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How to Steam Broccoli

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Learn how to steam broccoli with and without a steamer! This helpful guide will teach you the healthiest way to cook broccoli, how long to cook it for, how to microwave it, and more! Keep reading to become a broccoli steaming master

Someone forking steamed broccoli in a white bowl

How to steam broccoli in a microwave

To steam broccoli in a microwave, all you need is a microwavable bowl, a plate that can sit on top, and 5 minutes.

  1. Put 2-3 tbsp of water in the bottom of your microwavable bowl.
  2. Add the broccoli florets and cover with a plate.
  3. Microwave on high for 3-5 minutes.
Someone forking steamed broccoli in a white dish

How to steam broccoli in a steamer (or pot)

Here is how to steam broccoli in a steamer (or a lidded pot with a steaming rack).

  1. Bring 1″ of water to the boil in a steamer pot (or a large pot).
  2. Place the steamer basket on top (or your steaming rack inside) and add the broccoli florets.
  3. Reduce the heat, so the water is at a gentle simmer, and put the lid on.
  4. Steam for 5-6 minutes.
Steamed broccoli in a steamer basket

How to steam frozen broccoli

Steaming frozen broccoli is exactly the same as steaming fresh broccoli. You can do it either in the microwave, or in a steamer. Simply add on around 2 minutes to the cooking time.

Someone cutting broccoli on a chopping board

How to steam broccoli without a steamer

Steaming broccoli without a steamer can be done a couple of ways.

You can steam it in the microwave (as above). Or you can use a large pot and a steaming rack insert (affiliate link). You really don’t need a big, fancy, expensive steamer to enjoy perfectly steamed broccoli!

A bowl of steamed broccoli

Healthiest way to cook broccoli

Vegetables can lose some nutrients when they’re cooked. So we need to know how to minimise this as much as possible.

When you boil broccoli, some of the nutrients are transferred into the cooking liquid. Which is fine if you are going to use the liquid in a soup or broth. But not great if you are going to drain it.

Microwaving is a quick but intense way of cooking. It’s definitely speedy, but it can sometimes zap a few nutrients into oblivion in the process.

Steaming is, by far, the healthiest way to cook broccoli. It doesn’t touch the cooking liquid, so no nutrients are lost there. And it’s not zapped by intense microwaves. Instead, it’s gently steamed. Keeping hold of most of it’s nutrients.

That being said, you can still lose nutrients when steaming. Overcooking broccoli has the same effect as boiling or microwaving. So pay close attention to your broccoli!

Steamed broccoli in a white dish

Helpful Tips!

Here are some tips you’ll find helpful when steaming broccoli.

  • When using a steamer, boil the water in the kettle first to speed things up.
  • Don’t overcook your broccoli. It will begin to look dull, and you will start to lose nutrients.
  • Try to cut your broccoli florets a similar size, so they cook evenly.
  • Inner broccoli florets tend to be smaller than outer florets. So they don’t get overcooked, you can either cook them separately, or add them 2-3 mins into the cooking time.
  • Only boil broccoli if you plan to use the cooking liquid too. Otherwise, you will lose nutrients when you drain it.
  • The healthiest way to cook broccoli is in a steamer, or in a pot with a steaming rack. You lose the least amount of nutrients this way.

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A bowl of steamed broccoli.

How to Steam Broccoli - Printable

Yield: 5
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes

Learn how to steam broccoli with and without a steamer! Master how long to cook it, how to steam broccoli in a microwave and more!

Ingredients

  • 1 x Head of Broccoli, cut into florets

Essential equipment (Steamer method)

  • Steamer

Essential equipment (Microwave method)

  • Microwavable bowl
  • Plate

Instructions

Steamer Method *

  1. Place a steamer pot, filled with 1" of water, over a high heat. Bring to the boil. Water boiling in a steamer pot
  2. Reduce the heat, so the water is at a gentle simmer. Fit the steamer basket layer on top, and add the broccoli florets. Broccoli steaming in a steamer on the stove
  3. Put the lid on and steam for 5-6 minutes. (If using frozen broccoli, add approximately 2 mins to the cooking time.) Broccoli in a steamer with a lid on
  4. Carefully remove the lid. The broccoli is ready when tender and vibrant green. Steamed broccoli in a steamer on the hob

Microwave Method

  1. Put 2-3 tbsp of water into a large microwavable bowl. A bowl with 2-3 tbsp water in it
  2. Add in the broccoli florets. Raw broccoli in a bowl with a little water
  3. Cover with a plate, and microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. (If using frozen broccoli, add approximately 2 mins to the cooking time.) Raw broccoli and water in a bowl with a plate on top
  4. Carefully remove the plate. The broccoli is ready when tender and vibrant green. Cooked broccoli in a bowl

Notes

*You can also use a large pot/saucepan and a steaming rack insert with this method.

See the main post for lots of tips, FAQs and other helpful information.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 5 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 26Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 30mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g

Nutritional information on kitchenmason.com should only be used as a general guideline, I am not a certified nutritionist. Please always check labels for allergens where applicable.

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About Emma Mason

Emma is a professional blogger. Utilising over 20 years of cooking experience, she’s passionate about making your life easier, one recipe at a time! Drawing on her 12+ year background in recipe research and development, photography, copy writing and marketing, Emma has turned kitchenmason.com into a successful career. Known as ‘the organisation queen’ among friends, she is passionate about creating easy to follow recipes that anyone can follow and enjoy. She lives in Nottingham (UK) with her husband, daughter and 2 naughty cats. In her spare time she can be found reading a good book, training at the dojo preparing for her black belt grading, or dreaming up the next crazy colour combo for her hair!

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