Skip to Content

How to Cook Broccoli Without a Steamer

Broccoli, right from time, has always been popular as a side dish, perhaps due to its high nutrient content and the ease of preparation. By simply using a little amount of water and broccoli in a cooking skillet or pot, this is an excellent dish to prepare if you’ve been cooking them in abundant water. This is one super easy and kid-friendly side dish that can be eaten with just about any meal.

If you’re not sure about what it entails, this article will teach you how to cook broccoli using other handy methods asides a steamer. We advise that you pay attention to our instructions, tips, and timing guidelines in order to ensure the best possible results.

How To Cook Broccoli Without A Steamer

Cooking Tips for Steaming Broccoli Without a Steamer

The following tips have been compiled to help you get the best out of your broccoli recipes, so pay close attention:

Why you should eat broccoli –  Broccoli is notably packed with a lot of vitamins and minerals which helps to keep you healthy and fit. Highly rich in calcium, iron, fiber, vitamin C, and B, this all-green vegetable is effective in cancer prevention, reducing cholesterol, and preventing diabetes in most cases. Next time you want to cook up some vegetables, why not grab a handful of that easy-to-prepare broccoli since it’s not only delicious but also beneficial for your health.

Buying/storing the best broccoli – When making a choice on what type of vegetables to purchase, make sure you choose vegetables that have a generally green color all around without yellow or brownish spots as a change in color indicates that it’s not right for consumption. Also, go for broccoli that has a firmer stem and springy crown since soft and limp florets indicate it’s spoilt. Once purchased, store broccoli in a cool space in the fridge for a few days or until it’s ready to be cooked.

Preparatory methods – A lot of people are still used to cooking broccoli in abundant water which is not too advisable since it loses its beneficial nutrients when boiled. If you desire to cook some excellent broccoli without losing its anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, here are basically different methods of preparing broccoli asides from using a steamer. Broccoli can be steamed in a skillet or an instant pot, it can be sauteed, roasted (grilled), or even eaten raw.

  • How to steam broccoli on the stovetop – Here, you’d need an instant pot or a cast-iron skillet for this method. First, rinse and add bite-size pieces of broccoli into a pot containing about half a cup of water. Be sure the pot is being used as a lid so you can retain the steam or use some oven mitts so the steam doesn’t cause a burn-in case whereby you’re using a foil. Steam broccoli for 4 to 5 minutes, remove and serve as a side dish.
  • How to steam broccoli in the microwave – This is a really quick method to steam broccoli without necessarily using a steamer. All you’ve got to do is to rinse and cut your broccoli into bite-size pieces. Put the broccoli into a microwave bowl and cover the top tightly with a transparent cooking wrap, then cook broccoli on low heat for 6 minutes at most and season as desired once done.
  • How to cook broccoli by sauteing – Pouring a few drops of olive oil into your skillet, adding your broccoli florets, and setting over medium-high heat. You can throw in some salt for taste, occasionally tossing the broccoli in the olive oil. Then proceed to add the stems a minute later until the broccoli is tender with a bright green color. Serve with any other dish of your choice.

Cut broccoli into bite-sized pieces – It’s advisable to always cook your broccoli florets and stems in relatively small even pieces. This helps to reduce the amount of cooking time for the vegetable as well as add a more delicate texture to it, especially for little kids.

Necessary ingredients – The ingredients you’ll typically need to cook broccoli without steaming include some olive oil, seasonings (salt, peppers, garlic powder, etc), lemon or cheese toppings, and any other desired ingredients.

Set your timer right  – Getting your vegetable side dish right is important and using a digital timer is required for this. You can set your timer for four to five minutes depending on the amount of broccoli you purchased. Remember that smaller sizes of fresh broccoli may require only three to four minutes to cook, whereas the bigger sizes of mature fresh broccoli take about six or more minutes. We recommend setting the timer at five minutes, then halfway through you can use a fork to check if it’s well cooked. The loss of vitamins in the broccoli is due to the prolonged heat from cooking so be careful you don’t cook beyond five minutes.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Bryan Blue (@bryan_alan_blue)

Cooking Time for Broccoli Without a Steamer

Follow the timing guidelines in the table below if your plan is to get delicious and crisp results with your broccoli recipes:

Cooking procedures Cooking time
Cooking broccoli in the microwave over medium-high heat 5 to 6 minutes
Steaming broccoli on the stovetop over medium-high heat 4 to 5 minutes
Sauteing broccoli on the stovetop over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes
Cooking broccoli in an air fryer at 390 to 400°F 10 to 12 minutes
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
How To Cook Broccoli Without A Steamer (2)

Stovetop steamed broccoli (3 to 4 servings)

Save Recipe


  • 1 bunch of broccoli florets
  • 3 to 4 tbsps of olive oil/mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp of freshly ground black peppers
  • 1 tbsp of salt to taste
  • 3 tbsps of lemon juice/zest
  • Few toasted almonds or fennel seeds (optional)
  • 1 cup of water


  1. First prepare your broccoli crowns by cutting it off away from it’s stems. Carefully cut the crown into bite sized pieces and stems into quarter lengths, place in a bowl and rinse off with under clean running water with some salt to get out any grit.
  2. In a clean cooking skillet or an instant pot, add 1 inch of water and bring to boil. Add your well cut broccoli and steam for 5 to 6 minutes with the lid close if you’re using an instant pot. You can add some pinches of salt while it boils.
  3. Reduce the heat to a medium and remove after the set time. The broccoli turns from a vibrant green to an olive green color once you’re done steaming.
  4.  In case you’re not making use of a timer and you’d also want to know when your broccoli is done, use a fork to pierce it, if the fork pierces through, remove from the heat and serve on a plate.
  5. Serve broccoli with some of your favorite toppings, maybe with some lemon zest, a few drops of olive oil, fennel seeds or almonds, or some freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Proven to be super simple and delicious, cooking your broccoli using this method and without a steamer would definitely make you a fan of broccoli. Be sure to try this recipe for a healthy and delicious way to enjoy your veggies, you’ll thank us later.

If you’d like to see more ideas or get more inspiration on how to cook broccoli properly without a steamer, then we advise that you check out more video recipes.

  • Author: Bobby