Can you steam fresh vegetables on the stove?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “can you steam fresh vegetables on the stove?”. With an in-depth analysis of can, we steam fresh vegetables on the stove?. Moreover, we will also discuss methods for steaming fresh vegetables on the stove.

Can you steam fresh vegetables on the stove?

Yes, fresh vegetables can be steamed on the stove. Most of the time vegetables are steamed using a steamer on the top of the stove or in dishes in the microwave. However, vegetables can also be steamed in the oven without much extra work or in a normal pot on the stove.

How can you steam fresh vegetables on the stove?

This method utilizes a steamer basket or steamer pan to steam fresh vegetables on the stove.

Step 1: Select and chop the vegetables into uniform pieces.

Though all vegetables can be steamed, certain vegetables steam better than others, and all of them steam at different rates. Broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, asparagus, artichokes, and green beans will all turn out nicely and are standard steaming fare.

To get the vegetables to cook evenly, chop them into the most uniform pieces. The thicker the vegetables, the longer it will take to cook. This is most important for vegetables like carrots: the smaller your pieces, the shorter the cooking time.

Clean the vegetables before steaming them. 

Before you cook your vegetables, it’s important to rinse them to wash away dirt, bacteria, and traces of pesticides. Rinse your veggies in clean, cold water, then pat them dry with a paper towel.

  • Use a clean vegetable brush to scrub veggies with thick skins, like potatoes or carrots.
  • Some veggies, like cauliflower and cabbage, have lots of nooks and crannies where dirt and bacteria can hide. Soak veggies like these in cool water for 1-2 minutes before rinsing them off.
  • You can use a commercial produce wash if you like, but studies have shown that this is no more effective than rinsing your veggies in clean water.

Step 2: Fill the pot with water under the steamer basket. Bring it to a boil.

  • Bring the water to a boil first. Don’t be tempted to just put everything in the steamer and bring the water to a boil. 
  • Add about 1-inch water to the bottom of the saucepan or pot, then place in the steamer basket. The surface of the water should be just under the basket so pour out water if you need to. 
  • Then bring it to a boil by placing it on the stove.

Step 3: Add the vegetables, cover, and steam until crisp and tender

Once boiling, add the vegetables to the steamer basket and cover the pot with a lid. If your steamer doesn’t have a handle, place it in the pan before boiling the water, then add the broccoli once boiling. Cook with the lid on just tender. Here are the approximate timings for steaming different vegetables:

  • Carrots: 4 to 5 minutes, depending on how thick you cut them
  • Cauliflower: 10 to 12 minutes
  • Asparagus: 7 to 13 minutes, or 4 to 7 minutes if you cut up the spears into short pieces
  • Broccoli: stalks for 8 to 12 minutes, florets for 5 to 7 minutes
  • Corn on the cob: 7 to 10 minutes
  • Green beans: 5 to 7 minutes
  • Potatoes, sliced: 8 to 12 minutes
  • Spinach: 3 to 5 minutes

Test a piece with a fork and taste to assess whether it’s done. The cooking time will be different every time based on the thickness of how you’ve chopped them, and the maturity of the vegetables.

Step 4: Drain and season the steamed vegetables.

Carefully remove the vegetables from a bowl. Then toss with olive oil or butter and kosher salt. If you’d like, amp the flavor by using lemon juice, fresh herbs, feta cheese crumbles, or other spices.

How can you cook steam fresh vegetables on a stove using a covered pan?

Choose a deep pot that can hold all the vegetables you want to steam. 

It needs to be big enough for all your vegetables. Make sure it also has a matching lid or a lid that will sufficiently keep in the steam. Preferably, the pot should be big enough that you can fill it up ¾ of the way with your vegetables, which will leave room at the top for steam and condensation to build up under the lid.

Add .5 inches (1.3 cm) of water to the bottom of the pan. 

This will create the steaming effect but is not enough to boil all the nutrients out of the vegetables. The shallow layer of water will also protect the vegetables from burning at the bottom of the pot.

Layer the vegetables into the pot based on cooking time. 

  • If you’re cooking multiple types of vegetables, put the longer-cooking veggies on the bottom. Layer those with a shorter cooking time on top. That way, you can easily remove the fastest-cooking vegetables first.

Close the lid and heat the pot on medium-high heat. 

  • Once the vegetables are in place, cover the pot securely and turn on the heat. Choose a medium-high setting rather than the highest setting. Touch the lid of the pot occasionally to test the heat. Once it’s too hot to touch, that means that the water is steaming.
  • Remove the vegetables from the heat and serve.


In this brief guide, we have answered the question “can you steam fresh vegetables on the stove?”. With an in-depth analysis of can, we steam fresh vegetables on the stove?. Moreover, we have also discussed methods for steaming fresh vegetables on the stove.


Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.