3-Minute Steamed Broccoli

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A clear glass bowl filled with bright green, tender crisp steamed broccoli sits on a blue and white checkered kitchen towel. There is a wooden spoon next to the bowl of perfectly steamed broccoli and it's ready to serve.

Fresh broccoli is one of our favorite veggies to eat as a healthful side. It goes perfectly well with so many meats and casseroles and we always feel better about dinner when we add a little color (especially green!) to our plates.

I typically choose to steam broccoli, as well as many other fresh veggies, as cooking with steam allows vegetables to retain much more nutritional value than boiling does. I also find freshly steamed vegetables to be more flavorful and have a nicer bite than boiled veggies do.

Back in the day, I had a countertop vegetable and rice steamer that I received as a gift and I used the heck out of that thing in the early ’90s! I felt really sophisticated as a twenty-something in my little college apartment successfully steaming all the rice, fresh broccoli and carrots that I could afford eat !

After that gadget was retired, I most commonly used a stove top steamer basket to steam many veggies that I cooked. You know, the adorable, metal foldable kind that rests just within a pot of boiling water? I still have a couple of those and I still use them from time to time, but most often when it’s not 110° outside.

Also… without that magical rice steamer gadget, I also had to learn to cook rice successfully in a pot, boy did that take some practice!! But, I’m not gonna get distracted here and tell the tales about all the mushy or uncomfortable crunchy rice I had endure until I figured out that magic, stove-top rice formula. I’ll save that joy for another post!

A clear glass bowl filled with bright green, tender crisp cooked broccoli sits on a blue and white checkered kitchen towel. A wooden spoon is next to the bowl for serving. Fresh, steamed broccoli is ready to enjoy.

During the scorching summer months, my preferred method of cooking fresh broccoli, as well as a few other veggies, is to use my microwave oven. Y’all, it’s an amazingly effective and quick way to do this!! Also, you wont heat up your kitchen one little, bitty bit through the entire microwaving process!!

For the purposes of this post, I’m focusing on the microwave cooking method specifically for fresh broccoli which comes out of the microwave cooked perfectly every. single. time. in just 3 minutes!

Steaming broccoli in the microwave is also the method I use most often on busy weeknights when I try to keep kitchen clean up to a minimum and I seriously want to get dinner on the table in a jiffy.

How to steam broccoli in the microwave

You will need a medium-size, microwave-safe glass bowl, a microwave-safe dinner plate, pot holders, 1/4 cup of water and around one pound of fresh broccoli florets. Place the broccoli and water inside the bowl, cover the bowl with the plate (top or bottom up, doesn’t matter) and cook it on high in the microwave for 3 minutes. The bowl and plate will heat up during the cooking process, so protect yourself from burns by using pot holders to remove them the microwave oven. Remove the plate from the top of the bowl to release the steam and immediately serve the tender crisp, steam broccoli immediately, as you prefer!

I have a 1200 watt microwave in my kitchen and a cook time of 3 minutes works perfectly for this size and I believe it will also be the proper cook time for a 1000 watt appliance as well. Microwave ovens that have a smaller wattage may take another minute or two of cook time to achieve perfect steamed broccoli.

All microwave ovens should come with cooking guide that includes suggested cook times and temperatures for cooking vegetables, including broccoli. Most units even come with pre-programmed setting buttons for common cooking jobs like cooking a bag of popcorn, as well as cooking specific vegetables and potatoes. If you don’t have the same size microwave as I do, following the cooking recommendations within those manufacturer’s guides will make it less of a guessing game for successfully steaming vegetables with your appliance.

I’ve included a complete video tutorial below for my favorite method for perfectly cooked broccoli using my microwave oven. This 3-Minute Steamed Broccoli is one of my favorite ways to keep my kitchen cool as well as save some time and money!

Please share this post and video with anyone who might enjoy it.

Enjoy your perfectly steamed broccoli, y’all! 🥦❤️

3-Minute Steamed Broccoli

Recipe by Marcelle at A Little Fish in the Kitchen Course: SidesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



This 3-Minute Steamed Broccoli is one of my favorite ways to keep my kitchen cool as well as save some time and money!


  • Special equipment required
  • medium microwave safe bowl

  • microwave safe dinner plate

  • pot holders

  • microwave oven (1000-1200 watts)

  • For the recipe
  • 1 pound fresh broccoli crown, cut into florets

  • 1/4 cup water


  • Place fresh broccoli florets in a microwave safe bowl and pour in the water. Cover the bowl with the microwave safe plate. You can do this with top or bottom of the plate down, whichever way covers the top of the bowl completely.
  • Place bowl in the microwave oven, cook broccoli on high for 3 minutes. Plate and bowl will likely heat up during the cooking process, use pot holders to safely remove hot dishes from the microwave. Place bowl on a cooling rack and using pot holders again remove plate to release the steam.
  • Allow the broccoli to sit uncovered or transfer to another serving bowl until ready to serve. Serve fresh steamed broccoli while warm and enjoy!

Recipe Video


  • Recipe from A Little Fish in the Kitchen blog at www.alittlefishinthekitchen.com. All content is owned by Marcelle G. Bolton. Please contact the author for permission to republish


  1. I know broccoli is a love it, or hate it vegetable but, I am lover! Thanks for sharing your tips on making perfect broccoli.

  2. we are very fond of broccoli in this house and all the brassicas! :=)

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