How Long to Steam Different Vegetables

All foods have different cooking times. To avoid under or over cooking it’s important to keep this in mind and set timers while cooking food. Use this list of popular steamed veggies to know how long to steam different vegetables.

It’s important to keep in mind while preparing your food to be steamed that you try to cut each piece approximately the same size. How thick each piece is will have an effect on how long it takes to thoroughly cook them.

Popular Steamed Vegetable Times for an Electric Steamer

Asparagus will take four minutes for thin spears, and you’ll need to add one to two minutes depending on how thick your spears are. Watch the color of the spears as they cook. You’ll notice the green really brightens up–once it starts to darken it’s overcooking and needs to be taken out immediately. After cooking a few times you’ll be able to easily see when the color has reached it’s optimum cooking time.

Broccoli florets are steamed for five minutes. Just like with the asparagus, watch the color change.

Cauliflower will take six minutes, just slightly longer than broccoli.

Carrots, if they’re sliced about 1/4 of an inch thick, are steamed for six to eight minutes.

Green beans take five minutes, and should also be watched for a color change. You’ll notice them go limp when they’re overcooked. Done steamed green beans should be crisp.

Peas take only three minutes, and you really don’t want to go over that or they will get very mushy.

Zucchini should be sliced and will take six to seven minutes. The same goes for yellow squash.

Brussels sprouts take about ten minutes. You might wonder what this vegetable is doing on a popular veggies list, but steamed brussels sprouts are the best way to eat these! They often get a bad reputation because they are served overcooked. A properly cooked steamed brussels sprout should have a nutty flavor.