Learn the secrets to microwaved steamed carrots, ready in just minutes! This 3-minute recipe is one-bowl for easy cleanup, and saves space on the stovetop. Top the steamed carrots with a pat of butter, flaky salt, freshly ground black pepper and your choice of minced herbs.

The simplest method for steaming vegetables is in the microwave! Microwave steamed vegetables are the easiest, quickest, and most energy efficient way to cook pretty much any vegetable. You only need a few simple things to make these steamed carrots in the microwave; a microwavable safe bowl and lid (or large plate can be used as a lid) carrots of your choosing, and a little bit of water! 

Why This Microwave Steamed Carrots Recipe Works

  • Microwave cooking is more energy efficient because it sends nearly all of its energy into the food. It also retains the vegetable’s overall nutrients better than stovetop or oven cooking.
  • Steaming carrots in the microwave is quicker! No need to wait for water to boil, dirty a pot and take up a stove burner.
  • Our recipe testers say,
    • “I used the herby flavor combination and it was fabulous!”
    • “Done in 1:30 seconds for me since I have a higher voltage microwave and they turned out absolutely perfect. This will be a go to side dish year round.”
    • “Don’t skip out on the maple butter combination, so much YUM!” 

Ingredients For Steaming Carrots

  • Carrots of your choice (baby carrots, sliced carrots, carrot sticks or regular carrots)
  • Water 
  • Butter, salt, black pepper, and minced herbs for seasoning (see below for more ideas)

What kind of carrots to use?

  • Rainbow Carrots – A little sweeter than regular carrots and even more beautiful! 
  • Baby Carrots – We love this option because all you have to do is slice them right in half! 
  • Carrot Sticks – Slice your carrot sticks in half or in thirds if they are a little larger. 
  • Regular Large Carrots – Easy to find and the cheapest, especially when they come form your own garden! 
  • Carrot Coins – Prepared carrot slices are the quickest method because all of the prep work is already done! 
  • Carrots with the Tops – We don’t suggest steaming the carrot tops with the carrots, but save them to make a delicious Carrot Top Pesto so nothing goes to waste. 

How to Steam Carrots in the Microwave

  1. Chop your large carrots into ½” thick rounds. Because carrots are round and tend to roll around on the cutting board, I do my best to make sure my cutting board doesn’t slide, so I like to use my favorite sharp knife and place a damp paper towel under my cutting board. 
  2. Place carrots into a microwave safe dish, like a pyrex and then add just couple tablespoons of water. 
  3. Cover the dish with a microwave safe lid or a large plate and microwave on high for 3 minutes. 
  4. Check for doneness. If carrots are still a little crunchy, continue cooking in 30 second intervals. Then drain, once tender. 
  5. Transfer the carrots to a serving dish and top with a pat of butter, flaky salt, black pepper and minced herbs for the best microwave steamed carrots

Tools Used in This Recipe

Great Flavor Combinations

Take the sweet route! Try sprinkling in a little brown sugar or maple syrup with your butter for a sweet version. 

Switch up the liquids! Instead of water or both, try different flavorful variations for the cooking liquid like bourbon or white wine, and even fruit juice. All will pair well with butter too! 

Go herbal! Minced herbs such as tarragon, thyme, mint, and chives are the perfect fresh addition to steamed carrots. Pair your herb with butter and any number of spices that go well with carrots, like garlic, cumin, paprika, and even sweeter spices like cinnamon and allspice.

Make it zesty! Nothing brightens up a dish quite like citrus. Use a zester to peel off your citrus and gently stir it in with some butter and salt. 


How long to microwave carrots?

Well, this depends on your microwave wattage! After the first initial 3 minutes, open your microwave and give them a little poke with a fork every 30 seconds until they have reached your desired tenderness. 

Why is it taking longer than 3 minutes to cook?

All microwaves operate a bit differently. There are both low and high voltage microwaves, so the timing of your carrots will likely depend on your specific microwave. A lower voltage microwave sits around 700 while a higher voltage microwave sits around 1,000+. If you have a lower voltage microwave, you will likely need an extra full 1-2 minutes. 

Can you steam baby carrots in the microwave?

Definitely! I recommend cutting the baby carrots just in half rather than slicing them into small coins. Baby carrots are initially a little softer than large carrots, so the cooking time may vary just a bit. Remember, check in intervals! 

Can I steam my carrots in broth?

Absolutely and I highly recommend you giving it a try if you haven’t before. The carrots take on a really nice subtle flavor and give it a little extra flavor overall. Chicken and vegetable broth are my go-to’s! 

How to Steam Carrots in the Microwave

Steam carrots in the microwave in just minutes! Depening on how many watts your microwave is, cook time may vary.
4.67 from 9 votes
Prep Time 1 minute
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 4 minutes
Course Side Dish


  • 3 cups sliced carrots in 1/2" thick rounds
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp butter to taste
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste


  • Place carrots and water in a microwave safe dish. Cover with a plate or lid and microwave on high for about 3 minutes. Check for doneness. Microwave in 30 second intervals until desired doneness. Drain. Transfer to serving dish, mix in the butter to melt, and season with salt and pepper.
Keyword buddabowl, buddha bowl, carrots
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