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How long should vegetables be cooked? Complete guide..

How long do veggies take to cook to maintain their nutrients, flavor and color? Different cooking techniques require different cooking times to come out with the perfect result that you desire. They are the number one source of vitamins and minerals.

You definitely wouldn’t want it soggy in texture, very uninviting to your appetite. With a proper cooking method and a perfect timing, your vegetable can be more inviting and satisfying that you want to crave for more.

Here you’ll find a list on how long should vegetables be cooked, steamed, roasted, and many more. Hope you enjoy my list!

Proper ways, cooking techniques and cooking times for vegetables

Tip: When blanching, timing starts as soon as the vegetable is tossed into the boiling water. Always refresh to cut cooking by draining immediately and plunge into an ice cold water to maintain color.

Best tools for cooking and steaming veggies

Artichokes

start off by trimming the stems, wash and cut about an inch from the tops. To avoid artichokes from browning, place in a lemon-water solution.

  • Blanching – Put in a saucepan of boiling water and timing starts immediately – 8 min
  • Boiling – Leaves can be pulled easily and the heart should be tender – 30 to 40 min
  • Roasting – Pre-heat oven at 375F. Place artichokes in a large baking pan with about an inch of water at the bottom. Make sure that water doesn’t boil off during the process – 45 to 60 min
  • Steaming – Can be done to the leaves using a basket with cooking time ranging from 10 to 20 min
How long should vegetables be cooked

Asparagus 

Remove ends from spears then wash properly. (break them off not cut them)

  • Blanching – for whole spears – 1 min (for 2-inch length pieces – 1 min)
  • Boiling – for whole spears – 4 to 7 min (for 2-inch length pieces – 3 min)
  • Grilling – Whole spears is brushed with olive oil thinly and grilled on a grill pan or over medium-hot coals. Turn often – 5 to 10 min
  • Roasting – Toss olive oil to lightly coat whole spears then arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast at 425F – 10 to 15 min
  • Stir-frying – Cut into 1- inch pieces and stir fry in hot oil over medium-heat – 3 
  • Steaming – whole spears – 5 to 7min

Beans, yellow or green

Snap ends and cut into 1-inch pieces or whole.

  • Blanching – Cut pieces – 2 to 3 min
  • Boiling – for whole – 4 to 7 min
  • for cut pieces – 3 to 5 min
  • Steaming – 5 to 10 min
  • Sauteing – Start with blanching or steaming then saute in hot oil or butter – 3 min
  • Stir- frying – Over medium-high heat, stir-fry cut pieces in hot oil – 5 min

For tough beans, add small amount of water or broth, cover and steam for a few minutes until tender.

Broccoli 

Cut into pieces about 1- inch long for broccoli florets. Peel the stalks and cut diagonally into 1-inch thick.

  • Blanching – 1 min
  • Boiling – 3 to 5 min
  • Steaming – Set over boiling water with a steamer and place florets and stalks. Cover and steam – 3 to 4 min or until tender. 
  • Sauteing – Heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet then add broccoli and cook – 5 to 7min

Cabbage, green or red

Remove outside tougher leaves, cut into two and remove core. Cut into 8 wedges or about half inch shreds.

  • Blanching – For wedges – 5 min – For shreds – 2 min
  • Boiling – For wedges – 12 to 15 min
  • For shreds – 8 to 10 min
  • Braising – 20 to 25 min
  • Sauteing – Put a little amount of oil or butter in a pan, toss shreds and cook, stirring occasionally – 7 to 10
How long should vegetables be cooked

Carrots 

Scrub or peel well. Baby carrots need not be sliced. For other sizes, unless indicated, cut diagonally into 1 – inch thickness.

  • Blanching – 2 min
  • Boiling – 3 to 5 min
  • Steaming – 7 to 10 min
  • Roasting – 425F temp. – Cut carrots lengthwise into halves. Toss with a little amount of olive oil and roast – 40 to 60 min

Cauliflower 

Cut florets into1- inch pieces

  • Blanching – 1 min
  • Boiling – 3 min
  • Roasting – 425F temp. – Toss with small amount of olive oil to coat lightly and roast – 10 to 15 min or until browned and tender. 
  • Steaming – 7 to 9 min
  • Sauteing – Start with blanching. Saute in butter or hot oil – 5-10 min

Corn on the Cob ( 4 – 6 medium size)

Remove husks and silks when roasting or grilling.

  • Blanching – 2 min
  • Boiling – 4 to 5 min
  • Steaming – 5 min
  • Grilling – Remove husks and silks and wrap in foil. Cook over medium-high hot coals -15 to 20 min
  • Roasting – Remove husks and silks- Roast in an oven at 450F temp. – 15 to 20 min

Corn Kernels 

Remove husks and silks and scrape kernels.

  • Blanching – 1 min
  • Boiling – 3 to 4 min
  • Steaming – 3 to 4 min
  • Sauteing – put butter or oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add kernels and cook – 4 to 5 min
How long should vegetables be cooked

Leeks

Cut off about 2 inches from top and remove tougher outer green leaves. Cut cross-wise into 1/8- inch thick slices or cut into halves. 

  • Braising – 15 to 25 min
  • Grilling – Coat halves with olive oil and grill over medium-hot coals – 10 min
  • Sauteing – put a small amount of oil or butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add cut pieces when hot and cook – 5 min

Onions – red, yellow, white, boiling, pearl, Cipolline

  • Blanching – whole, unpeeled onions – 3 min, drain and peel after blanching. 
  • Boiling – for pearl, boiling, Cipolline – Peel and boil – 2 to 5 min
  • Braising – Blanch and peel first then saute in olive oil or butter over a medium-low heat. Cover and cook for 25 min. Uncover and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. 
  • Roasting – 425F temp.- Peel and coat with olive oil and arrange in a baking dish, then roast. (For whole – 50 min – For wedges – 30 min)
  • Sauteing – Either sliced or chopped – 1 to 2 min

Green Peas, shelled

  • Blanching – 1 to 2 min
  • Boiling – 3 to 5 min

Peas, snow and sugar snap

Rinse and pull strings.

  • Blanching – 30 to 60 seconds 
  • Boiling – 1 to 2 min
  • Stir-frying – on a medium-high heat- 2 to 5 min

Peppers, sweet or hot

discard stems, seeds and white membranes. Either cut into strips, cubs or rings.

  • Blanching – 2 min
  • Sauteing – put olive oil in a skillet over medium heat- 7 to 10 min
  • Roasting – Place whole over a grill or under a broiler. Roast till skins blackened. Remove from heat and cool by topping with wet paper towels. Remove skin and seed of roasted peppers.
How long should vegetables be cooked

Potatoes 

Scrub and peel only if desired. Cut into cubes or wedges, slices or can be left whole.

  • Baking – whole – 375F oven temp. – pierce and bake – 45 to 60 min
  • Boiling – For whole fresh potatoes – 15 to 20 min
  • For whole mature potatoes – 25 to 45 min
  • For slices – 5 to 7 min
  • Steaming – For whole fresh potatoes – 20 min (For whole mature – 30 to 45 min – For slices – 10 to 15 min)
  • Roasting – 425F temp. Peel and cut into chunks or wedges. Toss olive oil to coat and roast turning only once – 25 to 45 min
  • Sauteing – Place a combination of butter and olive oil and potato slices in a saute pan over medium heat and cook – 25 to 35 min

Spinach

Wash properly and remove tough stems. Chop leaves or leave whole.

  • Blanching – 2 min
  • Sauteing – Cook in butter or oil over medium heat – 3 to 4min

Squash 

Slice or dice but leave baby squash whole.

  • Blanching – 1 to 2 min
  • Grilling – Slice into 1-inch thickness and coat with olive oil. Place over medium-hot grill – 8 to 10 min
  • Sauteing – Place olive oil in a pan, add squash and cook over medium-high heat – 4 to 7 min
  • Roasting – 425F temp. – Toss with olive oil and roast – 15 to 25 min
How long should vegetables be cooked

Tomatoes 

Wash properly.

  • Baking – 375F temp. – Cut into halves and arrange in a baking dish. Sprinkle with olive oil – 20 to 25 min
  • Blanching – First cut an X in the blossom end – 30 seconds 
  • Roasting – 400F temp.- Arrange in a roasting pan and sprinkle with olive oil just enough to coat. Texture after roast should be very soft – 30 to 45 min

With the availability of fresh produce all year round due to the rapid increase of farmers market all over and knowing that vegetables are very vital to our diet, it is a great relief to know how they are properly cooked. Happy cooking and enjoy!



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