Sep 13, 2021

Steamed Vegetables with Garlic Butter

Fresh Steamed Vegetables drizzled in a garlic butter sauce is a deliciously easy side dish perfect for any night of the week! These steamed veggies fit right in on your holiday table too, AND I even make this steamed veggies recipe just for snacking!
Freshly steamed vegetables in a silver dish with garlic butter being drizzled over

Steamed Vegetables Recipe

Steaming vegetables is very easy to do and takes less than 10 minutes, making this side dish perfect for any night of the week, but also a quick lunch or snack! Yes, I snack on this tasty steamed vegetables recipe all the time. Why not? Vegetables are healthy and low carb too, so they won't make my jeans shrink... if you know what I mean <wink>
Overhead view of freshly steamed vegetables in a silver dish

Have you ever had the steamed vegetables at Outback Steakhouse?

We love those veggies! They are fresh and buttery delish! Years ago we used to eat out a lot more than we do now. Now we do our best to never go out to eat. We just love to eat at home. It's cheaper, fresher, and we like knowing what's in our food and who had their hands on it.

After having the steamed veggies at Outback Steakhouse all those years ago, I was inspired to make them at home. I even asked how they made them, and the manager was kind enough to share their technique with me. It had something to do with a bag and steaming them in the microwave.

I tried it but it didn't work for me, and I don't like the idea of microwaving the veggies, so I ditched that idea and steamed my vegetables the old fashioned way... using my saucepan and steamer basket.
Overhead close up view of freshly steamed vegetables garnished with parsley

How to Steam Vegetables

  1. Add about one inch of water in a saucepan. Bring water to simmer over medium heat on your stove top.
  2. Wash fresh vegetables and place vegetables in metal steamer basket. I like to use a vegetable medley like you see pictured, but you can steam any vegetable you like.
  3. Place steamer basket over saucepan and cover with lid.
  4. Steam vegetables for about 8 minutes or until they are done to your liking. Always remember cook time may vary, so check doneness to ensure the veggies are steamed to your liking.
  5. Remove steamed vegetables to a serving bowl and season to your liking.

How Long to Steam Vegetables

  • Depending on the type of vegetable you’re steaming and the size of the vegetable pieces, steaming time will vary.
  • For instance, root vegetables like sweet potatoes will take longer than other less dense vegetables. However, if you cut them smaller you will reduce the time it takes to steam them.
  • Small veggies will steam more quickly, as will vegetables containing more water like zucchini. 
  • Check out this helpful vegetable steaming chart for cook times.

How to Season Steamed Vegetables

Like any other food, steamed vegetables without seasoning will taste bland. It's important to season the steamed vegetables with salt and pepper. Seasoning steamed veggies is easy enough.
  1. Once the veggies are steamed, you simply sprinkle kosher salt and black pepper on the steamed vegetables
  2. Give the vegetables a gentle toss to coat them in the seasoning
  3. Be sure to taste the veggies and add more seasoning to your liking

Another way to season steamed vegetables is to add the salt and pepper to a quick and simple sauce and pour it on the veggies. My favorite is a garlic butter sauce like I used in this recipe, but you can also use olive oil and lemon juice or lime juice for a healthy way to season vegetables.

Sprinkle on your favorite Fresh herbs such as oregano, basil, parsley, thyme, chervil, tarragon, cilantro, cumin, dill, ginger, lemongrass and even curry all pair nicely with fresh veggies. Using fresh herbs on your steamed veggies is a great way to create unique flavors to spice up dinner any night of the week!

GARLIC BUTTER SAUCE FOR STEAMED VEGETABLES

Using a saucepan and steamer basket set is handy too, because once the veggies are steamed, I pour out any water left in the saucepan and use that same pan to melt the butter and saute the garlic to make a garlic butter sauce perfect for drizzling on the steamed vegetables. Less mess! I love it! And I HAVE to have garlic butter to drizzle all over these beautiful steamed vegetables!
Overhead view of freshly steamed vegetables with garlic butter about to be poured on them

Types of Steamer Baskets

  • Collapsible Steamer BasketsCollapsible steamer  baskets like this one are a great choice because they fit most pots. Additionally, they heat quickly and can handle all types of vegetables and even fish. When not in use, collapsible steamer baskets are easy to store because they fold in on themselves.
  • Bamboo Steamer Baskets - Bamboo steamers have a tightly woven lid that keeps steam from escaping. The process can be slower than using a metal steamer basket, but it's very effective as the bamboo absorbs some of the excess moisture while cooking, rather than allowing the steam to re-condense into water and drip back onto your food.
  • Silicone Steamers - Silicone steamers are specifically for a pressure cooker like the Instant Pot, but can be used in other pots as well. They are very flexible and can mold into almost any pot. If you use your Instant Pot for steaming you'll want to check out these silicone steamers.
  • Microwave steamers - you can quickly and easily steam veggies in your microwave too. Microwave steaming is probably one of the quickest ways to steam veggies. Check out these microwave steamers for an easy way to steam vegetables quickly.
  • Wire mesh strainer - A common kitchen hack is to use a wire mesh strainer like these to steam vegetables. You simply balance the strainer on top of the pot so the bowl of the strainer fits inside the pot. Add enough water to reach just below the strainer, but not touching. Put a lid on top and steam away. The lid should be wide enough to cover the strainer and the pot completely. This is great economical option as well as a space saver!
  • Donabe steamers - Donabe ceramic pots like these are a traditional Japanese clay pot used for cooking a variety of dishes. A pot like this is more expensive and designed to last and be passed down to generations. Donabe ceramic pots are beautiful and can be displayed in your kitchen.
  • Stainless Steel Steamer set - The steamer equipment I use to steam my vegetables is a steamer set. This Cuisinart steamer set is my first choice. It is very convenient and the easiest to use, in my opinion. This is my favorite way to steam vegetables. I think steaming vegetables with a steamer set is the best way.

Why Steam Vegetables?

I prefer to steam vegetables, because steaming helps retain the nutrients, unlike boiling where the nutrients can be tossed out with the water.
When steaming, the vegetables should not come in direct contact with the water, instead, the simmering water vaporizes and turns into steam. The moisture and heat from the steam cooks the vegetables. 

Check out my tutorial on How to Steam Broccoli where I show you how to steam broccoli with a steamer basket, without a steamer basket, and even in the microwave!

Vegetable Steaming tips

  • Size of vegetables - For best results make sure you cut vegetables in uniform pieces for even cooking. Bigger vegetables take longer to steam, while smaller pieces take less time to steam. Also, it's good to remember that root vegetables will take more time to steam as well.
  • Vegetable Medley - When steaming mixed vegetables, be sure to use vegetables that will cook at the same time. If mixing denser vegetables with softer vegetables, you'll want to start steaming the denser vegetables first and add in the softer vegetables as needed to cook evenly.
  • Don't Over Cook - Soggy veggies have no flavor! They are unappetizing, so be sure to set a timer to get crisp tender vegetables every time. Err on the side of undercooked and check doneness often near the end of the cooking time.
  • Fresh Vegetables -  Frozen vegetables will get soggy when steaming as they have more water. For best results, always use fresh vegetables.

Uses for Steamed Veggies

  • Steamed vegetables make great side dishes any night of the week and on holidays too
  • Add steamed vegetables to grains to create your own grain bowl
  • Leftover steamed vegetables can be used in a variety of ways. I like to use leftover veggies in omelets and to top lunch salads
  • Steamed veggies make a great school lunch or after school snack
I hope you enjoy this Steamed Vegetables Recipe with Garlic Butter Sauce as much as we do! Enjoy!

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Steamed Vegetables
Side dish recipes
American
Yield: 4
Author: Life Tastes Good
Steamed Vegetables with Garlic Butter

Steamed Vegetables with Garlic Butter

Fresh STEAMED VEGETABLES drizzled in a garlic butter sauce is a deliciously easy side dish perfect for any night of the week! These steamed veggies fit right in on your holiday table too, AND I even make this steamed veggies recipe just for snacking!
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 10 MinTotal time: 20 Min

Ingredients

  • 1 head broccoli, florets only
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas
  • water
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

Steamed Vegetables
  1. Add about 1-2 inches of water in a saucepan. Set the pan over medium heat to bring it to a simmer.
  2. While the water is heating up, Wash the vegetables as needed. Remove stems from the broccoli so you only have the florets. Chop florets so they aren't too large and place the florets into the steamer basket. Add 1 cup of baby carrots and 1 cup of sugar snap peas.
  3. Place the steamer basket over the saucepan and cover. 
  4. Steam the vegetables for about 8 minutes or until done to your liking. When done to your liking, remove the vegetables to a serving bowl and set aside while you make the garlic butter.
Garlic Butter
  1. Pour out the water in the saucepan and place the saucepan over mid-low heat. Melt 4 tablespoons butter and saute 1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic until fragrant. About a minute. Add about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and stir to combine. Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Drizzle the garlic butter over the vegetables and enjoy!

Notes:

  1. Cooking time may vary depending on the size and denseness of your vegetables. Denser vegetablees will take longer to steam. Smaller pieces will steam faster, so be sure to cut the vegetable pieces into uniform sizes for best results.
  2. You don't want the water in the pan to touch the steamer basket when you set it inside the pan.
  3. The water in the saucepan should be just at a simmer. Reduce heat if needed.
  4. I steam for about 8 minutes to the point the vegetables just start to soften, but still have a little crispness to them. I like my steamed vegetables crisp tender. Add time if you prefer your vegetables more done, but be careful not to overcook or they will be mushy and unappetizing.

Calories

136.02

Fat (grams)

11.70

Sat. Fat (grams)

7.21

Carbs (grams)

6.82

Fiber (grams)

2.41

Net carbs

4.41

Sugar (grams)

3.06

Protein (grams)

2.02

Sodium (milligrams)

176.59

Cholesterol (grams)

30.52

Nutrition label disclaimer: Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and food preparation. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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