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Here’s how to steam broccoli in the microwave, making crisp tender florets in minutes! This foolproof method delivers perfectly cooked broccoli that will impress everyone: no pots and pans needed.

How to Steam Broccoli in the Microwave

Want to cook broccoli in the microwave? You might think this veggie would come out soggy and bland in the microwave. But cook it right, and it comes out bright green and perfectly crisp tender: you’d think it was cooked right on the stovetop! In fact, our kids absolutely love this green vegetable so it’s great as a simple way to cook it up for kids (and we can’t stop sneaking bites as adults). Here’s how to steam broccoli on the microwave so it comes out perfectly every time!

How to steam broccoli in the microwave

The microwave isn’t our standard favorite way to cook most foods, but we’ve found it’s a slick way to do several different kitchen tasks, like cook a sweet potato, make oatmeal, and melt chocolate. The microwave is also perfect for steaming broccoli, because it’s so simple and results in perfectly crisp tender broccoli. Here’s how to steam broccoli in the microwave:

  • Cut the broccoli into florets. 
  • Place them in a microwave safe dish. Add 2 tablespoons water.
  • Microwave on High for 3 to 5 minutes, until bright green and crisp tender. The timing depends on your microwave. Start at 3 minutes, then taste and cook in 30 second bursts until it’s crisp tender. Make sure not to overcook or it will become soggy!
Steam Broccoli in Microwave

The best way to chop florets

A nice way to cut broccoli florets is to keep the stems as long as possible, which makes for the best look on the plate. If you cut the stems short and stubby, you’ll end up with tiny florets that make a mess on the plate and look less than appetizing. Here’s how to chop broccoli so it looks the best:

  • Keep the stems as long as possible. When you chop the floret, cut it at the base of where the floret attaches to the main stem. This makes for the best shape.
  • Make the florets medium sized, as similar in size as possible. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but keeping the florets similar sized helps them to cook at the same rate.
Cut large florets in half

Seasoning microwave broccoli

The other key to microwave broccoli is seasoning it! Right away, the broccoli tastes extremely bland because it has no salt or cooking fat. Add the salt quantity listed below and a drizzle of olive oil (or use butter if you prefer). Give it a taste, and you might want to eat the entire bowl! We love boiled or steamed broccoli with simple butter and salt.

But, you can also get creative with your seasoning! Here are a few more ideas for seasoning after you add the salt and oil:

  • Grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Feta cheese crumbles
  • A drizzle of rice vinegar, soy sauce, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds
  • Slivered toasted almonds or toasted pine nuts
  • Grated garlic or fresh ginger
  • Seasoned panko
  • Italian seasoning

More broccoli recipes

And that’s it: how to steam broccoli in the microwave until it’s perfectly crisp tender! It makes a tasty, easy side dish that everyone will love. It’s always a hit in our house: we used to always make boiled broccoli, but this method is just as quick and easy. Here are a few more ways to cook broccoli:

This recipe for steamed broccoli in the microwave is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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How to Steam Broccoli in the Microwave

How to Steam Broccoli in Microwave

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 2 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 7 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


Here’s how to steam broccoli in the microwave, making crisp tender florets in minutes! This foolproof method delivers perfectly cooked broccoli that will impress everyone: no pots and pans needed.


  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli, stem on (about 2 large heads or 6 cups florets)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 drizzle olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese, optional for serving


  1. Chop the broccoli into florets.
  2. Place the broccoli florets in a microwave-safe dish. Add 2 tablespoons of water to the dish. Cover the dish loosely with a microwave-safe lid.
  3. Microwave on high for about 3 to 5 minutes. The exact time may vary depending on your microwave and the amount of broccoli. You’re aiming for bright green and crisp-tender broccoli (it usually takes about 4 ½ minutes in our microwave). 
  4. Carefully remove the dish from the microwave (it will be hot) and uncover. Check the broccoli for doneness. If it’s not done, microwave in 30-second bursts until it reaches your desired tenderness.
  5. Drain any excess water. Toss the broccoli with the salt and 1 drizzle of olive oil. If desired, add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Microwave
  • Cuisine: Vegetable
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Steam Broccoli in Microwave, Microwave Broccoli, How to Steam Broccoli in Microwave, Steaming broccoli in microwave, How to Steam Broccoli in the Microwave

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes for memorable kitchen moments! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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