How to Microwave Broccoli

Written By Olivia Sheppard


Broccoli is an incredibly versatile vegetable that can be used in mains, sides and made into sauces or dressings. It is a very nutritious vegetable that is part of the cabbage family and it is very high in fibre, iron, Vitamins C & K and potassium.

There are a number of ways in which you can cook broccoli and each one will result in broccoli that tastes slightly different. Roasting it will give a nice nutty flavour to the broccoli and boiling it in salted water will soften it and enhance its natural flavour.

However, these methods can take time and require more prep, so is there an easier way in which you could cook broccoli?

To microwave broccoli, prepare it as you normally would before placing it into a microwave-safe container. Add a splash of water, cover and then microwave for a couple of minutes.

How to Microwave Broccoli

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to cook your broccoli and still ensure all the nutrition is locked in, then steaming it in the microwave is a great option. Here is how to do just that; 

  1. Wash and Chop
    Wash your head of broccoli and chop it into florets. Try to keep each of the florets roughly the same size so that you can microwave cook them evenly. There’s no need to pat the pieces dry. 
  2. Grab a Bowl
    Place the broccoli florets into a microwave-safe bowl, being sure not to overfill the bowl. All the florets should sit below the rim of the bowl.
  3. Add Water
    Pour 3-5 tablespoons of water over the broccoli, varying the amount depending on how much broccoli you have. 1 whole broccoli will require 5 tablespoons.
  4. Cover
    Cover the bowl with an appropriate sized plate. You could also use plastic wrap.
  5. Microwave
    Microwave the broccoli on full power for between 2-4 minutes until the broccoli is tender. Check the broccoli for doneness after the first 2 minutes and adjust the timing accordingly.

How to Microwave Broccoli Successfully

Microwaving broccoli is just one of the many ways you can cook broccoli and it will still retain its delicious flavour as well as all of its nutritional value. To ensure you get perfectly cooked microwaved broccoli, here are our top 3 tips:

  • Do Not Overcook – Overcooked broccoli can very quickly turn mushy and take on a baby-food like texture. It may be worth microwaving your broccoli at intervals to ensure you do not overcook it. 
  • Be Careful! – When you remove the plate off of the bowl, there will be a lot of hot steam trapped inside that will then be released. This could burn you if you are not careful. 
  • Don’t Forget Seasoning – You can add seasoning to your broccoli either after or midway through the cooking process. Just because you’re cooking it in the microwave, doesn’t mean you should forget the basics such as seasoning with a pinch of salt.

Why You Should Microwave Broccoli

There are a number of benefits to using the microwave to cook broccoli that you ought to be aware of:

Super Quick

Although you can cook broccoli in a number of ways, including roasting and boiling, cooking it in the microwave is by far the quickest method. If you are pressed for time but still want a healthy snack or side dish, microwaving broccoli will be a lifesaver!


Most people have a microwave in their home and that is pretty much the only complicated equipment you need. It is really easy to heat most things in the microwave, and with broccoli, all you need is a bowl, plate and some additional water.

You also don’t need to necessarily stand over it and watch it cook, meaning you can multitask in the kitchen far easier. 

Easy to Bulk Cook

It is easy to cook quite a lot of broccoli all at once. As long as you have a bowl and plate big enough to fit all the broccoli and will also fit in the microwave, then you can make enough broccoli for an entire meal with leftovers!

Why You Shouldn’t Microwave Broccoli

Although microwaving is a quick and easy way to cook broccoli, there are some drawbacks as well. Here are 3 reasons why microwaving broccoli might not be the best approach to take:

Easy to Overcook

It can be easy to simply put the broccoli into the microwave and whack it on for however long you need, but this can easily lead it to be overcooked and become mushy. 

This is why it’s important to regularly check the broccoli. After 2 minutes, check it every 30 seconds to avoid the risk of overcooking it and turning it to mush.

Bland Taste

Microwaving broccoli causes it to steam which can cause it to become a bit watery and bland. It won’t have the nutty flavour you can achieve from roasting or the sweetness you get from blanching.

Adding a dressing can help to mask this, however. Broccoli takes on flavour well whether it’s a simple lemon vinaigrette or an Asian-inspired sesame dressing.

Removes Nutrients

A study by the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture showed that microwaving broccoli actually removes up to 97% of its flavonoids.

These are the compounds that hold broccoli’s anti-inflammatory properties. This is far more than is lost through boiling.  

Microwaving Broccoli FAQs

If you find yourself with further questions about microwaving broccoli then these might help you out:

Can You Steam Broccoli in the Microwave?

By adding a splash of water to the bowl when you microwave broccoli, you are essentially steaming it in the microwave.

Can You Reheat Broccoli in the Microwave?

Yes, you can reheat broccoli in the microwave. It should be done in short, quick bursts of 30 seconds to avoid overcooking it.

Is Microwave Broccoli Healthy?

Yes, of course it is! Ultimately, whether it’s cooked in water or in the microwave, it’s still a vegetable. However, it’s worth noting that microwaving broccoli can remove some of its nutritional benefits.

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