How long to steam carrots broccoli & cauliflower

Updated July 19, 2017

Steaming is the healthiest technique for cooking vegetables. By steaming vegetables rather than boiling or sautéing, the vegetables retain their goodness, colour, texture and flavour. It is also simple and quick to steam vegetables.


Carrots should be sliced about a quarter of an inch thick before being steamed. If steaming them on the stove, they should be placed in a pan with a small amount of water to cover the bottom, and then steamed for six to eight minutes. If steaming the carrots in the microwave, cook for just five minutes.


The florets of broccoli should not take as long as carrots, as long as enough of the stems are cut off. On a stove, the florets should be steamed for just five minutes, you will know they are done when the florets becomedarker. In the microwave, the florets will need just three to five minutes.


Cauliflower florets take just a little bit longer than broccoli as they are denser. On the stove they will take six minutes, and in the microwave they will need to cook for three to four minutes.

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About the Author

Lizzie Griffiths began writing in 2008, working as a news reporter for "The Algarve Resident" newspaper and feature writer for "Goodlife Magazine" in Portugal. After returning to the United Kingdom, she worked as editor on national publications, "The Festival Guide" and "The Student Guide." Griffiths holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Wolverhampton University.