How to Cook Sugar Snap Pea Pods

by Natalie Smith

No taste brings you back to the garden more quickly than a sweet and crunchy pea pod. Sugar snap peas were introduced in 1979 as an alternative to the snow pea. These peas resemble snow peas but they have a sweeter taste and a plumper pod. Find fresh sugar snap peas at your local grocery store and at farmers markets.


Bring 8 cups of water to a boil over high heat.

Add the sugar snap pea pods and boil them for 30 seconds.

Remove a pea pod from the water and test it. If it is crisp but tender enough to eat, the pea pods are ready. If they are still too firm, continue cooking the pea pods for up to two more minutes.


Fill a stockpot halfway full of water and bring it to boil over high heat on the stove.

Place the steamer basket over the pot and place the pea pods into the basket with tongs. Be careful to avoid the steam as it is very hot and can cause serious burns.

Place the lid on the pot and steam the pea pods for five to six minutes, or until they are crisp but tender enough to eat.


Place the sugar snap pea pods in a microwave steamer bag, which is a plastic bag designed to steam vegetables in the microwave. Find steamer bags where you buy plastic storage bags in your supermarket.

Place the bag in the microwave and heat on 100 percent power for five to six minutes, or until the pea pods are tender but still crisp.

Allow the pea pods to sit for a minute before you open the bag. The steam from the pea pods will be very hot and can cause serious burns.


  • Sugar snap peas often require a longer cooking time than other pea pods.

    Sugar snap pea pods with strings are fine to eat, or remove them by pulling them away at the seams.

Photo Credits

  • bhofack2/iStock/Getty Images

About the Author

Natalie Smith is a technical writing professor specializing in medical writing localization and food writing. Her work has been published in technical journals, on several prominent cooking and nutrition websites, as well as books and conference proceedings. Smith has won two international research awards for her scholarship in intercultural medical writing, and holds a PhD in technical communication and rhetoric.