How to cook Sugar Snap Peas

How to cook Sugar Snap Peas

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Eat sugar snap peas raw or gently boiled so they don’t lose that wonderful crisp crunch – they’re great in salads or stir-fries.

WATCH: Veg stir-fried rice

READ: Seared sesame tuna


Sugar snap peas are also known as snap peas, and are pod fruits. Both the peas and the pod are edible and they don’t need to be cooked. The plants are climbing plants and can grow as tall as two metres!


Sugar snap peas are in season from June to September.


Ideally, sugar snaps should be refrigerated and eaten as soon after picking as possible.

What are the health benefits?

Three heaped tablespoons of raw or cooked sugar snap peas count as one of your 5-a-day (one portion of veg or fruit is 80g raw weight). They're a good source of vitamin C and manganese.

Once you've removed the string from the sugar snap peas (more on that in a moment), this recipe is SUPER easy to make.

  1. Melt some butter in a frying pan.
  2. Add the sugar snap peas, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Now saute them for 5 minutes to get them a little soft with some lovely golden spots on them.

Full recipe in the recipe card below.


You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty side dish. The exact measurements are listed in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:

Butter: Yum! Need I say more? It's delicious, but it does have a relatively low smoke point. If it seems to be browning too much, you can lower the heat to medium.

Stringless sugar snap peas: I make life easy and get bags of them already trimmed and stringless.

seasonings: For this simple everyday recipe, I simply use kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.

They’re Easy to Customize!

As you stir this recipe together, it’s really simple to take a little taste and adjust, if you want. Then taste again …

• Want a bit more umami from the soy sauce? Ok – stir in a few extra drops.

• Wish it was a little spicier? Easy – just add a bit more Pepper Relish, chili garlic paste, or even a dash of sriracha (which is one of the spicy ingredients in our Pepper Relish recipe).

One note about the spiciness, though, while we’re at it. I definitely recommend starting with just a little Pepper Relish (or chili garlic paste) as you make this the first time. Honestly, I’m often surprised how much additional spicy Pepper Relish I end up adding … tasting … and then adding even more. With the sweetness of the sugar snap peas, and especially if you’re serving this side dish along with something neutral-tasting like rice, you may be surprised, too, at how much spicy Pepper Relish you’ll want to add (especially if you made our milder, less-spicy version of the Pepper Relish recipe). But with spicy things, it’s always a good idea to start slowly and add a little at a time so you don’t go too far.

• Wanna try a different topper? Ok! Be fearless! I think this recipe is really pretty with some black sesame seeds thrown on top. But, depending on what main dish you’re pairing it with, feel free to try something a little different … maybe toasted, sliced almonds. Those sesame seeds are just for looks anyway, so feel free to skip ’em or swap ’em!

But wait … what if (oh, the horror!) … what if … what if …

Roasted Sugar Snap Peas

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This roasted sugar snap peas recipe makes a healthy and satisfying side dish or easy vegan snack.

As I am teaching myself to eat seasonally, it’s so fun how much I’m learning about new fruits and vegetables.

I was definitely one of those people who had no idea what season anything was (I could probably have told you corn was a summer thing and pumpkins were a fall thing, and that’s about it), but as I try to pay attention to what my stores, farmers markets, and CSA have at different times of year, I am getting much better at realizing that there is a strong season to many things.

One of those things is sugar snap peas – definitely a spring and summer vegetable! At least if you judge by when they start showing up in my CSA box.

I had tried them before in stir-fries and things and thought they were ok but had a certain aftertaste I didn’t love. But now I’ve figured out how to make them the way I like them and they’re really tasty!

Fortunately, the way I like them is also really easy.

Just “string” them (this means snapping off the little leafy stem part and pulling down until the string along the edge comes off – it will make perfect sense once you try it) and then toss them with a bit of olive oil, some thyme, salt, and pepper.

You can also add a pinch of garlic powder if you like that kind of thing.

Then spread them out on a cookie sheet and roast them at 450 degrees for about 10 minutes until they are just starting to brown.

That’s it! These make a great, healthy side dish. Incidentally, you can use this exact technique to cook asparagus, another spring/summer vegetable that makes an awesome side dish!

Recipes For Cooking

I did not get my seeds directly from Peace Seeds, but from a friend who generously passed some along to me. Mine appear to be the regular tendril variety. The peas I received also appear to be a mix of Alan Kapulers snap pea strains, but the true purple Sugar Magnolia are the most beautiful and also, I am happy to say, the best tasting and most tender. I will be selecting for the most purple podded plants to grow out next year.

They are not as good tasting as Amish Snap - nothing is - but they are very pleasant peas and the astonishing colour actually survives cooking! Pretty much unheard of, in purple podded beans and peas. As such, I intend to continue to grow them regularly to use as a garnish and point of colour in spring vegetable dishes, which otherwise tend towards the purely green. You can see them, cooked, in this dish of Peas & Cheese.

They are very attractive as plants, and the peas can get quite big before becoming too tough to eat. This is another bonus, as it means they have a range of several days that they will hold on the plant. One of the tedious parts of early summer is having to get out there and pick peas, Every. Single. Day. If not twice!

When Alan Kapuler says "vigorous vines" this is what he means. Even in this dry, hot year they have reached the top of our 7 trellis and are not done yet. Note too, that my assessment of their flavour and lasting qualities was made this year, and they are likely to do even better in a year thats kinder to peas. I took these photos during last weeks heatwave, so they, like all the peas, stopped blooming and there are no flowers to be seen. However, they have very pretty flowers, in 2 tones of purple.

Im afraid these will be very hard peas to find. I am aware of only one company in Canada that sold them this year, and that was Richters, as part of their Seed Zoo. Thats a brutally expensive way to get seed, but on the bright side peas are amongst the easiest of vegetables to grow out and save seed from. They describe theirs as the hypertendril strain.


Sugar snap peas require minimal prepping and are best in simple dishes that do not require long cooking times as in stir fries, salads, or as a stand-alone dish like this.

It's important to note that sugar snap peas come with a tough string that runs along the length (or the middle) of the pod. This tough string must be removed before cooking them or eating them raw. This process is call trimming.

In case you didn't know, you can also purchase string-less sugar snap peas which I tend to do. You can purchase them at Whole Foods. I haven't seen them in any other stores personally, but it wouldn't hurt to ask if they are available at your local market.

Although some people also prefer cutting off the very ends of the snap pea, it's better to trim or remove the string in my opinion.

1 1/2 pound sugar snap peas
2 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt
toasted sesame oil (optional)
toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Preheat the grill to Medium-High.

Place the sugar snap peas and olive oil in a quart size food storage bag. Close the bag, removing as much air as possible. Gently massage the sugar snap peas until they evenly coated with the oil.

Wipe the vegetable grill basket by dipping a soft cotton cloth in vegetable oil and lightly coating its interior. Place the vegetable grill basket on the grill and pour the snap peas from the zipper bag into the basket.

Grill the sugar snap peas for 3-5 minutes, or until they develop a nice brown color on the "grill side". Turn the vegetables over to grill on the other side.

(Cooking time varies with the freshness of the produce (generally, the fresher the vegetable the faster it will cook), so keep an eye on them and remove them from the grill when they are browned slightly but not charred.)

When the sugar snap peas are finished grilling, place them on a serving platter and sprinkle lightly with sea salt. A light drizzle of toasted sesame seed oil and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds is optional.

How to Remove the String from Sugar Snap Peas

The only complaint I’ve ever heard about sugar snap peas is the stringy fiber that runs the length of a snap pea. However, you can easily remove this string while trimming and enjoy snap peas with no complaints! Here’s how:

  • Using your finger tip, snap off the stem of the snap pea.
  • The stem will come loose but remain attached by the string
  • Pull the stem down along the snap pea until the string comes off completely

Recipe Video

silicone baking mats. Coat peas with olive oil, garlic, thyme and salt. After they&rsquore mixed up, bake for 7-8 minutes and they&rsquore ready to be eaten!

Pea Pasta&rdquo in our house. This is one of our favorite weeknight meals because of how easy and quick it is.
Cream of Pea Soup.

Place the sugar snap pea pods in a microwave steamer bag, which is a plastic bag designed to steam vegetables in the microwave. Find steamer bags where you buy plastic storage bags in your supermarket.

Place the bag in the microwave and heat on 100 percent power for five to six minutes, or until the pea pods are tender but still crisp.

Allow the pea pods to sit for a minute before you open the bag. The steam from the pea pods will be very hot and can cause serious burns.

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Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.


  1. Dakus

    Precisely, you are right

  2. Rendell

    Bravo, this brilliant idea is necessary just by the way

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