Learn how to steam vegetables for tender—not mushy!—results with our guide to how to prep and how long to steam asparagus, broccoli, potatoes and more.

Megan O. Steintrager

Pictured recipe: Green Bean Salad with Feta Dressing

Steamed vegetables can't be beat for simplicity or healthfulness. Serve them with a drizzle of olive oil and a little salt and pepper for a simple side for any main course. Gussy them up with tamari, soy sauce, hot sauce, balsamic vinegar or nut oils and a sprinkle of seeds, nuts or cheese. Or add them to salads, omelets, frittatas, grain bowls and pasta dishes for a quick veggie boost to any meal.

How to Steam Vegetables

Bring an inch of water to a steady boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Prepare the vegetable of your choice and place in a steamer basket in the saucepan. Cover and steam until just tender. See below for prep instructions and timing for specific vegetables. (Nutrition information is for a 1-cup serving and does not include oil or other additions.)

Pictured recipe: Asparagus with Easy Hollandaise Sauce

How to Steam Asparagus

Amount for 4 servings: 1 1/2 pounds (1-2 bunches), trimmed
Steam time on high heat: 4 minutes
Nutrition information per cup: 40 calories; 7 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber

Related: Healthy Steamed Asparagus Recipes

Pictured Recipe: Brown Sugar-Glazed Beets

How to Steam Beets

Amount for 4 servings: 1 1/2 pounds without greens, ends trimmed, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces or wedges
Steam time on high heat: 10-15 minutes
Nutrition information per cup: 75 calories; 17 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber

Related: How to Cook Beets So They're Actually Delicious

How to Steam Broccoli and Cauliflower

Amount for 4 servings: 1 pound broccoli, 1 1/2-2 pounds cauliflower (about 1 head), cut into 1-inch florets
Steam time on high heat: 5-6 minutes
Nutrition information per cup: (Broccoli) 55 calories; 11 g carbohydrate; 5 g fiber | (Cauliflower) 29 calories; 5 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber


Pictured recipe: Green Goddess Buddha Bowl

How to Steam Brussels Sprouts

Amount for 4 servings: 1 pound, stems trimmed
Steam time on high heat: 6-8 minutes
Nutrition information per cup: 56 calories; 11 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber

How to Steam Carrots

Amount for 4 servings: 1 1/2 pounds, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
Steam time on high heat: 4 minutes
Nutrition information per cup: 55 calories; 13 g carbohydrate; 5 g fiber

Pictured recipe: Composed Bean Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

How to Steam Green Beans

Amount for 4 servings: 1 pound, stem ends trimmed
Steam time on high heat: 5 minutes
Nutrition information per cup: 44 calories; 10 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber

How to Steam Snap Peas or Snow Peas

Amount for 4 servings: 1 pound, trimmed
Steam time on high heat: 3-5 minutes
Nutrition information per cup: 67 calories; 11 g carbohydrate; 5 g fiber

Pictured recipe: Greek Potato Salad

How to Steam Red or Yukon Gold Baby Potatoes

Amount for 4 servings: 1 1/2 pounds, scrubbed
Steam time on high heat: 10-15 minutes
Nutrition information per cup: 136 calories; 31 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber

Related: Healthy Potato Salad Recipes

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