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Microwave Steamed Broccoli

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The best way to cook broccoli in the microwave is to steam it! This is a super simple recipe for microwave steamed broccoli for the next time you need a quick and easy side dish!

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Microwave steamed broccoli on a white plate

How to steam broccoli in the microwave

Microwave steamed broccoli makes a great side dish for many meals. Steaming it in the microwave is super quick and easy, and a great option if you are short on time.

You need to take a little care to ensure that the broccoli retains its flavor and texture (no one wants over-cooked broccoli!).

How to Prep and What do you need?

You will need a microwave-safe dish or bowl with a well-fitting lid. You can also use a plate upside down over the top of the bowl as long as it is well-fitting enough that it will prevent the steam from escaping.

You just need a small amount of water, just about an inch of depth in the bottom of the bowl as you don’t want the broccoli sitting in the water—you just want it to cook in the steam.

The broccoli florets in the bottom of the bowl will be sitting in the water, and may get a little overcooked, but you can avoid this by raising the broccoli up out of the water using a microwave-safe trivet or steamer basket. I have this one: Joie silicone vegetable steamer*.

Broccoli in glass microwave bowl
Broccoli all prepped and ready for the microwave

How long to Microwave Broccoli

You will need to microwave the broccoli until the water is boiling and the bowl has filled with steam.

It need to boil continuously for around 3 minutes, and then should be left for at least minute with the lid on to allow the broccoli to finish cooking in the steam.

The total length of time you will need to microwave the broccoli for depends on the power of your microwave.

The times in the recipe below are perfect for my 1000W microwave, so if you have a lower or higher wattage you may need to increase or decrease the times a little.

You can estimate cooking times for a different wattage microwave using the chart below:

WattageCook timeSteam time
400W8min2 min
500W7min 30s2 min
600W7min 2 min
700W6min 30s2 min
800W6min2 min
900W5min 30s2 min
1000W5min2 min
1100W4min 30s2 min
1200W4min 2 min
Estimated microwave times for broccoli

You may need to use a little trial and error to get it exactly right. I would recommend printing off the recipe card below and making a note of how long worked for your microwave to make it easier next time!

Microwave steamed broccoli on a white plate
Yield: 4 Servings

Microwave Broccoli

Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 6 minutes

How to steam broccoli in a microwave. 


  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 cup water
  • 1oz butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Wash broccoli and chop into chunks. 
  2. Place chopped broccoli into a microwave safe glass bowl [Note 1].
  3. Add water, and cover the bowl with a tight-fitting lid.
  4. Microwave broccoli on high for approximately 5 minutes, until broccoli is bright green. 
  5. Leave the broccoli in the bowl with the lid on for two minutes to allow it to finish steaming.
  6. Take care when removing broccoli from the microwave, the bowl and the steam will be very hot.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve topped with butter. 


  1. If using a microwave-safe trivet, place this in the bowl first.

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Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 47Unsaturated Fat: 0g

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About Eliza

Welcome to Love Food Not Cooking!

I’m Eliza, busy mom, home cook, and blogger. My goal is to help everyone cook good food. Whether you are short on time, skills or motivation, there is something here for you! We have dozens of quick and easy recipes for dinner, lunch, side dishes, and more. Our recipes use everyday ingredients, for quick delicious meals your family will love! Read more…

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