Steam Broccoli Without a Steamer

Top 4 Ways to Steam Broccoli Without a Steamer

Rich in fibre and protein, broccoli can be labelled as a “superfood” according to many health claims. It has a variety of vitamins including A, B, C, E and K. It is good for heart health, helps build stronger bones and even good for the eyes. 

For cooked broccoli, it is important that the broccoli still has its bright green colour and a good texture. It should retain its crown shape which makes it a beauty among other side dishes. 

One healthy and delicious way to cook broccoli is to steam it. Steamed broccoli lowers the amount of cholesterol in the body which in turn decreases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. 

Of course, you can steam it in a steamer but more often than not, this kitchen utensil is not available. So, we will walk you through some ways in which you can steam broccoli without a steamer. You would find these methods equally simple and, in some cases, even quicker. 

4 Easy Methods to Steam Broccoli Without a Steamer

Steam Broccoli in Microwave

The easiest hack for doing this is to steam broccoli in a microwave. Not only is it faster than all the other methods, but it is also the cleanest and the least tiring. 

Get a microwave-safe bowl. Wash the broccoli and cut it nicely into broccoli florets. Place this in the bowl and add a small amount of water in it, about one-fourth of a cup. Cover the bowl with a plate and microwave it for three minutes. The steam from the water will make the florets vibrant and delicious. You can cook it for a few more minutes if you want it softer. 

You can also do this without placing a plate on the bowl, although placing it is recommended. Make sure to be careful when taking the bowl out as it will be very hot. And, finally, you have some nice steamed broccoli ready to devour.

Steaming Broccoli in a Frying Pan 

If you never thought about it before, you can think about how a frying pan can act as a replacement for steamer now. As might you have already guessed, our next answer to how we can steam broccoli without a steamer is to steam broccoli in a frying pan. 

Get a large frying pan and fill it with one-fourth inch of water. Bring this to a boil over medium heat. Get washed and properly trimmed broccoli florets and add them to the boiling water. Next, add half a teaspoon of salt. Cover the pan and steam the broccoli for three minutes if you want it soft with a bit of crunch and for eight minutes if you want it completely tender. Season it according to your taste and serve it as it is. 

Steaming Broccoli in Rice Cooker

If you have a rice cooker in your kitchen, it can serve as a perfect replacement for a steamer. If there is a basket that came with your rice cooker and you are still not entirely sure about its purpose, let us tell you that it is, in fact, a steam basket. You may not have understood how to use it till now but worry, no more! We will now tell you how this can be used to steam broccoli without a steamer. 

In the cooking pot of the rice cooker, add two cups of water. Rinse and cut the broccoli florets, in other words, its crown, and place it in the steamer basket. Fit this steamer basket in the cooking pot above the water. Cover the cooker with its lid and press the correct buttons on the rice cooker to make it start doing its work. If there is only one button, press that. If there are multiple, choose the one that says something around the word “Steam”.

Cook it for three minutes. If you have a timer setting on the rice cooker, you can set that or you can manually count the time. Check after some time to see if the steamed broccoli has reached your desired preference and set the time according to that. 

Sometimes the rice cooker needs time to preheat, so make sure to give it a few extra minutes or to heat the rice cooker beforehand.

How to Steam Broccoli in a Pot

For this method, you need a steamer basket or simply a metal colander which you use to strain or rinse foods. Get a large pot in which the steamer basket would fit perfectly. Pour water into the pot until it is half full. Put the pot over medium heat and bring the water to a boil.

For the broccoli, wash it properly and then cut it into bite-sized florets. Place it in the steamer basket or colander. After the water has boiled, fit this basket into the pot and cover it with a tight-fitting lid. Cook it over medium heat for five minutes. You will get tender-crispy broccoli florets. If you want them completely soft, you can cook for a few more minutes with regular checking in between.

Carefully, remove the hot basket with broccoli in it and serve it as an appetizing side dish topped with seasonings of choice.


Not having a steamer should not become a hurdle in your healthy eating. There is more than one method to steam broccoli without a steamer and all of them give equally befitting results. A microwave, a rice cooker or even a simple frying pan can serve as an excellent replacement. 

So, why not go out and buy this extremely healthy broccoli and give one of these recipes a try? You may start for the sake of diet but we assure you, the first bite of this will make you want to have it every other day. With its quick cooking time and easy steps, there is no absolutely harm in making this a part of your regular diet. 

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