Vegetable-Cooking Chart

With the proliferation of Farmer's Markets, more folks gardening at home, and the ability to ship produce around the world at an amazing speed, you 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.

To help, we've compiled 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:
  1. The times on the chart are for one pound of vegetable unless otherwise noted.

  2. The times are in minutes.

  3. 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.)

  4. Steaming times begin when the water boils and creates steam.

  5. When microwaving, some vegetables require no water except the droplets that cling to them when rinsed.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Some cooking methods are not recommended for certain vegetables. This is indicated in the chart by the abbreviation "NR."
Vegetable Steam
Microwave
Blanch
Boil
Other
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

Because vegetables are such a vital part of our diet, it is important to know how to prepare as many varieties as possible. After all, you need to keep eating your greens. Most people don't get nearly the recommended amount of vegetables each day, but now lack of knowledge can't be your excuse!

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.