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How to Steam Cauliflower in the Microwave

Are you in need of a quick veggie fix? Then, learn how to steam cauliflower in the microwave!

No need to fire up the stovetop or wait ages for the oven to preheat. The microwave is your secret weapon here – a real kitchen wizard.

How to Steam Cauliflower in the Microwave featuring Steamed Cauliflower with Spinach and Seasoned Breadcrumbs
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In this post, you will find fuss-free ways to make tender cauliflower florets. Plus, you’ll find fantastic ways to jazz up this simple veggie.

Ready? Come discover how to steam cauliflower, all with the power of the microwave!

Microwave Cauliflower

Say goodbye to boiling water or waiting for the oven to preheat! 

You can have tender and delicious cauliflower in minutes with the microwave.

Chop the cauliflower into florets and pop them in a microwave-safe bowl. 

Add a splash of water, cover it (remember that vent!), and let the magic happen. 

The steam will work wonders, cooking those florets to perfection.

And for the fun part- you can get creative with seasonings! 

Drizzle some olive oil, and sprinkle a bit of salt and pepper. Or go wild with your favorite herbs and spices! 

This is a game-changer – quick, easy, and oh-so-delicious!

Cauliflower Florets on a Wooden Board


  • Cauliflower – The star of the show! Pick a firm head with tightly packed, creamy white florets. 
  • Water – Creates steam for cooking the cauliflower. It’s the secret to quick, even microwaving.
  • Olive Oil – Adds a little richness and helps seasonings stick to the cauliflower. Pick a good quality one for the best flavor.
  • Salt and pepper – For seasoning.

How to Steam Cauliflower in the Microwave

1. Prep cauliflower. 

Trim the leaves and core from the cauliflower head. Chop your cauliflower into even-sized florets.

2. Rinse and arrange florets. 

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Rinse cauliflower florets with cold water and place florets in a microwave-safe bowl.

3. Add water. 

Pour 1-2 inches of water into the bowl to help create steam. Cover with a microwave-safe lid or plate. Leave a small gap for steam to escape.

4. Microwave. 

Cook on high for about 3 minutes, and stir after the interval.

5. Check and repeat. 

Poke with a fork to test tenderness. If needed, microwave in 2-minute increments until it is as tender as you like.

Microwave Steamed Cauliflower in a Wooden Bowl

How Long to Steam Cauliflower in the Microwave

Microwave small cauliflower florets on high for 3 minutes to steam them. Check for doneness with a fork. 

If not tender enough, keep microwaving in 2-minute increments until you reach your desired softness.

But remember, microwaves can vary, so keep a close eye on them. It’s better to start with less time and add more as needed.

Tips for the Best Microwave Cauliflower

Here are a few tips to ensure your microwave cauliflower turns out perfectly:

  • Cut your cauliflower into even pieces so they cook uniformly.
  • When placing the florets in a microwave-safe bowl, do not overcrowd them. This ensures even cooking.
  • Cover your dish with a lid or plastic wrap. Leave a small opening for steam to escape.
  • Microwave at 50% power to prevent overcooking and to keep cauliflower tender yet firm.
  • Check for doneness by poking a fork into a piece. It should be tender but still hold its shape.

Serving Suggestions

  • Cheesy cauliflower: Dust your cauliflower with grated parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley.
    • The cheese will melt a little, creating a delicious topping.
  • Lemon & Pepper: Squeeze fresh lemon juice over your steamed cauliflower, then add a sprinkle of black pepper.
    • It is simple, light, and adds a tangy zing.
  • Garlic Butter: Sauté some minced garlic in butter, then drizzle this over your cauliflower. This is a classic flavor combo that never disappoints.
  • Spiced Up: Toss your cauliflower with some olive oil, turmeric, cumin, and a pinch of chili flakes.
  • Herb Mix: Toss with dill, thyme, or rosemary. Or any other herbs that you love! 
Cheesy Microwave Steamed Broccoli with Herbs and Seasonings in a Bowl

Storing, Freezing, and Reheating


Fresh out of the steamer? Let your cauliflower cool a bit before storing it. 

Add the cauliflower to an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag. Place it in the refrigerator, and store it for 3-5 days.


Freezing steamed cauliflower is as easy as pie. Once the cauliflower is cool, stick it in a freezer-safe bag or container. 

Remember to squeeze out any excess air. Try to use it within 4 months for the best flavor.


Microwave your cauliflower at 50% power in a covered dish with a vent. You can also cover it with a plate or loose plastic lid.

Stir every interval until it is hot enough for you. 

Avoid overheating to keep it from getting mushy. You can also reheat it in a steamer or an oven. 

Be careful not to overheat it, as it can quickly become mush.

How to Steam Cauliflower in the Microwave

Prep time


Cooking time



Need an easy side dish to go with dinner? Learn how to steam cauliflower in the microwave! This is an easy, tasty, no-fuss recipe, perfect for busy nights.


  • Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower (about 1.5-2 pounds)

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  • Cut away any leaves and cut out the core of the cauliflower just under the head.
  • Chop it into small florets and rinse with cold water.
  • Place the cauliflower into a microwave-safe bowl and add the water.
  • Cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or a microwave-safe plate. If using plastic wrap, secure the edges but leave a small vent for the steam to escape.
  • Microwave on high for 3 minutes, then gently stir to ensure even cooking.
  • Microwave again for 2-5 minutes or until tender.
  • Remove the dish and drain away the excess liquid.
  • Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper, and toss to coat the cauliflower florets.
  • Serve and enjoy.


  • Exact cooking times will vary depending on the power of the microwave and how tender you like cauliflower.
How to Steam Cauliflower in the Microwave

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author avatar
Kim - 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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