Home Knowledge Can You Microwave Artichokes? We Tested It

Can You Microwave Artichokes? We Tested It

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Holding an artichoke next to the microwave

If convenience is your middle name, then microwaving artichokes should be your main game. It’s an easy, fast way to cook them when you’re short on time. We’re a little embarrassed this cooking method didn’t get a mention in our ultimate artichoke guide. Maybe we choked?

This super-handy article will talk you through microwaving artichokes to perfection. Follow our instructions for deliciously flavorsome bracts and a heart that’s so tender you’d think they’d been steamed.

How to microwave an artichoke

Here is a simple recipe for tender artichokes you’re sure to love. Our artichokes were medium-sized so adjust the cooking time if you’ve got small or large ones. Store-bought artichokes are usually fairly standard in size, but if you grow your own then the sizes can vary a lot.

Prep time: 5 minutes. Cook time: 8 minutes. Total time: 13 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 2 artichokes
  • 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 4 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

1. Prepare

Give the artichokes a rinse in cold water then break off any unwanted leaves on the stem.

Use a sharp knife to slice off the top third of the artichoke and the stem, leaving about one inch intact.

Use scissors to trim off the pointy ends of the leaves and any damaged bits. 

Steps to prepare an artichoke for microwaving
Prepping artichokes is quick and easy.

2. Cook

Cut a lemon in half and squeeze juice over each artichoke. Rub the juice all over the leaves then place the artichokes stem side down in a microwave-safe dish.

Squeezing fresh lemon juice on artichokes
Lemon juice adds flavor.

Add half a cup of water then cover the dish and add the dishes lid. If it doesn’t have one then cover with plastic wrap.

Adding water to artichokes in microwave safe dish
Water stops the artichokes from drying out.

Microwave on high for 8-10 minutes or until tender. You’ll know an artichoke is done when a toothpick or fork can easily be inserted into the stem. The leaves should easily pull off. Set aside with the lid on to continue to steam for 5 minutes.

Placing artichokes in microwave
Cooking times vary depending on the microwave and dish used.

3. Make the dipping sauce

Add the mustard, mayonnaise, garlic, and paprika to a small bowl and whisk until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed.

4. Serve

Once artichokes are cool, slice them in half lengthways through the stem. Scoop out the fuzzy choke and any purple leaves with a spoon and discard. Serve on a platter or large plate with dipping sauce.

Cooked artichokes on a white background
The outer leaves are tough.

Tips for microwaving artichokes

  • If the artichoke doesn’t seem ready, continue cooking in one-minute increments.
  • Brush the artichokes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper for added flavor.
  • Watch the artichokes closely in the microwave oven – cooking times will vary depending on the microwave’s strength, size of artichokes, and the baking dish used.

How do I eat a microwaved artichoke?

You can’t eat the entire leaf as it’s too tough; instead, pull off a leaf with your fingers and scrape it between your teeth to get all that tender flesh. The leftover leaf in your hand can be discarded.

As you get closer get to the center of the artichoke, the leaves become more tender. The heart is a prized part of the artichoke near the stem, but be sure to remove the feathery, inedible choke at the center of the vegetable.

Microwaved artichokes provide a healthy snack at any time of day. They also make excellent side dishes or appetizers. If you’re entertaining, they make a unique addition to an antipasto platter, served with your favorite dip.

Dipping artichoke bract into a mayo, mustard, and paprika dip
Artichoke leaves are delicious combined with creamy dips.

How to reheat an artichoke in the microwave

A cooked artichoke is suitable for reheating in the microwave without affecting its flavor or texture. To reheat one artichoke, place it in a baking dish with a splash of water in the bottom to stop it from drying out. Microwave for one minute on high and then carefully check it is heated through. If not, continue heating in 30-second bursts until ready.

Related reading:
Should I microwave mussels? We tried it out!
Are frozen fries just as good microwaved? Check out our results.
Can you microwave Jolly Ranchers? Take a look at our tests.
Is it okay to microwave ice cream? See what we found out.

Steps to microwave artichokes

Check out this infographic which summarizes the steps for cooking artichokes in a microwave.

How to microwave artichokes infographic

Commonly asked questions

How do you know when an artichoke is cooked?

It’s easy to tell when an artichoke is ready. Use a skewer, toothpick, or fork to test that the stem is soft. You can also pluck off a leaf and do a taste test, taking care not to burn yourself.

Testing artichokes are cooked with a skewer
The leaves and stem should be soft.

Can you cut an artichoke in half to cook it?

It’s okay to slice artichokes in half before cooking and it will help reduce the cook time.

How long do you cook an artichoke in the microwave?

Two medium-sized artichokes will take around 10 minutes to cook in an 800-watt microwave oven. Keep in mind that the dish you cook the vegetables in will also influence the cooking time. It’s best to check the artichoke at the 6 minute mark to make sure they don’t get overcooked.

What is the fastest way to cook artichokes?

The quickest way to cook an artichoke is in the microwave. A pressure cooker is also a quick method, but you’ll have to allow extra time for the pressure and heat to build up in the cooker.

Can you microwave canned artichoke hearts?

Canned artichokes have been precooked so they can be rinsed and then eaten cold or heated in the microwave until warm.

Canned, jarred, and fresh artichokes
Canned and jarred hearts don’t need to be cooked.

Summing up

It’s great to know that you can save time by microwaving artichokes. Some foods turn out dry or rubbery when you zap them, but this isn’t one of those times.

Of course, if you enjoy following recipes for stuffed artichokes or anything that involves other ingredients, you’ll want to stick to baking them in the oven.