Steamed broccoli is an easy method to cook broccoli perfectly every time. In this post, we’ll teach you how to steam broccoli in the microwave and on the stove-top in order to get that bright green, tender, NOT mushy broccoli.
If you ask anyone on the team, they’ll tell you that broccoli is my personal favorite vegetable. You can make it in so many different ways. You can make grilled broccoli, sauteed broccoli, roasted broccoli, air fryer broccoli, or steamed broccoli.
Whether you’re steaming broccoli on the stove or in the microwave, it shouldn’t take you any longer than 10 minutes. Plus, all you need is broccoli florets and water (no oil/butter necessary) in order to create that steam to cook it oh-so-perfectly.
To cook it on the stovetop (our preferred method), simply add water to the bottom of a pot. Place a steamer basket on top (if you don’t have one, that’s okay!), and then add the broccoli. Bring water to a boil and then cover and let steam for 4 minutes.
What You Need to Make Steamed Broccoli
You only need 2 simple ingredients in order to make steamed broccoli and one of them is water!
- Fresh broccoli florets: you can either buy a whole head of broccoli and slice it into florets or you can buy the pre-chopped kind that is already florets.
- Water: the water is used to steam the broccoli in all 3 methods we are sharing.
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Steaming Broccoli – 3 Ways!
Want crisp-tender, vibrant green broccoli every time? Here are 3 ways to steam broccoli to make sure you get perfectly cooked broccoli every time!
How to Steam fresh Broccoli in a Steamer Basket
Our preferred method of steaming broccoli is in a pot with a steamer basket. It’s fool-proof and the broccoli comes out fork-tender perfect every time!
- Add water to a large saucepan and place a steam basket into the pot. Then, add the broccoli florets into the steam basket.
- Turn the burner to high and bring the water to a boil.
- Then, cover the pot and let the water continue to boil for 4 minutes. During this time, the broccoli will steam.
- After 4 minutes, remove the broccoli from the steam basket and enjoy.
How to Steam Broccoli without a steamer basket (in a pot/pan)
Looking to steam broccoli on the stove top without a steamer basket? All you need is a pan or a pot with a lid and you’re good to go.
- Add water to a large saucepan and then place the broccoli florets on top.
- Turn the burner to high and bring the water to a boil.
- Cover the pot and let the water continue to boil for 4 minutes. During this time the broccoli will steam.
- After 4 minutes, carefully strain the water from the broccoli and enjoy.
How to Steam Broccoli in the Microwave
Don’t have access to a stove? No problem! Here’s how to steam broccoli in microwave.
- Pour water into a large microwave-safe bowl. Then, add the broccoli florets to the bowl.
- Microwave the broccoli on high for 2 minutes. Then microwave for an additional 2 minutes on high.
- Carefully remove the broccoli from the microwave (it will be let) let cool for a few moments and enjoy.
Want crisper broccoli? Steam your broccoli for less time, around 3-3.5 minutes instead of 4 using any of our methods.
Want softer broccoli? Steam your broccoli for more time, around 30 seconds to 1 minute longer using any of our methods.
How to Flavor Steamed Broccoli
While basic steamed broccoli on its own is sometimes all you need, we also love flavoring it to pair with whatever we are eating. Check out some ideas below:
- Olive oil
- Salt and black pepper
- Fresh lemon juice
- Garlic powder
- Red pepper flakes
- Lemon zest
- Everything But the Bagel Seasoning
How long do you steam broccoli?
The magic number for steaming broccoli is around 4 minutes + or – 30 seconds depending on how al dente you like it.
Which is healthier baked or steamed broccoli?
Typically steamed broccoli is healthier because most baked broccoli recipes call for added oil.
How do you steam broccoli in a pan?
To steam broccoli in a pan, add 1/4 cup of water to a pot. Place the broccoli on top and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover and let steam for 4 minutes.
Can you eat broccoli without steaming it?
Yes, you can eat raw broccoli and it is delicious served with hummus, ranch, or any other dip you prefer.
Got leftover cooked broccoli? Let it cool completely and then transfer it into an airtight container for up to 3-5 days.
Can You Freeze Steamed Broccoli?
- Let broccoli cool completely.
- Then, remove as much moisture from it as possible by patting it with paper towel.
- Transfer it to a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread it out so that the florets aren’t touching.
- Freeze for around 2 hours.
- Once frozen, transfer into an airtight container or gallon-size plastic bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.
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How to Steam Broccoli
- 1 lb. broccoli chopped into florets (~4 cups)
- ¼ cup water
- Pour water into a large microwave-safe bowl.
- Add broccoli to the bowl and microwave the broccoli for 2 minutes on high.
- Toss the broccoli and then microwave for an additional 1 minute and 30 seconds 2 minutes on high or until fork tender.
- Remove from the microwave and enjoy.
- Add water to a large saucepan and place a steam basket into the pot. If you don't have a steam basket, that is okay!
- Next, place broccoli into the steam basket or, right into the water.
- Bring water to a boil and then cover the pot.
- Let the broccoli steam in the pot for around 4 minutes or until fork tender. We recommend checking it every few minutes.
- Remove from heat and enjoy.