Microwave cauliflower is super easy to make. It comes out perfectly cooked, tender-crisp and buttery. You can microwave it whole, or cut into florets.
Microwave cauliflower is a trick I’ve learned from one of jeffrey Steingarten‘s books.
How do you cook a whole cauliflower in the microwave?
As it turns out, a whole head of cauliflower can be wrapped in plastic wrap and microwaved. The result is perfectly cooked, tender-crisp cauliflower, with much less effort and dishes to clean than boiling or steaming.
I don’t want plastic wrap to touch my food!
That’s understandable! Worried about plastic wrap touching your food while it’s being cooked? You can also microwave cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl with a little water. See directions below.
Aren’t microwaves dangerous?
I don’t believe they are. The World Health Organization says they are safe. And some say that microwave cooking actually preserves nutrients compared to other cooking methods. Specifically to cauliflower, this study showed that microwaving retained more nutrients compared with other cooking methods.
Is microwave cauliflower tasty?
It goes without saying that roasted cauliflower is delicious. But don’t knock microwave cauliflower until you’ve tried it! While admittedly less sophisticated than some other cauliflower recipes, microwave cauliflower is so delicious and buttery.
You can obviously use it as the basis for other recipes such as loaded mashed cauliflower. But I think it’s actually very good on its own. So I like to season it simply, with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. It is also very good with melted butter and garlic powder.
What to serve with microwave cauliflower?
Anything! It’s a tasty and healthy side dish that goes well with so many main courses. I often serve it with baked skin on chicken breast. I also like to serve it with bacon wrapped pork tenderloin. It nicely balances out the richness of the main course.
What about leftovers?
If you have leftovers, they keep in the fridge for 3-4 days. They are very tasty cold – try adding florets to a salad. Or you can gently reheat them in the microwave on 50% power.
- 1 medium head cauliflower (1 1/2 lb. before removing outer leaves, 1 lb. after)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Wash the cauliflower, dry with paper towels and trim the outer leaves. Wrap in plastic wrap.
- Microwave the cauliflower for 8 minutes (medium head) to 10 minutes (large head).
- Allow to slightly cool until easier to handle, then gently separate into florets and transfer to a bowl.
- Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice, sprinkle with salt and pepper, mix and serve.
- If you worry about using plastic wrap in the microwave, or about it touching food, you could also wash and trim the cauliflower, cut into florets, and place in a large microwave-safe bowl. Add a couple tablespoons of cold water to the bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with a microwave-safe plate, and cook on high for about 10 minutes, or until cauliflower is crisp-tender.