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Microwave Steamed Carrots

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You can microwave carrots to steam them – it is the quickest and best way to steam them. Try this super simple recipe for the next time you need a quick and easy side dish!

Microwave Steamed Carrots on a white plate
Microwave Steamed Carrots

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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).

You could also one of my other favorite super quick side dishes: microwave steamed broccoli, microwave corn on the cob, microwave steamed cauliflower. Or, if you have an air fryer, try air fryer roasted vegetables.

What carrots to use and how to prep

You can use baby carrots, or regular carrots cut into ~2 inch sticks, or rounds. They hardly need any prep time – 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 bowl or dish with a well fitting lid. You could also use plastic wrap or a plate on top, but make sure it is close-fitting as you don’t want the steam to escape during cooking (though be sure to pierce the plastic wrap, we don’t want it air tight).

You just need a few tablespoons 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 trivet or steamer basket, like this Joie silicone vegetable steamer*.

How long to cook carrots in the microwave

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

It needs 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 cook 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 time for a different wattage microwave ovens using the chart below:

WattageCook timeSteam time
400W4 min1 min
500W3 min 40 s1 min
600W3 min 20 s1 min
700W3 min1 min
800W2 min 40 s1 min
900W2 min 20 s1 min
1000W2 min1 min
Estimated cook times for different microwave wattage

You may need to use a little trial and error to get perfectly cooked carrots, but don’t give up!

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 Carrots on a white plate
Yield: 4 servings

Microwave Steamed Carrots

Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

How to steam carrots in a microwave.


  • 4 medium carrots, or 16 baby carrots
  • ½ cup water
  • A sprinkle of salt (to serve)
  • Butter (to serve)


  1. Scrub or peel carrots.
  2. If using full sized carrots, cut into 2 inch long sticks or rounds. Baby carrots do not need to be cut.
  3. Place carrots into a microwave safe bowl. Add the water. Add steamer basket, if using.
    Carrots in a glass bowl.
  4. Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap (pierced with a fork), and place in the microwave.
  5. Microwave carrots on high for 2 minutes, then leave to steam for a further 1 minute until they are tender. Check carrots for doneness with a fork.
  6. If they require additional cooking, microwave for further 30 second intervals until the right doneness is achieved
  7. Take care when removing carrots from the microwave, the bowl and the steam will be very hot.
    Carrots in a glass bowl in a microwave
  8. Carefully remove the cooked carrots from the bowl using tongs or a fork.
  9. Season with salt. Serve microwave steamed carrots topped with butter. 

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Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 25Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 0gSodium: 44mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g

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