Learn How to Microwave Asparagus in just 3 minutes with this easy recipe. Steamed asparagus is a quick, healthy side dish perfect for spring. It pairs beautifully with your favorite main dish and tastes absolutely delicious.
Keep the seasonings simple and light with a little salt and pepper. Or, jazz up plain asparagus with butter, a squeeze of fresh lemon and grated Parmesan cheese for amazing flavor!
We have been cooking asparagus in the microwave for ages. It's a super easy side dish and takes just a few minutes to make. Even though I love making Sautéed Asparagus with Bacon and Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus for special occasions, the microwave cooking method is perfect for quick meals.
And yes, it's perfectly safe to microwave vegetables. They retain more nutrients this way because the cooking time is so short! Some of our other favorite vegetables to cook in the microwave are Baked Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli, Green Beans, Carrots and Cauliflower.
How to Cook Asparagus in the Microwave
I used one bunch of asparagus for this recipe, but the same method applies for 2 or more bunches. I usually make 2 bunches at once for the whole family. Tip -- Choose medium to thin stalks for even cooking!
First, rinse the asparagus under cold running water. No need to pat it dry. The water droplets will help build up steam when cooking.
Next, trim the asparagus to remove the woody ends. You can hold each end in your hands and bend the stalks until they break. Or, cut about 1 ½ to 2 inches off at the bottom. No need to have them perfectly even unless you want to.
I usually bend the asparagus to get an idea of where they should be cut. Sometimes, it looks like too much will get cut off, so I'll leave a little more of the stem on.
Then, place the trimmed asparagus into a microwave safe baking dish. Add a tablespoon of butter and toss in a pinch of sea salt, garlic powder and pepper. I add 1 teaspoon of cold water, but you don't have to add extra liquid if you don't want to.
Place the dish in the microwave, and cover, making sure to allow some steam to escape. I use a plastic microwave cover for this, but you can use a paper towel, microwave-safe dish or plastic wrap.
How Long to Steam in Microwave
Steam 1 bunch of asparagus in the microwave for 3 to 4 minutes. 3 minutes will give you tender crisp asparagus. Cooking it for 4 minutes will make it even more tender.
I usually cook 2 bunches of asparagus for 4 to 5 minutes. The perfect cook time will vary with different microwave ovens.
Keep in mind that food continues to cook after microwaving, so don 't cook it for too long. It's better to try a shorter cook time and add another minute if you want!
For extra flavor, squeeze a little fresh lemon juice and sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan cheese over the asparagus. This part is completely optional, but so good!
Store leftover cooked asparagus covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It doesn't take long to reheat -- maybe 30 seconds in the microwave is all you need.
- 1 bunch fresh asparagus
- 1 teaspoon cold water
- 1 tablespoon butter optional
- pinch sea salt, pepper, garlic powder optional
- Rinse asparagus under cold water, and trim off ends
- Place in microwave safe dish. Optional -- add 1 teaspoon water, 1 tablespoon butter and pinch of sea salt, garlic powder and pepper
- Place dish in microwave, cover, making sure to vent for steam. Cook for 3 minutes for tender crisp and 4 minutes for softer texture