A simple recipe for microwave broccoli, the easiest way to prepare this vegetable, simply dressed with melted butter, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Ready in about 15 minutes, it's the ultimate weeknight side dish - fast, easy, and delicious!
I have quite a few broccoli recipes on this website, some more elaborate than others. And I make all of them often - I really like broccoli. 🥦
But I'll be honest with you. When I have a broccoli head in the fridge or a bag of broccoli florets, and it's time to start dinner, eight times out of ten I use this recipe. Part of it is that, just like you, I'm lazy. 😉 Another part is that freshly steamed, tender-crisp broccoli is delicious!
You'll only need five simple ingredients to make this very easy recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Fresh broccoli florets: I'm lazy, so I buy the pre-washed bags. But it's not difficult to wash and dry the broccoli and cut it into florets.
Kosher salt: If you use fine salt, you might want to reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty.
Black pepper: Freshly ground tastes best.
Fresh lemon juice: It's OK to use bottled lemon juice, but freshly squeezed does taste better.
Butter: I use unsalted butter, and I love yellow creamy European butter! But any butter will be great in this recipe.
Microwaving broccoli is so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for detailed instructions. These are the basic steps:
You start by placing the florets in a microwave-safe bowl and adding a little water.
Cover the bowl and microwave on high for 4 minutes.
Add your dressing, gently toss, and serve. That's it!
Your top priority is to avoid overcooking the broccoli. Microwave ovens vary. But it's better to undercook the broccoli a little than to overcook it. So start checking after 4 minutes. You can always add 30-60 more seconds if needed.
Frequently asked questions
I dress the broccoli with the simplest dressing. A squeeze of lemon juice, a little melted butter or a drizzle of olive oil, coarse salt, and black pepper.
As long as the broccoli isn't overcooked, it's delightful - tasty, fresh, and crisp. So it truly doesn't need an elaborate dressing.
Another tasty option is to dress the broccoli with this thick and creamy cheese sauce.
Absolutely. In fact, it's one of my favorite methods for cooking this vegetable, and it's certainly the fastest and easiest method. As long as you don't overcook it, the broccoli emerges perfectly done - crisp-tender and bright green.
No, you don't. Simply place the florets in a microwave-safe bowl, add water, cover the bowl with a microwave-safe plate, and cook. There's no need for a special steamer.
Instead of topping the broccoli with melted butter, you can use olive oil. Sometimes, when I serve it with an Asian-style meal (such as these Asian meatballs), I drizzle it with soy sauce (or a gluten-free alternative) and sesame oil.
This side dish goes with anything! It's truly versatile. It goes with beef, poultry, and seafood.
It can also make a great side dish to vegetarian dishes. In fact, sometimes I make a meal out of a couple of fried eggs and a side of microwave broccoli. It's a simple and very tasty no-meat meal.
I often serve this dish as a side to one of these main dishes:
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in an airtight container, for 3-4 days. But they won't be as good as when served fresh. They tend to become a little soggy.
Reheat them gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power. Or enjoy them cold, as you would antipasti. Sometimes I add them cold to a salad the next day for my lunch.
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- 1 lb. fresh broccoli florets
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- Place the broccoli in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add ¼ cup water.
- Cover the bowl with a microwave-safe plate. Microwave on high until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes.
- Remove the plate carefully - hot steam will escape. Drain the broccoli in a colander.
- Season the broccoli with kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, fresh lemon juice, and melted butter. Serve immediately.