How Long To Microwave Broccoli For

How long you should microwave your broccoli for will depend on a few different factors:

  • The type of broccoli you’re working with
  • The amount of broccoli you want to heat in the microwave
  • The density of the broccoli itself.

So, although there’s no simple answer to this question, there are some good guidelines you can follow based on my own experience.

As a general rule of thumb, a typical bowl of broccoli should be microwaved for around 3-4 minutes on full power.

From here, you should adjust the time based on the performance of your own microwave, and the amount and type of broccoli you’re microwaving.

A close up shot of two big florets of broccoli

Whenever I face this sort of uncertainty, I always start with a shorter cooking time, and then add a little more until I get the food cooked just how I like it.

From there, I’ll tweak both the power setting and the time I microwave for until I know what works in my own kitchen!

In the rest of this article I’ll explain exactly what I do to get amazing results from microwaved broccoli.

Guide to Steaming Broccoli in a Microwave:


First of all, prepare the broccoli.

Rinse it under cold water, and then pat it dry using a clean paper towel.

Next, cut the broccoli into individual florets and throw away any particularly gnarly stems.

Add to a microwave-safe dish

Next, just add your broccoli florets to a microwave-safe dish. If you don’t own one of these, I’ve had fantastic results from the Tafura steamer.

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To get even results, try to arrange the florets so they form a single layer with a roughly equal depth.

Add water

Pour just a small amount of water over the florets. As a rough guide, think around 2 tablespoons of water for each cup of broccoli you’re cooking.


If your microwave-safe dish doesn’t come with a lid, cover the broccoli with plastic wrap. You should poke a few holes into the top with a fork though, as this will allow some of the steam to escape.

Cook on high power

Set your microwave to its highest power setting, and then microwave the broccoli for around 2-3 minutes. 

When that’s finished, grab a fork or a knife and check the broccoli for doneness. 

If it needs a little longer, keep cooking it for an extra 30-60 seconds at a time, until you’ve got it just how you like it!


Serve up the broccoli and get stuck in!

Extra tips for better results

To get really good results from your microwaved broccoli, try the following:

  • If you steam a lot of vegetables, consider buying a dedicated, microwave-safe dish with a steam vent lid. This will control the amount of moisture that escapes from the food.
  • If your broccoli comes out a little dry, just add more water next time. The amount of water you need depends largely on how long you like to microwave your broccoli for.
  • Spice up your broccoli with a little dash of salt, pepper, lemon juice or garlic. These are kitchen staples, and can make a massive difference to the meal!
  • While you’re getting used to the right level of doneness in your own microwave, stick to 30 second intervals on top of the 2-3 minutes you begin with.

Wrapping Up

Now you know how long to microwave broccoli for, and complete the whole process from start to finish!

Remember, start with a 2-3 minute cooking time, and then tweak in 30 second increments.

Make a note somewhere of how your own microwave performs at this task, so you can fire and forget the next time!