Vegetable Steaming Times (Chart)


Steaming times for vegetables

If you're always short of time when it comes to cooking a dinner, consider steaming food. Steaming is an easy and relatively quick way to prepare vegetables such as carrots, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, asparagus, beans, beets, cauliflower, celery, and radishes. Steaming veggies, whether fresh or frozen, in a stainless steel steamer basket or a bamboo steamer is also one of the healthiest cooking methods. If you steam your vegetables correctly (i.e. don't allow them to touch the boiling water under the steamer basket), you will be rewarded with delicious steamed food that is full of flavor and nutrients. If you are new to steaming as a cooking method, the chart below showing the approximate steaming times for different vegetables should help you get started.

Please note that the steaming time chart provided below is only intended as a guide – the actual cooking times may differ considerably due to personal tastes (some people like their veggies harder and crisper) and due to differences in the water content of foods (generally, the fresher the food, the faster it will cook). In addition, the preparation method and size have a great impact on how long it takes to steam a vegetable. For example, whole vegetables take longer to cook than diced or sliced vegetables. The steaming time table included on this page lists the preparation method/size of the vegetable that corresponds to the shown steaming time.

Furthermore, the last column in the table below provides ideas on how you can add flavor to your steamed vegetables without using salt or dairy products. You will learn that steamed cauliflower is amazing with lemon or lime juice, while fennel is tasty when served with extra virgin olive oil and basil. Shelled peas, which can be put into the steamer basker either fresh or frozen, get a nice kick from lemon juice and fresh herbs such as mint.


Approximate Steaming Times for Vegetables:

Vegetable Size/Preparation Time in minutes How to season
Artichokes Steam whole artichokes 25-40 min Season with extra virgin olive oil and lemon zest
Asparagus Whole spears, thick spears peeled lightly 7-13 min Serve with quince jam, cranberry jam, olive oil combined with lemon zest, or olive oil combined with sesame seeds
Asparagus Cut into 2-inch pieces 4-7 min Season with olive oil combined with lemon zest or sesame seeds
Beans, green Whole beans 6-10 min Season with garlic
Beans, wax Whole beans 6-10 min Season with garlic
Beets, small or medium-sized Whole, unpeeled beets scrubbed clean; peel off the skins after steaming 35-50 min Season with fresh thyme
Beet greens Cleaned and coarsely chopped 7-9 min Drizzle with olive oil
Broccoli Trimmed stalks 8-12 min Season with olive oil, pumpkin seed oil, lemon juice, lime juice, or balsamic vinegar
Broccoli Trimmed stalks split in half or florets 5-7 min Extra-virgin olive oil, pumpkin seed oil, lemon juice, lime juice, or balsamic vinegar
Brussels sprouts Whole, trimmed 8-15 min Season with fresh thyme
Brussels sprouts Trimmed and halved 6-8 min Season with fresh thyme
Cabbage Cut in wedges 6-10 min Lemon or lime juice
Carrots Cut into ¼-inch thick slices 7-10 min Season with honey combined with cinnamon or ginger
Carrots, baby Whole baby carrots 10-12 min Season with honey combined with cinnamon or ginger
Cauliflower Florets 5-10 min Lemon or lime juice
Celery root
(celeriac)
Cut into ¼-inch thick matchsticks 5-7 min
Celery stalks Cut into ½-inch thick slices 4-9 min Season with seeds
Corn on the cob Whole, husks removed 7-10 min Homemade chicken or vegetable stock
Daikon radishes Peeled and cut into chunks 8-12 min Season with fresh herbs
Chicory (endives) Cut in half lengthwise 5-10 min Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice
Fennel bulbs Cut crosswise into ½-inch slices 8-10 min Season with olive oil and basil (or lemon)
Jerusalem artichokes
(sunchokes)
Peeled or scrubbed; sliced 5-8 min Serve with arugula or fresh herbs such as chives or parsley
Jerusalem artichokes
(sunchokes)
Whole tubers, peeled or scrubbed 20-25 min Serve with arugula or fresh herbs such as chives or parsley
Kale Trimmed 4-7 min Drizzle with olive oil and crushed garlic
Kohlrabi Peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes 5-8 min Toss with parsley and olive oil
Leeks Trimmed, cut in half 5-8 min Season with your favorite vinaigrette
Okra Fresh whole okra, trimmed 6-8 min Season with lemon/lime juice and parsley, or with sauteed scallions
Onions, pearl Whole onions, peeled 8-12 min
Parsnips Peeled and cut into ½-inch slices 7-10 min Season with fresh herbs such as oregano or parsley
Peas, green Fresh, shelled peas 2-4 min Season with fresh herbs (such as mint) or lemon juice
Peas, sugar snap Whole pea pods, trimmed 5-6 min Season with fresh herbs (such as mint) or lemon juice
Potatoes, all Peeled or scrubbed clean, cut into ½-inch slices 8-12 min Toss with fresh parsley, rosemary or dill
Potatoes, new Whole, scrubbed clean 15-20 min Toss with fresh parsley, rosemary or dill, or with chopped red onions
Radishes Whole radishes, trimmed 7-14 min Season with chopped scallions or chives
Scallions Cut into ½-inch slices 3-5 min
Spinach Cleaned, whole leaves 3-5 min Season with olive oil and garlic, or sesame seeds
Squash, butternut Peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes 7-10 min Season with honey, lemon juice, and rosemary
Turnips Cut into 1/2-inch cubes 8-12 min Season with olive oil and fresh herbs
Turnip greens Cleaned and coarsely chopped 4-6 min Season with olive oil and garlic
Sweet potatoes Cut into large chunks 8-12 min Season with honey and lemon juice
Swiss chard Coarsely chopped leaves 3-5 min Serve with chopped fresh tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, olive oil and pepper
Zucchini Cut into 1-inch slices 5-8 min Season with olive oil, lemon/lime juice, and fresh herbs (such as thyme or rosemary)

It is also possible to steam bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, tomatillos, and garlic; however, other cooking methods, such as roasting, may be better suited to retain their texture and/or bring out their flavor. If you are interested in roasting as a cooking method, be sure to check out our Oven Roasting Times for 60 Different Vegetables.



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