Microwave steamed cauliflower will be ready to serve in just a matter of minutes! This low carb, cruciferous vegetable is an amazing addition to any Buddha Bowl, makes an amazing mash, or for a simple side dish or snacking. 

Steaming cauliflower florets in the microwave is foolproof and quick! This perfect mild vegetable can be the vehicle for anything you can think of. This recipe is convenient and satisfying and will be your new go-to way of steaming cauliflower. 

Why This Microwave Steamed Cauliflower Recipe Works 

  • Using the microwave to cook cauliflower is the fastest, easiest and most energy efficient method.
  • Minimal to no prep and clean up and you only need one bowl and your microwave. 
  • No boiling water – WOO! 
  • Our recipe testers say,
    • “I use this recipe almost weekly to make cauliflower mash and it couldn’t be easier. Mine takes about 8 minutes total in the microwave to get super tender and ready for mashing.”
    • “I could munch on this cauliflower all day long. I like to drizzle mine with olive oil and garlic salt and I literally eat the entire bowl!” 

Ingredients For Steamed Cauliflower in the Microwave  

  • 1 head of cauliflower, fresh or frozen
  • Water 
  • Butter or olive oil 
  • Salt and pepper 

How to Steam Cauliflower in the Microwave 

  1. Cut up cauliflower into bite sized florets and add them to a large microwave safe bowl or deeper dish with water. Cover with a lid or plate. 
  2. Microwave on high for 4-5 minutes and then give it a pierce with a fork to check its tenderness. 
  3. Continue cooking in 1 minute intervals until done. If you are steaming for mashing, it could take up to 10 minutes to get the florets super tender. 
  4. Drain and transfer to a serving dish with a pat of butter or olive oil, salt, and pepper.
    **If you are using frozen cauliflower florets, follow the same instructions 

Various Ways to Serve Steamed Cauliflower    

Cauliflower Mash! Mashed potatoes are a household favorite here, but when I’m looking for a lighter option, my go to is always this Keto Mashed Cauliflower recipe. This recipe is only 4 ingredients and makes an incredibly smooth and creamy mash. You won’t even miss the potatoes! 

Cauliflower Dip. There are some seriously delicious flavored cauliflower dips you can find at the grocery store, but when you don’t want to spend $6 on a dip that you could make at home for $2 my favorite recipe to use is this Creamy Roasted Cauliflower Dip, sans the roasting. I steam the cauliflower in the microwave and then follow the recipe. It is incredibly delicious! The roasted version is so tasty too!! 

As a snack! Make this incredibly delicious and Easy Cheesy Buffalo Chicken Dip or this  Garlic Aioli for the perfect vehicle for your microwave steamed cauliflower. Both dips will have you swooning and make eating veggies that much more fun and delicious! 

Flavor combinations we love for Steamed Cauliflower 

Toss your microwave steamed cauliflower in butter or olive oil, lemon juice, and a dash of Italian seasoning. 

Sprinkle freshly grated cheddar cheese onto steamed cauliflower, pop it back in the microwave for about 15 seconds for a delicious cheesy low carb snack. 

How to Steam Cauliflower in the Microwave

Steam cauliflower for a delicious side dish in just 5 minutes! Depening on how many watts your microwave is, cook time may vary.
Prep Time1 minute
Active Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: buddabowl, buddha bowl, steamed cauliflower


  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp butter to taste
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Cut up cauliflower into bite sized pieces
  • Place cauliflower and water into a microwave safe bowl and cover with a plate
  • Microwave on high for 4-5 minutes. Test for doneness. Continue to microwave in 1 minute intervals until done. If steaming cauliflower for mashing, it may take 10 minutes.
  • Transfer to a serving dish, mix with butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper and enjoy!