Microwave Broccoli ♥

Microwave Broccoli, another easy way to cook our very favorite broccoli ♥ AVeggieVenture.com.

How to Cook Fresh Broccoli in the Microwave with Perfect Results Every Time

I know, I know. Life's busy. Who has time to "cook" a vegetable for dinner? I do! And you do too! Cooking broccoli in the microwave is fast, easy and really, who needs a recipe?! It's just a simple technique, try it once and you'll never need anything more than a quick reminder again.

Real Food, Fast & Casual. Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Weeknight Easy. Great for Meal Prep. Low Carb. Low Fat. Weight Watchers Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. Whole30 Friendly.

Here's How. No "Recipe" Required.

The detailed recipe is written in traditional recipe form below but here are the highlights in four easy steps. You can do this!

A LITTLE KNIFEWORK Quick now, this is only going to take about four minutes, if that. Cut the gnarly ends off the "trunks" of the broccoli. (If you bought broccoli crowns, there are no "trunks" per se but check the condition of the bottoms of the crowns and trim if needed.) Now cut the "boughs" off the trunk and keep them separate. Just chop up the boughs into bite-size pieces; or if you like, keep the smaller "florets" intact, they're prettier that way. Now tackle the trunk, first by trimming off the tough outer skin: just steady the trunk on end on a cutting board and slice off the skin top to bottom. The inner trunk is light colored and sweet, just eat it, if you want! Otherwise, cut it up in chunks for the microwave, maybe rounds or lengths. Yep, it's that easy.

COOK IT! Add a half inch of water to a microwave-safe dish, preferably one with a lid. Loosely arrange the broccoli in the dish, the cut-up "boughs" on the bottom, the larger florets next, the smaller florets on top. Put the lid on the dish (or seal with plastic wrap if there's no lid) and cook on High.

HOW LONG TO COOK BROCCOLI IN THE MICROWAVE Start off with 5 minutes but the truth is, it depends. The variables include: (1) most importantly, your own microwave's power, (2) the cooking dish and (3) all other things like the temperature of the broccoli, the size of the florets, how packed into the dish they are, whether you're cooking less/more than a pound, etc. So go with five minutes for starters. Then remove the cover and take a quick bite to test. Is it done? Good. If not, cook another minute or two and test again. Once you get the broccoli to where you like it, make a mental note on how many minutes it took for the next time. For example, I've learned from experience that in my current microwave, 7 minutes is the magic timing when I use a certain dish and cook exactly a pound of broccoli.

SEASON THE BROCCOLI On its own, broccoli cooked in the microwave is very plain. Me, I love it this way! Take a taste, see what you think. If not, the recipe below includes a few seasoning ideas.

You Might Wonder Be Wondering ...

Have another question? Ask away, I'll do my best to answer!
  • What about bags of pre-washed broccoli pieces? Maybe. Those bags of pre-washed, pre-cut broccoli just don't work for me. They have a sort of chemical odor to them, the broccoli seems to turn skunky in a couple of days and even then, it just doesn't taste that fresh. Still, if your own source of bagged broccoli works for you, this technique should definitely work.
  • What about frozen broccoli? I don't think so. Thawed broccoli is so saturated with water, I think it would just steam and turn to mush. But honestly, since I'm not a particular fan of frozen broccoli, I'm not a great source on this question. But if it were me, I'd follow the cooking instructions on the package rather than venturing out on my own.
  • What about cauliflower? YES! Finally an emphatic yes! This same technique works well with fresh cauliflower.

More Healthy Ways to Cook Broccoli

MICROWAVE Microwave Broccoli (You're here!) Just 5 minutes prep, 15 minutes to the table. Extra-healthy. Enjoy plain or it's easy to add extra flavorings.
STEAM How To Steam Broccoli Just 10 minutes prep, 20 minutes to the table. Grab a collapsible steamer, there's just one trick, layering the stems and the florets.
ROAST IN THE OVEN Roasted Broccoli with Lemon & Garlic Just 10 minutes prep, 30 minutes to the table. A splash of lemon makes all the difference.
SAUTÉ IN A SKILLET ON THE STOVE Perfect Pan-Fried Broccoli Just 15 minutes prep, 20 minutes to the table. Best eaten straight away.
BLANCH (PAR-COOK) Lemony Broccoli Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette About 25 minutes prep, all hands-on. A surprisingly substantial salad.

"Very good! ... definitely something I will make again!" ~ Anonymous (who used Asian #1 flavors, below)

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If this recipe hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Microwave Broccoli, another easy way to cook our very favorite broccoli ♥ AVeggieVenture.com.


Hands-on time: 5 minutes
Time to table: 15 minutes
Serves 4
1 pound broccoli or broccoli crowns, trimmed

TRIM FIRST Wash the broccoli, then trim off the rough ends of the main trunks of the plant. Cut the tops off the trunks (I like to leave an inch or two of trunk on the tops, for "handles", then cut the tops into pieces as big or small as you like; it is better to keep these roughly the same size however, this promotes even cooking. To remove the tough outer skin from the trunks, stand one on end and with a knife, slice off the skin top to bottom in a few wide swaths; cut up the remaining interior trunk, maybe rounds, maybe lengths.

COOK Pour about a half inch of water in the bottom of a microwave-safe cooking dish. Arrange the broccoli pieces, trunk pieces on the bottom, then any larger pieces, then the smaller pieces. Cover and cook on High for 5 minutes. Open the dish and check for doneness. If needed, cook in one-minute increments until your the broccoli is cooked as much as you want.

TO SERVE Serve hot, room temperature or chilled. Enjoy!

MEAL PREP Cook extra! It's great to have on hand for a quick vegetable snack or to work into other dishes or to add to a lunch or dinner salad. So good, this!

VARIATIONS If you like, season the broccoli with various sauces, etc. Here are some ideas. If they're liquid enough, gently stir into the hot broccoli straight out of the microwave. Re-cover the dish and let the flavors soak in for 5 minutes (but not more) before serving.
ASIAN #1 A combination of a teaspoon each of toasted sesame oil, minced garlic and minced fresh ginger plus a tablespoon each of soy sauce and rice wine vinegar plus salt/pepper. Highly recommended!
ASIAN #2 Warm a tablespoon of garlic, 3 tablespoons oyster sauce, 1/2 cup water and 1 teaspoon sesame oil.
GARLIC While the broccoli cooks, saut´ garlic slivers in butter or olive oil.
LEMON Mix 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper and a few fresh herbs.
RANCH Use a ranch dressing either to toss in or as a dip for the broccoli spears. In my kitchen, a squirt or two of My Everyday Creamy Herb Salad Dressing does wonders.

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Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Very good! I made this tonight with rice and mixed it all up. (I made a double batch of the sauce.) It was quite good and definitely something I will make again! I subbed dried ground ginger for the minced, since that's what I had on hand, and it provided a very nice refreshing flavor to the sauce. Thanks!

  2. try this:
    1 cup celery sliced 1 red capsicum chopped 1 green capsicum chopped 1 cup sliced mushrooms 1 cup bean sprouts(stir in after everythings cooked) 1 onion cut in petals.
    Cook in microwave on high for 3-4 minutes.Uncovered.
    In a microwave-friendly jug mix 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce, and 2 teaspoons soy sauce.
    Microwave 1 min on high.
    Stir over veges - YUMMO! Try throwing in some crushed cashew nuts.

  3. Anonymous ~ Sounds good! And very flexible! Thanks for sending the idea my way.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna