This Microwave Broccoli with garlic butter sauce is a flavorful side that pairs perfectly with just about any meal! With red peppers and crunchy cashews, even your kids will love this vegetable side, and it's so simple to pop the broccoli in the microwave and have a fantastic side dish in just 25 minutes!
👩🏻🍳 Why You'll Love This Recipe
This microwave broccoli with garlic butter sauce is a family favorite for the holidays. Between the delicious buttery sauce infused with the flavors of fresh red peppers and garlic, and the crunchiness of the cashews, the kids hardly even notice that they are eating a vegetable.
This side dish is perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, but it works well with any meal, any time of the year. Serve it with this recipe for Garlic Butter Steak Bites and Potatoes for a full and hearty meal!
🥘 Ingredients Needed
- butter - makes for a smooth and delicious sauce that enhances the natural flavor of the broccoli.
- bell pepper - red is best for some color variation, but any color of bell pepper works fine.
- minced garlic - everything is better with garlic, and this microwave broccoli is no exception!
- salt and pepper
- broccoli - this versatile veggie is packed with nutrients and provides a nutritious side dish that you'll love eating!
- cashews - adds some texture variation and a subtle nuttiness that takes this broccoli dish to the next level.
- After cleaning, dice your red bell pepper.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan.
- Add the red pepper, garlic, salt and pepper. Let it come up to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, making sure to stir occasionally.
- Meanwhile, place the broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Be sure to pull back a small piece for ventilation.
- Add your cashews to the sauce and stir to coat.
- Pour the sauce over your steamed broccoli and serve!
One of the number one reasons for mushy or soggy broccoli is overcooking. Start with less time and check on the done-ness; your broccoli florets should be tender but still crisp. It may also be beneficial to allow the broccoli to sit in a colander after being steamed to drain any excess moisture.
A classic in our house is a little bit of butter with some salt and pepper, but this garlic butter sauce isn't much extra work and absolutely takes your microwave broccoli to the next level. Feel free to play around with lots of different kinds of herbs and spices; broccoli has a fairly mild flavor, so it works well with a wide variety of seasonings!
Most research shows that there isn't much difference in nutrition between cooked and raw broccoli. One way to leech some of the nutrition out would be to boil the broccoli or put it in the microwave for too long. If you don't mind broccoli that's a little tougher, feel free to slightly reduce microwaving time, as this may help preserve certain nutrients and enzymes.
💭 Other Helpful Tips
- Start with a lower microwave time to avoid over-cooking, which will result in mushy broccoli with a slightly bitter taste.
- It may be better to use unsalted butter and add salt to taste; this will prevent your microwave broccoli from being overly salty.
Microwave broccoli, when done right, is a quick and easy way to prepare a vegetable that your family will love to eat! You may even have to make a double batch to keep everyone satisfied!
- For even more flavor, add some soy sauce into your garlic butter sauce. It will go great with the bell peppers and cashews!
- Some other seasonings that would taste great on this garlic butter broccoli: chili powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, ground ginger.
🍲 Suggested Main Dishes
This microwave broccoli really goes with just about anything, but here are a couple of combinations that are sure to please your family. This Instant Pot Chicken Mac and Cheese is always a hit, and paired with this garlic butter broccoli it makes for a superb meal. It's so easy to put a side together while you're cooking this One Skillet Ground Beef with Orzo, and a Chicken Macaroni Salad is perfect to pair with broccoli for any kind of picnic or BBQ.
🥦 Related Recipes
- Easy Broccoli Pesto - A delicious and simple pesto that uses broccoli as a base.
- Chicken Pesto Pasta with Broccoli - This pasta recipe is everything you need for a full meal; no need to put a side together!
- Shrimp Curry with Broccoli - If you like seafood and broccoli, you have to try this curry!
Garlic Butter Microwave Broccoli
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📋 Recipe Card
Garlic Butter Microwave Broccoli
- Clean and dice the red bell pepper.1 red bell pepper
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter.8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
- Add the red pepper, garlic, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.1 tablespoon minced garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper
- While the butter sauce is simmering, place the broccoli in a microwave-safe bowl, covered with plastic wrap (pull back a corner to vent). Microwave on high for 1 ½ to 2 minutes or until the broccoli is tender-crisp. Drain any liquid and set aside.1 pound broccoli florets
- Add the cashews to the saucepan and stir until coated.½ cup salted cashews
- Pour the red pepper garlic butter sauce over the broccoli pieces, and serve immediately.
- Start with a lower cooking time to avoid mushy, overcooked broccoli.
- Let your broccoli rest in a colander after steaming to drain excess liquid.
Update Notes: This post was originally published in November 2017, but was republished with tips, step by step photos, and a recipe change in August 2021.
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