Vegetables steaming inside a microwave

How to steam vegetables in the microwave

It can be hard to make time for a healthy meal, especially when you're busy taking care of your family. Thankfully, you can quickly cook a healthy side dish with the help of your microwave. Use this guide to learn how to steam vegetables in the microwave so you can get tasty and tender veggies on the table in minutes.

Casserole dish of green beans inside a microwave Casserole dish of green beans inside a microwave

Easy microwave steamed vegetables recipe

You can have perfectly cooked veggies in minutes when you use the following steps to steam vegetables in the microwave.

Yields

The serving size of steamed vegetables varies depending on the type of vegetable and amount you choose to cook.

Ingredients

  • Fresh vegetables, like broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, green beans or cauliflower

  • Water

Tools

Prep Time

  • 10 minutes

Cook Time

Cook times vary depending on the type of vegetable you choose to steam. Use the chart below to explore cook times for commonly steamed vegetables.

 

Vegetable type

Cook time

Lorem IpsumBrussels sprouts Lorem Ipsum6–8 minutes
Lorem Ipsum Bok choy Lorem Ipsum4–5 minutes
Lorem Ipsum Potatoes Lorem Ipsum8–10 minutes
Lorem Ipsum Green beans Lorem Ipsum6–7 minutes
Lorem Ipsum Broccoli/cauliflower Lorem Ipsum3–4 minutes
Lorem IpsumZucchini Lorem Ipsum3–4 minutes
Lorem IpsumAsparagus Lorem Ipsum3 minutes
Lorem IpsumSpinach Lorem Ipsum2 minutes
Sliced sweet potatoes in a bowl

Step 1: Prep the vegetables

Before you can place your vegetables of choice inside your microwave, they need to be properly washed and prepped. Wash vegetables with warm water, then cut them into smaller pieces. Use the chart below to learn how to prepare common vegetables to be steamed in the microwave.

Vegetable type

Preparation

Lorem IpsumBrussels sprouts Lorem Ipsumcut each sprout in half
Lorem Ipsum Bok choy Lorem Ipsumremove the core and separate leaves
Lorem Ipsum Potatoes Lorem Ipsumcut into equally sized pieces, peeling is optional
Lorem Ipsum Green beans Lorem Ipsumtrim the ends
Lorem Ipsum Broccoli/cauliflower Lorem Ipsumcut off florets in 1 in. pieces
Lorem IpsumZucchini Lorem Ipsumslice into ¼ – ½ in. discs
Lorem IpsumAsparagus Lorem Ipsumleave whole
Lorem IpsumSpinach Lorem Ipsumremove stems
Sliced vegetables inside a glass bowl

Step 2: Place in a microwave-safe dish and add water

Once your vegetables have been prepared for steaming, place them in a microwave-safe bowl and add 2–4 tablespoons of water to the bowl. The amount of water you add depends on the portion of vegetables you plan to steam. Larger portions require more water. Cover the bowl of vegetables with either a loose fitting lid or microwave-safe plastic wrap with punctured holes for ventilation.

 

If you’re using a Whirlpool® microwave with the Steam Cooking feature, add ½ cup water to the Steam Vessel base, then place your vegetables in the vessel insert and close the lid over the vessel.

Person selecting a cooking preset on a Whirlpool® microwave

Step 3: Microwave your vegetables

How you steam your vegetables in the microwave depends on the type of microwave you’re using. If you’re using a standard microwave, select the appropriate cook time for your chosen vegetable and press start. Once the timer goes off, let the vegetables rest for 2–3 minutes before removing from the microwave with oven mitts.

 

If you’re using a Whirlpool® microwave with the Steam Cooking feature, place the steam vessel on the turntable and select the steam cook setting on your microwave’s control panel. Select the fresh vegetables option when prompted, then press start. Once the timer goes off, be sure to use oven mitts to remove the steam vessel from the microwave. Avoid lifting or removing the lid while the steam vessel is inside the microwave as this can impact the microwave’s steam sensor.

Steamed vegetables on a plate with grilled shrimp Steamed vegetables on a plate with grilled shrimp

What vegetables taste good steamed?

Sturdy vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, zucchini and green beans can be delicious when steamed as they maintain their structure during the steaming process. You can also steam leafy greens like spinach and Bok choy to create a tasty side dish for your family’s favorite recipes.

Explore Whirlpool® microwaves

Whirlpool® microwaves are designed to handle more than just reheating leftovers. With select models offering features like Steam Cooking, Sensor Cooking and food-specific presets, you can use your microwave to prepare your family’s favorites.

Learn more about microwave cooking with Whirlpool brand

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