How to Steam Broccoli

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One of the fastest and easiest ways to cook broccoli is to simply steam it. Learn how to steam broccoli with these instructions.

This method consistently delivers vibrant green, tender crisp florets that are loaded with flavor. If you shudder at the thought of mushy veggies, watch your cooking time carefully and you’re going to love the way these turn out!

Cooked broccoli on plate

Steamed Broccoli

I’m not the biggest fan of raw broccoli. Steamed broccoli on the other hand has none of the bitter taste and is much easier to chew.

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Bear these things in mind when steaming broccoli:

First, rinse and dry the broccoli before cutting into uniform florets. This lets them cook through at the same rate. Smaller pieces will cook faster.

Second, set a timer so that you don’t oversteam them. You’ll know that they’ve cooked too long, because their color will change to more of a drab olive green.

Third, pull the broccoli off the heat when they have just the slightest bit of crunch remaining. They will continue to cook from the remaining heat.

Steaming broccoli in pot

How to Steam Broccoli

Here are the directions for how to cook broccoli:

Prep the pot: Add two inches of water. Insert the steamer basket. You can also use a metal strainer or colander. The water should be completely under the basket. If you can see the standing water over the bottom of the basket, pour some out. 

Boil the water: Set the pot over a burner and turn it to high. Cover the pot. When you hear the water boiling rapidly, lift the cover to check. If steam billows out, you’re ready to begin steaming.

Steaming Broccoli: Place the broccoli into the steamer basket. (I use this basket all the time!) Cover the pot again, and lower the heat setting to medium. Set the timer, now.

Cooked broccoli on plate

How Long to Steam Broccoli

Wondering how long to steam broccoli? It will depend on how large the florets are, how tender you want them to be, etc. Broccoli usually reaches tender crisp after 5 to 6 minutes.

Start checking your florets after 4 minutes of steaming. You can use the tip of a sharp knife or a fork to test for tenderness. If still too firm, check again in 30 seconds.

Remove them from the heat while there is still a tiny bit of crunch remaining; remember that they will finish cooking a bit while you get everything plated. 

Broccoli can be seasoned with nothing more than salt and pepper, or you can spruce it up with olive oil, lemon juice, and whatever herbs you like best. Steam a little extra for tomorrow’s breakfast omelet.

There are so many great ways to cook broccoli! Once you’ve mastered steaming, you may want to try roastingsauteeing, air frying or even boiling it.

Cooked broccoli on plate

How to Steam Broccoli

One of the fastest and easiest ways to cook broccoli is to simply steam it. Learn how to steam broccoli with these instructions.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Total Time: 11 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound broccoli cut into bite-size pieces
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt adjust to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper adjust to taste


  • Bring two inches of water to boil in a large pot.
  • Place the broccoli in a steamer basket and put the basket into the pot of boiling water. Cover the pot, and lower the heat to medium. Steam for 5-6 minutes.
  • Remove them from the heat when the broccoli is bright green and still slightly firm. Season with salt and pepper.


Calories: 39kcal · Carbohydrates: 8g · Protein: 3g · Fat: 1g · Saturated Fat: 1g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 1g · Sodium: 328mg · Potassium: 360mg · Fiber: 3g · Sugar: 2g · Vitamin A: 707IU · Vitamin C: 101mg · Calcium: 54mg · Iron: 1mg
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Steamer basket with broccoli
Cooked broccoli on plate

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