How to Steam Broccoli & Cauliflower

When it comes to healthy eating, you can't go wrong with steamed broccoli and cauliflower. These vitamin-packed vegetables complement each other nicely, not only on the plate, but in the cooking process, because you can steam them together. A stove top and other basic kitchen supplies are all you need to properly cook these nutritional powerhouses.

Step 1

Cut through the stalk of your head of broccoli or cauliflower, just below the crown so that it breaks into smaller pieces, or can easily be pulled apart. Rinse the florets. Discard the stalks or save for later use, as they take longer than the florets.

Step 2

Bring a pot of water to a boil; the water level should be about an inch below the bottom of the steamer basket. Place the florets into your steamer basket or small colander and set it in the pot. Place the lid on the pot. Reduce the the heat to a medium-high setting and let simmer.

Step 3

Cook until the florets are tender. This should take between 5 and 10 minutes, depending on the size of the batch. Begin checking the florets after 5 minutes, and continue checking every minute or so until they reach the desired tenderness. If you can easily slide a fork through the vegetables, they're ready.

Things You'll Need

  • Saucepan or pot with lid

  • Steamer basket or metal colander


To help the vegetables maintain their vibrant color, cook them for the shortest possible time and sprinkle lemon juice over them. The lemon juice helps cauliflower retain its bright white color and provides a flavor boost to both vegetables.

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