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How to Cook Broccoli in Microwave

How to Cook Broccoli in Microwave

Last Updated on 17th December 2021 by

One of the quickest and simplest ways to cook broccoli is in the microwave. Microwaves are probably the best way to cook your vegetables fast and easy. It works really well, and it steams the broccoli to cook it, resulting in broccoli that is tender and tasty. The broccoli also retains a lot of its nutrients, so if you know how to cook broccoli in the microwave, you have a very nutritious way to prepare your veggies.

It’s very easy to learn how to cook fresh broccoli in microwave, and you just need to know the proper method so that it comes out perfectly every time. It’s not a difficult process, and I’ll walk you through it all step by step.

Make sure you’re using fresh broccoli that is still before its expiry date or broccoli that’s been frozen that is still good to eat. Also make certain that you use a microwave safe bowl for cooking in the microwave. That will ensure the broccoli cooks properly and that you’re not damaging your food or your cookware.

How to Cook Fresh Broccoli in the Microwave

With fresh broccoli, you want to cut it up first into bite size pieces, called florets. You can cut up the stalks as well if you want, but make sure that they have been cut up into bite size pieces as well. It’s actually best to cut those down the stalks into pieces that are a bit smaller than bite size for easy eating. There could be some very woody bits as well, which you want to remove completely. Removing them ensures that the broccoli cooks evenly.

Next, put your broccoli into a microwave safe bowl and add water. Ceramic bowls or plastic bowls that are labeled as microwave safe will work just fine. You want to add water to the bowl of broccoli to ensure that it steams in the microwave. As the broccoli warms and the water warms in the microwave, the water will turn to steam, cooking the broccoli and steaming it perfectly. It comes out just as beautifully cooked and as tender as if you put it into a steamer on the stovetop.

How much water to use for your broccoli? If you have a pound of broccoli, which comes out to about a head of broccoli, use about two or three tablespoons of water. Then, cover the microwave safe bowl with a plate. Try to avoid plastic wrap and go for a solid covering instead.

How long to cook broccoli in the microwave? It should cook on high for about 3 to 4 minutes. They should make your broccoli come out tender but not mushy. If you’re doing this for the first time, try to cook it for about 2 1/2 minutes first and see if the broccoli is all the way cooked at that point. If not, cover it back and heat it for a little while longer.

The broccoli is being steamed in the microwave, so when you take it out, steam will be released. In other words, be careful. Open the covering for the broccoli with care, and you may want to use an oven mitt or a hot pad to do so, and open it away from your face so steam can be released in a safe manner. You can finish off your broccoli with a little bit of butter, salt, pepper, or parmesan cheese.

How to Cook Frozen Broccoli in the Microwave

Broccoli doesn’t have to be fresh and thawed out for you to be able to cook it in the microwave. It can be completely frozen and still be easily steamed. I’ll show you how to cook broccoli in microwave when it is frozen.

Once again, make sure the broccoli is placed into a microwave safe bowl. If it is frozen, you can choose to thaw it out or you can cook it while it is still frozen. If it is frozen, you probably won’t be able to chop it small, so keep that in mind.

How long to cook broccoli in microwave when it is frozen? We talked about how long to cook fresh broccoli in microwave, but the timing is different for frozen broccoli. For 16 ounces of frozen broccoli, you can cook it in the microwave for about 5 minutes. You want to give it about half a cup of water to cook in. Don’t just assume because the broccoli is frozen that it needs no water to cook. The ice packed around the broccoli won’t be enough to steam it properly, so add some water to your bowl of broccoli.

You know already how to cook raw broccoli in the microwave since I covered that above, and cooking frozen broccoli is similar. Just check the broccoli once it is done cooking to see if it is cooked all the way through. You can test it with a fork to tell if it is tender. Once again, make sure you cover the broccoli with a microwave safe plate or other solid covering. Plastic wrap could work in a pinch, but it’s not the preferred way to steam broccoli in the microwave.

Also once again, be sure that you are careful when you open the covering for your broccoli. Steam will be released, and you don’t want to put yourself in any danger.

Steaming the broccoli in the microwave isn’t the only way to get it steamed. You can use a steamer or simply cook it in a covered pot of water on the stove. These methods take longer, so they aren’t as convenient. Steaming in the microwave works just as well and makes the broccoli come out with the same desirable texture and tenderness. So, there’s no reason to go the longer route and put yourself through more trouble to make the same dish. You’re not losing anything by cooking it in the microwave.

What Goes Well with Steamed Broccoli?

Steamed broccoli is a great side dish for meat, mashed potatoes, pasta, rice, and other dishes. Think about the different textures your meal will have, keeping in mind that steamed broccoli will be tender and soft. You might want to pair it with something that is chewy, crunchy, mushy, or crispy.

Also keep in mind that you might want a color variety for your meal. Since broccoli is bright green, you might want to pair it with other things that are some color other than green.

Broccoli when is steamed retains a lot of its nutritional value, so you don’t have to be too concerned about having a lot of other vitamin rich foods in your meal in order to have a balanced meal. Many people will serve steamed broccoli with fried chicken, cornbread, and other foods that aren’t necessarily considered nutritious. Steamed broccoli is low in fat and it is a great source of calcium, potassium, and vitamin C.


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I'm Pauline, a mother of four grown children, my passion for cooking stemmed from the joy i get cooking for my family. I love to try new dishes, especially when dining out but creating and sharing my own recipes is my favourite thing to do!