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Steamed broccoli

How to Steam Vegetables

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 to 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: Varies


Here’s how to steam vegetables to get them on the table fast! Use this method to avoid soggy and bland veggies: here they turn out crisp tender and delicious every time.


  • Vegetable of your choice (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, carrots)
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Chop: Chop the vegetables into uniform pieces.
  2. Boil water: Place about 1 inch of water in a pot or saucepan. If using a steamer basket without a handle, add it to the pot now: the water surface should be right under the basket. Bring the water to a boil.
  3. Steam: Once boiling, add the vegetables (in the steamer basket, if it has a handle). Steam with the lid on until crisp tender, taste testing with a fork to assess doneness. Make sure not to overcook! Set a timer and taste at the low end of the timing. Use a guide of: 3 to 5 minutes for asparagus and broccoli, 4 to 5 minutes for carrots and green beans, 6 to 7 minutes for Brussels sprouts, 7 to 10 minutes for shredded cabbage, 10 to 12 minutes for cauliflower, 10 to 15 minutes for baby potatoes, and 25 to 35 minutes for halved sweet potatoes. 
  4. Season: Carefully remove the vegetables to a bowl. Toss with olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. If you’d like, add other flavors like dried or fresh herbs, spices, fresh lemon juice, or chopped herbs. 
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Method: Steamed
  • Cuisine: Vegetables