How to Steam Asparagus in the Microwave (Easy Method)

To steam asparagus in the microwave, first rinse the asparagus and cut off the ends. Place the asparagus in a microwave-safe dish and add a small amount of water. Cover the dish with a microwave-safe lid or plastic wrap, leaving a small vent hole.

Microwave on high for 2-4 minutes until asparagus is crisp-tender.
Carefully remove dish from microwave and allow to rest for one minute before serving.

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Microwave steamed asparagus on a plate

Steaming asparagus in the microwave produces tender, nutritious results every time.

Learn all the best tips and tricks to get it right. You won’t be disappointed.

Microwave Asparagus

Microwaved asparagus is a game changer in the kitchen. It cooks to perfection in a matter of minutes. There’s no need for pots, pans or a stove, just your trusty microwave.

It’s a quick and easy way to prepare asparagus that requires just two things: asparagus and water.

asparagus and lemon


This is what you will need:

  • Asparagus. This recipe uses fresh asparagus, not canned asparagus. Get it straight from your garden or the produce section of your local supermarket.
  • Water. Just enough to ensure the asparagus cooks properly.
  • Butter. Add unsalted butter to my asparagus after it is cooked. It gives you the best and richest flavor. You can substitute olive oil if you prefer.
  • Salt. A bit of salt adds a hint of flavor to the asparagus. You can also add pepper, garlic, and other seasonings you enjoy. Sometimes I also use a little cayenne.
  • Grated lemon. This is totally optional, but it gives the vegetables a bright burst of flavor.

How to Steam Asparagus in the Microwave

1. Prepare the asparagus. Clean it of any dirt or debris. Then, break each stem in half. Trim the ends and strip the bottoms so they look neat. You can also cut the asparagus instead of splitting it.

Next, carefully place the spears on a microwave-safe plate. Be sure to layer them in a single layer or they won’t cook properly.

2. Add water and cover the dish. Pour water into the dish. You can then wrap the dish in plastic wrap or cover it with a microwave-safe plate or lid.

If you use plastic wrap, leave a small vent hole at the top.

3. Microwave the asparagus. My microwave only requires about 2 minutes at first. Yours may need more or less time than that. After microwaving the spears, remove the plate from the microwave.

Flip each stalk with a kitchen utensil. (They’ll be hot!) Then, microwave them again for 1 to 2 more minutes. (Or as many minutes as your microwave requires.)

4. Finish and serve. Carefully remove the dish from the microwave and discard the water. Transfer the stems to a medium bowl and coat with butter and salt.

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Toss or mix well to completely coat each stem. Then, sprinkle the asparagus with lemon zest and enjoy!

Steamed fresh asparagus with lemon wedges and seasonings

How long to steam asparagus in the microwave

Total time for my microwave is about 3-4 minutes. However, there are a few factors to consider when determining the perfect cooking time.

  • The power/wattage level of your microwave
  • how thick are your stems
  • Whether you like your asparagus still crisp or tender

Thinner asparagus stalks will take less time to cook. The crispier you like the stems, the less time they will take as well. Experiment on the first couple of tries.

Tips for the Best Microwave Asparagus

Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • The fresher the asparagus, the better. If you’re starting with old, stale, or slimy asparagus, steaming it won’t help. Always choose fresh, crisp asparagus.
  • shorter is better. As for cooking times, the shorter the better. Start with a low cook time (2 minutes) instead of jumping right to the high end. You can always add a few more seconds if the asparagus is not fully cooked. But if you overcook it, there’s nothing you can do.
  • Select slender to medium stems. Thick stems take too long to cook. Whenever possible, use thinner studs.
  • Don’t use plastic. Steaming asparagus in plastic is not a good idea. Always use microwave-safe glass dishes.
Salmon Fillet Served With Microwave Steamed Asparagus

Ways to Serve Steamed Asparagus

There are many ways to serve steamed asparagus. Here are some of my favourites:

  • Alone and bathed in cheese and garlic
  • As a garnish for steak, fish and other proteins.
  • On top of risotto or pasta
  • As an appetizer served with dip
  • in salads

How to store and reheat

To store steamed asparagus, transfer to an airtight container. Then, store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. When you want to reheat it, microwave it in 30 second intervals.

I do not recommend freezing it. The texture will not be nice after it thaws.

How to Steam Asparagus in the Microwave

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