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How to Steam Vegetables Without a Steamer

Did you know you can get the crisp-tender texture of steamed vegetables without using a steamer? Here’s how:




  • Wash and peel vegetables
  • Cut vegetables into uniform, bite-size pieces
  • Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of cool water
  • Place on the stove over medium heat
  • Bring to a boil and turn heat to low
  • Add vegetables to simmering water in steamer alternative (e.g. metal strainer, pie tin with poked holes, foil with poked holes, or heat-safe plate on a tin foil base)
  • Cover and cook until done


Steaming Times



Steaming Time


3 to 5 minutes

Broccoli or Cauliflower

5 to 7 minutes

Green Beans

5 to 7 minutes

Zucchini or Yellow Squash

7 to 10 minutes

Kale or Collard Greens

10 minutes

Carrots or Potatoes

10 to 20 minutes


Veggie Steaming Tips


  • Cut vegetables the same size to steam evenly. Reminder: The firmer the texture, the longer the vegetables will need to steam.
  • Use a lid while cooking so the vegetables to cook faster and enough water stays on the bottom of the pot.
  • When steaming with a plate, make sure it’s heat-safe and non-plastic (like a ceramic or stainless-steel cake pan). Use oven mitts to remove hot plates from pots. Allow the plate to cool before washing.
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