How To Cook Broccoli In The Microwave

As a nutrient dense vegetable, broccoli is packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that is perfect to incorporate into a variety of different recipes.However, if you’re cooking dinner in a rush, you might be wondering how to cook broccoli in the microwave.

In this article, I will cover some important information about cooking broccoli, including a step-by-step guide on how to cook broccoli in the microwave.

How to cook broccoli in the microwave

Keep reading to find out more.

Is It Safe To Cook Broccoli In The Microwave?

Yes, it’s perfectly safe to microwave broccoli. It is the fastest and most convenient method to cook broccoli when you’re short on time.

While many people consider the microwave to affect the nutritional value of food negatively, microwaving broccoli can actually be healthier than blanching it or boiling it in water.

This comes down to the fact that boiling it can extract some of the nutrients of the broccoli.Microwaving works by focusing electromagnetic energy at the water molecules in food. This causes them to vibrate, in turn generating heating through friction.

Bearing this in mind, foods with a high water content, such as vegetables like broccoli, tend to cook more quickly in the microwave.

Adding a small amount of water to your broccoli florets can help produce enough steam to quickly cook the broccoli, meaning that it still retains its essential minerals and vitamins.

Microwave broccoli has been known to retain sulforaphane, a compound known to fight cancer when it is steamed in the microwave.

To microwave broccoli without additional water, you will have to add the broccoli florets to a microwave-safe bowl and cover the bowl with a microwave safe plate. Place the bowl into the microwave and place on high for 3 to 4 minutes. 

As the broccoli heats up in the microwave, the natural moisture will turn into steam and will cook the vegetable without it losing its nutrients.

A Guide On How To Cook Broccoli In The Microwave 

Step One – Prepare Your Broccoli

To begin, you will first need to prepare your broccoli by cutting your broccoli florets into small, bite-sized pieces and removing the broccoli stem. 

Cutting smaller pieces will allow the broccoli to cook more evenly.

Step Two – Wash Your Broccoli Thoroughly

You will then need to wash your broccoli in a colander thoroughly under running water to ensure that it is totally clean before you cook it in the microwave.

This will ensure that you’ve gotten rid of any pesticides, dirt, or bugs.

Step Three – Add The Broccoli To A Microwave-Safe Bowl

Next, you need to add your broccoli into a microwave-safe bowl and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water per pound of broccoli.

Adding a little water can encourage the steaming process, while also helping the food to retain its essential minerals and vitamins. 

However, before you add the water, decide whether you want to add additional flavor to your broccoli.

If you want to add a sauce, such as soy sauce for an Asian twist or butter, you won’t want to add water as this will ruin the additional flavor you are adding to your dish.

Bearing this in mind, if you add any additional ingredients, you won’t need to add water to the bowl.

Step Four – Cover The Bowl With A Lid

Following this, it’s important to cover the bowl tightly with a microwave-safe lid.

If you don’t have a tight fitting lid, a plate will work much better than using plastic wrap. However, you can also use a damp paper towel to help trap the steam inside the dish.

Step Five – Set The Microwave Timer

Now it’s time to set the microwave timer. Typically speaking, microwaving broccoli in a 1000 watt microwave will take around 3 to 4 minutes.

That being said, this can vary if you have a lower wattage microwave, the amount of the broccoli that you’re microwaving, and the size of your broccoli florets. 

Step Six – Microwave The Broccoli

Place the bowl of broccoli into the microwave and turn it on. After 3 to 4 minutes, you will need to check the doneness of the broccoli. 

Give the broccoli florets a poke with a knife. If the broccoli still feels too hard, you will need to microwave it for another few minutes, making sure to check it in 30 second intervals to ensure that you don’t overcook it. 

The texture you want the broccoli  florets to be is tender, with a bit of bite left in them to ensure that they retain their shape without becoming too mushy in texture.

Step Seven – Remove The Broccoli From The Microwave

Once the broccoli is cooked, you will need to remove the bowl of broccoli from the microwave. 

Carefully remove the lid with a kitchen towel or oven gloves, being careful not to burn yourself. This is important because removing the lid might release a burst of steam.

Step Eight – Season With Salt And Pepper To Taste

Once you have removed the lid, season your cooked broccoli with salt and pepper to taste and plate up.

Step Nine – Serve Immediately 

Serve your broccoli immediately and enjoy it hot! Depending on what sauce or seasonings you add to your broccoli or whether you prefer to eat it simply with a bit of salt and pepper, it can be the perfect accompaniment to a variety of different meals.

Tips When Microwaving Broccoli 

Tips When Microwaving Broccoli 
  • Always make sure that you thoroughly wash your broccoli so that it is clean and free of pesticides, dirt, and bugs.
  • Plain broccoli can be a little bland on its own. Before microwaving your broccoli in water, you might decide to add lemon juice, soy sauce, or butter to add flavor.If you’re using any of these ingredients you don’t need to add any water as you want the flavor to stand out.
  • Make sure that you opt for a microwave-safe container that has a sealable microwaveable lid.
  • The time it takes to microwave broccoli can change, as how quickly it steams largely depends on how high the wattage of the microwave is, the size of the florets, and the amount of broccoli that you are microwaving. 
  • The texture of your cooked broccoli should be al dente, meaning that it is tender but still has a bite to it when you eat it. Bearing this in mind, you will want to regularly check the broccoli to avoid overcooking it.
  • Before you serve your broccoli, always make sure that you season it with salt and pepper for an added boost of flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do You Microwave Broccoli For?

Typically speaking, when you’re using a 1000 watt microwave, 12 ounces of broccoli takes around 3 to 4 minutes on high.

However, it’s important to know that this time will vary depending on the wattage of your microwave, the size of your broccoli florets, and the amount of broccoli you are cooking. 

You will want to cook your broccoli until it is al dente, meaning that it is soft and tender but still has a bite to it when you chew through it. After all, no one likes soggy broccoli! 

Is Broccoli That Has Been Microwaved Healthy?

While you might believe the misconception that microwaving your broccoli is bad, because it nukes your food, this isn’t actually the case. 

In fact, many people consider it to be healthier to microwave broccoli as opposed to boiling it, as boiling it in water can extract much of the broccoli’s nutrients. 

As mentioned above, research shows that broccoli contains sulforaphane, a compound known to fight cancer, which it retains when cooked in the microwave. 

When this is taken into consideration, some might argue microwaving is the better option when it comes to cooking your broccoli. 

However, how you prepare your veg will largely depend on your preferences and how much time you have.

Can You Microwave Broccoli Without Adding Water?

Yes, you can microwave broccoli without adding water as it naturally has an incredibly high water content (around 90%). 

Foods with a high water content microwave really well, so you don’t necessarily need to add water to your broccoli for it to cook effectively.

However, adding an additional bit of water will help to generate more steam in the bowl, which will help the process along if you’re in a rush or need to get dinner on the table quickly.

Alternatively, if you want to add a boost of flavor to your microwaved broccoli, you can always add soy sauce or butter for a more flavorful result.

If you prefer your broccoli to be plain, you should always make sure that you season it with salt and pepper to get the most out of the flavor! 

In Summary 

Whether you’re in a rush, or just want a convenient way of cooking broccoli, hopefully after reading this article you know how to cook broccoli in the microwave.

Make sure that you check it in 30 second intervals to ensure that you don’t overcook it, and remove it from the microwave when the broccoli is al dente in texture.

Good luck microwaving your broccoli!

Jess Smith
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