly sweet flavor and gets beautifully tender when steamed.
  • Water – It’s essential for creating the steam needed to cook the broccoli in the microwave.
  • Salt – It’s the key to bringing out the natural flavor of the broccoli. It enhances the sweetness and reduces any bitterness.
  • Olive Oil or butter – Either option works here, it’s all about your preference. Olive oil lends a fruity richness, while butter gives a creamy, rich finish.

How to Steam Broccoli in the Microwave

1. Peel and chop. Peel away, discard the leaves, and chop the stem just under the base of the broccoli head. Cut the broccoli into florets.

2. Prepare for microwaving. Rinse the broccoli under cool water and drain off the excess. Place the broccoli into a microwave-safe bowl and add the water.

3. Cover the bowl. Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid or a microwave-safe plate. If you’re using plastic wrap, secure it around the edges but poke some holes in it.

4. Pop it in the microwave. Microwave it on high for 2 minutes, then carefully stir the broccoli. Microwave it again for 2-4 minutes or until tender.

5. Drain the excess water. Carefully remove the bowl and transfer the broccoli to a colander.

6. Season. Put the steamed broccoli in the bowl, add olive oil (or butter) and salt, then toss it to coat.

7. Add optional toppings. Sprinkle the lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, chili flakes, or toasted breadcrumbs over the top.

Rice in a Bowl Topped With Tso's Chicken and Microwave Steamed Broccoli

Tips for the Best Microwave Broccoli

  • Ensure evenly cut broccoli pieces for uniform cooking and to prevent uneven doneness.
  • Avoid overfilling the bowl to let steam circulate for even cooking.
  • Begin with 2 minutes of microwaving, then check. Adjust the time as needed to avoid overcooking.
  • Avoid overfilling the bowl to let steam circulate for even cooking.
  • Cover the bowl to retain steam but allow a vent for its escape.

Variations

Steamed broccoli is like a blank canvas, waiting for your artistic touch. Here are some fun ways to dress up your steamed broccoli and turn it from bland to BAM!

1. Classic Garlic and Lemon: Sauté steamed broccoli in garlic and add a spritz of lemon juice.

2. Cheesy Delight: Sprinkle some grated Parmesan, cheddar, or nutritional yeast (for a vegan option) over your hot steamed broccoli. `

3. Spicy Kick: Sprinkle a bit of red pepper flakes or a dash of cayenne pepper. You can also use chili or sesame for a delicious Asian twist.

4. Nutty Sesame: Drizzle your broccoli with soy sauce, sesame oil, and a sprinkling of sesame seeds. It brings a nice balance of salty and nutty flavors.

5. Creamy Mustard: Mix some Dijon mustard with honey, and drizzle it over steamed broccoli.

What to Serve with Steamed Broccoli

1. Proteins: Steamed broccoli is excellent for lean proteins like grilled chicken, steak, or fish. If you’re a vegetarian or just doing a meatless Monday, try it with tofu or tempeh.

2. Grains: Think about serving your broccoli alongside some wholesome grains. Brown rice, quinoa, farro, or even pasta work great.

3. Soups: Steamed broccoli can be added to or served with various soups. Blend it into a creamy broccoli soup or serve it on the side.

Freshly Steamed Broccoli on a White Plate

Storing, Freezing, and Reheating

Storing Leftover Steamed Broccoli

Let your broccoli cool down first. You don’t want to trap any extra steam that could make it soggy. Once cooled, put it in an air-tight container or resealable bag.

Pop it in the fridge. If it’s properly stored, your steamed broccoli should last 3 to 5 days.

Freezing Steamed Broccoli

Looking to store broccoli for the long haul? You can freeze it! Just like when storing, wait until your broccoli has thoroughly cooled before freezing.

While frozen steamed broccoli can last up to a year, it’s most flavorful if consumed within 6 months.

Reheating Steamed Broccoli

If your broccoli is in the fridge, the easiest way to reheat it is in the microwave. Put it in a microwave-safe dish, cover it, and reheat it for a minute or two.

Remember to stir halfway through for even heating.

If you’re reheating frozen broccoli, it’s even easier! There’s no need to thaw it first. Just toss it straight into your dish while cooking. It’s great in stir-fries, casseroles, or soups.

How to Steam Broccoli in the Microwave (Easy Method)

Prep time

3

minutes
Cooking time

4

minutes

You can steam broccoli in the microwave by cooking it for 4-6 minutes. Learn more about this easy method!

Ingredients

  • Ingredients:

  • 1 pound 1 fresh broccoli, approximately 1 large or 2 small heads

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 water

  • 1/2 teaspoon 1/2 salt

  • 1 tablespoon 1 olive oil or butter

  • Optional extras:
  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/4 teaspoon 1/4 chili flakes (or to taste)

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 breadcrumbs

Instructions

  • Peel away and discard the leaves and chop the stem just under the base of the broccoli head.
  • Cut the broccoli into florets. If using the stem, chop it into 1/2-inch slices.
  • Rinse the broccoli under cool water and drain off the excess.
  • Place the broccoli into a microwave-safe bowl and add the water.
  • Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid or a microwave-safe plate. If using plastic wrap, secure it around the edges but leave a vent to let the steam out.
  • Microwave it on high for 2 minutes, then carefully stir the broccoli.
  • Microwave it again for 2-4 minutes or until tender.
  • Carefully remove the bowl and transfer the broccoli to a colander to drain the excess water.
  • Return the broccoli to the bowl, add the olive oil or butter and salt, and toss to coat evenly.
  • If using, sprinkle the lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, chili flakes, or toasted breadcrumbs over the top.
  • Serve and enjoy.
  • To make the toasted breadcrumbs: place a skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and stir until golden (3-4 minutes).

Notes

  • Exact cooking times will vary depending on the power of the microwave and how tender you like broccoli.
  • To make the toasted breadcrumbs: place a skillet over medium heat. Add the breadcrumbs and stir until golden (3-4 minutes).
How to Steam Broccoli in the Microwave

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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