The best way to cook carrots in the microwave is to steam them. Try this super simple recipe for microwave steamed carrots the next time you need a quick and easy side dish!
How to Steam Carrots in a Microwave
Steamed carrots make a great side dish for many meals. Steaming them in the microwave is super quick and easy, and a great option if you are extra short on time (like if you forgot to cook a side dish, ahem).
If you have an air fryer you could also try air fryer roasted carrots. Or these other great ‘side dishes in a hurry’: microwave steamed broccoli, microwave corn on the cob, air fryer corn, or air fryer cauliflower.
What carrots to use and how to prep
You can use baby carrots, or regular carrots cut into ~2 inch pieces. Just give them a wash and a scrub, chop the tops off and cut up. There is no need to peel them unless you really want to.
What else do you need?
To steam carrots in your microwave you will need a microwave-safe dish with a well fitting lid. You could also use a bowl with a plate on top, but make sure it is close-fitting as you don’t want the steam to escape during cooking.
You just need a small amount of water in the bottom of the bowl, around a half inch of depth. We need just enough water to fill the interior of the bowl with steam once it gets heated enough (i.e. boiled), but we don’t want to boil the carrots along with the water.
The carrots in the bottom of the bowl will be sitting in the water and may get a little overcooked. They will still taste delicious, but may be a little soft and look a little wilted.
You can avoid this by raising the carrots up out of the water before cooking using a microwave-safe trivet or steamer basket, like this Joie silicone vegetable steamer [affiliate link].
How long to microwave carrots for
You will need to microwave the bowl of carrots until the water is boiling and the bowl has filled with steam. It need to boil continuously for around a minute, and then should be left for at least minute with the lid on to allow the carrots to finish cooking in the steam.
The total length of time you will need to microwave the carrots 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 wattage you may need to increase the times a little.
You can estimate cooking times for a different wattage microwave using the chart below:
|Wattage||Cook time||Steam time|
|400W||4 min||1 min|
|500W||3 min 40 s||1 min|
|600W||3 min 20 s||1 min|
|700W||3 min||1 min|
|800W||2 min 40 s||1 min|
|900W||2 min 20 s||1 min|
|1000W||2 min||1 min|
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!
How to steam carrots in a microwave.
- 4 medium carrots, or 16 baby carrots
- ½ cup water
- Scrub or peel carrots.
- If using full sized carrots, cut into 2 inch chunks. Baby carrots do not need to be cut.
- Place carrots into a microwave safe glass bowl. Add the water.
- Cover the bowl with a (microwave-safe) plate or lid, and place in the microwave.
- Microwave carrots on high for 2 minutes, then leave to steam for a further 1 minute until they are tender. Take care when removing carrots from the microwave, the bowl and the steam will be very hot.
- Serve microwave steamed carrots topped with butter.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 25Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 0gSodium: 44mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g
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