Pure CuO and Fe-doped CuO nanostructures with different weight ratios (0.5, 1.0, 1.5, and 2.0 at wt% of Fe) were synthesized via the microwave combustion method. The synthesized samples were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), high resolution scanning electron microscopy (HR-SEM), diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS), photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy and vibrating sample magnetometry (VSM). XRD patterns refined by the Rietveld method indicated the formation of single-phase monoclinic structure and also confirmed that Fe ions successfully incorporated into CuO crystal lattice by occupying Cu ionic sites. Interestingly, the morphology was found to change considerably from nanoflowers to nano-rod and disk-shaped then to nanoparticles with the variation of Fe content. The optical band gap calculated using DRS was found to be 2.8 eV for pure CuO and increases up to 3.4 eV with increasing 'Fe' content. Photoluminescence measurements also confirm these results. The magnetic measurements indicated that the obtained nanostructures are found to be room temperature ferromagnetism (RTF) with an optimum value of saturation magnetization at 2.0 wt% of Fe-doped CuO, i.e. 1.2960×10-3 emu/g. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.