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

How to Steam Zucchini in the Microwave (Easy Method)

To steam zucchini in the microwave, place the slices in a single layer on a microwave-safe dish.

Then, pour water on them and cover the dish. Microwave the zucchini on high for 3 minutes. Flip them over, and cook them for another 2 minutes.

Steamed Zucchini in a Wooden Bowl

Steaming hearty zucchini is a great way to create fork-tender zucchini in minutes. Plus, it’s low in butter and oil, making it a perfect healthy side dish if you’re watching your calories.

You can eat it with salt and pepper, transform it into zoodles and zucchini boats, or toss it into a Buddha bowl!

Let’s take a look at how to steam zucchini in the microwave.

Microwave Zucchini

Surprisingly, microwaving zucchini is the fastest and best way to steam this hearty veggie.

When using the microwave, you don’t have to add much fat, like butter or oil. The heat of the microwave creates steam, which creates fork-tender zucchini.

Steaming zucchini in the microwave keeps the nutrients intact (they won’t seep into a pot of water). It’s so quick and easy, it feels like cheating. But it’s one of the best methods to cook your zucchini!

steamed zucchini


Zucchini. Try to use similarly-sized medium zucchinis in this recipe. They’ll lose too much moisture in the steam bath if they’re too small. If they’re too big, the outsides will tenderize much more quickly than the inside.

Water. It’s not a steam session without water! You only need a little water to create the perfect steam bath in this recipe.

Salt and pepper. A little salt and pepper add the perfect amount of seasoning. Of course, you can also add any extra seasoning you prefer, like red pepper flakes or garlic powder.

Olive oil or butter. Adding fat to the water helps to prevent too much moisture loss. Opt for a flavorful fat, like olive oil or butter. If you’re in a pinch, you can use vegetable oil. But it won’t impart much flavor.

Parmesan cheese. A sprinkling of Parmesan cheese imparts a deliciously nutty flavor, making this simple recipe amazing.

Do You Peel Zucchini Before Steaming?

No, peeling zucchini before steaming in the microwave is unnecessary. However, you can if you want! But before you break out the vegetable peeler, consider a few things first.

The zucchini peel is where it hides all of its essential vitamins and nutrients. After a good steam, the zucchini peel is nice and tender, so there’s no need to throw it away.

Plus, unpeeled zucchini just looks so vibrant!

Seasoned Zucchini Slices

How to Steam Zucchini in the Microwave 

1. Wash your veggies. Run each zucchini under cool water to wash away any dirt and debris. Dry them on a kitchen towel.

2. Slice the zucchini. Cut off both ends of the zucchini, and cut it into 1/2-inch rounds.

3. Prepare the zucchini for the microwave. Place the zucchini slices in a single layer in a microwave-safe dish. A little overlapping is ok, but try and give them enough space to breathe.

4. Add water. Pour the water over your zucchini, and cover with a lid, microwave-safe plate, or plastic wrap. Always ensure the lid isn’t too tight to allow a little moisture to escape.

5. Get steamy. Steam the zucchini on high for 3 minutes. Remove the slices from the microwave. Flip them over, and cook them for another 2 minutes.

6. Drain. Remove the zucchini from the microwave, and carefully drain the water.

7. Season. Transfer the zucchini to a bowl and season it with oil (or butter), salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Tips for the Best Microwave Zucchini

Here are a few quick tips for the perfect fork-tender steamed zucchini.

Not all microwaves are created equal. The cooking time for this recipe isn’t an exact science. Some microwaves are more powerful than others. Always cook it on high for 3 minutes, then pierce with a fork to check for doneness. The zucchini should be able to pierce the zucchini with a fork.

Be careful, the water is hot! After 3 minutes in the microwave, the remaining water is like hot lava. Always use a pair of oven mitts when handling the water tray, and flip the zucchini with tongs.

Opt for medium-sized zucchini. When selecting zucchini at the supermarket, opt for medium-size. Bigger isn’t better! Larger zucchini takes longer to cook, and the outside may be ultra-tender. But the insides will be raw.

Pasta With Steamed Zucchini

Serving Suggestions

Steamed zucchini is a healthy side dish but can also take center stage. Here are a few great suggestions on using steamed zucchini as a main dish.

Add it to pasta. Add steamed zucchini to orzo pasta, fresh tomatoes, and garden herbs for a delightful summer dinner. Or, throw it into spaghetti with fresh marinara for a filling meal for a meatless Monday.

Make tacos! Zucchini tacos, aka Calabacitas, combine squash, tomatoes, corn, and peppers. Serve it inside a warm tortilla, and don’t forget the chips and salsa!

Serve it as a snack. If you have a serious snacking craving, replace calorie-heavy potato chips with zucchini! It delivers all the potato chip feels without the heavy calories when cut into rounds.

How to Steam Zucchini in the Microwave (Easy Method)

Prep time


Cooking time



Steam zucchini in the microwave by layering the slices and pouring water on them. Learn this easy method, plus, get tips for the best zucchini.


  • 2 medium zucchinis, approximately 1 pound

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 tablespoonss extra virgin olive oil or melted butter

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  • Wash the zucchini under cool water, cut off the ends, and dry it on a kitchen towel.
  • Slice the zucchini into 1/2-inch rounds, and arrange them in a single layer in a microwave-safe dish.
  • Cover the zucchini with 1/2 cup of water, and cover loosely with a lid. Be sure to allow space for a little air to escape while cooking.
  • Microwave the zucchini on high for 3 minutes. Remove it from the microwave, and flip it using a pair of tongs.
  • Cook it for 2 more minutes, then remove it from the microwave. To check for doneness, pierce the zucchini with a fork.
  • Transfer the steamed zucchini to a mixing bowl, and toss it with oil (or butter), salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Dig in!


  • Note: The exact cooking time may vary depending on your microwave’s power level and how tender you prefer the zucchini.
How to Steam Zucchini in the Microwave

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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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