My sugar snap peas recipe doesn’t hold back on flavor! Plus, it’s ready in just five minutes, is vegan and gluten-free, and it makes a great side dish for any meal.
Side dishes – that great enigma. When it comes to preparing vegetables, whether it’s just for one or cooking for a crowd, it’s so easy to fall back on familiar veggies that can be quickly sauteed or boiled.
So, in my journey to help you not only enjoy eating your vegetables but make them delicious too, I’ve crafted this snap peas recipe that’s low-calorie and low-fuss but packed full of flavor.
Crispy and sweet when enjoyed raw, the cooking of this sugar snap peas recipe gives the vegetable a delicious caramelized flavor, while still maintaining its crispy exterior and tender interior.
And if you’re in the mood to double or even triple up your greens, these sauteed sugar snap peas are great compliments to sauteed snow peas or green peas, both of which are scientifically cousins to the humble sugar snap. Be careful not to confuse these three pea varieties though – they do have some differences!
This recipe uses sugar snap peas, which have an edible pod and a slightly sweeter flavor. They are usually very buoyant – unlike the flat snow pea (or mangetout as it’s also known). The latter can also be used as a substitute if you’re struggling to find sugar snap peas.
Ingredients in This Sugar Snap Peas Recipe
- Fresh Sugar Snap Peas – Fresh sautéd are better than frozen, so always pick those. You can sometimes pick ready-trimmed peas; those also work.
- Olive Oil – You can also use butter, coconut oil, or sunflower oil, though I find olive oil works best.
- Lemon – Lime juice will also work, as does citric acid or wine vinegar.
- Salt & Black Pepper – to taste.
How to Trim Sugar Snap Peas
Preparing sugar snap peas is an important step. This will make cooking sugar snap peas a lot easier and ensure they brown evenly in the pan.
Start by washing your sugar snap peas thoroughly, then dry them.
Then remove the strings from the peas and cut the stem. You can do this with a sharp knife or just by snapping the pod with your fingers, then pulling the membrane string running down the steam of each pod.
How to Cook Sugar Snap Peas
Once your snap peas are prepared, heat the oil in a skillet. Add the vegetables to the hot pan and sauté sugar snap peas for 3-5 minutes. Make sure the peas are laid out in a single layer so they each cook evenly – and keep them moving so they don’t burn.
When they’re ready, the pea pods should still be a bright green, but with a few browned spots and a tender-crisp texture.
Season the sugar snap peas recipe with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon. If you want a deeper flavor, you can also season with garlic powder or garnish with sesame seeds.
Ways to Serve Them
There’s no one way how to eat sugar snap peas, but I have a few sure-fire ways to serve this sugar snap peas recipe:
- Add them to an authentic Chinese eggplant, beef stir-fry, or an easy veggie stir fry for an extra boost of goodness in an everyday dinner.
- Add to a bowl of your favorite pasta to bring greens to an often one-color dish. I love mixing it in with a simple cherry tomato sauce, a traditional pasta alla norma with eggplant, or even a classic mac and cheese.
- It’s also a great compliment to proteins, from your classic chicken and fish, pan-fried shrimp, or vegetarian alternatives like tofu, tempeh, or seitan.
- One of my favorite ways to use this sugar snap peas recipe (especially at breakfast) is to pair it with eggs. It could be with an omelette or in a breakfast quiche, baked, scrambled, or poached eggs. Pair with a slice of avocado toast and you’ve got a protein-rich, nutrient-dense breakfast that’ll set you up for the day.
More Delicious Side Dish Recipes
- Roasted Radishes
- Southern Fried Corn
- Easy Roasted Artichokes
- Garlic Sauteed Spinach
- Easy Broccolini Recipe
If you try this snap peas recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
5 Minute Sugar Snap Peas Recipe
- Rinse the pea pods and pat them dry.
- If you haven't purchased "stringless" pods, you need to "string" them. Remove the stem end with a knife or by snapping it with your fingers. Then pull away the membrane string running down the seam of each pod. Repeat with all the remaining sugar peas.This is important, as the string is tough, fibrous, and chewy. Sometimes the pods have strings down both sides, in which case you'll need to snap off both ends and peel away the strings.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Once hot, add the snap peas and sauté for between 3-5 minutes until tender and slightly crisp, stirring them often.When they’re ready, the pea pods should still be bright green but with a few browned spots and a tender-crisp texture.
- Season with salt and pepper (to taste), and then serve the peas with lemon wedges to squeeze over them.
- Make ahead: You can de-string and wash the peas several days in advance. Just make sure to dry them thoroughly before storing them. Store: It's best to consume them immediately after cooking. However, you can save any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.Reheat the leftovers in a skillet, optionally with a small amount of oil or butter for the best texture. A microwave will work if you don't mind them being very soft.
- Use the right pan: You’ll need a large, wide pan, so the peas cook evenly.
- Don’t overcook them: Otherwise, the pods will fall apart and become bitter and/or chewy.
- Remove the strings: Unless you specifically buy them stringless, removing this fibrous string is important, as otherwise, it’s unpleasant to eat.
- Butter: For a richer flavor, stir in some melted butter (unsalted or lightly salted- adjust added salt accordingly) when serving.
- Garlic: One of my FAVORITE add-ins. Add 1-2 cloves of fresh garlic, some roasted garlic, or garlic powder in a pinch.
- Sesame: Use 1-2 teaspoons of sesame oil or add in a tablespoon of lightly toasted sesame seeds.
- Parmesan: Sprinkle the sauteed peas with freshly shredded parmesan.
- Feta cheese: Great when combined with some fresh mint leaves and chili flakes.
- Fresh herbs: Garnish the peas with finely chopped parsley, chives, dill, scallions, etc.
- Seasonings: You can experiment with all sorts of seasonings added to taste:
- Onion powder
- Smoked paprika
- Chili or cayenne pepper
- Cajun seasoning
- Toasted nuts: Slivered almonds, pine nuts, sunflower seeds, etc. Add in the last 2 minutes of cooking.