Steam Vegetables Without a Steamer

Top 5 Ways to Steam Vegetables Without a Steamer

One of the easiest and quickest methods to consume vegetables is to steam them. This method has a lot of health benefits, too as it does not allow too many nutrients to escape. The time and the way you choose to cook your vegetable decide how beneficial it will be once it enters your body.

One common problem in the process of steaming vegetables is that not everyone has an electric steamer or a steamer basket at home. And maybe most people are not yet ready to go out and buy themselves a new utensil to take up space in their kitchen. But, worry not! There is more than one alternative to the way we steam vegetables. For example, you can use a colander or a metal strainer in place of the steamer basket.

Similar ways to steam vegetables without a steamer are discussed next. You will find them to be quite simple and the least time-consuming.

5 Recommended Ways to Steam Vegetables Without a Steamer

Steam Veggies with a Steamer Basket

The most straightforward way to go about it in the absence of a steamer is to steam veggies with a steamer basket. Of course, you can use a colander or metal strainer in its place like mentioned before. 

In this method, you just get a large pot or a large saucepan in which the metal strainer or steamer basket can fit accurately. Next, you add enough water in the pot or saucepan to just be below the inserted basket. You add a bit of salt to flavour it and bring the water to a boil. Next, wash and cut the vegetables and put it in the basket. Cover the pot with a lid that fits tightly. Cook for a few minutes depending on the vegetable and the softness you desire which can be anything from crispy to tender.

Steam Veggies in the Microwave

Another equally easy-to-understand recipe to steam vegetables without a steamer is to steam veggies in the microwave. Yes, your microwave can steam vegetables and this is the easiest method out of all the ones we will be telling you about. It does not require a lot of utensils to be used, so not much cleaning up to do afterwards!

Take a bowl that is good to put in the microwave. Add only a few tablespoons of water. It should be enough to cover the bottom of the bowl so it creates moisture for steam to form. Next, add in the washed and cut vegetables and maybe add salt if you like the flavour. Cover it with a plate. Make sure it has some spaces which will let the steam escape. Put it in the microwave for five to eight minutes depending on the vegetable you are steaming. Open it every two minutes to toss it around and check for its doneness. 

And that’s it! You can take it out and serve it as it is or you could add toppings to your liking. 

Steam Veggies in a Pan

Apart from boiling water in a pot and using a basket, there is another way to steam vegetables over a stovetop. 

In this method, you need a wide frying pan. Just like in the microwave method, you need to add only enough water to the pan to create moisture. Next, add vegetables and sprinkle salt to taste. Cover the pan with its lid and cook the vegetable in the steam for a few minutes. Open it to check the tenderness every few minutes to make sure you do not overcook it.

Steam Vegetables in a Rice Cooker

You may have only used your rice cooker for exactly what its name suggests which is to cook rice. But this appliance can be used for another very useful task, too. We can use this to steam vegetables without a steamer. 

As you might have noticed, your rice cooker comes with a basket that fits perfectly into rice cooker pot. You may not have known the use of it till now since it is no aid in boiling rice but, let us tell you, that it is a steamer basket.

Add water in the bottom pot of the cooker until it is half full. Add salt to the water and bring it to a boil. Fit the steamer into it and add vegetables that have been washed and cut appropriately. Close the rice cooker and let the steam cook the vegetable for a few minutes. After the vegetable is as tender as you like it, you can take it out, season it and your delicious toppings to it.   

Steam Vegetables with Wire Cooling Rack

You know that rack you use to cool down your baked goods quicker? Yeah, well, it can be an excellent tool to steam vegetables. In this method, it is important to choose a very wide saucepan or pot. It can be a roasting pan. 

Add an inch of water to your chosen pot and place the cooling rack on top of it. After cutting and washing the vegetables, put them on top of the rack and cook. You can keep them there until they have gone as soft as you like.  


Having steamed vegetables in your daily diet is extremely beneficial for your physical as well as mental health. It helps fight against a lot of diseases and makes your body strong. Nothing should stop you from consuming this nutritious form of meal considering it is so quick and easy to make, too. 

If you have a steamer at your place, get right into these methods and cook yourself up some delicious steamed vegetables. However, even if you do not have one we have enlisted how you can steam vegetables without a steamer. It includes the option of using a steamer basket, the microwave, the rice cooker or even just a simple frying pan. So, you should not wait anymore and start trying this new delicious form of cooking vegetables.

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