Steamed vegetables are not fancy by any means but quite delicious and full of nutrients. What’s more, they require minimal effort on your part while the steamer does all the work. This steamed vegetable recipe is a guide, which means you can easily reduce or increase the cook time to match your preferences.
Preparing Veggies for Steaming
Preparing vegetables is just as easy as steaming them. After washing your vegetables under running water, cut the large ones into bite-sized pieces. Leafy greens like spinach, collards, and kales don’t require any chopping; you can steam them whole.
It’s best to cut root vegetables like carrots and turnips into even-sized chunks, so they cook quickly and are done simultaneously.
When it comes to broccoli and cauliflower, cut the heads into florets. You can further cut the larger cauliflower florets into smaller pieces.
Which Vegetables Can I Steam?
You can steam any vegetable from zucchini to asparagus, green beans to baby bok choy. The only difference is that some veggies hold up nicely when steamed while others break down too quickly.
I almost always pick my main dish first and pair steamed veggies to balance out my meal. For example, steamed broccoli and carrots are wonderful with my Keto Pork Chops with homemade ranch seasoning.
How Long Does it Take to Steam Veggies?
The cooking time varies depending on the veggie. Soft vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli cook quickly, while denser ones like potatoes require a bit more time for that perfect crunch. You might find this list helpful:
- Spinach: 3 minutes
- Peas: 3 minutes
- Green beans: 4-5 minutes
- Broccoli, cauliflower florets: 5 minutes
- Zucchini: 5-6 minutes
- Asparagus: 5-6 minutes
- Bell pepper, carrots, sliced celery: 6-8 minutes
- Brussels sprouts: 8-10 minutes
- Chopped kale and collards: 10 minutes
- Artichoke: 20-30 minutes
- Whole potatoes: 20-30 minutes
How to Steam Vegetables on a Stovetop
Steaming vegetables on a stovetop is a very simple technique. You only need a deep pan or pot with a lid, colander, or steamer basket. The steamer or colander should nicely fit inside the pot if you have an adjustable steamer basket, the better as it can literally fit any pot or pan.
If you’re steaming mixed vegetables, you should start with the harder ones first, then add the more tender ones after a few minutes.
The steaming process is as easy as adding about 1 inch of water into the pan. The water level should, however, not go above the steamer basket bottom. Bring water to a boil, add your veg, then cover the pan.
Use the same process when steaming frozen vegetables. Do not defrost or boil.
If you’re the forgetful type when cooking, it’s a good idea to set a timer as a reminder. I use my microwave timer or my phone.
How to Steam Vegetables in a Microwave
Steaming veg in the microwave is just as quick and easy as stovetop steaming. Also, the concept is the same. Place your vegetables in a microwave-safe bowl and add about 2-3 tablespoons of water. Cover with a plastic wrap (it should be microwave-safe also) and poke a few holes so that steam can escape.
Easy Steamed Carrots and Broccoli Recipe
If you’re looking to sneak in more veg into your meals, this is a perfect combo. We drizzled some garlic and olive oil to infuse a bit of flavor and flair to the mixed vegetables. Say goodbye to those bland and boring steamed veggies recipes. And the beauty of it? It requires almost no clean-up.
This is one of my favorite side dish recipes for stir-fries, grilled steak, or chicken. The combo is not only packed with nutrition but also adds a nice tender-crisp texture to any meal. When steamed properly, it creates a balanced and harmonious flavor that will have people going back for seconds and even thirds.
Give this recipe a try if you need a simple, healthy side dish to serve with steak or any piece of meat. I’m pretty sure you’ll love it as much as I do.
How to Steam Broccoli and Carrots
Here’s how to steam broccoli florets and carrots while keeping them nice, crisp, and flavorful. We’ll be using the traditional stovetop method in this recipe.
- Prep time: 10 minutes
- Cook time: 10 minutes
- Serving: 4
- 1 cup fresh broccoli, chopped
- 1 cup baby carrots
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup olive oil
If you want to experiment with flavors, try these options:
- Flavored oils like Tuscan Herb, Basil, Mediterranean
- Swap olive oil for butter
- Follow the above steps of adding water to the pan, bringing it to boil then adding the vegetables.
- Steam your veg for about 8 minutes or until crisp-tender
- While the vegetables are steaming, add the oil, garlic, and salt to a saucepan
- Sauté for about 3-4 minutes or until garlic is fragrant over medium-high heat
- Drizzle over the steamed vegetables once they’re done. Sometimes I squeeze some lemon juice on top and give it a good stir for a refreshing finish
- Serve and enjoy your flavorsome vegetables.
How to Season Instant Pot Steamed Vegetables
Besides incorporating garlic, salt, pepper, and oil sauce into your meal, there are other ways to add a punchy kick to steamed veg and make them a more enjoyable meal. Here are a few ideas;
- Ginger – infusing the tangy freshness of ginger into your dish will make it irresistibly tasty.
- Vinegar/wine -a splash of vinegar or wine adds complexity and depth to vegetables, especially sweet ones like carrots.
- Soy sauce – adding soy sauce is a great way to add umami flavor to vegetable side dishes.
- Sesame oil – this nutty condiment can add a punch of flavor to any vegetable recipe.
- Herbs – sprinkling parsley, thyme, and other spices on top of steamed will make this side dish an ultimate taste treat.
Try my Steamed Vegetables Recipe Below
Steamed vegetables can go from boring to something you get excited about when you cook and season them properly. The flavor boosters can change the game, so don’t be afraid to switch things up.
Steamed Vegetables Recipe
- 1 cup chopped fresh broccoli
- 1 cup baby carrots
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- Put water in bottom of steamer pot and add veggies to the steamer basket. Add lid to steamer basket.
- Bring water to a boil.
- Steam veggies for about 10 minutes or until fork tender.
- While veggies are steaming, add garlic, salt and olive oil to a small saute pan.
- Saute until garlic is fragrant, 2-3 minutes.
- Pour over steamed veggies.