Simple Microwave Cauliflower

Jump to RecipeJump to Video

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Microwave cauliflower is an easy side dish that can be made in about 10 minutes. This is a simple, delicious way to steam cauliflower for a healthy side dish.

Bowl with steamed cauliflower florets.


While I do love the air fryer when I want crispy, roasted vegetables, I often turn to the microwave when I want to have steamed, soft vegetables like acorn squash and spaghetti squash.

This microwave method is fast and cooks the cauliflower nice and tender-crisp. No steamer basket is required, just one bowl and your done.

Ingredients needed

Cauliflower – You will need a head of fresh cauliflower.

Water – Cold water is used to help steam and soften.

Optional – Add your favorite seasonings like salt, pepper and garlic powder. You can even add some butter for a rich and creamy dish.

How to microwave cauliflower

  1. Clean off the cauliflower and cut into bite sized florets.
  2. Put the florets in a microwave safe bowl and then pour in water.
  3. Place plastic wrap over the bowl to cover. You could also use a microwave safe plate or lid to cover the bowl.
  4. Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave. Pierce the cauliflower with a fork to check for desired doneness. If you prefer softer, cover and microwave for another 1-2 minutes.
  5. Season with desired seasonings.
Bowl of cauliflower florets and seasonings.

How to cut cauliflower florets

Here is a simple method for cutting florets.

Step one: Remove the leaves from the base of the cauliflower.

Step two: Cut it in half and then cut the halves in half.

Step three: Angle the knife to cut out the core and then pull apart the florets.

How to microwave a whole cauliflower

If you would like to steam the whole cauliflower instead of florets, remove the green leaves and trim the stem.

Place the whole head in a microwave safe dish, stem side down and pour in 1/4 cup of water. Cover and cook about 8- 10 minutes.

How to store

The steamed cauliflower can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 3-4 days. After that it starts to get a little mushy.

Reheat in the microwave for about one minute or place in the oven or air fryer to warm through.

What to serve with cauliflower

This is a great side dish for a variety of meals. Try it with things like:

Recipe tips

  • When picking a fresh cauliflower, try to find one that is cream in color and hasn’t started to turn brown.
  • Cook time may vary depending on how much you are cooking. Check after 5 minutes and if the florets are still too hard, cover and cook another 1-2 minutes. Try not to over cook.
  • Try cutting the florets to a similar size so they cook evenly.
  • Make sure to use oven mitts or a towel to remove the bowl from the microwave. It will be hot.
  • Try topping with a variety of things like Parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese sauce,

More easy vegetable recipes

Let me know if you made this in the comments below. You can also tag us in a picture on Instagram or Facebook.

Bowl of cauliflower florets.
No ratings yet

Microwave Cauliflower

By Heather
Fast and easy method to steam cauliflower in the microwave.
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 10 minutes
Servings: 4


  • Microwave


  • 1 head cauliflower cut into florets
  • 1/4 cup water


  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


  • Clean and cut cauliflower into florets.
  • Place florets and water in a microwave safe bowl. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap like Cling wrap.
  • Microwave for 5 minutes. Carefully remove bowl from microwave and remove plastic wrap.
  • If adding seasonings or butter, add now and stir to coat.



Cook time may vary depending on how much cauliflower you are cooking. If you check the cauliflower after 5 minutes and it’s still to hard, cover again and cook another 1-2 minutes. 
Try cutting the florets to a similar size so they cook evenly.
Make sure to use oven mitts or a towel to remove the bowl from the microwave. It will be hot.


Calories: 62kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 335mg | Potassium: 436mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 89IU | Vitamin C: 69mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Like this? Leave a comment below!


Thank you for visiting Food Lovin’ Family! With 3 kids I know it can be hard getting food on the table. Here you will find easy and delicious recipes that the whole family will enjoy.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating