How To Steam Yellow Squash Without A Steamer

Are you looking for an easy and delicious way to steam yellow squash? You don’t need a steamer. All you need are the right ingredients, creative cooking techniques, and trusty kitchen appliances.

In this article, we’ll show you three simple methods how to steam yellow squash without a steamer: in a microwave, in an instant pot, and with a pan.

Whether you’re new to cooking or want to add more variety to your meals, these methods will help!

Let’s get started!

How To Steam Yellow Squash In A Microwave

Steaming in the microwave is an easy and effective way to cook yellow squash perfectly every time. You can steam yellow squash in the microwave in just a few minutes. Here’s how. 

Step 1: Prepare Your Squash 

First, rinse your yellow squash under cold water and pat it dry with a paper towel. Then, cut off both ends of the squash and slice it into thin discs (or whatever shape you prefer). Put the squash on a microwave-safe plate. 

Step 2: Add Water and Seasonings 

Sprinkle salt and pepper (or any other seasonings of your choice) over the squash slices. Then, pour about ¼ cup of water onto the plate. This will help the squash steam evenly throughout the cooking. 

Step 3: Cook In The Microwave 

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TOSHIBA ML-EM34P(SS) Microwave (See on Amazon)

Put your plate into the microwave and set the timer for 4 minutes on high power (you may need to adjust this time depending on how thick your slices are).

When the timer is done, carefully remove your plate from the microwave—it will be hot! Use tongs or an oven mitt if necessary. 

Step 4: Check If They’re Cooked

Using a fork, gently poke one of your squash slices—it should be tender but firm enough that it doesn’t completely fall apart when pierced with a fork.

If it’s not quite done yet, put it back in the microwave for a couple more minutes until it cooks through. Once cooked through, remove from heat and serve immediately.

How To Steam Yellow Squash In An Instant Pot

Steaming yellow squash in an Instant Pot is as easy as 1-2-3. Here’s how:

Step 1: Prepare Your Ingredients 

The first step is to gather your ingredients. You’ll need yellow squash, water, and salt. Ensure you thoroughly wash the squash before cutting it into 1/4-inch slices. Once the squash has been cut, please place it in your Instant Pot insert. 

Step 2: Set Up The Instant Pot 

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Instant Pot Duo 7-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker (See on Amazon)

Now it’s time to set up your Instant Pot. Place the insert with the sliced yellow squash inside and add 1 cup of water and one teaspoon of salt.

Secure the lid on top of the pot and set the valve to “sealing” mode. Then press “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” on your Instant Pot, and adjust it to cook for 2 minutes at high pressure.

Once finished cooking, allow for natural release for 10 minutes before using manual release for any remaining steam or pressure. 

Step 3: Serve & Enjoy! 

Once done cooking, open your Instant Pot and remove the insert with your now-steamed yellow squash slices from the inside.

Serve immediately with your choice of seasonings or condiments.

How To Steam Yellow Squash In A Pan

This method is very common for steaming, as many of us already have a pan in the kitchen. Here’s how to steam yellow squash in a pan.

Step 1: Prepare Your Pan & Basket 

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Steamer Basket (See on Amazon)

The first thing you need to do is prepare your pan and steamer basket. Place your steamer basket in the center of the pan.

Fill it with water until it reaches below the steamer basket. Once the water has been added, turn the heat up until it begins to boil. 

Step 2: Add The Squash 

Once the water is boiled, add the yellow squash to the top of the steamer basket. Make sure to leave enough room around each piece, so they don’t crowd each other while cooking.  

Step 3: Cover & Heat 

Now it’s time to put your lid on and bring everything up to a simmer over medium-high heat. Once it reaches a simmer, reduces the heat to low and let everything cook for about 10 minutes or until the squash is tender when poked with a fork.  

Step 4: Serve & Enjoy! 

Once your yellow squash is cooked, please remove it from the heat and serve it immediately.


Here are frequently asked questions about steaming yellow squash.

Can I Use A Colander As A Steamer?

If you choose to steam yellow squash in a pan and don’t have a steamer basket, you can use a colander as a replacement.

Do I Need To Pre-Cook Yellow Squash Before Steaming?

No, yellow squash does not need to be pre-cooked before steaming.

How Long Do I Need To Steam Yellow Squash?

The time required to steam yellow squash will depend on the thickness of your slices and the steaming method you use.

It should take around 10 minutes in a pan or 4 minutes in a microwave. It can take up to 6 minutes in an Instant Pot.


If you don’t have a steamer, that’s no problem. You can easily steam yellow squash in the microwave, Instant Pot, or a stove pan.

No matter which method you choose, you’ll end up with perfectly cooked yellow squash in no time.

So go ahead and give it a try!