Steamed Asparagus in the Microwave

How to steam asparagus in the microwave for a delicious side dish or appetizer in no time!

raw bundle of asparagus

This recipe is so simple and easy to follow. No need to fire up the stove, just do it all in the microwave.

Steamed asparagus is the perfect vegetable to add onto your list of go to side dishes. 

I like my asparagus to still have a little bit of snap when I bite into it so I only microwave for 4-5 minutes. If you prefer your asparagus a bit softer, then microwave it for longer in one minute intervals! Be sure to continuously check on the asparagus so it doesn’t get over cooked. 

Why Steam Asparagus in the Microwave?

  • It is the fastest and most simple way to steam asparagus
  • Little clean up and prep time
  • It makes for the perfect quick side dish or appetizer
  • Steam it in bulk and save for later

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of asparagus
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper, lemon (optional)

How to Steam Asparagus in the Microwave – Step by Step

  1. Cut off the woody ends of the asparagus stalks, discard
  2. Rinse asparagus in cold water and place directly into a microwave safe bowl
  3. Cover with a plate and microwave on high for 4 minutes
  4. Remove and check for tenderness, microwave in 1 minute intervals if not done
  5. Transfer to a serving dish, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and maybe a squeeze of lemon. Enjoy!

How to Choose Asparagus at the Grocery Store

When choosing which asparagus to buy at the store, look for stalks that are nice and firm, they should stand up straight when you hold them up. They should be a rich green color and can have a little bit of white at the bottom.

Look at the ends of the asparagus stalk. Is the center milky white, almost translucent, moist-looking? That’s fresh asparagus.

If the asparagus stalk has a hard, very white, dry center, it could be old and stringy. 

Dull asparagus that appears wrinkled and arches over when you pick it up is not fresh. Avoid asparagus stalks with spears that are beginning to open up, the tops should be closed tight and compact. 

Various Ways to Serve Steamed Asparagus 

  • Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and feta cheese
  • Add to pasta and toss with mushrooms and Alfredo sauce
  • Serve as an appetizer with a sour cream based dip, soy sauce and/or lemon wedges on the side
  • Toss with minced fresh garlic, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. 

Keys to Perfect Steamed Asparagus in the Microwave 

Wash and trim your asparagus before steaming it. To do so, scrub your stalks under cool water and then break off to woody section from the bottom of your asparagus. 

The easiest way to do this is just use your hands. Where ever the stalk naturally breaks and snaps is where you should cut the rest of the stalks. 

After rinsing your asparagus stalks, do not dry them off, leave them slightly wet. This will help create steam and cook them faster in the microwave! 

Use a microwave safe dish large enough to lay all of the asparagus flat so the stalks cook evenly. If you do not have a plate large enough to cover a large dish, use plastic wrap. 

steamed asparagus in the microwave
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steamed asparagus with olive oil salt and pepper
How to Steam Asparagus in the Microwave
Prep Time
1 min
Cook Time
4 mins
 

Learn how to steam asparagus in the microwave in just minutes! Depending on how many watts your microwave is, cook time may vary. 

Course: Side Dish
Keyword: steamed asparagus
Author: Steamy Kitchen
Ingredients
  • 1 lb asparagus
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt to add flavor
  • 1/4 tsp pepper to add flavor
Instructions
  1. Combine asparagus and water in a microwave safe bowl

  2. Cover with a plate and microwave on high for 4 minutes

  3. Remove and check for tenderness, microwave in 1 minute intervals if not done

  4. Transfer to a serving dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, enjoy!

If you have tried making steamed asparagus in the microwave, or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!