Learn the secrets to microwaved steamed brussels sprouts, ready in just minutes! This 6-minute recipe is one-bowl for easy cleanup, and saves space on the stovetop and saves you from turning on your oven to roast. Top the steamed brussels sprouts with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar or with a squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper. 

The simplest method for steaming any vegetable is in the microwave! Microwave cooking is the easiest, quickest, and most energy efficient way to cook pretty much any vegetable you can think of. To make these steamed brussels sprouts, you only need a few simple tools and staple ingredients. 

Why This Microwave Steamed Brussels Sprouts Recipe Works

  • Microwave cooking sends nearly all of its energy into the food for an even cook. It also retains the vegetable’s overall nutrients better than stovetop or oven cooking.
  • Steaming brussels sprouts in the microwave is so much quicker! No need to wait for water to boil or heat up your house with the oven. 
  • Our recipe testers say,
    • “I loved this method for cooking brussels sprouts. I was worried they would remind me of boiled brussels like my mom made when we were kids, but with a squeeze of lemon and a little butter, these were exceptional!”
    • “Brussels sprouts and balsamic are basically my favorite thing ever, so I steamed them in the microwave which was so quick and tossed them with balsamic glaze and crispy prosciutto.” 

Ingredients For Steaming Brussels Sprouts

  • Brussels sprouts
  • ¼ cup of water
  • Butter
  • Lemon
  • Salt and Pepper (see below for more ideas) 

How to Steam Brussels Sprouts in the Microwave

  1. Using a small knife, remove the tip of the stem and discard it. Then remove any outer leaves that have blemishes and cut them in half. 
  2. Transfer halved brussels sprouts to a microwave safe dish and add water. 
  3. Cover with a microwave safe lid or plate and microwave on high for 6-8 minutes. Start checking at the 6 minute mark for tenderness by piercing it with a fork. 
  4. Once tender enough, remove from the microwave and drain the water. 
  5. Top with a pat of butter, squeeze of lemon, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

How to Buy Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts can be bought on the stalk, loose, or prepackaged in a bag. Brussels sprouts on the stalk can be bought at the farmer’s market and are a little difficult to store, but are the freshest ones you will find!
When choosing loose Brussels sprouts from the grocery store, look for green leaves that feel firm and are compact. Yellowing leaves or dark spots indicate that the brussels sprouts are not as fresh and have been a little damaged. to buy, look for green leaves and feel that it is firm and compact. 

For a quick option, brussels sprouts that have already been washed and trimmed are a great option! 

Great Flavor Combinations

Make it Citrusy! Nothing brightens up a vegetable quite like fresh lemon. Use a zester to peel off your citrus and gently stir it in with some a squeeze of lemon, pat of butter and salt. 

Sweet and Spicy! Try sprinkling in a little brown sugar or drizzling maple syrup with a bit of chili oil and toss the steamed brussels sprouts in the most mouth watering flavors. 

Go herbal! Minced herbs such basil, chives, and oregano are some of our favorite fresh additions to steamed brussels sprouts. Pair your herbs with a little butter or sesame oil (yum!) and some garlic powder and paprika for a great veggie side dish. 


How long to microwave brussels sprouts?

This will depend on your microwave wattage. After the first initial 6 minutes, open your microwave and give them a little poke with a fork to check for tenderness. Check every 30 seconds until they have reached your preferred tenderness.  

Why is it taking longer than 8 minutes to cook?

There are low (500 on the low end) and high (1,100 on the high end) wattage microwaves, so the timing of your brussels sprouts will likely depend on your specific microwave. If you have a lower wattage microwave, you will likely need an extra full 1-2 minute.  

Can you steam whole brussels sprouts in the microwave?

Definitely! We still recommend cutting the brussels sprouts in half since its a quicker cook time, but if you want to get them into the microwave quick just trim the ends off and remove any blemished leaves. You will need to cook upwards of 8-10 minutes. 

5 from 1 vote

How to Steam Brussel Sprouts in the Microwave

Learn how to steam Brussel sprouts in the micrwave in just 10 minutes! Depening on how many watts your microwave is, cook time may vary.
Prep Time1 minute
Active Time6 minutes
Total Time7 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: steamed brussels


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 wedge lemon
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Place Brussels sprouts in a microwave safe dish, add water.
  • Cover with a plate or lid, and microwave on high for 6-8 minutes. Check for doneness.
  • Drain, mix in the butter to melt, squeeze fresh lemon on top, season with salt and pepper.