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How to Cook Broccoli in Microwave

How to Cook Broccoli in Microwave

Yes, you can cook broccoli in a microwave and it tastes good. This is actually a quick and simple way to cook broccoli with few ingredients and keep it delicious at the same time.We love broccoli here. We use it in so many different recipes. We use it to make a creamy broccoli salad, we blacken it and we saute it. All of these recipes are fantastic and we love them but sometimes we are super short on time or out of burners on the stovetop. It happens to the best of us. This is when we cook broccoli in the microwave. It saves time and space. That is hard to beat.

How to store leftover steamed broccoli

You can store leftover steamed broccoli in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. The trick is to allow the broccoli to come to room temperature and then place it in a shallow airtight container, cover it and place it in the back of the fridge. 

How long to cook broccoli in the microwave

It only takes 3-5 minutes to steam broccoli in the microwave. Be sure to add in water and cover the broccoli so that it steams. Cook times will vary depending on how you cut broccoli and the strength of your microwave.

How to pick out broccoli

Fresh broccoli definitely cooks up better than older floppy broccoli. Here are a few tips on picking out fresh broccoli.

  • Start with strong stems that seem firm and not woody.
  • Look for bright green broccoli heads.
  • The head of the broccoli should be compact without gaps.
  • Avoid broccoli that is turning yellow.

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Tips on cutting broccoli

  • You can absolutely eat broccoli stems. For some reason, they get a bad rap but if you cut them into smaller pieces and cook them thoroughly they are quite tasty.
  • Remove any leaves from the stems, if you plan to cut and cook the stems.
  • Cut off about 1” of the bottom stem or more if it appears woody.
  • Use a knife and peel off the rough edges of the stem. Think of this a bit like peeling off the skin of a potato. You want to get to the fresh meat of the broccoli stem. 
  • Cut the head of the broccoli away from the stem.
  • Then cut the broccoli head into bite-sized florets.
  • Slice or dice the stem into bite-sized pieces. 

How to cook broccoli in the microwave

Cooking broccoli in the microwave is a fast way to cook a terrific side dish. We love to add garlic powder and lemon juice to our recipe. It adds the perfect splash of flavor and the dish is done in less than 10 minutes total time.

Step 1: The first thing that you want to do is prep your broccoli. Cut the broccoli head from the stem. 

If you want to also cook up the stem, you will want to remove any leaves and shave away the rough edges of the stem with a sharp knife. I like to think of this step as peeling a sweet potato. You are just getting rid of that rough skin. 

Step 2: Cut the head into small bite-sized florets. Try and make them as even as possible so that they cook evenly. This way you won’t wind up with uncooked and overcooked broccoli in the same batch.

If you are going to also cook the stalk, cut it into small bite-size pieces. I like to cut the stalk in half if it is thick. Then I just cut rough 1” size chunks.

Step 3: Add the broccoli to a bowl with water, lemon juice, and garlic powder. Stir to coat the broccoli.

Step 4: Cover the bowl and cook in the microwave for about 3 minutes. 

Step 5: Remove the bowl from the microwave and carefully remove the cover. It will likely be hot and steamy. Check to see if the broccoli is tender with a bit of crispiness still. If it isn’t done enough, cook in 1-minute intervals until it is done.

How to Cook Broccoli in Microwave

How to Cook Broccoli in Microwave

Yield: 5 servings
Prep Time: 4 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 9 minutes

How to cook broccoli in the microwave. This recipe is for perfectly steamed broccoli with lemon, garlic, and butter.


  • 1 lb fresh broccoli
  • ¼ c water
  • 2 T butter
  • ½ t garlic powder
  • salt and pepper


  1. Wash and dry the broccoli. Cut the florets from the stem and break the florets into small bite-size pieces.
  2. Place the broccoli florets in a large glass microwave-safe bowl. Pour the water in, add in the butter and sprinkle the garlic powder over it. Stir to coat the broccoli.
  3. Place the bowl in the microwave and cover it.
  4. Microwave the broccoli on high for 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from the microwave and check the broccoli. (Be careful when you remove the lid because they will likely be steam. )You want it to be tender but still a bit crispy. If it isn’t quite to your satisfaction microwave in 1-minute increments until it is ready.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste!
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 74Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 133mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g

Did you make this recipe?

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Friday 21st of June 2024

The directions at the bottom are completely different from those which preceded it, so this wasn't really very helpful at all.

Andi Reis

Monday 24th of June 2024

Oh gosh, I will double-check the instructions, I'm so sorry for the inconsistency!


Tuesday 16th of June 2020

I freakin' love broccoli, and the microwave is the only way I cook (I'm a non-cook obviously). Thanks Renee for teaching us simpletons how to cook as well!

Renee Groskreutz

Tuesday 23rd of June 2020

You bet. Enjoy every bite dude.

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