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How To Microwave an Artichoke

Ever wondered how to microwave an artichoke? It’s quick and easy, and you’ll love the fresh flavor and bright green color.

This step-by-step guide will show you the best way to cook a whole artichoke in minutes in the microwave.

A microwave steamed artichoke on a serving plate with lemon slices and melted butter.

With this simple method, you’ll always be able to steam and serve artichokes as an easy appetizer or side dish your dinner guests will love.

The best part is that quickly cooking the artichoke preserves its color and enhances its delicious flavor.

By the way, if you love the flavor of artichokes you will LOVE our crispy Artichoke Cheese Wonton Appetizers!

Organic Artichokes vs Nonorganic

A dozen fresh artichokes on ice at the market.

Recently my grocery store stocked both organic and nonorganic fresh globe artichokes. The conventionally-grown chokes were blemish-free, uniformly sized and overall quite appealing – both visually and financially.

Organic artichokes, on the other hand, were double the price of the nonorganic. These green globes were different shapes and sizes, and the outer leaves were split and covered with brown spots. In other words, they were ugly and more expensive.

Organic or regular? Thrift or splurge? Beauty or purity?

My conundrum is a perfect example of the difficult decisions many of us make during every trip to the store. Do we try to save money and buy conventionally-grown food?

Or do we spend a bit more and ignore the flaws, for good food that’s not doused with fertilizers and sprayed with pesticides?

According to the Food Revolution Network, artichokes aren’t on either the Dirty Dozen list (produce with high percentages of pesticides) or the Clean Fifteen (produce with the lowest pesticide residue), so they’re somewhat average.

I was feeling flush, so I decided to go with the gnarly organic artichoke. After I peeled the outer leaves off and trimmed off the top, it looked pretty again.

A raw artichoke with the top cut off, ready to be steamed in the microwave.

After a five minute cook in the microwave (see directions below), the artichoke was ready to eat. That’s when I was glad I bought the pricy choke.

The artichoke tasted creamy with pure sweet flavor, and none of the bitterness we’ve sometimes encountered in conventionally-grown varieties.

Here’s our favorite cooking method, which we think is the easiest way to cook raw artichokes.

Ingredient Notes

An artichoke, a stick of butter and a lemon on a cutting board.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy recipe:

Artichoke – You can choose an organic or conventionally grown artichoke (see notes above). Look for tightly packed leaves and heavy, large artichokes that look fresh.

Most fresh artichokes have brown spots on their leaves, and these are usually just frost marks that don’t affect the flavor.

Fresh lemon – Look for a nice firm, yellow lemon with no blemishes or dry spots that feels heavy.

Butter – I prefer salted butter for dipping, but if you’re trying to watch your sodium intake or like the taste of unsalted better, by all means use that.

Cooking Equipment

Here’s what you’ll need to prepare this recipe:

  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Kitchen Scissors
  • Medium bowl
  • 1.5 quart casserole dish with lid

Directions for Steaming an Artichoke in the Microwave

Be sure to see the recipe card below for exact ingredients and instructions.

Cooking an artichoke in the microwave preserves more of its pretty green color than boiling, and it’s super-fast, too. Here’s how to do it:

STEP ONE: Wash the artichoke thoroughly in a bowl of warm water, spreading the leaves a little to get any hidden dirt out. Rinse well and pull off the tough outer leaves.

Slice the stem off close to the bottom of the artichoke so it will sit flat.

The bottom of an artichoke with the stem trimmed off.

STEP TWO: Pull off the measley little leaves around the stem, and cut off the top half-inch or so with your sharp knife. This step will eliminate most of the prickly leaves.

An artichoke with the top sliced off and a knife on a cutting board.

I also like to cut off the thorny sharp tips of the leaves with kitchen shears, but that’s optional.

An artichoke on a cutting board with kitchen scissors and cut leaf points.

STEP THREE: Dunk the artichoke in a bowl of water to which you’ve added a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (or 1 teaspoon of bottled lemon juice); this will help the artichoke stay nice and green and not discolor.

Pro Cooking Tip: If you don’t have any lemon juice on hand, you can substitute a little white vinegar or apple cider vinegar, or just skip this step.

STEP FOUR: Put 2 tablespoons of hot water in the microwave-safe dish. We like a 1.5 quart casserole dish, but you can use whatever you have. Set the artichoke on its base and cover with the lid.

An artichoke in a microwave safe bowl ready for cooking.

STEP FIVE: Microwave on high power for about 5 minutes. Let it cool, still covered, for about five minutes. Remove the lid and test one of the leaves. If it comes off easily, it’s done.

If not, cook it on high again using a 1-minute increment until the artichoke is done. Total minutes of cooking time will depend on the size of your artichoke.

When the artichoke is done, serve it right away. Accompany it with lemon wedges and a dish of melted butter.

A microwave steamed artichoke ready for serving with lemon wedges and melted butter.

After you’ve pulled off and enjoyed the bottom part of all the leaves, you can scrape off the fuzzy choke in the center with a sharp knife and eat the artichoke heart.

I usually cut artichoke hearts in eighths and serve the little wedges on toothpicks when we’ve finished the artichoke leaves.

Artichoke Dipping Sauces

Instead of melted butter, you can serve artichokes with your favorite dipping sauce such as:

  • Ranch dressing or dip
  • Top quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Mayonnaise
  • Love and Lemons Artichoke Dipping Sauce
  • Garlic butter (simply add 1-2 minced garlic cloves to the melted butter)

Are Artichokes Keto Friendly?

Yes, according to the experts at Wholesome Yum, steamed artichokes are appropriate for keto due to their low carb count.

A medium steamed artichoke has about 14 grams of carbs, but due to the artichoke’s fiber content (about 7 grams), the net carbs are only about 7 grams.

Keep in mind that any dipping sauces you add may not be low carbohydrate. Melted butter is a good low carb choice.

If you enjoy this recipe, please click on the stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below to leave a rating! It helps us so much, and we love reading your comments, too!

Steamed Artichokes Microwave

Eliza Cross
In just minutes you can enjoy a perfectly steamed fresh artichoke by cooking it in the microwave. Accompanied by lemon wedges and melted butter, it's the perfect light appetizer.
4.9 from 7 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Appetizers
Cuisine American
Servings 2
Calories 64 kcal



  • 1 large fresh artichoke
  • 1 fresh lemon
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, melted


  • Wash the artichoke thoroughly in a bowl of warm water, spreading the leaves a little to get any hidden dirt out. Slice off the stem close to the bottom of the artichoke so it sits flat.
  • Using a sharp knife, slice off the top inch of the artichoke to expose the leaves inside.
  • Using kitchen scissors, snip off any sharp thorns on the other leaves.
  • Cut the lemon in 8 wedges. Fill a bowl with enough room temperature water to cover the artichoke, and squeeze two of the wedges in the water. Add the artichoke and let it soak in the lemon water for 5 minutes.
  • Put 2 tablespoons hot water in a microwave-safe casserole dish. Set the artichoke on its base in the dish, and cover with the lid.
  • Microwave on high for about 5 minutes. Let it cool, still covered, for about five minutes. Remove the lid and test one of the leaves. If it comes off easily, it’s done. If not, cook it on high for another 60 to 90 seconds.
  • Transfer artichoke to a serving plate and serve with the remaining lemon wedges and melted butter.


Leftover artichokes can be stored, tightly wrapped, in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
To reheat, put the artichoke in the microwave safe casserole dish with a tablespoon of water and cook on High for about 90 seconds, or until hot. 
One average artichoke feeds about 2 people, so feel free to multiply this recipe to feed as many people as you like. 


Calories: 64kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 3.5gFat: 0.4gSodium: 72mgPotassium: 343mgFiber: 7gSugar: 1.2gVitamin C: 8.9mg
Keyword artichoke appetizer, artichokes, globe artichoke, microwaved artichoke
Did you make this recipe?We love seeing what you made! Be sure to leave a review, and show us your creations by tagging #HappySimpleLiving.

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If you use Pinterest to save ideas, here’s a handy pin:

A large globe artichoke with the pointed top cut off.

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is the author of 17 books, including Small Bites and 101 Things To Do With Bacon. She shares ideas to simplify cooking, gardening, time and money. She is also the owner of Cross Media, Inc. and founder of the BENSA Bacon Lovers Society.

12 thoughts on “How To Microwave an Artichoke”

  1. Great tips for one of my favorite foods! Prices and choke quality should continue to improve with Spring and the Central California harvests- do you have additional artichoke recipe suggestions?

  2. If I can’t find most of them I usually go without. A few exceptions being potatoes, lettuce, occasionally grapes, and kale, but I didn’t realize kale had made this list, that’s depressing as these 3 I can’t get organic around here.

  3. Thanks sooo much for the list! I often wondered what food was dosed the most. We eat a lot of organics as they just seem to taste better, but now I can make an informed decision about which is really best for safety. Thanks again. V

  4. Yes, I, too, try to go with the ‘dirty dozen’ list – and its sidekick, the 12 pretty ok ones. Last week, I was thrilled to find organic cabbage and carrots both cheaper than conventional at my healthfood grocers! Must confess to being pretty rigid re the ‘dirtiest’ on the list – will go without rather than buy them for the most part…just don’t need all those chemicals – and, yes, organic can often be yummier!

  5. Hi, I have never had artichoke before but I will look out for it now so thanks. Does it taste like any other vegetable? I live in the UK so I am guessing that we don’t grow them here but I will be checking at my local farmers’ market next week.

  6. 5 stars
    I love artichokes but have always been to intimidated to cook fresh. With your instructions, I made some amazing artichokes and they did come out perfectly! The garlic butter elevated them to gourmet. I’ve bookmarked this recipe for the next time I make them.

  7. 5 stars
    This recipe was perfect and so special to me. I have adored artichokes from the first time I begged my mom to buy a few after watching Julia Child prepare them on her PBS show. She wasn’t impressed, so I ate hers too. Mom passed away far too young, but I’m reminded of her every time I eat an artichoke. So you see, fresh artichokes are very special to me, so they have to be done correctly. Like this recipe.

    I could not believe how perfect the flesh was after microwaving and resting. It was buttery, soft, and had that specific taste found only in fresh artichokes. Prep time is the same of course, but cooking time went from 30-45 minutes to 5, with a 5 minute rest.

    You can also cook them halfway in the microwave and then stuff them with all kinds of fillings – parmesan breadcrumbs with sausage, anchovy filets, or even just nuts, herbs, and cheese. You simply put the stuffed artichoke into a hot oven so the flavors can combine. They are beyond delicious made this way.

    Thank you so much for this recipe; it is a keeper for sure.

    • I am so touched to hear from you, and very glad that this recipe brought back memories of your sweet mom and your early love of artichokes. I love your stuffing ideas, too. (Can’t wait to try parmesan breadcrumbs with sausage!) Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts about the recipe. ~Eliza

  8. 5 stars
    What a time saver!!
    Who knew? (You did Eliza) that you could quickly microwave
    I have forever boil with lemon and butter
    It takes ages
    Thank you Thank you brilliant one!

    • I’m so glad to hear that you like this time saving recipe! Aren’t the artichokes splendid when cooked this way? Thank you! ~Eliza


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