How to Cook Sugar Snap Peas (Perfect Every Time!)

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Showing a bowl of peas cooked using our How to Cook Sugar Snap Peas recipe

If snap peas aren’t on your list of favorite veggies, we think you’ll reconsider when you give these sautéed sugar snap peas a try! They’re fresh, perfectly crunchy, and a little zesty. It’s no surprise they’re one of our new favorite sides

Even better?! They’re SO easy. Just 1 pan, 5 minutes, and 3 ingredients required! We promise you won’t regret giving these (bright, salty, delightful) snap peas a try. Let us show you how to cook sugar snap peas!

Olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon zest, and snap peas

How to Cook Sugar Snap Peas

First, rinse and dry fresh sugar snap peas. If you want, you can remove the tips and any strings that come off with them, but we find it makes a minor difference and isn’t worth the effort. However, if you’re using older peas, the strings may be more stiff and noticeable.

When you’re ready to get cookin’, heat up a large skillet with olive or avocado oil. Once it’s hot, add the snap peas and sauté, making sure to stir constantly to help them cook evenly.

Pan of cooked sugar snap peas

Once the snap peas are bright green and just barely fork tender, remove them from the heat. Make sure to do so right away because they go from al dente to overcooked quickly.

Season with salt and pepper and lemon zest (optional) for a little brightness, and prepare to be surprised how quickly these peas vanish from eaters’ dinner plates!

Close up shot of snap peas on a fork

We hope you LOVE these sautéed snap peas! They’re:

A little zesty
& SO quick and easy!

They pair well with a wide variety of mains including our Creamy Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff, Cashew-Crusted Cauliflower Steak, and Lemon Baked Salmon with Garlic Dill Sauce.

More Simple Veggie Sides

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Zesting a lemon over a bowl of perfectly cooked sugar snap peas

How to Cook Sugar Snap Peas (Perfect Every Time!)

Fresh, crunchy sugar snap peas sautéed with salt, pepper, and lemon zest! The perfect easy side dish, with just 1 pan, 5 minutes, and 3 ingredients required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Holding a gold spoon in a bowl of sautéed sugar snap peas
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 2 (Servings)
Course Side
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 1-2 Days


  • 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil
  • 8 ounces fresh* sugar snap peas (8 ounces snap peas is ~3 cups)
  • 1 healthy pinch each sea salt and black pepper
  • 2-3 tsp lemon zest (optional)


  • Rinse and dry the snap peas and (optionally) remove the tips and any strings that come off with them.
  • Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Once hot, add the snap peas and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly until the peas are bright green in color and barely fork tender (we prefer them to still have a little crunch).
  • Remove from the heat and season with salt, pepper, and lemon zest (optional).
  • Best when fresh. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 1-2 days. Reheat over medium-high heat until just warm — about 30-60 seconds. Not freezer friendly.



*Fresh peas are best. If using frozen, cook 1-2 minutes longer.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional ingredients.

Nutrition (1 of 2 servings)

Serving: 1 serving Calories: 99 Carbohydrates: 5.7 g Protein: 3.9 g Fat: 7 g Saturated Fat: 0.9 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.7 g Monounsaturated Fat: 4.9 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 40 mg Potassium: 170 mg Fiber: 2.4 g Sugar: 4.2 g Vitamin A: 124 IU Vitamin C: 36 mg Calcium: 61 mg Iron: 0.9 mg

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  1. The Vegan Goddess says

    I would love to make a crunchy salted snack out of snap peas. I could eat an entire bag of them in one sitting from the grocery store but don’t want the chemicals so I’d rather make my own.

    That could be another recipe for you. : )

  2. Claire says

    Don’t knock the simple recipes—this one proves that easy is best! I’ve been obsessed with farmers market peas lately and this presentation is stunning. Don’t skip the lemon zest! I used extra virgin olive oil but it’s probably not necessary at such a high temperature.

  3. GADzooks123 says

    These are delicious! I’m very surprised there aren’t more comments for these — other than someone commenting about how they can’t eat them or what they would eat instead, so I figured It would be helpful to say for such a simple 3 ingredient recipe this is a game changer. Hands down the the best way I have ever had them– I didn’t change a thing. I just used a bag from Trader Joes (the bag says you can microwave them, but I wasn’t a fan of that idea so I checked through the MB site & found this and I’m glad I did). Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Thanks so much for the kind words and support! Thanks so much for the lovely review. xo

  4. Christine says

    I love sugar snap peas. I usually cut up and put raw in salads. Your idea with the lemon zest is great! It adds more antioxidants to an easy vegetable dosh. Many thanks for sharing your inspiration!! I will make this. Just put it on my menu for next week!

  5. Thomas Hunt Jr says

    I don’t use salt or pepper in anything. Don’t even have any in my place for that matter. Top it off, lemon is one of the (many) fruits I’m allergic to.

    Love snap peas though. I like to cook em up with kale, balsamic vinegar, and minced garlic. Sometimes I’ll add some white onion (at the very end. I like onions to have some bite to them) for extra flavor.

  6. kelli says

    How would this be cooled down and then served as a salad? do you think it would be as tasty? well, i guess i can just try it. its easy enough! haha but im just really in need of finding a quick salad for the weekend with no nightshade veggies and gluten free! :-)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Kelli, we’d say this one is best served warm, but it would be okay cold. Hope that helps! xo

    • Thomas Hunt Jr says

      One of my fav salads is with baby spinach. Not fond of lettuce since to me it tastes like watered down grass.

      I like to fry up some chicken and toss some in as well. If that’s unavailable I usually go with pepperoni.

      Cheese wise, I tend to go with Shredded Chao cheese, Mexican flavor. Before I turned my back on dairy I liked it with feta cheese.

      I like Tuscan style Italian dressing, though I have a habit of putting in quite a bit of tobasco sauce in the bottle.

      Warm snap peas would be a good addition methinks. Wouldn’t want to wilt the spinach.