Learn how to cook this simple and easy to follow microwave steamed asparagus in less than 5 minutes. No need to fire up your stove and dirty pots and pans with this perfect recipe. 

This method is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to steam asparagus. This convenient recipe will have you loving thick and beautiful summer asparagus more than you already do, and if you didn’t already love it, you will now. 

Why This Microwave Steamed Asparagus Recipe Works 

  • The rinsed asparagus helps create even more steam in the microwave. This allows for a more tender and even cook on your microwaved asparagus 
  • Energy efficient, no mess, and such a quick cooking time. 
  • Our recipe testers say,
    • “I can actually get my kids to eat asparagus now! They like asparagus really soft with a lot of lemon and this comes out perfectly every time.”
    • “I’m in college and live in a dorm and this method is so useful for someone like me who loves veggies but doesn’t really have access to a kitchen right now.” 

Ingredients For Steamed Asparagus in the Microwave  

  • Asparagus
  • Water
  • Olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Lemon 

How to Steam Asparagus in the Microwave 

  1. Cut off the woody ends of the asparagus stalks and discard them. 
  2. Rinse asparagus in cold water and place directly into a microwave safe bowl or deeper pyrex dish. 
  3. Cover with a plate or a microwave safe lid and microwave on high for 4 minutes. 
  4. Remove and check for tenderness by piercing it with a fork. If asparagus is not tender enough, microwave in 1 minute intervals. 
  5. Transfer to a serving dish, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and a squeeze of lemon. 

Cooking Times for Steamed Asparagus 

  • Pencil thin stalks only take 3 minutes.
  • For most asparagus, which is about 1/2″ thick, we suggest microwaving for 4-5 minutes on high if you like a little bit of snap when you bite into the asparagus. 
  • If you prefer your asparagus a bit softer, then microwave it for 4-5 minutes, and then in 1 minute intervals until it reaches your desired firmness. 
  • For fat stalks over 1/2″ thick, cooking may take up to 6 minutes

Various Ways to Serve Steamed Asparagus  

Risotto! Add your quick steamed asparagus to a beautiful creamy risotto to brighten it up and add some green to a heavier dish. Try this Lemony Spring Risotto with Peas and Asparagus for a mouth watering vehicle to use your microwave steamed asparagus. Your tastebuds will be asking for more of this bright and beautiful dish! 

As an Appetizer. Serve the simple microwave steamed asparagus with this sour cream based Irresistible Veggie Dip. This is perfect for a get together for all of your summer parties and perfect for poolside munching! 

Cheesy and Acidic! There is no better way to make vegetables enjoyable than squeezing some lemon over top and grating umami rich Parmigiano-Reggiano all over it before serving. Try this easy Lemony Asparagus using our steaming instructions and those beautiful topping quantities and ingredients. 

Tips 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 the woody section from the bottom of your asparagus. 

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

For fatter stalks over 1/2″ thick: use a vegetable peeler and peel away the bottom half of the stalk to reveal the more tender, lighter part. This will help you cook the asparagus more evenly in the microwave.

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.

How to Steam Asparagus in the Microwave

Learn how to steam asparagus in the microwave in just minutes! Depending on how many watts your microwave is, cook time may vary. 
Prep Time1 minute
Active Time4 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: steamed asparagus


  • 1 pound asparagus trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper


  • Combine asparagus and water in a microwave safe bowl. Cover with a plate and microwave on high for 4 minutes. Check for doneness.
  • Transfer to a serving dish, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.