Farmer's Markets, gardening at home, and the ability to ship produce around the world at an amazing speed, we have an ever-growing variety of fresh vegetables to choose from year-round. But it's easy to become bewildered by the variety if you don't know how to select, store, and prepare them properly.
Here's basic information about some of the most popular vegetables in a handy chart to help take the guesswork out of cooking them. The following vegetable chart shows you various cooking methods and times at a glance. As you refer to this chart, please keep the following in mind:
- The times on the chart are for one pound of vegetable unless otherwise noted.
- The times are in minutes.
- A range of time is given because cooking times vary due to the age and size of the vegetables. Vegetables are done when they are tender, but still crisp. (They should not be mushy.)
- Steaming times begin when the water boils and creates steam.
- When microwaving, some vegetables require no water except the droplets that cling to them when rinsed.
- Blanching prepares vegetables for freezing. Timing begins when vegetables are dropped into a large pot of boiling water. Plunge vegetables immediately into ice water after cooking, then drain and pat dry with paper towels before freezing.
- Boiling requires covering the bottom of a pan with 1/2 to 1 inch of water. Use more water for whole, dense vegetables, such as beets, turnips, and kohlrabi. Bring water to a boil before adding vegetables.
- Some cooking methods are not recommended for certain vegetables. This is indicated in the chart by the abbreviation "NR."
|Artichoke, whole||30 to 60||4 to 5 each||NR||25 to 40||NR|
|Artichoke, hearts||10 to 15||6 to 7||8 to 12||10 to 15||Stir-fry 10|
|Asparagus||8 to 10||4 to 6||2 to 3||5 to 12||Stir-fry pieces 5|
|Beans, green||5 to 15||6 to 12||4 to 5||10 to 20||Stir-fry 3 to 4|
|Beans, lima||10 to 20||8 to 12||5 to 10||20 to 30||NR|
|Beets||40 to 60||14 to 18||NR||30 to 60||Bake 60 at 350°F|
|Broccoli, spears||8 to 15||6 to 7||3 to 4||5 to 10||Blanch, then bake|
|Broccoli, flowerets||5 to 6||4 to 5||2 to 3||4 to 5||Stir-fry 3 to 4|
|Brussels sprouts||6 to 12||7 to 8||4 to 5||5 to 10||Halve; stir-fry 3 to 4|
|Cabbage, wedges||6 to 9||10 to 12||NR||10 to 15||Blanch leaves, stuff and bake|
|Cabbage, shredded||5 to 8||8 to 10||NR||5 to 10||Stir-fry 3 to 4|
|Carrots, whole||10 to 15||8 to 10||4 to 5||15 to 20||Bake 30 to 40 at 350°F|
|Carrots, sliced||4 to 5||4 to 7||3 to 4||5 to 10||Stir-fry 3 to 4|
|Cauliflower, whole||15 to 20||6 to 7||4 to 5||10 to 15||Blanch, then back 20 at 350°F|
|Cauliflower, florets||6 to 10||3 to 4||3 to 4||5 to 8||Stir-fry 3 to 4|
|Corn, on cob||6 to 10||3 to 4||3 to 4||4 to 7||Soak 10; bake at 375°F|
|Corn, cut||4 to 6||2 per cup||2 1/2 to 4||3 to 4||Stir-fry 3 to 4|
|Eggplant, whole||15 to 30||7 to 10||10 to 15||10 to 15||Bake 30 at 400|
|Eggplant, diced||5 to 6||5 to 6||3 to 4||5 to 10||Bake 10 to 15 425°F|
|Greens, collard/mustard/turnip||NR||18 to 20||8 to 15||30 to 60||Stir-fry mustard greens 4 to 6|
|Greens, kale/beet||4 to 6||8 to 10||4 to 5||5 to 8||Stir-fry 2 to 3|
|Kohlrabi||30 to 35||8 to 12||NR||15 to 30||Bake 50 to 60 at 350°F|
|Mushrooms||4 to 5||3 to 4||NR||3 to 4 in broth or wine||Stir-fry or broil 4 to 5|
|Onions, whole||20 to 25||6 to 10||NR||20 to 30||Bake 60 at 400°F|
|Onions, pearl||15 to 20||5 to 7||2 to 3||10 to 20||Braise in broth 15 to 25|
|Parsnips||8 to 10||4 to 6||3 to 4||5 to 10||Bake 30 at 325°F|
|Peas||3 to 5||5 to 7||1 to 2||8 to 12||Stir-fry 2 to 3|
|Peppers, bell||2 to 4||2 to 4||2 to 3||4 to 5||Stir-fry 2 to 3|
|Potatoes, whole||12 to 30||6 to 8||NR||20 to 30||Bake 40 to 60 at 400°F|
|Potatoes, cut||10 to 12||8 to 10||NR||15 to 20||Bake 25 to 30 at 400°F|
|Spinach||5 to 6||3 to 4||2 to 3||2 to 5||Stir-fry 3|
|Squash, sliced||5 to 10||3 to 6||2 to 3||5 to 10||NR|
|Squash, halves||15 to 40||6 to 10||NR||5 to 10||Bake 40 to 60 at 375°F|
|Squash, whole||NR||5 to 6||NR||20 to 30||Bake 40 to 90 at 350°F|
|Tomatoes||2 to 3||3 to 4||1 to 2||NR||Bake havles 8 to 15 at 400|
|Turnips, whole||20 to 25||9 to 12||NR||15 to 20||Bake 30 to 45 at 350°F|
|Turnips, cubed||12 to 15||6 to 8||2 to 3||5 to 8||Stir-fry 2 to 3|
|Zucchini||5 to 10||3 to 6||2 to 3||5 to 10||Broil halves 5|
Not what you're looking for? Try these:
- Vegetable Recipes: Both tasty and good for you, vegetables are a great vehicle to try out new seasonings and cooking methods. Find plenty of ideas on our Vegetable Recipes page.
- Grilling Vegetables: Grilling vegetables is not only easy but it also produces a rich tasting, healthy treat. Learn how to grill vegetables in this article.
- Cooking: Learn the ins and outs of some basic cooking techniques in this helpful article.