Skip to Content

How to Microwave Cauliflower

Sharing is caring!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure to learn more.

Microwaving cauliflower is simple and straightforward. It is one of the quickest ways of preparing a delicious cauliflower side dish when the time is limited.

It is really easy to microwave cauliflower as it steams in just a few minutes resulting in a delicious taste and tender texture.

How do you microwave cauliflower? Clean the cauliflower head and cut medium-sized florets using a sharp knife. Put the floret pieces in a microwave-safe dish and pour a quarter cup of water into the bowl. 

Use a microwave cover, damp paper towel or plastic wrap to cover the dish, and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes. 

The time depends on the amount of florets in the safe dish, the size of the pieces and the microwave wattage. Larger sized pieces will talk more time to microwave. 

Allow the florets to settle in the microwave for approximately 60 seconds before removing the cauliflower from of the microwave so the steam has a chance to settle. Once steamed, the florets are ready. To make the cauliflower more delicious, add olive oil, butter, or salt and pepper.

Cauliflower florets is a healthy and delicious side dish. It can be used as cauliflower rice, served as side of microwave vegetables, or even topped with melted cheese and cheese sauce.

The fastest way to cook cauliflower is to steam in the microwave. Preparing cauliflower is similar to microwaving broccoli as it requires no fancy tools or special utensils. 

In this article, we will highlight the key issues you need to know when microwaving cauliflower. Answered below are frequently asked questions about the best way to microwave cauliflower and the cooking tips you need to be aware of.

Can you microwave cauliflower?

Yes, you can microwave cauliflower. It is the quickest and easiest way of cooking cauliflower. 

The best way to prepare a delicious and tender cauliflower is to steam it in the microwave. Microwaved cauliflower is easy and does not require specialized tools or utensils. 

To properly steam the cauliflower in a microwave, place the prepared florets in a microwave safe dish, cover with a lid and nuke for approximately 3 to 4 minutes.

Is microwave cauliflower healthy?

Microwave cauliflower is healthy method. In fact, the steaming process in the microwave does not destroy or leach away nutrients in the vegetable.

However, the safety of the microwaving cauliflower truly depends on the container that you are using. 

To safely microwave cauliflower, use a microwave-safe dish and microwave cover over the container. Ensure the lid covers the bowl perfectly to keep the steam trapped inside the bowl when cooking. 

Microwaving cauliflower will retain most of its nutrients, minerals and fiber that is necessary for a healthy diet. Accurately time the microwaving to ensure the cauliflower florets do not overcook.

Can you microwave cauliflower without water?

Yes, you can microwave cauliflower florets without water. It’s actually best to cook without water instead of boiling them where the cauliflower is most likely to drain away nutrients that are leached out into the water. 

In general, cauliflower naturally contains 90% water, therefore it does not need more water to cook in the microwave. 

To microwave cauliflower without water, trim and wash the florets, place into a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a lid and microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes. 

Once the cauliflower starts to heat up, it will release steam and moisture from internally. Additionally, covering with a lid will trap steam inside to cook evenly. 

How long do you microwave cauliflower?

Cooking 12 ounces of cauliflower in 1000 watt microwave takes approximately 3 to 4 minutes to be ready. 

The time may vary depending on the amount of cauliflower, microwave wattage and the size of the cauliflower florets. The larger the florets the more time it will take to cook.

How do I cook cauliflower in microwave?

Perfectly cooking cauliflower in a microwave is an easy way of preparing a delicious meal. Follow the steps discussed below:

  • To microwave cauliflower, use a microwave-safe bowl, a microwave lid, and a colander to drain any natural liquid that releases from the vegetable.
  • Wash the cauliflower and cut into small size pieces from the stalk. Reducing the size can help to speed up the cooking process.
  • Place the cauliflower pieces in the bowl, and add up to a quarter cup of water along the bottom and cover with lid.
  • Microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes until the steam forms and cooks the cauliflower florets.
  • Season with pepper, salt, butter, or add a slice of cheese to enjoy!

Tips to microwave cauliflower

Below are microwave tips to cook cauliflower more efficiently and quickly:

  • Ensure the cauliflower florets do not overcook. Time the microwaving process to approximately 3 minutes to allow the water to start boiling and steam the cauliflower.
  • Continue with 1 minute increments until fully cooked. 
  • Use a microwave-safe bowl and tightly cover with a lid to allow the cauliflower to steam fully so it does not undercook. 
  • If do not want to add water, wash the cauliflower thoroughly and cut into bite-size pieces to heat easily.
  • Grab the hot dish with oven mitts or potholder to prevent from burning while draining any excess water, and carefully remove the lid because the steam will escape quickly and may scald your hands or face. 
  • To make the cauliflower more delicious, season with olive oil, cheese, butter or spices. 

Whether you cook cauliflower with or without water, microwaving is the best way. Check the doneness every minute or so and allow it to sit for a minute after heating to to allow the heat to thoroughly distribute for even doneness.

Best way to microwave cauliflower

The quickest and easiest way to microwave cauliflower is to steam it. Steaming cauliflower florets in the microwave is fast and requires very little effort. 

Prepare the cauliflower by washing them and cutting into smaller pieces. Place them in a microwave-safe dish and add a 1/4 cup of water into the bowl.

Cover the dish with a microwavable lid, damp paper towel or microwave safe plastic wrap that is not touching the florets. 

Microwave on high for 3 minutes and gently shake the bowl to evenly distribute the heat. Proceed with 1 minute increments until reaching the desired doneness.

Ensure the cauliflower does not overcook by steaming it until al dente and allowing it to sit for 60 seconds to allow the carry over cooking to preserve its tender texture. 

Check frequently to avoid overcooking, and once it is cooked, garnish with seasonings and serve as a side with your favorite meal.

How to microwave cauliflower

Microwaving Cauliflower: Conclusion

Microwaving cauliflower is the quickest way of cooking a healthy side dish. Steaming cauliflower florets in a microwave is easy and does not require any specialized equipment to get it done. 

Steaming cauliflower in the microwave is the best way of cooking as it ensures the florets maintain a tender texture. Steaming cauliflowers takes approximately 3 to 4 minutes making it one the quickest ways to prepare a healthy side dish. 

Make sure to use a microwave-safe container, and cover with a lid once the cauliflower is chopped into bite-size pieces. The microwave cover will help quickly cook the florets with even doneness. 

Check the condition of the cauliflower every minute, and let the bowl sit in closed microwave for 60 seconds once it is mostly steamed so the carryover heat cooks the remainder.

Microwaving cauliflower is quick and easy to do. Add cheese and drizzle with butter and seasonings to enjoy the dish!