How to Steam Broccoli (in Microwave)
Why We Love this Easy Recipe
Need to steam some broccoli for broccoli and cheese, or to stir into another recipe? Or do you just want a simple healthy side dish? This is by far the easiest way to steam broccoli in the microwave!
With our tried-and-true tips you can avoid mushy broccoli and make tender, flavorful, and fully yummy florets. You need only a handful of ingredients and about 15 minutes… Actually less than that if you prep the veggies ahead!
It is also easy to customize the spices, and double or triple this Microwave Steamed Broccoli recipe for as many servings as you like. So this will definitely be a staple of your basic recipe how-to guides!
Ingredients You Need
- Broccoli – fresh, trimmed into bite-sized florets
- Water – just a bit
- Salt and pepper – for the most flavorful steamed broccoli
- Butter – unsalted, optional but highly recommended
- Garlic powder – or other optional spices
How to Steam Broccoli in the Microwave
Set out a medium microwave-safe pot or baking dish with a heavy lid. Trim the broccoli in the florets, approximately 1 by 2 inches in size. Place the broccoli florets in the baking dish.
Pour the water over the top of the broccoli.
Then add two large pinches of salt and a pinch of black pepper.
If desired, add butter and garlic powder as well.
Get the Complete (Printable) Guide for How to Steam Broccoli in the Microwave Below. Enjoy!
Cover the dish and place it in the microwave. Set on high for 3 minutes.
Carefully open the lid and toss the broccoli. If the stems still seem too firm, place them back in the microwave for 1-2 more minutes. Perfectly steamed broccoli should be bright green and the stems should still be firm, but not raw inside.
Recipe Variations and Serving Suggestions
Want to spice things up? Consider adding crushed red pepper, cayenne, your favorite herb or spice blend, or seasoning salt to the broccoli before steaming in the microwave.
However you choose to customize this easy recipe, steamed broccoli is the perfect healthy side dish to serve with your favorite mains. It pairs well with nearly any protein, both meat and plant-based.
Here are just a few ideas for what to serve with steamed broccoli to get you going:
- Instant Pot Sweet Soy Chicken Thighs
- Crispy Baked Buffalo Chicken Breast
- The Best Beef Wellington
- Steak Diane (Cheesecake Factory Copycat Recipe)
- Broiled Salmon with Garlic Herb Butter
- Baked White Fish with Everything Bagel Crust
- Mean Green Buddha Bowl
- Panang Curry with Crispy Tofu
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you make this recipe with any amount of broccoli?
Yes, if you have a bigger microwave-safe covered dish that will fit in your microwave, you can fill it up with two or three heads of broccoli. Double and triple the ingredients as needed, then start the cooking time at four minutes on high before tossing and adding additional minutes.
Can steamed broccoli be made ahead?
For the best taste and texture, I recommend steaming the broccoli when you are ready to serve. But you can prep ahead! Wash and trim the florets and keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 or 4 days.
How long should I microwave broccoli?
Check the veggie for doneness after 3 minutes. If the stems are a bit too firm, microwave for 1 more minute and check again.
Is microwaving broccoli better than boiling?
Both methods are terrific for preserving the nutrients of broccoli. Boiling broccoli is also very easy, but does take a bit more effort. Microwaving is about as effortless as it gets! This also uses less water and keeps the stovetop free for other dishes.
Looking for More Quick and Easy Side Dish Recipes? Be Sure to Also Try:
- Roasted Red Pepper Aioli and Steamed Artichokes
- Grilled Corn on the Cob
- Roasted Lemon Asparagus
- Roasted Vegetable Melody
- Sweet and Spicy Roasted Broccolini
How to Steam Broccoli (in Microwave)
- 1 large head broccoli trimmed (4-5 cups florets)
- ¼ cup water
- Salt and pepper
- Optional: 2 tablespoons butter + ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- Set out a medium microwave-safe pot or baking dish with a heavy lid. Trim the broccoli in the florets, approximately 1 by 2 inches in size. Place the broccoli florets in the baking dish.
- Pour the water over the top of the broccoli, followed by two large pinches of salt and a pinch of black pepper. If desired, add butter and garlic powder as well.
- Cover the dish and place in the microwave. Set on high for 3 minutes. Carefully open the lid and toss the broccoli. If the stems still seem too firm, place back in the microwave for 1-2 more minutes. Perfectly steamed broccoli should be bright green and the stems should still be firm, but not raw inside.