25/02/2024

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How to Microwave Frozen Broccoli

How to Microwave Frozen Broccoli

Microwave frozen broccoli for an inexpensive, easy, one serving vegetable side dish for any meal. You don’t need to add water, just pour 1-2 cups frozen broccoli in a microwave safe dish with a lid and cook!

pile of broccoli with parmesan cheese on plate

Through testing this microwave frozen broccoli recipe, I realized that you don’t need to add extra water to it to steam the broccoli. There’s enough ice crystals in the broccoli to steam, in a container with a lid.

Plus grocery store frozen broccoli is already blanched, so you’re just heating it up.

The most common time I’m making microwave frozen broccoli is when I’m reheating leftovers and want a simple vegetable to go with it. I’ve made the mistake of just adding frozen broccoli to the dish I’m reheating. It never warms up enough this way.

So cook your frozen broccoli separately here. This recipe is perfect for a quick vegetable addition to leftovers, or however else you want to enjoy it.

Another note I want to share, most recipes I found for microwaved frozen broccoli call for 5-10 minute cooking times + water. This is way too long for just 1-2 cups. You’ll have mushy broccoli after 5 minutes, likely.

Ingredients

Scroll down to the microwave frozen broccoli recipe card for the amounts of each ingredient, but here’s a quick visual + description of what’s in this recipe.

bowl of frozen broccoli, frozen broccoli text
  • Frozen Broccoli: You can use any type of frozen broccoli, or even frozen broccoli and cauliflower in this recipe. Sometimes frozen broccoli cuts has fibrous stalks that are tough to eat, but florets are always great microwaved.
  • Optional Toppings: Add any of the following toppings after heating up your frozen broccoli. Lemon juice, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, kosher salt, garlic salt, red pepper flakes are all tasty toppings for microwave frozen broccoli.

Instructions

Scroll down to the recipe card for more detailed instructions. Here’s a quick overview + photos to see how to make this recipe in general.

bowl of frozen broccoli

1.Pour frozen broccoli into a microwave safe container. Place tight fitting lid or wrap on container to steam frozen broccoli.

Do not thaw broccoli before microwaving it. It’s best when cooked from frozen.

bowl of cooked broccoli

2. Cook 1 cup for 2 minutes, and 2 cups for 2 ½ minutes to start. Cook additional 30 second at a time, until desired softness. Silicone and plastic containers cook a bit more quickly than glass containers.

3. Transfer to serving dish, add optional toppings. Listed in Substitutions/Tips section below.

Storage/Reheating Tips

Store cooked microwave frozen broccoli in an airtight container in the fridge for up to about a week. Microwave broccoli, covered for 30-60 seconds to reheat. Add additional toppings after reheating.

Substitutions/Tips

  • You can use these instructions to microwave other frozen vegetables, although cooking time will vary.
  • Frozen vegetables from the store have already been cooked, so thawed frozen broccoli for instance wouldn’t be the same in a recipe that calls for raw broccoli.
  • If microwaving more than two cups, you’ll have to cook it for longer. But no need to add water to cook.
  • Other great add-ins: Lemon juice, parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning, kosher salt, garlic salt, red pepper flakes are all tasty toppings for microwave frozen broccoli.

FAQ

How to make frozen broccoli taste good?

You can microwave 1-2 cups frozen broccoli then add toppings to make it taste good. Grated parmesan cheese, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, kosher salt, garlic salt, and red pepper flakes are good toppings for broccoli.

How long do I cook frozen broccoli in the microwave?

It depends on your microwave and how much broccoli you want to cook.

I start with cooking 1-2 cups for 2 minutes in a microwave safe bowl, with a lid. Cook an additional 30 seconds at a time until desired doneness. You don’t need to add water to cook the frozen broccoli. Add toppings after cooking.

plate of broccoli with parmesan cheese on top

Other good vegetable recipes

  • Apple Cucumber Salad
  • Instant Pot Potatoes and Carrots
  • Roasted Broccoli and Mushrooms
  • Air Fryer Broccoli and Cauliflower
  • Roasted Garlic Mushrooms with Pan Sauce

What to do with leftover ingredients

When you’re cooking for one, you often have leftover produce, cans of whatever ingredient, etc. Here are a couple ideas on how to use up the leftover ingredients. It’ll help you save money by wasting fewer ingredients.

  • Frozen broccoli: Add to Instant Pot Fish, Chicken Broccoli Divan, and Beef and Broccoli over Rice.

Did you make this microwave frozen broccoli? Leave me a comment & rating to share how it turned out!

plate with cooked broccoli on it

Print

How to Microwave Frozen Broccoli

Microwave frozen broccoli for an inexpensive, easy, one serving vegetable side dish for any meal. You don’t need to add water, just pour 1-2 cups frozen broccoli in a microwave safe dish with a lid and cook!
Course side, Vegetable
Cuisine American
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes
Servings 1 person
Author Rebecca Clyde MS, RDN

Equipment

  • Microwave
  • Microwave safe dish with lid

Ingredients

  • 1-2 cups frozen broccoli florets
  • Optional add-ins: parmesan cheese, garlic salt, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, etc.

Instructions

  • Add 1-2 cups frozen broccoli to a microwave safe dish. Cover with tight fitting lid or plastic wrap.

    Do not thaw broccoli before microwaving it. It’s best when cooked from frozen.

  • Microwave 1 cup frozen broccoli for 2 minutes (I used a 1100 watt microwave).

    Microwave 2 cups frozen broccoli for 2 minutes 30 seconds. Microwave at 30 second increments after that until warmed or to desired softness.

Notes

  • Frozen vegetables from the store have already been cooked, so thawed frozen broccoli for instance wouldn’t be the same in a recipe that calls for raw broccoli.
  • I tested adding water and not adding water, when I added water to the broccoli, it got much softer. I liked it without the added water.
  • Frozen broccoli will still steam, when it’s cooked in a microwave safe bowl with a tight fitting lid. It’s got ice crystals in it that will evaporate and create steam in the lidded bowl.
  • A glass bowl heats up a bit slower than silicone or plastic, so you’ll probably have to start with cooking broccoli in a glass container for 3 minutes+.
  • Since all microwaves cook differently, you’ll have to figure out how long it takes in your particular model. Start with less time and cook additional 30 seconds at a time. 
  • Optional add-ins: add toppings after cooking. Freshly grated parmesan, garlic salt, kosher salt Italian seasonings, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes are all great toppings for your broccoli.

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Recipes are great, but you’ll need a simple 3 step process to create a meal plan that make cooking easy & helps you stop wasting food. Check out this expertly developed meal planning guide to get started. 

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