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Learn How to Steam Broccoli in the Microwave with this easy microwave broccoli recipe. You only need 2 ingredients for this healthy side dish that takes just minutes to make!

steamed microwave broccoli in white dish

Broccoli is one of my family’s favorite side dishes. It goes with just about anything, and it’s super easy to make. Sometimes I make air fryer broccoli, but I probably cook broccoli in the microwave more often than anything because it’s the easiest way to cook it.

A lot of people frown on this cooking method, but this busy mama would be absolutely lost without a microwave oven! Plus steaming broccoli retains more nutrients than boiling it in a pot of water!

I use it daily to reheat leftovers and cook fresh vegetables. I have a lot of microwave recipes on the blog, like microwave baked potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, and asparagus, carrots and cauliflower. We even make microwave ramen!

They all cook so fast in the microwave, and they turn out perfect every time. What’s not to love about that?!


You only need 2 ingredients to microwave fresh broccoli, plus a few other ingredients for added flavor. You can find these in the grocery store or online.

  • Raw broccoli 
  • Water — you only need a little water to create steam
  • Butter — for flavor
  • Sea salt
  • Garlic powder
  • Black pepper 

How to Microwave Broccoli

First, you want to rinse the fresh broccoli under cold running water. Then, you need to cut it into small pieces, or florets.

I like to trim as much of the stem off the head of broccoli as possible since it’s the toughest part.

You can leave the stems longer if you like. Or, you can save the stems to add to Broccoli Cheese Soup and other soups and stews.

chopped broccoli florets on cutting board

Next, place broccoli into a microwave-safe bowl or microwave-safe dish or serving dish. That’s the best part about this cooking method — fewer dishes!

Now, add a small amount of water. Usually, I just eyeball the water, but it’s about 2 tablespoons of water.

These are the only ingredients you really need to steam broccoli in the microwave!

add water to chopped broccoli in bowl before cooking

Of course, we like extra flavor. So, I add a little piece of butter and a pinch of salt, black pepper and garlic powder.

Cover the microwaveable bowl with a clean paper towel, plastic wrap (with an opening) or a microwave-safe cover.

I have a cover that fits over most dishes — super convenient!


Cook Time

How long to microwave broccoli depends upon how much broccoli you’re cooking, how tender you want it and your microwave wattage.

I usually cook at least 4 heaping cups of broccoli — sometimes more. We like broccoli tender crisp, so a total cook time of 4 minutes is perfect for us.

If I’m making more than that, I’ll cook it for 5 to 6 minutes. If you only need a couple of servings, say 2 cups of broccoli, try cooking it for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes.

Keep in mind that when microwaving vegetables, they will continue to cook after you take them out. So, try a lower cook time first. You can always cook them longer if you need to.

cooked broccoli in white serving bowl on table

How to Store and Reheat

If you have leftover steamed broccoli, store it in an airtight container in the fridge. It should keep for about 4 to 5 days.

You can cooked broccoli in the microwave by cooking it for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until it’s warm. Total cooking time depends on how much you’re reheating.

microwave broccoli on a serving spoon


There are a few different ways to customize this great side dish.

You can add a squeeze of lemon juice after cooking it to give it a fresh flavor. Just don’t add the juice before cooking because it will turn the fresh broccoli brown.

Add a drizzle of olive oil instead of butter to keep this a plant based side dish.

One of my favorite ways to add more flavor to this healthy broccoli recipe is to sprinkle in some soy sauce. I love doing this when Asian food is on the menu.

Cheese makes everything better, so you can sprinkle some on top after cooking — I like to use parmesan cheese, but you can add any type, even cheese sauce!

Pro Tips

Here are a few cooking tips to give you perfect microwaved broccoli every time.

Chop broccoli into small pieces about the same size for even cooking.

Be sure to cover and vent the dish during the cooking process.

Don’t over cook. You can always add more time if needed.

Use oven mitts or pot holders for safety.

5 from 6 votes

Steam Broccoli in Microwave

By: Dee
Learn How to Steam Broccoli in the Microwave with this easy microwave broccoli recipe. You only need 2 ingredients for this healthy side dish that takes just minutes to make!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 4 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes
Servings: 4


  • microwave oven


  • 4 cups raw broccoli 1 to 2 heads
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon butter optional
  • pinch sea salt, garlic powder, pepper optional
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  • Rinse broccoli, and chop into florets
  • Add broccoli florets to microwavable bowl, and add water, sea salt, pepper, garlic powder and 1 tablespoon butter if desired
  • Cover with vents for steam, place in microwave, and cook for 4 minutes. Carefully remove cover, stir and serve


If you like crisper broccoli, cook for 3 minutes, and add another minute if needed.
Total cook time depends on amount of broccoli and wattage of your microwave. 


Calories: 56kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 55mg, Potassium: 288mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 654IU, Vitamin C: 81mg, Calcium: 44mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Like this? Leave a comment below!

I hope you enjoy this delicious side dish as much as we do. It really is the best way to cook fresh broccoli!

Please leave a star rating and comment on this easy side dish recipe if you make it!

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Recipe published in 2021 and updated in 2022

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Recipe Rating


  1. Mae says:

    Yay! Great side dish idea!5 stars

  2. katerina @ says:

    I love this! SO easy and delicious! I can’t wait to try it!

  3. betimicevska @ says:

    Such a fantastic idea! Thank you for sharing!!5 stars

  4. Amanda Livesay says:

    The easiest way to do broccoli! My kids love it.5 stars

  5. Erin | Dinners,Dishes and Dessert says:

    This Steam Broccoli is absolutely delicious! Yummy!5 stars

  6. Krystle Smith says:

    Yummy this is going to be perfect for the busy weeknights we have coming up.5 stars

  7. Joanna says:

    It came out great! Thanks for this brilliant idea for a quick side dish!