How To Steam Frozen Broccoli

Broccoli is one of my favorite vegetables because it is very versatile. You can eat them as a snack, as a side dish, or add them to soups, salads, or pasta. Broccoli can also be prepared in different ways. It can be steamed, sautéed, roasted, or even grilled.

To cook frozen broccoli in a simple and quick way, steaming them is the way to go. You can either steam broccoli cuts or just the florets. Frozen broccoli can be steamed using a steaming basket, in a pan, or in the microwave for 4 to 5 minutes. Steaming broccoli will retain its vitamins while still having its vibrant green color.

If you are wondering how to steam frozen broccoli, you came to the right place. We will be talking about the different ways you can steam and cook frozen broccoli. We will also give you an alternative way of steaming if you do not have a steaming basket, so stay tuned!

How To Steam Frozen Broccoli

Steaming frozen broccoli

Frozen broccoli is easy to find in supermarkets and they are also very easy to cook. It is a versatile vegetable that can be prepared and cooked in many different ways and steaming is one of them.

Steaming frozen broccoli preserves its vibrant color and it comes out tender and juicy. Boiling frozen vegetables oftentimes make them soggy and a study showed that streaming vegetables actually retain their vitamins better than when boiled [1].

Steaming frozen broccoli does not take a lot of time and effort, especially if you have a steamer basket. But, there are several ways to steam frozen broccoli. You can steam frozen broccoli florets or broccoli cuts depending on your preference.

How To Steam Frozen Broccoli In A Steamer Basket

There are several kinds of steamer baskets that you can use to steam broccoli – metal steamers, electric steamers, and a traditional bamboo steamer.

Some metal steamers are a steamer insert and steamer pan combo, but if yours is just a steaming basket, you will need a large saucepan to put the steamer basket in. If you have an electric steamer you do not need a saucepan. Traditional bamboo steamers are usually used for dim sums and steamed buns but, you can definitely steam broccoli in it.

To steam frozen broccoli using a steamer basket:

1. Pour a couple of inches of water into the large saucepan. Make sure that the water will not touch the bottom of the steamer basket. Note: most metal steamers have tripod legs to keep the steamer elevated.

2. Bring the water to a boil and once the water is boiling, carefully add the frozen broccoli to the steamer insert and cover it with a lid.

3. Steam the broccoli for 4 to 5 minutes. The time will depend on how much of a crunch you want the broccoli to have.

4. After 4 to 5 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the broccoli from the steamer.

How To Steam Frozen Broccoli Using A Pan Or Pot

How To Steam Frozen Broccoli Using A Pan Or Pot

If you do not have any steamer baskets, you can have a make-shift steamer using a saucepan and a sieve or colander.

To steam frozen broccoli in a pan or pot:

1. Pour a couple of inches of water into a pan or pot and place a metal colander or a sieve in the pot. Let the handle of the colander or sieve rest on the pot so that it does not touch the water inside.

2. Bring the water to a boil then carefully place the frozen broccoli in the colander or sieve.

3. Cover the pot with a lid and let the broccoli steam for 4 to 5 minutes.

4. After 4 to 5 minutes, turn off the heat and remove the broccoli from the colander or sieve.

Alternatively, if you do not have a colander or sieve that fits a pan, you can take a couple of sheets of aluminum foil and individually roll them into golf-sized balls. Proceed with the same steps as above but instead of using a sieve, put the aluminum foil balls in the pot, and pour water in the pot without covering the foil. Put the frozen broccoli on a plate and rest the plate on top of the aluminum foil boils, cover the pot, and steam the broccoli.

How To Steam Frozen Broccoli In A Microwave

Another method to steam broccoli is to use the microwave. If you have a steamable bag, steaming broccoli in the microwave is easy. Just put the frozen broccoli inside a steam bag, place the bag on a microwave-safe dish, and microwave the broccoli on high for 4 to 5 minutes.

If you do not have steamable bags, microwaving broccoli is still very easy and simple to do. All you will need is water and a microwaveable-safe dish with a lid.

To steam frozen broccoli in the microwave:

1. Pour a couple of inches of water into a microwave-safe bowl. Make sure you do not fill the bowl. You just need enough water to steam the broccoli.

2. Place the frozen broccoli in the bowl and cover the bowl with a microwave-safe lid.

3. Microwave frozen broccoli on high for 4 to 5 minutes.  Tip: You may need to stir the broccoli in between heating so you can start with two minutes, stir the broccoli, then microwave it again for another 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Remove the bowl from the microwave once the timer is done.

Other Ways To Cook Frozen Broccoli

Aside from steaming broccoli, there are other ways to cook them. You can either use frozen or fresh broccoli in any of these methods.


Roasting frozen vegetables is my favorite way of cooking them and it is the same for broccoli. Frozen broccoli does not need to be thawed if you decide to roast them.

Just place the frozen broccoli on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and drizzle the broccoli with olive oil. Season the broccoli with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and other seasonings of your choice. My go-to seasoning for frozen vegetables is Italian seasoning.

Roast frozen broccoli in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the broccoli is golden and crispy.


If you prefer to sauté your vegetables, it is best to thaw them out first for easy cooking. You can thaw frozen broccoli in the microwave and defrost them in 30-second intervals. Thawing frozen broccoli at room temperature or in the refrigerator may end up getting them soggy.

Once the broccoli is defrosted, you can sauté the broccoli with salt, pepper, olive oil, and your preferred seasoning. You can also add broccoli to dishes such as soup and pasta.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Is The Healthiest Way To Cook Frozen Broccoli?

If you want to get the most of the broccoli’s vitamins, steaming them is the best option. Frozen vegetables retain their vitamins better when they are steamed instead of boiled.

What Is The Difference Between Broccoli Cuts and Florets?

 Broccoli florets are the crown of the broccoli or the head of the stalk with a few stalks included in the cut. A broccoli cut includes the stalks which are where most of the fibers are. 

Wrap Up

Frozen broccoli is very simple and easy to cook. You can steam, roast, sauté, or grill it. If you want to cook frozen broccoli quickly, steaming is the best option. Using a steaming basket, pan, or microwave will get you crispy and vibrant broccoli.

What’s your preferred way of cooking frozen broccoli? No matter which method you use, broccoli is a nice addition to your diet, whether as a side dish or part of a meal!

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