Can You Microwave Broccoli?

It’s all well and good knowing that you can microwave broccoli but now you need to know the how. Below, we have outlined the best way to microwave a couple of different broccoli varieties you’re most likely to come across.

How to Microwave Broccoli

When microwaving broccoli, we’ve kept things simple. Below, we have started with broccoli florets and then gone onto explain how to go about microwaving purple sprouting broccoli.

How to Microwave Broccoli Florets

If you love perfectly steam, bright green broccoli florets alongside a roast dinner or stirred through pasta then this is the best way to go about microwaving broccoli:

Chop broccoli, add 1tbsp water for every handful of broccoli, cover, microwave for 3 minutes, check, continue to blast in 30sec hits until done

  1. Prepare Broccoli
    Cut your broccoli head into florets. Where possible, try to keep the size of each floret roughly the same. The important part is the stalk as this is the part of the broccoli which will take the most cooking.
  2. Place into Microwave-Safe Bowl
    Grab a bowl that is suitable for the microwave and place your prepared florets into the bowl.
  3. Add Water and Cover
    For every handful of broccoli, add 1 tablespoon of water to the bowl then cover. You can cover it with either microwave-safe cling film or even an upturned plate.
  4. Microwave for 3 Minutes
    Blast on full power for around 3 minutes based on a full head of broccoli.
  5. Check for Doneness
    Using a fork, check that the broccoli is cooked. If it is not quite cooked, continue to blast it in 30 seconds intervals – be careful to not overcook it!

Steamed Broccoli in Microwave

How to Microwave Purple Sprouting Broccoli

Our method for microwaving purple sprout broccoli is actually a little different to the way we recommend microwaving broccoli florets. By using this method, you’ll have buttery and perfectly cooked purple sprouting broccoli:

  1. Prepare Purple Sprouting Broccoli
    Get your purple sprouting broccoli ready for the microwave by trimming off the woody ends and by splitting thick stalks down the middle with a small cut.
  2. Place into a Bowl
    Grab a microwave-safe bowl and place the broccoli into it.
  3. Add Butter, Salt and Water then Cover
    For 10 steams of broccoli, add 1 teaspoon of butter, 1 tablespoon of water and a pinch of salt then cover the bowl with cling film.
  4. Microwave for 3 Minutes
    Microwave on full power for 3 minutes then check for doneness. If it’s still a little firm then give it a quick blast for a further 20 seconds and continue to check whether or not it is cooked.

If you’re lucky enough to have white sprouting broccoli at home then this method will also work for this.

Microwave Purple Sprouting Broccoli

3 Tips for Microwaving Broccoli

Now you know the basic method for microwaving broccoli, we’ve got a handful of tips that can improve how well your microwaved broccoli comes out and how well it tastes so make sure you give these a quick read over:

  • Carefully Uncover – The water you added to the bowl will have obviously become steaming during the microwaving process. When you remove the lid, whether that’s an upturned plate or a sheet of cling film, be careful. Allow the steam to escape from one edge before completely removing it.
  • Dress After Microwaving – Once microwaved, you’ll want to dress the broccoli while it is still hot to give it some added flavour. A pinch of salt and a small knob of butter will work particularly well if you want to keep it simple.
  • Don’t Overfill the Bowl – Try not to overfill the bowl you use as some broccoli will cook quicker than others. Instead, limit your bowl to one broccoli head.

Advantages of Microwaved Broccoli

As is often the case, there are a few obvious advantages to microwaving broccoli:

  1. No Waiting for Boiling Water
    Waiting for a big pot of water to come to a boil takes time. In fact, boiling broccoli doesn’t take long at all but it’s the waiting for the kettle to boil or the water to come to a boil that takes up the time. By using the microwave, there’s no waiting around.
  2. Perfect for Small Portions
    You don’t need to get a pot out to prepare a single portion of broccoli. All you need is a small bowl and a microwave and you can have a quick portion of broccoli prepared and cooked in less than 5 minutes.

Disadvantages of Microwaved Broccoli

Unfortunately, it’s not all good news. There can be disadvantages to microwaving broccoli although it is possible to avoid these issues:

  1. Can Become Mushy
    It’s incredibly easy to overcook broccoli in the microwave. 10 seconds too long and you go from perfectly cooked to mush. Keep a close eye on it when it is in the microwave and you should be able to prevent it from becoming mushy.
  2. May Be Watery
    If you get the quantity of water wrong then it can become a little watery. If it’s watery then there is also a risk that you’ll remove the flavour.

How to Reheat Broccoli in the Microwave

Reheating broccoli in the microwave can be a little dangerous as it’s very easy to overcook it and turn it mushy. If you’re insistent on using the microwave then place it into a bowl with a splash of water and microwave on medium power in 30-second intervals.

How to Defrost Broccoli in the Microwave

There’s no need to defrost broccoli. You can actually cook it from frozen in the microwave, instead! Add a couple of handfuls of frozen broccoli to a bowl with around 30ml of water. Cover then microwave on high power for 5 minutes until the broccoli is both thawed and cooked through.

Final Summary

Both broccoli and purple sprouting broccoli can be cooked in the microwave. The method is similar to steaming and takes approximately 3 minutes for both types of broccoli meaning you can have perfectly steamed broccoli in just a matter of minutes.